• New operator P&O Ports will manage small and medium-sized ports
  • Agreements signed with Albania, Madagascar and Somalia
  • Company will be run seperately to DP World

Dubai Ports Customs & Free zone Corporation (PCFC) has launched a new company named P&O Ports to manage small and medium-sized ports around the world.

Speaking at the launch of the company on 25 March, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of PCFC, stressed that the company will be operated separately to DP World and, as a subsidiary of PCFC, will be government owned, adding that the two companies may actually compete with each other in the future.

Using a metaphor from Dubai’s aviation sector, Bin Sulayem said that “DP World is Emirates, P&O Ports is Flydubai”.

P&O Ports has already signed agreements to manage ports in Madagascar, Albania and Somalia. In Albania, P&O Ports is understood to be lined up to manage Durres Port, which is the country’s largest, while in Somalia the operator will manage Berbera Port.

The company is in discussions to manage another 30 ports around the world. Bin Sulayem said the main markets are emerging economies in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and South America.

At first, P&O Ports will simply operate ports and not develop or build facilities. Bin Sulayem said the company will focus on operations and using the experience Dubai has developed at its domestic ports and the ones it operates around the world.

He then added that ports that may initially appear to be operating at full capacity and prime for expansion may not need new capital expenditure if they are operated more efficiently. But, if the ports that P&O Ports operates do still need expanding, that is something the company can do.

The chairman of P&O Ports is Arif Obaid al-Dehai, who is CEO of Trakhees – a division of PCFC. The CEO is Hassan Hadi, the ex-first deputy chairman and senior vice-president of research and development at DP World.

Dubai has a wide range of companies and investments serving the maritime sector. They include DP World, Dubai Maritime City, Drydocks World and Economic Zones World.

Stay informed with the latest in the Middle East
Download the MEED app today, available on Apple and Android devices