Jebel Ali Port is DP World’s flagship port, the world’s largest manmade harbour and the largest container port between Rotterdam and Singapore.
Located 35 kilometres to the southwest of Dubai, the Port is situated at the gateway between the East and the West, and strategically positioned to be a natural hub for the global shipping industry that provides access to a market of 1.5 billion people. The port’s strategic geographic location has enabled it to act as a maritime link between the Far East and the western part of the globe. The port is one of the most modern in the region and is fully equipped to meet the needs of local and international land transportation. It is a technologically advanced facility and employs state-of-the-art equipment, including the world’s largest gantry cranes, capable of lifting four 20 foot containers or two 40 foot containers simultaneously
Jebel Ali Port was built between 1976 and 1979, at the time when the newly established United Arab Emirates was still struggling to make its mark on the world’s economic map. The idea of building this port was considered by many at the time as an adventurous and unnecessary project that would not add any vital value to Dubai’s nascent economy. Despite the cynicism, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who was the ruler of Dubai then, had a clear vision of a booming Dubai that could survive the end of its oil boom. The result was the largest ever man-made port. With 67 berths and a size of 134.68 square kilometre (52 square miles), Jebel Ali Port has proven to be essential for the transformation of Dubai into a modern port city and commercial hub.
Into the 21st Century
The ongoing boom in Dubai’s economy has led to a noticeably sharp increase in demand for logistics and shipping services in the region. This in turn led to a need to add more capacity to Jebel Ali Port to cope with the growth in the shipping sector across the region. An extensive strategic plan was put in place that would allow DP World to expand the capacity of Jebel Ali Port to around 50 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units) by 2030 over 14 stages, as market demand dictates.
Construction work at the first stage of this plan started in 2005 to build a new container terminal (Terminal 2) at Jebel Ali Port. In August 2007, DP World officially launched operations at Phase 1 of Terminal 2, which added three more berths and increased the port’s total handling capacity by two million TEUs to around 11 million TEUs.
Phase 2 of the expansion is underway and completion is expected by the end of the first quarter this year, bringing around three million TEUs online. When this extension is finished, Jebel Ali Port will have an additional 2,500 metres of quay length with a draft of 17 metres. DP World has so far equipped Jebel Ali Port (Terminal 2) with 24 giant tandem lift gantry cranes, the biggest of their kind in the world, and 50 rail mounted gantry (RMG) cranes. An additional five gantry cranes and 10 RMGs will be added to the terminal in the coming months, completing the project.