Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani has inaugurated today the Hamad Port in Umm Al Houl.
The port, located 40km south of Doha, is the largest of its kind in the Middle East and has the capacity to handle all types of vessels, including large containerships.
The USD 7.4 billion port will have an annual capacity of 7.5 million shipping containers, and will help the country circumvent the sanctions imposed by the UAE and other Arab states on Qatar. Namely, it will help Qatar directly import goods from China and Oman instead of transhipping them via Dubai.
“The port… will break the shackles of any restrictions imposed on our economy. We are not giving up on our hopes and ambitions,” Qatari Transport Minister Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti is quoted as saying by Reuters.
According to the minister, the port construction was completed ahead of schedule and below budget.
The port is scheduled to become fully operational by 2020.
In addition, in June this year, Qatar launched a new direct line connecting the Port of Hamad with Omani counterpart, the Port of Sohar, enabling the country to bypass the Gulf neighbors.