Historically, Dubai has been known as the ‘City of Merchants’ and the trade has been growing since decades. As trade grew, the need for better port infrastructure gave birth to the vision to build Mina Rashid, which was completed with 11 berths in 1972 with a Royal Mail ship, the Sirdhana, being the first commercial vessel to call. The infrastructure was further developed to 35 berths. The proximity to the city made this facility an instant success.
In 1976, Sheikh Rashid gave instructions for an even more ambitious project with the construction of the world’s largest man-made harbour at Jebel Ali. When completed in 1979, Jebel Ali Port ranked alongside the Great Wall of China and the Hoover Dam as one of only three man-made objects that could be seen from space. Although complementing Mina Rashid in terms of trade and transhipments, the concept of Jebel Ali Port was geared more towards industrial development and soon attracted major aluminium, gas and cement projects.
Although complementing Mina Rashid in terms of trade and transhipments, the concept of Jebel Ali Port was geared more towards industrial development and soon attracted major aluminium, gas and cement projects. Establishing the Jebel Ali Free Zone around the port made the location a hub for international businesses looking for the best facilities, competitively priced overheads and the freedom to operate with offshore status.
In 1991 Jebel Ali Port merged with Mina Rashid to form Dubai Ports Authority. For the first time the combined ports handled over one million TEU. Jebel Ali Port’s container traffic soared over 50% and Mina Rashid’s increased a further 10%. This performance established Dubai Ports as the sixteenth busiest container port in the world, a milestone in Jebel Ali Port’s story.
Formally established in September 2005, DP World emerged from the integration of Dubai Ports Authority and DPI Terminals (Dubai Ports International), to become one of the largest global port operators.
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