Wednesday Blog: Build it and they will come...
What’s your favourite Dubai icon? Burj Khalifa? (Not bad, but it’s far too tall.) What about the Burj Al Arab? (A beauty to look at – pity I can’t afford a sandwich there.) Ok then, what about Dubai Mall, Ski Dubai or DXB Terminal 3? The list of iconic buildings goes on and on.
Forget about the glitz and the glamour of Dubai’s biggest and bestest – there is only one true Dubai icon. And that icon is DP World’s flagship port in Jebel Ali.
It may not be as sparkly as the other landmarks, but after taking a guided tour of the port and freezone this week it is obvious that without the port of Jebel Ali, Dubai would not be where it is now. How else would all the materials be brought in for the mega-projects?
Jebel Ali has played its part in the building of Dubai – but the port’s role is even more crucial to the continued growth of the emirate and now, of course, Dubai’s bid for the World Expo 2020.
As one of the premier partners for Dubai's Expo bid, DP World has invested heavily in Jebel Ali with the recent Terminal 2 expansion and the forthcoming opening of Terminal 3. With this increased capacity, the construction of the Etihad Rail network and also the new Al Maktoum International Airport located in its vicinity, Jebel Ali Port will continue in its role as one of the major drivers for Dubai’s economy.
When the phrase ‘build it and they will come’ was sort-of uttered in the 1989 film Field of Dreams, who expected Dubai to take on that mantle and become one of world’s major cities? Kevin Costner didn’t and I’m sure that most of the world didn’t. However, DP World did.
In 84 days the winning city of the Expo 2020 will be named – and with support worldwide Dubai must surely get the vote, shouldn’t it?
With Jebel Ali Port ready and waiting to welcome the world, the planned 438-hectare Expo 2020 site may well become Dubai’s very own field of dreams. What do you think, Kevin?
Michael Starling is editor of Maritime & Ports Middle East