Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. It is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf to the east of Qatar making it home to the busiest ports in the globe. Doha’s booming economic growth saw the Capital account for 68% of the entire country’s GDP in 2016.
Not only is Doha an economic hub. It plays host to over 50% of Qatar’s population, its population has hit records of the fastest growing populations in the World at a rate of 40%. The oil and gas industry is the main source of Doha’s revenue with other sectors such as trade and banking topping the list.
A Deeper Insight on the Booming Ports of Doha
It goes without saying that the strategic location of Doha on the coast of the Persian Gulf books it a spot as home to some of the major ports not only in Qatar but in the entire Middle East Region.
A sizeable proportion (89 percent) of Qatar’s GDP can be traced to the value of exports and imports. This qualifies trade to be the core support of the economy. This has seen the country invest in multi- billion-dollar projects aimed at port expansion programs.
Doha is home to the oldest and previously largest commercial port in Qatar an honor now graced to the newly commissioned port that became operational in 2015. The port now boasts of being one of the World’s largest projects. The first phase of the port offers a handling capacity of 2 million twenty- foot equivalent units (TEUs) and 2 million metric Tons of cargo.
Phases two and three will enable handling of 6 million TEUs at three container berths and storage facilities capable of holding up to 1.7 million tons of general goods, 1 million tons of food grains and 500, 000 vehicles.
Let us look into some logistics of the major ports here
As early as January 2018 the main ports hosted 381 vessels according to Mwani Qatar (A Qatar Ports Management Company). The main ports of Doha handled 135,956 cattle heads and 22,641tons a 112% and 45% increment respectively on the ports handling in December of the previous year (2017) that had seen the port take care of 64,026 cattle and 15,269 tons of aggregates.
On the other hand, wheeled (ro-ro) cargo experienced a 58% increase from 4,169 units handled in December 2017 to 6,584units handled in Jan 2018.The ports handled 103,996 Twenty-Foot Equivalent (TEUs) containers and 136,511 tons if general cargo in January as reported by Mwani Qatar.
In 2017 however, the ports achieved greatly managing to handle; 1.26 million tons of general cargo, 772,835 TEUs containers, 857,429 heads of cattle, 3,869 vessels and 578,654 tons of aggregates. In terms of traffic, 2017 was a great year for Mwani Qatar.
The country using the Doha Maritime gateway has managed to address most of the port terminus challenges it has endured for so long. As a result Qatar has been able to expand its global marine connectivity.
The construction and recent launch of the new port is timely as the country aims at dealing with overcrowding on the existing ports in Doha. The challenge came as a result of robust economic growth in Doha, where most investors were focused on importing machinery and construction materials at a rate that the ports built originally couldn’t handle.
If not addressed on time; as the government did, the challenge would have escalated to a crisis sooner than expected. This is so given that; by 2004 Qatar was already receiving 5665 vessels that included; 1098 oil tankers, 1518 gas tankers, 1043 container vessels and 786 bulk cargo carriers shipping a gross 299.6 billion tons and 130.7 billion net tons.
This was too much for ports meant to hold only 750,000 TEUs annually. As a result the country continued to suffer severely even in rankings in terms of global trade. As late as 2016, in the World bank’s ”Doing Business 2016” report, the country booked itself the 119th position out of the possible 189 countries in “trading across the borders” due to severe wait times and high costs.
On That Note
It is however a new dawn for Doha and the state of Qatar the new economic special zones and the global standard port take away the maritime nightmare. The Ports management authority continues to express their confidence in improvement of the systems as the ports continue to receive an increasing number of vessels calling at their costs.
In a case of killing two
birds with one stone this breakthrough is a great way for Doha to diversify its
economy. This just made things better for the business environment in the country.
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. The city is located along the coast of the Persian Gulf in the east of the country. It is the most modern and rapidly developing city in the country. Besides, it is home to about 1.5 million residents, barely half of the nation’s population. Over the last decade, Doha has become a major financial and economic hub both in the Middle-East as well as globally. For example, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network considers it a world city. The city has consequently been host to major world and continental events such as World Trade Organization negotiations, Asian games, and some United Nations climate negotiations among others. Further, it is set to host a number of venues for the monumental 2022 F.I.F.A. World Cup.
The population is widely composed of expatriates from South-East and South Asian nations such as India, Pakistan and Philippines among others with Qataris being minorities. Besides, there are also numerous expatriates from North Africa, North America and Europe seeking a share of the booming economic hub. Consequently, despite Arabic being the official language numerous languages are widely spoken by the respective expatriates. They include English which is commonly used as a second language as well as Spanish, French, Urdu, Tagalong, Malayalam and Hindi.
The rapid and massive growth has also led to the development of state of the art infrastructure, such as the ongoing construction of an 85km metro system as well as expressways. Further, numerous traditional architecture has been replaced by ultra-modern buildings with advanced cooling technologies to counter the torrid climatic conditions. However, some schemes have been initiated to preserve the cultural as well as architectural heritage. Consequently, there are numerous attractions including Museums and the Doha al-corniche a long seaside promenade along Doha Bay with an exquisite view of the city’s numerous skyscrapers.
The economy like most Gulf cities has been largely dependent on the oil and natural gas industries. Nevertheless, Measures aiming at diversifying the economy are bearing fruits. Particularly, the construction of Doha International Airport and Hamad International airport has drastically increased tourism and is spurring growth in other related industries such as the hospitality and freight forwarding. The real estate sector has also grown significantly as a result of the increasing population and rising housing needs. These industries are predicted to have remarkable growth as a result of the forthcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup. The city hosts the headquarters of numerous local as well as international organizations, most notably Aljazeera Media Network. QatarGas, Qatar Petroleum, and Qatar Airways are just some of the other major organizations with headquarters in Doha.
Doha is at the forefront in global cargo industry by for one, offering one of the most sophisticated and innovative terminals the world over at Hamad International Airport. It consequently facilitates seamless and efficient services to freight forwarders around the world. Besides, it boasts of capacity to process over 1.4 million tons of cargo annually. The state of the art scanning technology enhances the security and safety of the staff, cargo and the facility at large. The facility covers a massive 55,000 square meters and thus can simultaneously hold more than 10 wide-body freighter aircraft in addition to over 40 air-side loading docks. These coupled with the automated retrieval systems facilitates efficiency and extremely high standards of services.
The Quick Ramp Transfer (QRT) solution in Doha also significantly facilitates faster and efficient global aircraft transfers. Besides, the refrigerated truck services for ramp transfers are also essential to freight forwarders of perishables. Thus, all sensitive perishables are collected from and immediately transferred to the next aircraft by specialized temperature controlled vehicles in order to maintain the cool chain and thus eliminating any risks that may emanate from temperatures. Besides, the facility has specialized solutions for pharmaceuticals enhancing the ability to move them in line with the highest pharmaceutical industry standards. Besides it is compliant with Good Distribution Practice (GDP)
The cargo terminal is also ambitiously designed to easily cope with any future growth. The system can handle over 5700 shipments simultaneously as well up to 1.4 million tons of cargo yearly. In addition, when the second terminal is fully operational it will handle up to 2.8 million tons of cargo annually. Consequently, the terminals would easily run efficiently even in instances of unexpected spikes in numbers. freight forwarders should therefore elect to use the terminal services regardless of their goods as they would get the best services possible.