UAE ports shrug off global downturn

UAE portsImage Credit: Supplied

The Jebel Ali Port in Dubai and the Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi have weathered the dip in oil prices and the economic slowdown to show healthy growth in recent times.

Jebel Ali Port authorities are planning to build a new terminal to boost its capacity. The new facility will help the port increase its capacity to 22.1 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalents units) by 2018. The new Terminal 4 will be located on a reclaimed island north of the existing Terminal 2. A bridge will also be constructed to link it to Terminal 2. The port can currently accommodate ten mega containers simultaneously, with the new terminal expected to shore up these numbers.

The port’s Terminal 3 is already underdoing major expansion with the project set for completion by the end of the year. The stakeholders are going ahead with the plans despite slower growth in the maritime trade globally as it expects a massive surge in customer demand in the lead-up to the Expo 2020.

Meanwhile, Khalifa Port has also been witnessing impressive growth, with container volumes increasing by over 40 per cent during the first seven months of 2015 compared to the same period last year. The port currently has an annual capacity of 2.5 million TEUs.

Being a huge market for automobiles, there is a big demand for rollon/roll-off cargo (RORO) in the UAE ports. Earlier this year, the RORO cargo operations in Zayed Port were shifted to Khalifa Port. Unlike general cargo which is lifted by cranes, RORO cargo, consisting mainly of cars, trucks and heavy vehicles, is moved on wheels on and off ships.

Khalifa Port has the capacity to handle around 360,000 vehicles annually, more than three times the capacity of Zayed Port. There are plans to boost the RORO facilities so that Khalifa Port can handle around 500,00 vehicles annually.

Handy Hints
• Jebel Ali Port’s Terminal 3 expansion is currently on schedule
• A new cargo terminal is expected to come up at Jebel Ali Port
• RORO cargo operations shifted from Zayed Port to Khalifa Port

Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer


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