The Business Year

Mohammed Al Muallem

UAE, DUBAI - Transport

Meant Teu BE

Senior Vice-President and Managing Director, UAE Region of DP World


Mohammed Al Muallem became Senior Vice President and Managing Director of DP World UAE Region in 2005. He has spearheaded the development of the Jebel Ali Port, the flagship of DP World, ranked among the world’s top 10 ports. In 2003, Al Muallem pioneered the use of the Quad Lift Gantry, capable of lifting four 20 feet containers or two 40 feet containers simultaneously. Al Muallem was appointed Chairman of the Executive Merging Team of Dubai Ports Authority, Dubai Customs and the Free Zone in 2000 and, in May 2004, Executive Coordinator for the Terminal 2 development at Jebel Ali Port. Among numerous qualifications Mohammed Al Muallem holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering.

TBY talks to Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director, UAE Region of DP World, on acquiring the Jebel Ali Free Zone, improving Dubai's connectivity, and the company's future strategies.

What impact will the $2.6 billion acquisition of Jebel Ali Free Zone have on DP World’s growth?

The transaction was a unique opportunity to acquire a strategically located asset integral to Jebel Ali’s continued success as the leading gateway port in the Middle East region. EZW has stable recurring revenues, healthy margins and strong cash generation delivered by an attractive business model. There are significant opportunities for growth from EZW and Jebel Ali Free Zone from increasing occupancy, increasing lease rates and developing new investment properties—underpinned by the continued growth of Dubai as a trading and logistics hub.

DP World recently announced it plans to double its investments this year of up to $1.9 Billion in capacity upgrades in the Jebel Ali port. What is the strategy behind this decision?

The $850m Container Terminal 3 (T3) is operating with a capacity of 2 million TEUs. Once fully operational this year, T3 will add a further 2 million TEU capacity to serve customers at the state-of-the-art facility. It is considered as one of the world’s most modern container terminal adding further capacity to the port enabling it to handle as many as 10 of the new generation Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCS) at the same time. The terminal features 19 of the world’s largest and most modern quay cranes remotely operated from a sophisticated control room off the quayside largely by Emirati nationals, including females, who will also make up the majority of the 50 Automated Rail Mounted Gantry crane (ARMG) operations team. The sophisticated cranes along with latest technology, smart mobile applications, a 100% electronic transaction facility and an advanced Gate Automation system, all contribute to a cost effective terminal as part of the supply chain.

What key capacity upgrades will be completed and what impact will they have on DP World’s operations?

The UAE delivered another strong performance handling 15.2 million TEU in 2014, representing growth of 11.8% for the year. Terminal 3 at Jebel Ali became operational in the third quarter, adding 2 million TEU and alleviating capacity constraint. A further 2 million capacity is expected to come on line in 2H2015.

How will DP World use the Jebel Ali acquisition to integrate its supply chain services via the Dubai Logistics Corridor and Dubai World Central?

The acquisition of EZW (Jebel Ali Free Zone) is consistent with our strategy of providing port-centric integrated logistics solutions at key gateway locations, such as Jebel Ali. Jebel Ali is the gateway to Middle East, Africa and Indian subcontinent. It is universally marketed as the model for port-centric integrated logistics solutions combining traditional port operations with free zones, intermodal logistic facilities, customs and other services. Ranked among the top ten container ports worldwide, Jebel Ali Port plays the role of a premier gateway for over 90 weekly services connecting the region to over 140 ports worldwide. The poly-functional terminal facilities are spread over 20km of quayside featuring 23 container berths and 78 quay cranes, geared to handle next generation vessels. Jebel Ali Port is an integrated multi-modal hub, offering sea, air and land connectivity complemented by logistics facilities which include coolport, container freight station and warehousing.

How will this contribute to the continued success of Dubai as an international leader of port services and trade?

The integration of DP World and EZW will reinforce our leadership in the high-growth Middle East region and enhance our integrated port and logistics offering to customers by optimizing investment. It is a compelling strategic move that will allow us to co-ordinate planned expansion, deliver an improved customer proposition, accelerate growth and enhance shareholder value. Jebel Ali is the heart of an integrated multi-modal hub, including Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai World Central, Dubai Industrial City and Dubai World Central (Al Maktoum Airport). This unique platform offers sea, air and land connectivity complemented by logistics facilities.



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