Qatar’s long-awaited Hamad Port will become fully operational as of this upcoming Thursday.
Starting December 1, Qatar’s new Hamad Port will start taking over the incoming and outgoing commercial shipments, becoming fully operational and the country’s main port.
By next weekend, the QAR 27 billion port that has been under construction since 2011 will start full operations, and gradually take over all sea transport vessels, coming in or out, from Doha Port.
It lies at Umm Al-Houl, near Mesaieed, and will soon also start welcoming cruise ships. However, Doha Port will remain the main docking station for cruise liners until March 2017. After that, Doha Port will be closed down, redirecting all maritime activity through Hamad.
The new port soft-launched a year ago, during December 2015, when it welcomed its first commercial shipment. Since then, it has welcomed several loads of livestock and vehicles. The soft-launch prepared the dock and its staff for the upcoming full-scale launch of Phase 1 later on this week.
The size of the new port will allow large container ships to travel directly to Qatar. Before the Hamad Port, ships had to stop by in the UAE and unload onto smaller cargo ships.
The port is still not complete though, expansion and construction will continue as scheduled, and are expected to be completed by 2020, 10 years ahead of the originally predicted timeline.
Once complete, the Hamad Port will be sitting over a stretch of 20 square kilometers, and will include three container terminals, and have a total annual capacity to serve over six million containers per year.
In other words, it will able to cater to around 1.7 million tons of general goods, 1 million tons of grains, and half a million vehicles annually.
It will also have a terminal exclusive to livestock transports, as well as a multi-use terminal, an offshore supply base, and Coast Guard facilities.