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UAE’s AD Ports Group Joint Venture to Invest $220 Million in Port of Karachi

Abu Dhabi’s AD Ports Group has recently signed a 50-year concession agreement with Karachi Port Trust (KPT) to oversee the development and management of the Port of Karachi in Southern Pakistan. In partnership with UAE-based Kaheel Terminals, AD Ports Group will invest $220 million over the first 10 years through a joint venture named Karachi Gateway Terminal Limited (KGTL).


As per the agreement, AD Ports Group will exclusively manage the development and regulation of ports and related infrastructure in Abu Dhabi. The joint venture aims to oversee the operation and enhancement of berths 6-9 at Karachi Port’s East Wharf. This investment will encompass substantial upgrades and expansions in infrastructure and superstructure over the next decade, including deepening berths, extending quay walls, and expanding the container storage area.


One of the primary objectives of this project is to increase the capacity of the terminal to handle larger vessels of up to 8,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). This enhancement will boost the annual handling capacity from 750,000 TEUs to 1 million TEUs, facilitating more efficient trade operations and accommodating the growing demands of regional commerce.


The UAE has been a crucial regional trading partner for Pakistan, constituting over 40% of the country’s trade with Arab nations in 2021. Non-oil exports from the UAE to Pakistan were valued at nearly $1.3 billion in 2022, underscoring the importance of economic ties between the two countries. This investment in the Port of Karachi further strengthens economic collaboration and reaffirms the UAE’s commitment to supporting Pakistan’s trade growth.


The AD Ports Group contributes its extensive experience in port operations and development to the joint venture, leveraging its expertise to optimise efficiency, improve services, and promote sustainable growth in Karachi’s maritime trade. The collaboration between the UAE and Pakistan in this venture is expected to yield substantial benefits for both countries, stimulating economic activity, generating employment opportunities, and enhancing bilateral trade relations.


The partnership between AD Ports Group and Karachi Port Trust signifies the ongoing commitment of both entities to foster strategic alliances and expand international trade opportunities. The investment of $220 million over the next decade underscores confidence in the long-term potential of the Port of Karachi as a key gateway for regional and global trade.


As the project progresses, it is anticipated that the joint venture’s efforts will contribute to the modernisation and development of Pakistan’s maritime infrastructure, supporting the country’s ambitions to become a significant player in the global logistics and shipping sector.


With the signing of this concession agreement and the infusion of substantial investment, the Port of Karachi is poised to become a more efficient and competitive trade hub, stimulating economic growth and opening doors to new opportunities for both Pakistan and the UAE.

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