Port Zayed (Mina Zayid in Arabic) is the commercial deepwater port serving the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was named after the country’s former President, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. One of the reasons the UAE has developed so quickly is this deepwater access to transportation by oil ships. Plans are underway to move the port to Waweelah to reduce the number of heavy goods vehicles in the city and free valuable land for development of commercial and residential properties.
Until oil brought wealth to the UAE, Abu Dhabi was a relatively unimportant small town. Tribesmen of the Banu Yas settled the town of Abu Dhabi in 1761, moving their headquarters from an inland oasis. Although the town was a capital for an important sheikhdom, its main function was to support nearby towns of Dubai and Al-Shariqah. In the early 1900s, about six thousand people lived there, and pearl diving and limited trade supported the economy.
In the mid 20th Century, discovery and development of oil fields changed everything. At the time, Great Britain was the protecting power. Despite its great income, the town modernized slowly. When Sheikh Shakhbut ibn Sultan Al Nahyan was deposed, his brother (Zayid ibn Sultan) began to develop a road network and built a seawall at the northern end of the island.
Beginning in 1968, the town underwent an ambitious modernization effort. It acquired electricity, modern plumbing, and a central sewage system. Construction brought government buildings, hotels, housing, and a new port extension. An oil refinery began production in 1976 on a nearby island.
When Great Britain left the Persian Gulf and the UAE achieved independence in 1971, Abu Dhabi was made the capital of the UAE. Since then, the city has been expanded with several major projects. Today, it contains many grand hotels and a wide range of modern residential and commercial properties. Today, over 600 thousand people call Abu Dhabi home.
Port Zayed is managed by the Abu Dhabi Sea Port Authority, an organization of the UAE government. It contains 21 berths and handles about 900 thousand tons of cargo a year. Over 2,000 vessels move through Port Zayed each year. Cargo includes vehicles and bulk, containerized, and general cargo. Commodities include grain, processed foods, pharmaceuticals, and manufactured and agricultural products.
The Dhow Harbor, located near Port Zayed, was developed for use by oil rig supply vessels, traditional Arab Dhows, launches, and tugboats that handle trade between Abu Dhabi and the rest of the Middle East, East Africa, and India.
Port Zayed was inaugurated officially in 1972, although it was established in 1968. It is located in northeast Abu Dhabi, where it covers an area of 510 hectares. Its 21 berths range from 6-15 meters in depth and are a total 4,375 meters long. Since 1991, more than 50 shipping lines have used Port Zayed regularly, and over 2,000 vessels berth there every year, bringing over four million tons of cargo through the port.
Port Zayed boasts a sophisticated, well-equipped container terminal that was opened in 1981. The terminal covers 41 hectares and has capacity to store 15 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo at once. It is served by four deepwater berths with 15 meters draft and a total of 931 meters long. When the 15-thousand ton cold store opened in 1999, Port Zayed’s ability to hold chilled and frozen products increased dramatically.
The Abu Dhabi Sea Port Authority adopted an ambitious plan for developing Port Zayed and other ports over the 20-year period from 1993 to 2013. Major projects included reconstructing berths, construction new buildings and workshops, and dredging. Developed to handle localized trade, the Dhow Harbor contains 34 berths with a total two thousand meters of quay. Mussafah port was constructed to ease the growing traffic at Port Zayed, and the development plan calls for a new channel and berths there.
Cruising and Travel
Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s most modern, and perhaps richest, cities. Seat of the UAE government, it is also headquarters to several oil companies. It boasts large parks and gardens, green boulevards, international luxury hotels, rich shopping malls, and sophisticated high-rise buildings.
Until 2004, Abu Dhabi and Port Zayed were dominated by Dubai in their tourist attraction. In 2004, Sheikh Khalifa took power and undertook an ambitious effort to attract tourism. Alcohol restrictions were loosened a bit and foreigners were allowed to buy land. Several huge development projects were started, including the $28 billion Saadiyat Island containing the Guggenheim and Louvre Museums that are supposed to open in 2011.
Visitors to Abu Dhabi and Port Zayed will enjoy their stay at one of the many luxury hotels that offer private beaches (non-hotel residents can buy admission) and swimming facilities. Tourists also enjoy desert safaris that must be booked ahead of time. The trips start in the evening and include rides over the dunes, camel rides, Arabic buffets, and belly dancers (for larger parties).
The favorite sport in Port Zayed and Abu Dhabi is shopping. There are limitless shops, malls, and opportunities to buy a wide range of luxurious and exotic items.
Port Location: Abu Dhabi
Port Name: Port Zayed
Port Authority: Abu Dhabi Seaport Authority
Address: P.O.Box 422
United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971-2 6730600
Fax: +971-2 6730432
Web Site: http://www.portzayed.gov.ae
Latitude: 24° 31' 30" N
Longitude: 54° 22' 34" E
Port Type: Seaport
Port Size: Medium
Information by http://www.worldportsource.com