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AD Ports ventures into the shipyard sector

Photo: AD Ports Group AD Ports Group SAFEEN Drydocks joint venture signing ceremony
Abu Dhabi’s AD Ports Group is moving into the ship repair and drydocking market with a joint venture yard in Khalifa Port as it continues to broaden its business scope across ports, shipping and logistics.

In the latest move AD Ports has formed a joint venture with UAE-based Premier Marine Engineering Services to operate SAFEEN Drydocks.

The new joint venture is 51% owned by AD Ports and 49% by Premier Marine and comprises a 45,000 sq metre shipyard in Khalifa Port 350m quay wall for vessel afloat repair, and a floating dry dock for vessel maintenance and refurbishment. The yard will offer a range of services including drydocking, afloat repairs, shipbuilding and refurbishment.

Commenting on the new joint venture Captain Ammar Mubarak Al Shaiba, Acting CEO Maritime Cluster and SAFEEN Group, AD Ports Group, said: “The establishment of SAFEEN Drydocks is a milestone development for SAFEEN Group as it significantly broadens our scope of services and ability to serve the regional maritime industry.

“We look forward to working closely with our partners at Premier Marine in bringing together our global reach and their strong multi-decade track record in developing what we envision will be a regional and global hub and centre of excellence for maritime ship building, repair and maintenance.”

The shipyard has already begun operations constructing two barges for a UAE-based client, while the floating dock is expected to be up and running next month.

The yard will be equipped to accommodate a range of vessel types including tankers, bulk vessels, container ships, offshore vessels and jack-ups, for both SAFEEN Group and third party clients.

SAFEEN Drydocks represents the latest diversification of AD Ports across the spectrum of marine services. Most recently AD Ports moved into the tanker sector with the acquisition of three crude oil tankers. It also expanded its presence in the dry bulk sector, which it moved into last year.

In a few short years AD Ports has also become a major force in feeder shipping with the launch of SAFEEN Feeders launched in 2020, and the acquisition of majority stakes in Transmar and Global Feeder Shipping. The group is also active in the offshore marine, marine services and the development of special economic zones, in addition to its core port operating business.