Ports in Saudi Arabia are one of the country’s most important economic and commercial streams and a key driver of regional and worldwide trade. The Saudi Ports Authority oversees nine ports in the Kingdom, six of which are for trade and three for industrial reasons. These nine ports are located on the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea coasts. The ports greatly help in improving the economy’s competitiveness, diversifying revenue sectors, and transforming the Kingdom into a desirable global logistics hub.
History of ports in Saudi Arabia
Since the establishment of the General Ports Organization in 1976, many ports have been opened in Saudi Arabia. The operation of the ports was turned over to the private sector in 1997. The General Organization of Ports was renamed as the Saudi Ports Authority after the cabinet approved its renaming and became a public agency in 2018. Four of the ports facilitate trade from the Arabian Gulf, while the other five from the Red Sea.
Largest seaports in Saudi Arabia
1. King Abdulaziz Port, Dammam
It is the largest and busiest port in the Persian Gulf and the third largest and busiest port in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area. Due to its strategic position, King Abdul Aziz Port serves as the main oil port of Saudi Arabia. Under the reign of King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud, Saudi ARAMCO established the port to meet the rapidly rising demands of the national oil industry.
- The port has 43 fully equipped berths that can accommodate mega-ships; hence, it is one of the busiest seaports of Saudi Arabia
- Fully operating services, modern cargo handling equipment, and support terminals for container and general cargo
Capacity: Through its integrated operational marine and logistical services system, the King Abdulaziz Port has set a new record for daily container throughput. At the time, It processed 18,020 TEUs on one single vessel.
Location: King Abdul Aziz Port, near Al Nawras, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Best known for: The King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam is well-known for its throughput and cargo handling capabilities.
2. Jeddah Islamic Port, Jeddah
Jeddah Islamic Port Saudi Arabia is located in the heart of an international maritime corridor that connects the east and west via the Suez Canal. It is the Arab world’s second-largest and second-busiest port. The port has been historically significant since it was founded in 646 A.D. during the reign of Caliph Uthman ibn Affan. Today, it is Saudi Arabia’s largest import and export gateway. Jeddah Islamic Port is also the principal port serving the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.
- There are terminals for pilgrims, visitors, and inbound/outbound travelers, all well-equipped
- Jeddah Port has 62 berths to handle containers, passengers, general goods, animals, cars, and bulk grains
- For re-export and bonded storage, it has a logistics park with handling machines, open storage, warehouses, truck terminals and refueling centers
Capacity: Jeddah Islamic Port can handle current-generation container ships with a total of 19,800 TEUs.
Location: Al Kurnaysh Br Rd, Al-Baghdadiyah Al-Gharbiyah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Best known for: Jeddah Islamic Port is best known for being the main entry point to Makkah’s Holy Mosque.
3. King Fahad Industrial Port, Yanbu
Yanbu, on the Red Sea coast in central-western Saudi Arabia, is home to the King Fahad Industrial Port. It is one of the most important seaports in Saudi Arabia, serving as the Kingdom’s most prominent outlet for crude, petroleum, and petrochemicals on the Red Sea coast. The port also supports the demands of national industrial complexes. The complexes export liquid and solid petrochemicals and import the equipment and apparatus they require for the manufacturing of various products.
- The King Fahad Industrial Port in Yanbu has three berths, comprehensive terminals, and can accommodate ships of up to 500,000 tons
Capacity: Yanbu’s King Fahad Industrial Port can handle 210 million tons of cargo per year.
Location: Industrial Zone, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
Best known for: Yanbu’s King Fahad Industrial Port is best known for being the Red Sea’s largest port for loading crude oil and petrochemicals.
4. King Fahad Industrial Port, Jubail
The King Fahad Industrial Port in Jubail is a prominent industrial port in the Middle east. King Fahad bin Abdulaziz inaugurated the port in the year of 1982. The port has an effective design for the handling of raw materials and their import for local businesses and industries. It also facilitates exports of refined petroleum products, petrochemicals, sulfur, and chemical fertilizers.
- King Fahad Industrial Port has five terminals in the port
- It has 34 berths and 10 terminal operators
Capacity: The King Fahad Industrial Port in Jubail can handle 70 million tons of cargo each year.
Location: Near Saudi ARAMCO Jubail Refinery on Expressway Number 1, Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia
Best known for: Country’s prominent port for the import and export of petrochemicals and refined petroleum products.
Suggested Read: 5 Most Popular Things To Do In Jubail For A Fun-Filled Getaway
5. Jubail Commercial Port, Jubail
Jubail Commercial Port is located on the Arabian Gulf’s eastern central coast, built-in 1974. It is one of the largest man-made ports in the world, covering 44 square kilometers. Its proximity to Jubail, Saudi Arabia’s primary industrial and petrochemical complex, lowers the cost of material imports and exports, boosting the Kingdom’s competitiveness.
- Jubail Commercial Port maintains a fleet of service vessels to assist vessels in getting in and out of berths at any time, in all weather, and with minimal delay.
- There are 16 berths, outdoor storage, and a warehouse at the Jubail Commercial Port.
Capacity: Jubail Commercial Port has a total of 36 million tons.
Location: Jubail City Center, Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia
Best known for: The Jubail Commercial Port is renowned as the city’s backup port to the King Abdul Aziz Port.
6. Jizan Port, Jizan
Jizan Port is Saudi Arabia’s third-largest port in terms of designed capacity. Having opened in 1976, it is the Kingdom’s primary gateway for livestock imports from Africa. The port has many facilities such as refueling stations, control tower, large warehouses, and numerous berths.
- To ensure the safety of vessels, the port includes 12 berths and three approach channels with aided guidance.
Capacity: Jizan Port has a total capacity of 5 million tons.
Location: Seaside of King Fahd Road, Jizan, Saudi Arabia
Best known for: The proximity of Jizan Port to trade routes linking Europe, the Far East, the Arabian Gulf, and East Africa is what makes it distinguishable.
As a part of Vision 2030, the Saudi Ports Authority intends to construct and develop passenger terminals at national ports to accommodate foreign travelers and cruise ship passengers. It also wants to integrate innovative technologies and automation throughout the port and logistics infrastructure. Besides, the Saudi Ports Authority intends to enhance national port capacity to more than 40 million TEUs.
Ports In Saudi Arabia FAQs
What is the name of Dammam Seaport?
Dammam Sea Port is known as King Abdulaziz Port.
How many ports in Saudi Arabia overlook the Red Sea?
Five ports in Saudi Arabia overlook the Red Sea.
Which port in Saudi Arabia is the main entry point to Holy Mosque of Makkah?
Jeddah Islamic Port is the main entry point to Makkah Holy Mosque.
Which port in Saudi Arabia can handle 70 million tonnes of cargo each year?
King Fahad Industrial Port in Jubail can handle 70 million tonnes of cargo each year.
Which is the main oil seaport of Saudi Arabia?
King Abdulaziz Port is the prominent oil port of Saudi Arabia.