ABU DHABI // Abu Dhabi took a giant step towards its industrial future yesterday with the official launch of the Dh26.5 billion Khalifa Port.
At 12 noon on the 12th day of the 12 month of 2012, the President, Sheikh Khalifa, declared the region's largest automated port open for business.
The port's target of 15 million container units a year in the next 20 years will place it alongside Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore as one of the biggest in the world.
The deepwater terminal five kilometres offshore will be able to handle the next generation of mega container ships, and act as a gateway to its onshore partner, Kizad, the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi.
Together, the two developments are expected to contribute 15 per cent of the capital's non-oil GDP in the next two decades and reduce reliance on revenue from oil and gas.
They will also naturally boost the surrounding area and community, said Craig Plumb, regional head of research at Jones Lang LaSalle, the global property services company.
"This will create a focal point for further development, whether it's residential or commercial, to support the port," he said. The projects are also integral pieces in a massive jigsaw of business and infrastructure developments as Abu Dhabi aims to realise its Economic Vision 2030.
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