Somalia: UAE eyes airport project in Puntland, promoting trade ties
BOSSASO, Puntland - The United Arab Emirates [UAE] has officially declared a new project to develop and expand Bossaso International Airport, the commercial hub of Somalia’s northeastern Puntland State, Garowe Online reports.
The announcement was made by a high-level delegation from the UAE arrived in the port city on Tuesday for talks with top Puntland Government officials. The state president Said Abdullahi Deni is also in Bossaso for a working visit.
In a joint press conference with the UAE delegation, the Minister of Aviation and air transport of Puntland, Hussein Osman Lugatoor said the major airport expansion plan will be executed as soon as possible.
“We are working on a project modernize Bossaso airport in pursuit to become it one of the best airports in East Africa and make travel more comfortable and efficient,” said the minister.
Sheikh Hassan Said, a member of the delegation from the United Arab Emirates, expressed great hope over the project they are planning to carry out in strategic city located on the Gulf of Aden.
The officials did not disclose to the media the time they will commence the airport expansion work and the cost of the UAE-funded project. This will greatly contribute to infrastructure development as well as economic growth.
Dubai government-owned P&O Ports has a 30-year concession for the management and development of a multi-purpose port project at Bossaso after inking a multi-million deal with Puntland in early 2017.
The port is the latest agreement for P&O Ports, which was launched by DP World last year as a separate port operating entity for small to medium-sized ports in developing countries.
The new airport project comes days after Puntland Investment Forum concluded in Garowe that brought together entrepreneurs and business firms both local and International exploring investment opportunities in the oil-rich region.
Speaking at the 3-day expo event wrapped up on September 17, Puntland President Said Deni said his government was committed to creating a conducive environment for business and investment in the state.
The coastal city of Bossaso occupies a strategic location for maritime transport in the Gulf of Aden at the Southern approach to the Red Sea and Suez Canal.
The port development is the latest agreement for P&O Ports, which was launched by DP World last year as a separate port operating entity for small to medium-sized ports in developing countries.