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SOHAR Port and Freezone Hosts 15th Anniversary Celebration

SOHAR Port and Freezone celebrated its 15th Anniversary in a glittering ceremony at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat, on November 4, 2019. The event was conducted under the auspices of HE Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport, in the presence of distinguished Excellencies, Honourables, ministers, dignitaries, partners and members of the SOHAR Port and Freezone.

port sohar 15th anniversary

HE Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Futaisi (Minister of Transport), René van der Plas (Director Port of Rotterdam International), HE Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Zaabi (Chairman of the Board of SOHAR Port and Freezone), Mark Geilenkirchen (CEO SOHAR Industrial Port Group)

Commenting on the event, HE Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Futaisi said, “15 years since the inception of SOHAR Port and Freezone, we are proud to have established a world-class port on the coasts of the Sultanate of Oman to serve the region and the world. SOHAR Port has become a pivotal part of the logistics sector in the Sultanate and a major import and export hub for both Oman and the regional countries. The port is a success story in many respects. This especially includes its achievements in attracting large vessels and international investors, and in doing so accommodating a variety of industries.”

HE Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Board of SOHAR Port and Freezone said, “SOHAR Port has created a remarkable footprint and made its presence recognised, both in the region and globally. We are also proud to be ranked as one of the fastest-growing port and free zones in the world, with investments exceeding OMR 10 billion.

On behalf of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, René van der Plas, Director of Port of Rotterdam International, expressed his appreciation for the partnership with the Sultanate of Oman over the past 15 years. “SOHAR Port and Freezone has broken its own growth records year on year and has developed to become a state-of-the-art port industrial complex that satisfies international standards and best practices. This makes SOHAR an international example for sustainable port development. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is proud of this development and we are grateful to the Oman government for its confidence in the Port Authority as partner. We are looking forward to continuing the partnership and building together towards a successful future for SOHAR Port and Freezone and all involved stakeholders.”

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has been involved in the development of SOHAR Port and Freezone for over 20 years and has, together with the Oman government, been shareholder of SOHAR Port and Freezone since 2004. The Port Authority is supporting the development of SOHAR through knowledge exchange, the deployment of expats from Rotterdam and representation in the Board of Directors.

SOHAR vital statistics

The event concluded with the presentation of the first copy of the 15th Anniversary SOHAR Port and Freezone Book to the chief guest, His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Futaisi.

In addition to celebrating the people and achievements, the 15th Anniversary SOHAR Port and Freezone Book also highlighted key statistics about its contribution to Oman over the last 15 years. The throughput grew year on year reaching 61 million tonnes and the Port now handles over 3,400 vessels per year.

62% of Oman’s total imports entered through SOHAR in 2017, alongside 42% of the country’s exported volumes. In the same year, SOHAR also contributed to 4.8% of Oman’s total GDP.

The Port and Freezone is also a trailblazer for job creation. SOHAR has created 10,836 direct job opportunities, with the combined value for both direct and indirect employment amounting to 1.1% of the total number of workers in Oman, which has generated a combined added value of 1.3 billion in 2018.

A promising future

Mark Geilenkirchen said, “SOHAR Port and Freezone has always aimed to expand and reach out to important markets and reinforce relationships with investors from across the globe. With several projects in the pipeline, we continue to grow and continually adapt, keeping ourselves updated with the latest developments and technologies. At SOHAR, we also strive to implement innovative solutions that prove beneficial not only to the organisation but also to the surrounding community.”

“Looking ahead, we will continue to align ourselves with Oman’s diversification and logistics strategies, attract foreign direct investment and increase employment and SME opportunities in SOHAR. We are confident that by employing a young and capable workforce, while simultaneously investing in innovative solutions, we will be able to achieve our strategic objectives,” Omar Mahmood Al Mahrizi, DCEO of SOHAR Port and Freezone - CEO of the Freezone concluded.

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