The MBA students at Edinburgh Business School currently studying in Dubai were privileged to be invited to tour the facilities and be given insight into the future strategy of Dubai-headquartered, global trade enabler, DP World.
DP World operates one of the top ten ports in the world in Jebel Ali and the largest outside of Asia, with a throughput of 21,000 containers per day. It has 102 cranes in operation, 77 berths and 7,000 employees in its UAE Region.
First stop on the tour was Terminal 2, which is the oldest and largest of the three existing terminals (Terminal 4 is currently under construction on an artificial island opposite Terminal 2).
While predominately manually operated, there are plans for automation. Terminal 3, the next stop on the tour, is automated. The difference on the ground was clear.
Terminal 3 has virtually no people outside in yard operations. It is controlled remotely making it safer, faster and ultimately more efficient. Through automation DP World
is decreasing co2 emissions substantially and is working towards similar reductions across the rest of the port.
Environmental concerns factor highly in DP World's strategic agenda, made clear by the organisation’s significant investment in emission reducing technology.
We were shown the control rooms, where around-the-clock operators oversee the movement of thousands of containers - from their arrival on trucks to their eventual departure on ships and vice versa.
Automation means that the average time it takes a truck to enter the port, offload the container and exit is a speedy 10 to 30 minutes, a very compelling time for its customers.
No questions were off limits and we were treated to a very candid and insightful overview of DP World's long term planning as part of Dubai’s vision to 2071 including an analysis of many of the macro and micro level factors, which will impact the business during that time.
However, probably the most pertinent piece of advice came from our host, Anas Saleh, who also has an MBA. Anas said: "An MBA provides the proof of your ability, but you must never forget to demonstrate your talent. Otherwise it's just a bit of paper."