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Dubai: Offshore Business Sectors


This page was last updated on 10 March 2021.

Dubai has the most important port in the Middle East and is ranked among the world’s top 15 in terms of container throughput. The Dubai Ports Authority (DPA) operates the harbour which lies alongside the Jebel Ali Free Zone. Dubai's traditional trade links with nearby Gulf states, Red Sea, East Africa and Asian subcontinent have been enhanced by new commercial ties from around the world. Notable in recent years have been trade relations forged with the emerging CIS and South African markets where shippers are keen to capitalize on Dubai's proven distribution capabilities and advantages.

Dubai Ports Authority (DP World) is known for its ability to provide a superior level of service to shipping lines in Dubai.

Core Services offered by DP World include:

  • Container cargo handling
  • General cargo handling
  • Bulk cargo handling
  • Berthing for Ro/Ro vessels
  • Monitoring, maintenance and repair of reefer vessels
  • Facilities for commercial trucks
  • Facilities for passengers.

The Port also has a tanker facility, can undertake container repairs, offers a modern expressway system linking Jebel Ali terminal and Dubai International Airport’s Cargo Village, and provides a full range of Supply Chain and Logistics services including Customs Clearance, Import & Export Freight Management and Stock Control.

In 2004, the port handled a throughput of 6.42 million TEUs ("Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit" steel ocean shipping containers), representing an increase of 24.6% on its 2003 figures, and making it the 10th largest but also the third fastest growing port.

Also in 2004, Dubai Ports signed a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi Sea Port Authority and Ports Authority of Fujairah to develop joint strategies for both the ports authorities.

In September 2006, DP World became the first global company in the transport and logistics industry to gain certification to an international standard for its security management systems and operations.

Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), an independent international certification body, audited DP World for compliance with the international standard ISO/PAS 28000:2005 at both the corporate head office in Dubai, UAE, and its chosen site, Djibouti Container Terminal.

As a consequence of DP World’s adoption and implementation of the standard, its network of ports has the ability to effectively implement mechanisms and processes to address any security vulnerabilities at strategic and operational levels, as well as establish preventive action plans.

Meanwhile, in August 2005, the Dubai Maritime Authority announced plans to launch the first shipping registry in the Middle East open to both domestic and international companies. The move was welcomed by the Emirate's shipping industry. Dubai Maritime City project manager, Amr Ali explained that: "The primary function of the registry will be to maintain the specific requirements of the government related to the ship owning company or the ship itself."

"As the first purpose built maritime cluster, we are pleased to be involved in the setting of groundbreaking new industry standards to benefit maritime businesses in the region. We aim to ensure that the highest possible standards are maintained to make it attractive for ship owners and liner operators to register with us."

Dubai Maritime City is an integrated state of the art development that provides every element of infrastructure required by key marine and maritime related industries.

DMC is the world's largest maritime development, on a man made peninsula measuring 25 million square feet. Located between Dubai's Port Rashid terminal and Dubai Drydocks, it is connected to the mainland by a causeway. Phase I has been completed with the construction of 96 units of different sizes, some of which are already occupied by major maritime companies. The Business District of the multi-purpose mixed-use facility was opened in early 2012, by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai World.

Dubai Maritime City is be the hub for maritime businesses from six large and diverse sectors and will provide every element of infrastructure required by them. They include:

  • Marine Services
  • Management
  • Product Marketing
  • Research & Education
  • Recreation
  • Ship Design and Manufacturing



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