Seafarers in Saudi Arabia are in for a surprise as there are new world-class facilities for leisure activities and accommodation of seafarers coming up in the ports of the Kingdom, as per a deal signed between Marasi Marine Service Co. and Mawani, the Saudi Ports Authority.
Last week, they signed a deal to form Seamen’s Club at Ras Tanura Port, King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam and Jeddah Islamic Port. This will boost the logistics and shipping companies’ activities in the country as more international crew visits the region.
Mawani President HE Omar Hariri and Marasi Chairman HE Talal Al-Hamdan signed the deal, bringing state-of-the-art health and wellness facilities, pharmacies, clinics, restaurants and cafes, conference rooms, and a sleek hotel.
Modern facilities like entertainment zones, foreign exchange services, and banking would be available here.
Saudi Arabia is trying to position itself as the next big logistics hub in the area, per the National Transport and Logistics Strategy (NTLS) objectives. This deal between the national maritime regulator and the Marasi group will be a crucial step in the process.
For this, Mawani signed a $1.9 billion container upgrading deal with Saudi Global Ports earlier this year and a 30,000 square miles refrigerated storage facility deal with Maersk in December last year. Both these deals are for Damman’s King Abdulaziz Port.
As per their internal reports, the nation’s cargo volume has increased 13% to touch 237 million tons in 2022, while container volumes increased 3.2% to handle 10.36 million 20ft equivalent units. Contrary to this, the container volume in 2021 was 10.05 million TEUs.
References: Arab News, Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Ports Authority