The largest marine terminal in the Middle East, Jebel Ali port is strategically located with easy access to both road and air connections. It has played an important role in the development of Dubais economy.
The port opened in 1979, with the worlds largest man-made harbour and a claim that it could be seen from space. It focused on industry, particularly shipments of metals and cement.
The Jebel Ali free zone developed around the port was the first free zone in the region. It has attracted major international businesses, making it an important logistics centre in the Middle East.
The port has undergone several expansions, including a $1bn terminal upgrade, which was led by South Korea-based Hyundai Engineering & Construction and completed in 2011. Three terminals were added, one capable of handling 2.7 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and two with a capacity of 4.7 million TEUs each. Work involved dredging and widening the ports channels and the addition of berths and quayside cranes.
DP World plans to expand the port to 82 berths by 2020, with 125 quayside cranes, making it capable of handling 22 million TEUs.