Prime Minister and Interior Minister HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani cuts a ribbon to mark the opening of the new services complex at Doha Port yesterday as Deputy Prime Minister HE Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud, Minister of Transport HE Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti and others look on. PICTURE: Mamdouh Mohamed
The annual container handling capacity of the existing Doha Port will expand by 50% to meet the country’s growing requirements arising out of the ongoing developments in different areas, HE the Minister of Transport said yesterday.
Speaking at the opening of the Services Complex of Doha Port, HE Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti said: “There is a great necessity of facilitating speedy and efficient immigration and customs procedures and practices along with delivering high quality navigation and port related services at a time when the country’s economy is growing at a phenomenal pace.”
Prime Minister and Interior Minister HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani cut a ribbon to formally mark the inauguration of the complex, the setting up of which is considered as a major development in shipping and customs activities in the country.
HE al-Sulaiti hoped that the port’s container handling capacity would reach 750,000 TUs from the existing 500,000 TUs. This will eventually be developed further to reach 1mn TUs. Until the opening of the New Doha Port the developmental works at Doha Port will continue, he said.
The minister also expressed the hope that the first phase of the New Doha Port, which is currently under construction in south of Al Wakrah, will be ready by mid-2016.
Speaking about the new services complex the minister said the customers stood to gain significantly from its establishment as the time that they spent for customs clearance would come down considerably from up to 48 hours to 3 hours in the coming days. The minister hoped the customs clearance at the port would eventually get completed under two hours.
“We are aware of the necessity of delivering quality services to the customers at a time when Qatar is preparing for many major events, including the eagerly-awaited FIFA World Cup 2022. The country knows the importance of upgrading sea, air and land transport at this juncture and such necessities as the capacity expansion of Doha Port and reduction in processing and customs clearance time are effected on a war-footing,” said the minister.
Al-Sulaiti also expected better co-ordination between various stakeholders in the shipping industry so that the country will be able to meet all its goals and objectives on schedule.
Deputy Prime Minister HE Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud, Minister of Finance HE Ali Sherif al-Emadi and prominent Qatari entrepreneur Hussain Alfardan were among others present at the opening ceremony. Several senior officials of the Qatar Ports Management (Mawani Qatar) company, Qatar Navigation, Qatar Customs Authority and the Ministry of Interior also attended. Page 20