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DP World Builds Dh1.1b Djibouti Container Facility And Nakheel Opens Djibouti's First 5-Star Hot
Djibouti, April 3, 2006 – DP World will build a new container terminal in Doraleh in Djibouti at a cost of Dh1.1 billion ($300 million).
Work will start on the container port, located 11 kilometers from the present one, in June, DP World officials told Gulf News.
With a capacity to handle 1.5 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) annually, the terminal will be DP World's second major investment in Djibouti, which sits at the mouth of the Red Sea.
The Dubai port operator has invested $35 million in a 1.5-kilometre jetty at Doraleh Oil Terminal that was inaugurated in February.
"The new container terminal will become operational in the second half of 2008. It will have a capacity to handle 1.5 million TEUs but there is enough land available for expansion," said David Hawker, general manager of the Port of Djibouti.
Djibouti hopes the new terminal will make it a transshipment hub for countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).
"We are now talking with three shipping lines to come to Djibouti," he said.
The terminal will have eight Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes and will be able to handle giant container ships. It will have a quay length of 900 meters that can be extended to 1,200 meters.
DP World manages the Port of Djibouti, which is landlocked Ethiopia's main channel for trade. Ethiopian cargo accounts for about 80 per cent of the volume handled by the port. "We handle all of Ethiopia's sea cargo," said Abu Bakr Omar Hadi, the port's commercial director.
After the new terminal opens, the Djibouti port will convert two container berths and three oil berths into general cargo facilities, he said.
DP World is also involved in expanding facilities at Djibouti International Airport, which it manages, to increase sea-air cargo volumes.
A new free zone is also being developed around the container terminal, besides the ongoing expansion of the oil terminal.
The $150-million Horizon Djibouti Terminals Limited is built for storage and handling of petroleum products, chemicals, vegetable oils and liquefied petroleum gas. The first phase comprises 23 tanks with a total capacity of 240,000 cubic meters. Some of the storage facilities are exclusively used by the US and French navies.
Phase two is under way and the facility's capacity will reach 340,000 cubic meters by July. The third phase will see more capacity addition by the end of this year, Horizon general manager Alain Siozac said.
Out of Dubai and into Africa
Dubai-based real estate developer Nakheel will open Djibouti's first five-star hotel in November, hoping the project will raise the poor East African nation's profile in the travel industry.
The huge waterfront development will be completed in phases over four years, comprising 400 rooms, a beach club, marina, residential complex, five restaurants and retails space.
Two hundred rooms and a conference hall will be ready under the $150-million initial phase for hosting a meeting of African leaders.
"Work is being fast-tracked to meet the schedule," Andrew Jordan, Nakheel's director of development, told a group of UAE reporters visiting the building site.
The facility will be managed by Kempinski Hotels and Resorts.
Japan's Taisei Corporation, which has been involved with some Nakheel projects in Dubai, is the main contractor for the Djibouti hotel.
About 400 workers are working at a frenetic pace to ensure that all the facilities are ready in time to host the 21-member Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) meeting of the council of ministers, later this year.
Jordan said Nakheel's decision to launch its first international hotel in Djibouti reflects the country's tourism and business potential. Nakheel expects regional leisure travelers to flock to its new haven of luxury in a country that otherwise lacks an organized tourism sector.
"With Dubai's involvement in Djibouti's port, airport and free zone development, we are expecting leisure and business travel to Djibouti to grow," the Nakheel official said.
Strategically located but underdeveloped Djibouti's tourism sector at present caters mostly to about 6,000 American and French soldiers and their families through some restaurants and cheap entertainment joints.
Nakheel hopes to develop facilities that will raise awareness about Djibouti's nature and culture. "Djibouti can be a good place for those interested in diving and sailing," Jordan said.
Nakheel is also working on other leisure developments that include a mountaintop spa and island resorts.
Source: Gulf News