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Jebel Ali Port harbors hopes to boost the growth of the maritime sector in Dubai. According to recent trade estimates, 4.6 per cent of Dubai’s gross domestic product (GDP) is currently dependent on the maritime industry.
In Dubai, around 75,000 individuals are employed in various ports or involved with other maritime operations and engineering duties. The industry will receive a further growth push with the ambitious expansion of the Jebel Ali Port and overall improvement of sea trade in the region, thanks to the easing of political tensions in the neighboring countries.
Jebel Ali Port is set to expand its annual capacity to 19 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent) by the end of the year from the current 15 million TEU. Terminal Three is earmarked for revamp. Increased traffic is expected from the rising demand of petrochemicals and aluminium exports due to the spurt in infrastructure projects in the region, including the Expo 2020 and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Once the third terminal becomes operational, Jebel Ali Port will be able to simultaneously berth 10 mega container ships.
Shipping companies are now increasingly dependent on large container ships carrying bigger volumes at reduced costs and time. Currently, six mega ships can be docked at the Jebel Ali Port simultaneously. The port is also expected to be developed as a hub for large ships, where feeder ships can supply cargo to other smaller ports in the region.
Recently, one of the region’s largest container inspection facilities has come up at its Container Terminal 2. It is spread over 7,000 square meters with 59 inspection bays. It allows Dubai Municipality’s inspection teams to provide more efficient services for imported agricultural and food products coming to Dubai. More than 10 million tons of these products enter Dubai through Container Terminal 2.
• 4.6% of Dubai’s GDP is dependent on the maritime industry
• Jebel Ali Port is set to handle 19 million TEU by the end of 2014
• The port is also planned to be developed as a hub for large ships
See related story: Jebel Ali - a business success story
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer