Egypt Signs 30-year Concession Agreement with AD Ports to Operate Safaga Port

Egypt’s minister of transport and the ambassador of the UAE witness the signing of agreements in maritime transport on Saturday in Cairo. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Egypt’s minister of transport and the ambassador of the UAE witness the signing of agreements in maritime transport on Saturday in Cairo. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Egypt Signs 30-year Concession Agreement with AD Ports to Operate Safaga Port

Egypt’s minister of transport and the ambassador of the UAE witness the signing of agreements in maritime transport on Saturday in Cairo. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Egypt’s minister of transport and the ambassador of the UAE witness the signing of agreements in maritime transport on Saturday in Cairo. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Egypt's transport ministry signed on Saturday several agreements in maritime transport with AD Ports Group to manage, operate, and maintain the port of Safaga, and to allow for expanded access to multipurpose terminals and cruise routes in Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh.

AD Ports Group signed a 30-year concession agreement worth $200 million to develop and operate Egypt's Safaga port, according to a statement released by AD Ports on Saturday.

Two additional agreements and four head terms concerning ports located in Egypt's Red Sea region and the Mediterranean Sea were also signed, the statement said.

"AD Ports Group will invest a total of up to $200 million in superstructure and equipment, buildings, and other real estate facilities and utilities’ network inside the concession area," the statement added.

Furthermore, two 15-year agreements for the development of two cement terminals in Al Arish Port and West Port Said Port were signed between AD Ports Group and the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone requiring a combined investment of around $33 million.

AD Ports Group will construct silos with a storage capacity of up to 60,000 tons in Al Arish Port and 30,000 tons in West Port Said.

Each terminal will be able to handle 1-1.5 million tons annually.

Both terminals, which will be operational in Q4 2023, are expected to contribute to doubling Egypt's cement exports to global markets.

Egyptian Minister of Transport of Egypt Kamel al-Wazir affirmed that this contract is the beginning of a huge cooperation plan between the ministry and AD Ports Group to carry out several projects in logistics services in Egypt.

The multipurpose terminal in Safaga Port will be developed over an approximate area of 810,000 square meters and it will boast a quay wall of up to 1,000 meters.

The agreements were signed in Cairo in the presence of Lieutenant-General Kamel al-Wazir and Mariam Al Kaabi, Ambassador of the UAE to Egypt.

Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, and Major General Osama Saleh, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Red Sea Port Authority, signed the agreement.



Saudi Real Estate Activities Record Deals Worth $170Bn Since Beginning of 2024

The Al-Qasr project, one of the projects of Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company in Riyadh (Reuters)
The Al-Qasr project, one of the projects of Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company in Riyadh (Reuters)
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Saudi Real Estate Activities Record Deals Worth $170Bn Since Beginning of 2024

The Al-Qasr project, one of the projects of Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company in Riyadh (Reuters)
The Al-Qasr project, one of the projects of Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company in Riyadh (Reuters)

Real estate activities in Saudi Arabia continued to grow since the beginning of 2024, recording more than 280,000 transactions worth more than $170 billion (SAR 636 billion), and extending over a total area of more than two billion square meters.

The sector’s contribution to the Saudi GDP reached 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023.

During the last week ending June 22, the real estate stock exchange witnessed 518 deals, with a transaction value exceeding SAR 331.7 million, and a trading area of about 900,000 square meters. The highest recorded price per square meter reached about SAR 15,000, while the average price was SAR 371 riyals.

Al-Wisam area in Jeddah topped the list of the most traded neighborhoods in Saudi Arabia on the real estate stock exchange during a week, with a value of transactions exceeding SAR 89.3 million, followed by the Arid district in Riyadh, with a value reached SAR 6.35 million.

The list included Al-Rimal neighborhood in Riyadh, with a value of SAR 5.59 million, followed by Jawharat Al-Arous in Jeddah, with a value of SAR 3.98 million, and the northwestern Al-Bukayriyah district, with transactions reaching SAR 700,000.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, real estate expert Eng. Ahmed Al-Faqih said the sector is seen as the safest option in light of the changes and fluctuations of the stock and gold markets and their impact on rising interest rates.

He added that the real estate market has shown stable and steady growth in all its sectors, thanks to the investors’ confidence in the government’s policies and the injection of large capital by launching huge real estate projects such as Qiddiya, NEOM, the Red Sea, and others.

In addition, the market has witnessed in recent years a package of legislation and regulations that have increased confidence and further attracted capital and real estate investments, he underlined.

He added that since the third quarter of 2023, the Saudi market has seen a remarkable increase in the number and value of real estate deals compared to the previous quarter, which indicates a change in the general mood of investors and their shift from a state of anticipation to seizing real estate opportunities.

Another real estate expert, Saqr Al-Zahrani, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the performance of the Saudi market reflected the remarkable growth and sustainability of demand for real estate, adding that the numbers and sizes of transactions registered through the real estate stock exchange highlighted the confidence of investors, thanks to government efforts and the economic reforms implemented within Vision 2030.

Al-Zahrani stressed that the real estate sector represents one of the basic pillars of the Saudi economy and contributes significantly to supporting the gross domestic product through huge investments and large development projects.

He also noted that government initiatives to regulate and promote investments in the real estate sector have revitalized the economy and created broad job opportunities for citizens and a variety of new skills in the real estate sector, thus reducing unemployment rates and achieving sustainable development.

He identified several reasons that supported the continued growth and sustainability of the Saudi real estate sector, including economic reforms and policies for investment, in addition to the government’s efforts to improve the business environment by facilitating procedures.

Al-Zahrani pointed to the mega projects taking place in the Kingdom and their role in attracting investments, as well as the increasing demand for housing and associated services as a result of urbanization.

In addition, political and economic stability played a vital role in enhancing investor confidence and encouraging long-term investment in real estate, he stated.