Nawaf Abdulla: Our vision is to make the Limassol Port a cruise and shopping Center

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“All commercial activities and cargo unloading work in the port of Limassol have continued uninterrupted and continue to be carried out normally.” 

Three months after taking office, the new CEO of DP World Limassol, Nawaf Abdulla, speaks exclusively to InBusinessNews about the challenges caused by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, analyzes the next steps of the multi-terminal management company and of the terminal cruise in the port of Limassol and emphasizes that the main goal remains the establishment of the port as a leading port in the Eastern Mediterranean. He also stressed that from the first day the pandemic broke out, the company implemented an action plan, ensuring the smooth running of its operations. As a result, all commercial activities and cargo unloading work at the port of Limassol have continued uninterrupted and continue to be carried out normally.

Mr. Abdulla also talks about the cruise sector and notes that this season will be difficult, however, Cyprus has already proved that it can attract the interest of the largest cruise organizers in the world. In addition, the CEO of DP World Limassol explains why the crisis could be an opportunity, leading to further technological upgrades in the shipping and maritime services sector.


In February 2020, you took over as CEO of DP World Limassol . What are your main goals?
DP World Limassol’s main goal from the beginning has been to establish the port of Limassol as a leading port in the Eastern Mediterranean, and we continue to be committed to that. Having taken on duties during a period when we were faced with an unprecedented challenge, with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, I had to adapt very quickly. As a result of this development, I immediately developed close relations with several local organizations, which contributed to the management of the crisis as well as with the DP World team here in Cyprus, which I would like to thank for its dedication and professionalism. which he has demonstrated throughout this difficult period. From my experience so far,

What are the most important challenges facing the port of Limassol today?
In recent months, our biggest challenge has undoubtedly been to address the Covid-19 pandemic and its implications. Naturally, the implementation of the strict measures that have been taken has affected various areas of our activity, such as the cruise sector and the oil and gas sector. At the same time, we immediately proceeded with the implementation of action plans, ensuring the smooth running of our work. In particular, all commercial activities and loading and unloading operations in the port of Limassol continued uninterrupted and continue to be carried out normally. Despite the challenges facing us today, our focus is now on the next day. Our vision has been and remains to make Limassol an attractive destination and to make the port the main regional cruise and trade center, offering high quality services to our customers. In this regard, in recent years we have made a number of targeted investments in order to enhance the efficiency, productivity and safety of port work. Specifically, we focused on the modernization of the port’s infrastructure and proceeded with the purchase of specialized equipment and the installation of technologically advanced systems. In addition, we have invested in areas such as energy, with the creation of a supply base for oil and gas, but also with cruise tourism, with the continuous upgrade of the new Passenger Terminal. offering high quality services to our customers. In this regard, in recent years we have made a number of targeted investments in order to enhance the efficiency, productivity and safety of port work. Specifically, we focused on the modernization of the port’s infrastructure and proceeded with the purchase of specialized equipment and the installation of technologically advanced systems. In addition, we have invested in areas such as energy, with the creation of a supply base for oil and gas, but also with cruise tourism, with the continuous upgrade of the new Passenger Terminal. offering high quality services to our customers. In this regard, in recent years we have made a number of targeted investments in order to enhance the efficiency, productivity and safety of port work. Specifically, we focused on the modernization of the port’s infrastructure and proceeded to the purchase of specialized equipment and the installation of technologically advanced systems. In addition, we have invested in areas such as energy, with the creation of a base for oil and gas supply support, but also in cruise tourism, with the continuous upgrade of the new Passenger Terminal. the productivity and safety of port work. Specifically, we focused on the modernization of the port’s infrastructure and proceeded with the purchase of specialized equipment and the installation of technologically advanced systems. In addition, we have invested in areas such as energy, with the creation of a base for oil and gas supply support, but also in cruise tourism, with the continuous upgrade of the new Passenger Terminal. the productivity and safety of port work. Specifically, we focused on the modernization of the port’s infrastructure and proceeded with the purchase of specialized equipment and the installation of technologically advanced systems. In addition, we have invested in areas such as energy, with the creation of a supply base for oil and gas, but also with cruise tourism, with the continuous upgrade of the new Passenger Terminal.

This year’s cruise season is different.
As you mentioned, the spread of the pandemic has significantly affected the cruise sector. How do you expect this year to turn out?
Limassol has the potential to become a major port of choice for top cruise companies. In recent years, our efforts to promote the cruise industry have been successful, proving that Cyprus can attract the interest of the world’s largest cruise organizers, creating multiple benefits for the domestic economy. The upward trend that the sector has followed so far reflects, moreover, the numbers of cruise ships that arrived at the port. According to the latest statistics, in 2019 a total of 106 cruise ships were served in the port of Limassol, compared to 68 in 2018, recording an increase of more than 40%. However, we expect the situation to be very different in 2020, as the cruise sector is among those most affected. Several cruise companies have already suspended their routes for this season. While it is relatively difficult to accurately predict the course of the pandemic, but also its wider implications, it is worth noting that international trade already seems to be on track for recovery. For example, activity in our ports in China has returned to normal, which allows us to see the future with more optimism. In the meantime, we remain vigilant, monitoring developments and maintaining close co-operation with local authorities and other stakeholders in the industry. It is worth noting that international trade already seems to be recovering. For example, activity in our ports in China has returned to normal, which allows us to see the future with more optimism. In the meantime, we remain vigilant, monitoring developments and maintaining close co-operation with local authorities and other stakeholders in the industry. It is worth noting that international trade already seems to be recovering. For example, activity in our ports in China has returned to normal, which allows us to see the future with more optimism. In the meantime, we remain vigilant, monitoring developments and maintaining close co-operation with local authorities and other stakeholders in the industry.

The pandemic has contributed to the technological upgrade.
The restrictive measures to tackle the virus have led several organizations working in various fields of economic activity to take advantage of new technologies and digital upgrades. Does the same apply to the port of Limassol?
It is a fact that the spread of the pandemic and the implementation of restrictive measures have greatly accelerated digitalization in many sectors of the economy. I believe that the effects will continue to be felt in the business world for years to come, so businesses will be called upon to adapt to the new data, adopting new and more productive ways of working. The shipping and maritime services sector, of course, could not be an exception. On the contrary, I believe that this crisis can be a catalyst for further technological upgrades in the sector, transforming it radically. In DP World, automation was already an integral part of our business model, but in the midst of a pandemic, the use of additional digital tools was absolutely necessary to ensure our productivity. At the local level, even before the crisis erupted, we had invested heavily in the acquisition of state-of-the-art and digitally advanced equipment to enhance the durability of our work and improve the efficiency and safety of our activities in the port of Limassol. In addition, we have implemented new electronic payment methods, offering all our customers the opportunity to make any transaction in an easy and secure way. We have invested heavily in the acquisition of state-of-the-art and digitally advanced equipment to enhance the durability of our work as well as improve the efficiency and safety of our activities in the port of Limassol. In addition, we have implemented new electronic payment methods, offering all our customers the opportunity to make any transaction in an easy and secure way. We have invested heavily in the acquisition of state-of-the-art and digitally advanced equipment in order to enhance the durability of our work as well as improve the efficiency and safety of our activities in the port of Limassol. In addition, we have implemented new electronic payment methods, offering all our customers the opportunity to make any transaction in an easy and secure way.

Prerequisite is the cooperation of the involved bodies.
What are your predictions for the second half of the year?
As I said before, it is relatively early to accurately assess the overall impact of the pandemic. However, we believe that DP World Limassol is in a strong position and can successfully cope with any challenges that arise. At the same time, we are not complacent. We know that the port of Limassol is one of the main levers of the Cypriot economy and many sectors are inextricably linked to its smooth operation. Therefore, we will continue to work hard, adapting our strategy and future actions depending on developments. We need to make the most of this time to learn lessons and improve the way we work. We have proven the effectiveness and the high sense of responsibility that we have at the same time

Source:IB