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Achieving Sustainable Growth

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

at the International Maritime Organization

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & The International Maritime Organization 

Saudi Arabia is a dedicated and engaged member of the IMO and has been committed to serving as a Council Member between 2021 – 2023 with an active focus on prioritising the importance of:

  • Climate 

  • Cooperation

  • Seafarers

  • Saudi Arabia has been in the IMO since 1969 

  • The Kingdom has ratified 40 conventions and protocols

  • Saudi Arabia is considered the first Arab country to complete the mandatory audit (IMSAS) in 2023

  • First country in the Middle East to earn ''Quality Shipping in the 21st Century' award in 2023.


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GloFouling logo.png



Saudi Arabia Maritime Achievements




Merchant Fleet in 

Arab World



Merchant Fleet 

Million Containers

handled 2021-22


 Fastest Dealing Container Ships in the World




New Liner



Hours to Clear Customs according to UNCTAD


MT Deadweight



Maritime Growth between 2016-2023 under Vision2030


Globally Ranked 

Fleet by UNCTAD

Distinctive Strategic Location

  • A coastline of approximately 3,400 kilometers

  • The Red Sea is an important sea passage for more than 13% of global trade and shipping.

  • The Arabian Gulf, accounts for 20% of the energy supplies that are transported to the world.

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is Committed to Preserving the Marine Environment 


The Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) and the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI), aim to implement multiple ambitious initiatives to support international efforts to reduce emissions and increase renewable energy capabilities. This includes large-scale investments in clean hydrogen and renewable energy sources, and developing advanced carbon capture technologies.


Saudi Arabia carries out humanitarian interventions, search and rescue operations, and joint anti-piracy including CTF151. KSA also implements international agreements including the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974, the International Convention for Search and Rescue at Sea (SAR) 1979, as well as maritime safety directions received from the IMO.


The Kingdom was one of the first countries to recognise seafarers as key workers, and strives to ensure they receive appropriate support. 

More than 1,600 Saudi seafarers work onboard ships to serve the world economy. This reflects an increase  of up to 25% compared to 2021. The Kingdom continues to invest in the training and development of seafarers. 

Image by Kyle Glenn

Clean Energy Action

  • MoU signed between KSA and Netherlands to collaborate in developing green hydrogen. 

  • 5,000 Metric Tons of Low Carbon Ammonia exported to India in May 2023.

  • $5B green hydrogen project developed in KSA that will supply 600 tons of carbon-free hydrogen daily.

Cargo Ship
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Supporting Women in Maritime

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia places significant importance on supporting women in the maritime industry.  

Saudi Arabia was proud to appoint the first female representative from the Kingdom and one of the first in the region, Ms. Hayat Al-Yabis in January 2023.

The Kingdom hosted 'Arab Women in Maritime: Biofouling Management Workshop' which took place took place in Jeddah May 2023 and featured 18 countries from the MENA region with two female representatives invited from each nation. The event was the first ever of its kind dedicated to women in biofouling management. It discussed issues faced by women in the biofouling sector as well as issues that arise from biofouling both economically and environmentally. 

The Kingdom is also active in Arab Women’s Association in the Maritime Sector (AWIMA). Saudi Arabia previously held the role of President of the organisation and worked to bring together Arab women in the region working in various roles within the sector. In 2021, Saudi Arabia partnered with The United Arab Emirates to host the AWIMA Roundtable, "Women in Maritime: Preserving a Legacy of Resilience Towards Achieving a Barrier-Free Working Environment: Virtual Roundtable" that had a panel discussion aimed to address barriers women in the industry experience and provide productive solutions. 

The Saudi Academy of Logistics launched the first program dedicated to qualifying and developing future women leaders in the logistics sector by offering 15 free scholarships in partnership with the Singapore Supply Chain and Logistics Academy (SCALA).

Saudi's King Abdullah Port topped the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence container port performance index in 2022, with Jeddah Islamic Port placed Eighth.

Saudi Maritime Ambitions 



By 2030, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to be among the top ten countries in the LPI logistics services index

Improving the Kingdom’s classification in the cross-border trade index and raising it to 35th in the world.


Increasing the capacity in ports to reach more than 40 million TEUs

Raising the Kingdom’s share in the transshipment market to 45%


Growth rate more than 77% since 2016

Establish 7 integrated Logistics Zones



Establishing 59 logistics zones, increasing the capacity in ports to reach more than 40 million TEUs

Working to establish the 1st automated seaport at OXAGON

Saudi Seafarers 

In the last 5 years more than 770 Saudi and multi-national cadets were trained onboard Saudi flag ships.


More than 1,600 Saudi seafarers work onboard ships to serve the world economy and support the needs of the population with an increase of up to 25% compared to 2021.

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More than 3,200 maritime training courses were provided by the accredited maritime institutes that fall under the requirements in line with the STCW convention.


Saudi National Plans 

National Strategy for Transport and Logistics Services NTLS

  • Maritime Sector Strategy emerges from the NTLS that includes ambitious initiatives and key targets in 6 main sectors:

    • ​Ports, shipping, marine services, shipbuilding and repair, marine tourism, fishing and aquaculture.

Image by Chris Pagan

Global Supply Chain Resiliency Initiative

  • Maritime Sector Strategy emerges from the NTLS that includes ambitious initiatives and key targets in 6 main sectors:

    • ​Ports, shipping, marine services, shipbuilding and repair, marine tourism, fishing and aquaculture.


Investing in Marine Services

The Port of NEOM is located in OXAGON, the home of advanced and clean industries in NEOM, the port, which is the primary seaport of entry to the northwest of Saudi Arabia. When the first container terminal is operational in 2025, it will operate at net carbon zero with 100% renewable energy of wind and solar as its main source of energy.

The Jazan City Port is situated on coast of the Red Sea. It targets petrochemical, mining, and transformational industries, and provides vital energy supplies through investing in mineral, agricultural, animal and fish resources.

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The King Salman Complex for Maritime Industries and Services is a world class maritime yard providing a combination of new shipbuilding and maintenance, repair and operations services including Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) capabilities. The complex will be the largest in the world providing this range of services.


Integrated Electronic Services

  • 62 e-services​

  • 42 services for vessel

  • 15 services for marine units

  • 5 services related to the seaman


  • 70 e-services and a targeted plan to reach 450 service.


  • S​ervices for yacht entry and sailing in Saudi territorial waters

  • Providing more than 20 e-services that facilitate yachting activities.



KSA as an IMO Council Member

Tackle growing inequality between IMO Member States.

Assist Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in their economic recovery.

Invest in greener technologies to reduce the environmental impact of shipping.

Offer world class training to nations that are suffering from the threats of modern-day piracy.

Highlight the issues faced by seafarers, build upon our recognition that seafarers are key workers and provide training and support to increase their skills.

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