India to lead development of Chabahar

India to lead development of Chabahar

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is expected to give the go-ahead to India developing the strategic Iranian port of Chabahar in the coming weeks. Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari said his ministry will move a note seeking the approval of the cabinet for the development of Chabahar port in the next 10 to 15 days.

Ships calling at Benghazi could be targeted

Ships calling at Benghazi could be targeted Cairo: Retired Libyan general Khalifa Haftar on Sunday threatened to order his troops to shoot ships entering the Port of Benghazi if port officials did not heed orders to close it down. Haftar had earlier accused rival militias o...

Khalifa still spending big to expand

Khalifa still spending big to expandAbu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Terminals, which operates and manages Khalifa Port Container Terminal, will spend Dh400m in the next three years expanding its container terminal. The port is on track to register growth this year of around 20...

P&O Maritime buys majority stake in Spanish OSV firm

P&O Maritime buys majority stake in Spanish OSV firmDubai: P&O Maritime, part of the DP World empire, has acquired a majority stake in Remolcadores de Puerto y Altura S.A. (Repasa), a Spanish operator of offshore support vessels for the energy industry, to form a new joint venture com...

Iran and Qatar form shipping pact

Iran and Qatar form shipping pactDoha: Tehran and Doha are planning to set up a direct shipping line in the Persian Gulf waters in the coming months, a senior Iranian trade official announced on Wednesday.

UASC forms new alliance with CSCL and CMA CGM

UASC forms new alliance with CSCL and CMA CGMShanghai: China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) announced that it has signed agreements with CMA CGM and United Arab Shipping Co (UASC) to form a new alliance called Ocean Three. The alliance comes in the wake of Maersk and MSC formi...

Yard boss questions cutthroat yard scene

Yard boss questions cutthroat yard sceneDubai: A veteran of the Middle East shipyard scene has questioned the incredibly low prices some of his competitors are offering to secure business. Geoff Taylor (pictured), managing director of Topaz Marine Engineering, told our ...

Iraq takes Greek firm to court

Iraq takes Greek firm to courtDubai: The Iraqi government has started legal proceedings against a Greek company responsible for exports of oil from the Kurdish north of the country. The Iraqi Oil Ministry said it started legal proceedings in a Greek court agai...

Plans for new Haifa port up in the air

Plans for new Haifa port up in the airCairo: Plans to develop a new port in Haifa have been thrown up in the air as competing Israeli construction firms refuse to budge on price, leading to the possibility of a new tender. Tel Aviv has long championed building two new pr...

Egyptians rush to buy into new Suez channel

Egyptians rush to buy into new Suez channel Cairo: A total of E£3bn was raised on the first day of selling Suez Canal investment certificates to the public. The investment certificates issued are offered in three classifications: EGP 10, EGP 100, and EGP 1000. Revenues from...

Tasneef to class landmark LNG-powered tug

Tasneef to class landmark LNG-powered tugDubai: In an initiative as the first of its kind in the Middle East, Emirates Classification Society Tasneef will be providing the world's first LNG powered harbour tug with technical and engineering consultancy services.

New Suez channel already mired in controversy

Cairo: Construction of the new channel along the Suez Canal has only just begun, but is already mired in controversy. The development is led by the nation’s military and local reports suggest water has flooded the construction site twice this week,...

Hazel sets up chemical storage facility in Hamriyah

Dubai: Hazel International FZE (HIF), owned by Veritas (India) Limited (VIL), will invest $126.45m to open a facility that will provide liquid and solid cargo handling at Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA). The group performed its ground breaking...

Cambridge offshore course coming to Dubai

Dubai: The UK’s Cambridge Academy of Transport is coming to Dubai to offer a brand new course. The five-day Business of Offshore course will look at the commercial and financial drivers of this sector. The event is scheduled for 26 – 30 October ...

High transport fees irk Lebanese shippers

Dubai: Shippers in Lebanon have hit out at the high ocean freight charges they are facing. The former president of the Lebanese Industrialists Association Fadi Abboud told local media, “It costs around $800 to load a 40-foot container on a ship ...

Ship repair specialist to join ASRY

Dubai: ASRY, the Bahraini ship repair yard, has appointed Jos Goris as the new general manager of the operations division, effective 1 October. Goris brings more than 20 years worth of shipping experience with global leaders such as Damen, Maersk and...

Dubai’s maritime contribution to local GDP praised

Dubai: Dubai's maritime sector now accounts for around 4.6% of Dubai’s GDP or equivalent to Dh14.4bn, according to Sultan bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and president of Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA)....

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In Focus

Laying tracks in the sand

Edwin Lammers from Sohar Port and Freezone on dramatic rail construction in the region

Laying tracks in the sand

The Middle East is currently embarking on its most ambitious rail network ever. Some US$250 billion has been allocated for the construction of 67,000 kilometres of railway lines that threaten to create a new economic powerhouse to rival some of the world’s most robust economic blocs. These plans include an eagerly anticipated network of predominantly freight lines known collectively as the Gulf Railway that will connect Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman over the next three years, according to Abdullah Al Shibli, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs at the General Secretariat of the GCC. The 2,117km line will provide vital transport links between the regions logistically starved inland cities and its burgeoning port infrastructures, as well as opening up new trade and investment flows that promise to drive growth beyond 2020 – creating a wave of employment opportunities along the way.

Already home to a multi-billion dollar trade surplus and one of the world’s largest nominal GDP, in Saudi Arabia, GCC nations have seen a resurgence in their economic outlooks following the financial crisis in 2008, and the addition of new rail transportation looks set to consolidate this progress. With economies outgrowing inland infrastructures on almost all fronts, and the desire to increase cargo volumes in order to compensate for rising commercial warehousing costs in places like Dubai, the new rail network will be central to any growth ambitions in the Gulf. As in days past, the importance of rail has been highlighted  ...   More>>