Port Rashid: 1990-2008
Dubai Ports Authority established in 1990 as a Dubai Government owned Commercial entity. Its first task was unifying Port Rashid and Jebel Ali Port to operate as a single unit. Major shipping lines were given incentives to relocate from Port Rashid to Jebel Ali to even out cargo throughputs in each port. DPA's Trucking Services linked the two ports, moving containers by road to link with different shipping services at no cost to its Customers. DPA's Peterbilt Container Trucks became a common sight on Sheikh Zayed Road. These trucks carried two fully loaded 40 foot 28 tonne Containers. Total length was around 55 meters (120 feet) and "all up" weight about 70 tonnes. These fully loaded Peterbilt Trucks were capable of exceeding 80 kph. By 1991 the Ports' combined container throughput reached 1,000,000 Containers. A Celebration Event was held at Port Rashid
Reaching a Limit
With this new arrangement, expectation was Port Rashid's container throughput would decline over time while Jebel Ali Port's grew. Reality was both Ports' throughputs continued to grow. Port Rashid's Customers had to be constantly persuaded to relocate to Jebel Ali Port. But as soon as one Customer moved, a new Customer arrived. As throughputs grew Jebel Ali Port showed the same limitations as Port Rashid had but on a larger scale. Jebel Ali Port's original design was (like Port Rashid's) based on handling traditional cargo ships. There were plenty of berths but limited storage areas. Its Container Terminal had water on three sides with Jebel Ali Free Zone occupying any remaining land. .
Port Rashid keeps going!
Port Rashid was kept operational out of necessity while Jebel Ali Port worked out how it could expand. The solution was to reclaim land offshore and build an entirely new and separate Container Terminal. When the extension was completed and operational Port Rashid could be closed and handed over to the Government for valuable waterfront property development.
End of an Era
“It had taken just 40 years from Port Rashid's construction to its demise.”
Port Rashid formally closed in 2008 except for Cruise Ship operations. By then Maritime City had developed between Port Rashid and Dubai Drydocks. Land started to be reclaimed in Port Rashid for property development. The 2009 Global Financial Crisis brought a halt to Dubai's property development. But at sometime in the future people will be living where Dubai established its reputation as an International Trading and Business Centre. Port Rashid's closure brought a significant era in Dubai's development to an end.