Dubai United Arab Emirates - November 13, 2019: The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) recently announced the launch of its largest integrated logistics area, Al Khomra Logistics Zone, located on the Red Sea coast of Jeddah. The zone will include primary and secondary manufacturing facilities, storage and cooling facilities, as well as food distribution centres.
Commenting on the plans for the new development in the Kingdom, Dana Salbak, Research Director MENA said:
“This is a strategic move in line with Vision 2030, and Saudi Arabia’s efforts to continue diversifying its revenues away from oil.
“Not only does this provide opportunities for occupiers and businesses to set up and expand their operations in the Kingdom, but it also opens up opportunities for investors looking to expand their portfolios.
“It's also a strategic location on the Red Sea coast, a major passageway for more than 13% of global maritime trade, which will make it a hub and trade route for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).”
Salbak highlighted how the logistics sector has been gaining traction on a global level, with investors looking to diversify their portfolios and move away from the traditional real estate asset classes such as residential and commercial properties.
Salbak said: “We are seeing a trend where investors are considering ‘defensive’ investments such as logistics, as they are less impacted by cyclical market conditions.
“For investors, the logistics sector offers long-term leases available to single operators, making the investment more dependent upon the value of the occupier’s covenants and balance sheet, and less dependent upon real estate market conditions.”
Overseas investments during H1 2019 by Middle East entities into industrial and logistics amounted to USD 315 million, whereas investments in retail malls during the same period amounted to USD 155 million.
“What we are seeing is Middle East investors stepping out of their comfort zone and investing in alternative assets,” said Salbak.
“The sector is expected to grow even further in light of the global and regional growth in e-commerce and omnichannel retailing.”