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HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem

UAE, DUBAI - Economy

Container Excitement

Chairman, DP World

Bio

HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem has served as Chairman of the Board of DP World since May 30th, 2007. He was previously Chairman of Dubai World, and in this role oversaw businesses in industries as diverse as real estate development, hospitality, retail, e-commerce, and various commodities exchanges, as well as businesses associated with transportation and logistics. He previously served as Chairman of the Port & Free Zone World FZE and he remains one of the two representatives of the Port & Free Zone World FZE on the Board. He is a leading international businessman, with more than 30 years’ experience in the marine terminal industry.

TBY talks to HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World, on capacity expansion, World Expo 2020, and operations in other countries.

How would you describe the contribution that DP World makes to the economy?

DP World is a vital component of Dubai’s economy, contributing to the success achieved thanks to the vision of our leaders. Together with our partners we are contributing greatly to the development of our country both now and for future generations. HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and those who came before him have set us on a journey to becoming the fourth largest port operator in the world today, with more than 65 marine terminals across six continents. The ports industry is a vital economic pillar. It supports a country’s growth and prosperity. With its modern and efficient ports, Dubai has established an unrivalled position as a maritime hub for the region and our flagship Jebel Ali terminal provides gateway access to a market of more than 2 billion people. Our geographical advantage is complemented by a determination to innovate to meet the present and future needs of our customers. As Dubai prepares to handle the cargo required for Expo 2020, we are favorably positioned to impact world trade. Our acquisition of one of the world’s largest free zones, Jafza, adjacent to our Jebel Ali port and within 45 minutes driving distance from Dubai World Central, will further enhance Dubai’s position and integrate our services for business. Given Jafza’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP stood at around 21% in 2013, we believe the combination of free zone services and a world class port under one roof will be a key feature for Dubai’s success in the future. The details of our operations at Jebel Ali underline our contribution to the country. In 2014, our UAE region handled a record 15 million containers, double-digit growth of 11.8% compared to the previous year. Capacity for an additional 2 million containers came on stream in the third quarter of 2014, providing the resources we need to achieve further volume growth. Capacity for a further 2 million containers is expected to come on line in the second half of 2015, taking total Jebel Ali capacity to 19 million TEUs. Looking ahead, the connection of Etihad Rail to Jebel Ali Port in the near future will result in a multi-modal supply chain that seamlessly links sea, road-rail, and air through the Dubai Logistics Corridor (DLC), making it a premier gateway for the region and the entire Middle East.

How do you see the strategy of DP World in the build up to World Expo 2020 and beyond?

DP World is a major player in supporting the success of this event and we are focusing on making sure we have the infrastructure in place to support the anticipated increase in trade flows by expanding capacity at our flagship Jebel Ali Port. In addition to the capacity expansions at Jebel Ali Terminal 3, we have the infrastructure in place for Terminal 4, which gives us the flexibility to roll out more capacity in line with market demand. Working closely with our customers is integral to our strategy and we also look forward to helping Dubai and the UAE host Expo 2020.

How will DP World’s strategy and operations coincide with the Dubai 2021 Vision?

Being a major supporter of Dubai and the UAE’s economy, we are aligning ourselves with the vision to make Dubai one of the world’s smartest cities. Jebel Ali’s new container Terminal 3 will be the most technologically advanced terminal in the region once completed, featuring 19 of the world’s largest and most modern quay cranes. The Dubai Trade electronic portal provides integrated electronic services that connect a wide range of trade and logistics providers and key government agencies, including Dubai Customs, within a single electronic window. Meanwhile, the integrated Dubai Logistics Corridor ensures that Customs, DP World (Jebel Ali Port), and Dubai Trade present the gateway of choice to the Middle East.

How do you think that DP World acts as a partner for development of countries throughout Africa, India, Europe, and the Middle East?

We know from experience what modern infrastructure can do for economies, helping to unlock potential and connect traders with world markets, supporting and driving growth. Ports are gateways to world trade and we invest for the long term, contributing to economic growth. We believe there needs to be more private sector and government investment around PPPs, a model we have pursued around the world. At DP World, we have invested over $6 billion over the last five years adding capacity and upgrading our infrastructure in countries around the world and becoming a major employer. For example, studies show some 36,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created by the development of our London Gateway terminal in the UK. Since taking over management of Dakar, Senegal, in 2008 we have made a major contribution to Senegal’s economy with our development of the terminal and the local community. This includes creating more than 200 jobs for local Senegalese people, with specialized training given to all terminal employees, expanding their skills, and bringing operational efficiencies in line with our global standards. Our expansions there have raised capacity from less than 300,000 TEUs to more than 600,000 TEUs and DP World Dakar today handles around one-third more volumes than it did four years ago, benefiting both the trade and Senegal’s economy. Meanwhile, our terminal in Callao, Peru is the largest and most efficient container terminal on South America’s Pacific coast and the busiest terminal in the Port there. It is also one of the most productive terminals in the whole of South America. We officially opened the facility in 2011 and in our first year of operation throughput growth at Callao was 22%. It grew a further 22% the following year, proof that the capacity increase provided by DP World was quickly translated into growth opportunities, and a major factor in the increase of Peru’s international trade. To date the cargo value handled by DP World Callao represents around 10% to 12% of total Peruvian GDP. DP World Callao serves both the importers and exporters of Peru, but importantly it acts as a gateway to trade across the wider region, which naturally benefits the Peruvian economy.

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