A QR2 billion project expected to transform Doha Port into a functioning international cruise ship terminal will begin early next year, Qatar’s transport minister has said.
The first of two phases of the redevelopment works will start in April.
This will involve upgrading facilities and dredging and deepening the canals in the area around the site, near the Museum of Islamic Art at the southern end of the Corniche.
Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti, Minister for Transport and Communications, confirmed the new timeline for the port work yesterday, Gulf Times reported.
He was speaking at the start of the Qatar Transport Safety Forum.
The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has previously announced plans to create a dedicated terminal for cruise ships at the site, as part of an ongoing push to attract more visitors to the country.
Today, Qatar welcomed the first ship of the 2016/17 cruise season:
— AustynZOGS (@Austynzogs) October 18, 2016
Over the next several months, some 30 ships will dock in Doha – a big jump from the eight vessels that stopped by last year.
Meanwhile, general cargo ships started operating out of Hamad Port this week.
The newly-constructed port was able to handle up to 2 million containers by the end of last year.
The QR27 billion commercial shipping port at Umm Al-Houl near Mesaieed will eventually have capacity for 6 million containers.
The new facility was built to increase capacity and reduce supply-chain bottlenecks.
These have been growing in recent years amid multiple, ongoing infrastructure and construction projects.
Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Hamad Port is already accepting vehicle shipments.