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A rendering of Hamad Port.

New Doha Port Project

A rendering of Hamad Port.

Qatar’s new Hamad Port will officially take charge of commercial shipments entering and leaving the country from Dec. 1, when it becomes fully operational, the government announced.

By the end of this week, all container ships will go to the QR27 billion port in Umm Al-Houl near Mesaieed, as operations at Doha Port wind down.

The old port near the Museum of Islamic Art will be closed to all commercial ships from then.

It will soon start undergoing a QR2 billion overhaul, likely to transform it into a dedicated cruise ship terminal.

However, the Doha Port will continue accepting cruise ships until the end of March before it closes to all vessels, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) and the Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani) said today.

Hamad Port soft-launched last December with its first commercial shipment.

It had received its first ship last July – the heavy load carrier Zhen Hua 10, which was laden with 12 cranes used to unload goods from vessels that dock there.

The new port has been taking cars and livestock since then as it gradually steps up operations ahead of the on-schedule full launch of phase 1 at the end of this week.

Maritime expansion

Hamad Port’s size will permit large container ships to travel directly to Qatar. Previously, they had to dock first in the UAE and transfer cargo to smaller ships.

Hamad Port

MoTC/Twitter

Hamad Port

The port is expected to be fully up and running in 2020, 10 years ahead of schedule.

At that time, Hamad Port will cover a site of around 20 sq km and include three container terminals, with a combined annual capacity in excess of six million containers per year.

Annually, its general cargo terminal will be able to manage:

  • Some 1.7 million tonnes of general goods;
  • Up to 1 million tonnes of food grains; and
  • Half-a-million vehicles.

There will be a dedicated livestock terminal, a multi-use terminal, an off-shore supply base and Coast Guard facilities, the MOTC said in a statement this weekend.

Less traffic on the roads

The new port’s size and facilities should also make it quicker and easier to import raw materials to Qatar.

This is crucial for the completion of the country’s many ongoing infrastructure projects.

Minister of Transport Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti

QNA/Instagram

Minister of Transport Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti

Speaking last year, Minister of Transport Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti said the port would “modernize the way Qatar handles ocean imports and exports, increasing our maritime trade and facilitate growth and diversification of the country’s economy.”

It will also reduce the number of truck journeys on the Corniche near the old port by around 100 a day, officials previously told Doha News.

Heavy vehicles traveling to and from Hamad Port will eventually be diverted away from Doha to use the under-construction Orbital Highway.

Orbital highway and truck route map

Ashghal/Facebook

Orbital highway and truck route map

This will span 189km in total and is being built in four stages.

It will connect Mesaieed and Hamad Port to the south of Doha with Al Rayyan in the west and Ras Laffan and Al Khor in northern Qatar.

The whole Orbital project should be complete by the middle of 2018, according to Ashghal’s website.

But some northern sections should open to traffic by the end of next year, the public works authority previously said.

Thoughts?

Doha Port

Milaha

Doha Port

A QR2 billion project expected to transform Doha Port into a functioning international cruise ship terminal will begin early next year, Qatar’s transport minister has said.

The first of two phases of the redevelopment works will start in April.

This will involve upgrading facilities and dredging and deepening the canals in the area around the site, near the Museum of Islamic Art at the southern end of the Corniche.

Cruise ship Island Sky at Doha Port

QTA

Cruise ship Island Sky at Doha Port

Jassim Seif  Ahmed al-Sulaiti, Minister for Transport and Communications, confirmed the new timeline for the port work yesterday, Gulf Times reported.

He was speaking at the start of the Qatar Transport Safety Forum.

The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has previously announced plans to create a dedicated terminal for cruise ships at the site, as part of an ongoing push to attract more visitors to the country.

Today, Qatar welcomed the first ship of the 2016/17 cruise season:

Over the next several months, some 30 ships will dock in Doha – a big jump from the eight vessels that stopped by last year.

Hamad Port

Meanwhile, general cargo ships started operating out of Hamad Port this week.

The newly-constructed port was able to handle up to 2 million containers by the end of last year.

A rendering of Hamad Port.

New Doha Port Project

A rendering of Hamad Port.

The port received its first ship in July 2015. And in December, vessels carrying livestock and automobiles started unloading at the new site.

The QR27 billion commercial shipping port at Umm Al-Houl near Mesaieed will eventually have capacity for 6 million containers.

The new facility was built to increase capacity and reduce supply-chain bottlenecks.

These have been growing in recent years amid multiple, ongoing infrastructure and construction projects.

Thoughts?

Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Hamad Port is already accepting vehicle shipments.

Revamp of Doha Port into cruise ship terminal to start this year

Work will begin in the coming months to turn Doha Port into a “full-time cruise terminal and tourist attraction,” the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has said.

The announcement comes more than two years after plans to repurpose the marine facility were first announced and several months after some commercial vessels started to use the new Hamad Port near Mesaieed. The QTA is increasing efforts to market the country as a cruise ship destination and said this week that German operator TUI Cruises would dock seven vessels, carrying up to 17,500 passengers, in Qatar during the 2017-18 season.