The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has several modern ports, including Dubai’s Port Rashid and Jebel Ali. Port Rashid contains a large shipyard, and Jebel Ali is located on of the world’s biggest man-made harbors. Port Rashid (known as Mina Rashid in Arabic) is a man-made commercial port named after Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Port Rashid opened in 1972 with two gantry cranes and capacity for less than 100 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo. It was expanded in 1978 to include 35 berths, five for large container ships. Today, the Port Rashid has nine gantry cranes and capacity for 1.5 million TEUs. Dubai is the capital and largest city in the UAE, with waterfront of about 45 miles along the Persian Gulf. It contains almost all of the UAE’s population. In 2007, Dubai’s population exceeded 1.2 million people.
The early settlement of Dubai was first noted in 1799. The town was dependent on Abu Dhabi until 1833, when a group of Bani Yas tribesmen left Abu Dhabi and took over Dubai. After that, Dubai grew more powerful. Dubai signed a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, and its foreign relations were controlled by Britain under the 1892 Exclusive Agreement.
When the British left the Persian Gulf in 1971, Dubai became an important founding member of the United Arab Emirates. Unlike their neighbors, Dubai’s sheiks traditionally encouraged commerce and trade, and Dubai was an important port in the early 1900s. In the early years, it was known primarily for pearl exports. Foreign merchants settled there, and it was an international trade center.
From 1966 until 1973, Dubai joined Qatar in establishing the riyal as a monetary unit. In 1973, the UAE adopted the current national currency, the dirham. With free trade in gold, Dubai supports a busy smuggling trade with gold ingots to India. An offshore oil field was discovered about 75 miles east of Dubai in 1966 and, by the 1970s, several huge submarine tanks holding 1.5 million barrels of oil (called the “Three Pyramids of Dubai”) had been installed on the sea floor.
Combined oil income and trade have made Dubai wealthy. Today, it contains several industrial plants, and aluminum production has become an important part of the city’s economy.
Port Rashid was opened in 1972, and its supertanker dry dock was finished in 1979. In the early 1980s, Port Jebel Ali was declared a free-trade one to encourage industrial development. Many international companies soon opened facilities there. The Dubai Ports Authority took over port operations in the early 1990s.
In the first years of the 21st Century, Dubai was working on several major transportation and construction projects. These include light-rail systems, a modern sports complex, island developments, and luxury hotels. Although interrupted by some labor strikes, the famous Dubai Tower became the world’s tallest building in 2007 even though it was not yet complete.
Modern Port Rashid handles containerized, general, and roll-on/roll-off cargo as well as passenger vessels. Port Jebel Ali was created further from downtown Dubai in the early 1980s to supplement Port Rashid’s facilities. The Dubai dry docks and Maritime City are located adjacent to the port. In 2008, there was an announcement that all cargo operations would be moved to Port Jebel Ali and that Port Rashid would become a cruise terminal and mixed-use urban waterfront area to house 200,000 people.
The Dubai Ports Authority (DPA) operates Port Rashid and Port Jebel Ali. It was awarded the Best Seaport and Best Container Terminal Operator in 1999 at the 13th Asian Freight Industry Awards. The DPA serves over 100 shipping lines and has facilities that include 102 deepwater berths, 23 container gantry cranes, and ten container terminal berths.
In 1998, container cargo reached a record high of 2.8 million TEUs, and over 11 thousand vehicles called at Port Rashid and Port Jebel Ali. Almost five thousand container vessels called at port, and total cargo handled reached over 36 million tons. In 2007, the Dubai terminals handled over 10 million TEUs.
Facilities at Port Rashid contain ample storage. The container yard area covers 615 thousand square meters. Port Rashid contains 13 warehouses for general cargo with a total of almost 97 thousand square meters and open storage of almost 308 square meters. The container freight station facilities cover over 22 thousand square meters of covered storage and over 48 thousand square meters of open storage.
Port Rashid offers five berths of up to 12.8 meters draught for container vessels and one tanker berth with 11.5 meters draught. The remaining 30 berths, used for general cargo and some vessel repairs, have from 9.3 to 11.5 meters draught.
DPA continues to expand facilities and equipment to handle non-containerized cargo. The major commodities handled at Port Rashid include minerals, timber, steel, sugar, rice, and project cargo as well as chilled and frozen foods.
Port Rashid has a berth dedicated to handling bulk cargo, including minerals, chemicals, petroleum, and foodstuffs. The facilities for roll-on/roll-off cargo offer ample short- and long-term storage for vehicle imports and re-exports as well as livestock. It includes a reefer facility for repair and maintenance of reefer containers. The Port Rashid terminals include a jetty that handles tankers up to 40 thousand tons and bunker barges.
Port Rashid offers trucking service for containers and general cargo that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It also offers a ferry service that is popular for passengers moving between Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, and both Iraq and Iran.
Cruising and Travel
Port Rashid’s modern Cruise Terminal covers 3,300 square meters and contains everything cruise passengers could want or need. Dubai has become more popular as a tourist destination in the past years. It’s a great location for shopping, sunbathing, celebration, and some of the world’s finest dining.
Surrounded by desert, Dubai can get very hot. The most pleasant weather lasts from early October to late April. Like any desert, night temperatures are cool year-round. The “rainy season” lasts from December to April. But don’t be alarmed. The highest precipitation may be 10 centimeters (5 inches), and many years see a few limited showers. In the heart of the city, you’ll find the Wild Wadi water amusement park -- with adventure rides and water surfing – a great break from the sun-drenched heat.
Visitors to Dubai won’t want to miss the Old Dubai district containing 1912 Al Ahmadiya School and the Bastakiya District with many art galleries and cafes, the Dubai Museum with the old al-Fahidi fort and a modern underground extension that showcases the city’s history, the Jumeirah Mosque open to non-Muslims for tours, and the Shindagha District containing the Heritage Village.
Modern Dubai contains an impressive collection of sophisticated hotels and shopping opportunities. The Burj al-Arab Hotel boasts of being the only 7-star hotel in the world, and visitors must have a reservation to enter the lobby or to have a meal. The Burj Dubai is still getting taller, but it is already the tallest building in the world, already having passed 600 meters and expected to pass 800 meters on completion.
Near Port Rashid, you’ll find some of the finest white sand beaches in the world. Ocean water temperatures are comfortable year-round, and you can reach ship wreck sites by long boat. A 90-minute trip to the East coast locales of Fujairah or Khor Fakkan offers world-class diving opportunities on coral reefs with abundant marine life.
Desert drivers will take you on great desert safari or dune bashing trips where you can watch a glorious desert sunset and then enjoy an exotic Arab dinner. Dubai grew from the Dubai Creek, its original trading port. Remnants of the old shipping culture still stand, and you can take an hour-long ride on the creek to view them. You can also enjoy some splendid golf courses or hot air balloon rides over the dunes and mountains.
Being an Arab city, visitors are encouraged to wear modest clothing and observe local customs. While visitors should be prudent, Dubai is considered to be a safe, welcoming destination for tourists.
Port Location: Dubai
Port Name: Port Rashid
Port Authority: DP World
Address: PO Box 17000
United Arab Emirates
Phone: 971 4 8811110
Fax: 971 4 8811331
Web Site: http://www.dpa.ae
Latitude: 25° 16' 2" N
Longitude: 55° 16' 15" E
Port Type: Seaport
Port Size: Medium
Information by http://www.worldportsource.com