Bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates has become a beacon of development and trade in the Arabian Peninsula. It shares maritime waters with Qatar and Iran to the West and North respectively. The United Arab Emirates is comprised of seven states that include Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm al Quwain. The country is along the northern side of the Strait of Hormuz, which makes it a strategic country for seaborne container movement and trade.
Jebel Ali is the largest manmade harbor in the world and it’s also the biggest container port between Singapore and Rotterdam. This port offers the international shipping industry access to a market of 1.5 billion people because it’s the gateway between the Western hemisphere and the Far East. As one of the premier, most modern ports in the region this port is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to handle both regional and international shipping needs in and around the Arabian Sea.
The port is home to 67 berths and by 2030 the port is projected to b able to handle a capacity of 50 million TEUs. The Jebel Ali port is the 9th busiest port globally and even though it was built to supplement the growing needs of Port Rashid, this port has surpassed everyone’s expectations of what it could become.
Mina Zayed port in Abu Dhabi is commonly referred to only as Zayed port. It’s located on the North east end of the city of Abu Dhabi which happens to not only be the capital of the United Arab Emirates, but also the financial, communications and transportation center of the UAE.
The artificial port has 21 berths and has the capacity of handling 900,000 tonnes of cargo yearly. But in addition to handling shipping cargo the port is also home to several fishing vessels that set out from the port on daily basis. The fishing boats are the traditional wooden boats known as dhows. The port’s 41 hectares out of the total 510 hectares the port covers are dedicated to container terminals that accommodate 15,000 TEU. They moved most of their container and Ro-Ro traffic to Khalifa port to make Zayed port more of a tourism port. The port has two basins one dedicated to cruise ships and another for general cargo moving through the port.
Mina Rashid port is another manmade port in the Emirate of Dubai situated in the southern coast of the expansive Arabian Gulf. This port is within the heart of the city and that makes it ideal for passenger operations even though it also handles its fair share of cargo.
This port has received the prestigious ISO-9002 accreditation and also the security certificate of excellence by the IMS (International Maritime Security). As the only port in the Middle East to receive this accreditation and certification, Port Rashid has become respected worldwide in the cruise travel industry. The Mina Rashid Cruise terminal which occupies 2 million square meters can handle seven of the largest cruise ships simultaneously with 25,000 passengers in each. Because of its capacity and professionalism the port has been voted for seven years running at the World Travel Awards as the Middle East’s World’s Leading Cruise Port.
Also known as the Khalid port this port is also located at the heart of the city of Sharjah. It was the first port in the region to have a container terminal, free trade terminal and roll-on/off cargo terminal. It pioneered what other ports like Jebel Ali and Zayed port have emulated and expanded on.
The port of Mina Khalid features 12 berths that are used to handle the general cargo as well as reefer cargo, bulk, dry and liquid cargos. It has two cold stores on the dock side and is also equipped with offshore and oil support. There are several key construction works ongoing at the port that will modernize its facilities even further. These include the construction of the dhow wharfage facility and the new berth within the breakwater reclamation area.
This port is also in Sharjah under the same management with the Mina Khalid port. This is the only natural deep water sea port in the region unlike others which are all manmade. As one of the major container ports in the United Arab Emirate this port sees a lot of traffic from the Indian Ocean front. Being outside the volatile Strait of Hormuz makes this port the obvious choice for the East and West’s large transshipment volumes that are bound for the UAE hinterland.
The port of Khow Fakkhan has six of the largest modern container cranes known as Super Post Panamax gantries along with Mega max Tandem lift cranes among others to provide total storage space of 450,000 square meters. This port has access to the open sea and it can accommodate more than 1,000 reefer containers simultaneously.
"In various parts of Europe and the US, the shortage is a real problem, it's important to have alternatives routes or transport as an option"
Klaus Lydsal, vice president of operations at iContainers