The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has established the Al Khomra Logistics Zone in Jeddah to reduce Saudi Arabia’s economic dependence on oil.

The first phase of the Al Khomra Logistics Zone will cover an area of more than two million square metres. Around one million square metres of grass flat area will be available to private investors.

The new Al Khomra Logistics Zone will be connected to Jeddah Islamic Port and support shipping, freight distribution and transportation of goods.

Minister of Transport Nabeel al-Amudi said that Al Khomra is biggest logistics zone in the country and it will enable Saudi Arabia to expand into global logistics.

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The project is also expected to create 10,000 direct jobs, according to the minister.

The opening of the logistic zone in Jeddah forms part of the broader National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP). The initiative seeks to generate 1.6 million jobs and attract $427bn of investments over the next ten years.

Saudi Ports Authority president Saad al-Khalb said: “Investment in the logistics zone in Al-Khomra and other ports will total SAR7bn ($1.86bn).

The establishment of Al-Khomra will enable Jeddah to join other logistics zones in Saudi Arabia, including the King Abdullah Economic City and NEOM, which is a megaproject announced in 2017.

Mawani has also started working on a plan to optimise the capacity of Saudi Arabia’s ports by providing integrated logistics services and banded and re-export zones.