Dubai's Paving Bricks 1982

Bricks Containers Driveways and Gardens

Around 1978 Sheikh Rashid ordered a purpose built Container Terminal to be constructed at Port Rashid. Container Terminal pavements have to withstand heavy loadings and resist wear from the constant movement of heavily laden Container Handling Vehicles. Costains, the Joint Venture Contractor building the Terminal, imported a machine from Netherlands that produced interlocking concrete blocks that were ideal for a Container Terminal. As it happens these block were also ideal for patios, driveways, footpaths & garages! Soon Dubai's Residents were addicted to these blocks.......


How many Bricks to build a Container Terminal?

11.5 million bricks were laid in blocks with a manually operated trolley so bricks needed to be made to very accurate dimensions. Initially that proved difficult. Newly made Bricks were rejected in large quantities. Soon the Contractor had piles of rejected bricks and the problem of their disposal. While these rejected bricks were useless for Port Rashid, they were ideal for paving Jumeirah's sandy driveways, garden paths, patios and garages. News spread that anyone could take these rejected blocks for free provided they collected and transported the bricks themselves. Before long the Contractor's piles of rejected bricks disappeared while brick paved driveways, garden paths,patios and garages appeared all over Jumeirah. By 1982, these bricks were everywhere in Dubai!

Maintaining the Bricks

Bricks were originally laid in a non working Terminal so Workers were not at risk at being run over by Container Equipment. Maintaining these bricks was a different matter! Nowadays areas of a Terminal are shut down to allow personnel to enter that area. In 1982 Port Rashid Container Terminal had no rules governing how personnel accessed the Terminal area so Workers carried repairs in the midst of constant container movements. Fortunately there were no accidents or incidents that resulted in personnel being injured or worse.