United Arab Emirates-based DP World has announced plans to develop Jeddah port in Saudi Arabia.

The development is expected to boost the port’s role as a major trade hub across Africa and the Middle East over the next 30 years, as well as support the Government of Saudi Arabia’s wider ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ initiative.

DP World group chairman and CEO Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “Our plans involve increasing efficiencies using innovative tech solutions and making it a semi-automated facility to create skilled jobs for Saudi nationals, transforming the port to an important gateway to markets serving 500 million people, which will make the Kingdom’s ports and logistics services a necessity and not a choice for global trade markets, particularly the Red Sea, which is the blood line of global trade.

“Jeddah Port is pivotal in facilitating the movement of goods between East and West, and in boosting Saudi exports.”

“Our plans involve increasing efficiencies using innovative tech solutions and making it a semi-automated facility to create skilled jobs for Saudi nationals.”

DP World currently operates the South Container Terminal (SCT) at Jeddah Port, which plays an important function in the world’s East-West trade routes via the Red Sea.

The port currently handles around 59% of its imports by sea and serves main commercial centres in Saudi Arabia.

In addition, the Government of Saudi Arabia has announced plans to build a new $500bn mega-city project known as NEOM that will cover three countries, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, reported Hindustan Times.

It is expected that roughly 10% of world trade is set to pass through the new mega-city and the project also will support DP World’s plans to develop Jeddah port.