MOHAMMED AL MUALLEM

Dubai 2020 | TRADE | INTERVIEW

By employing 16.2% of Dubai's total workforce, DP World – UAE Region has almost single handedly pushed the Emirate's economy to new highs.

Mohammed Al Muallem
BIOGRAPHY

With more than three decades of port terminal operations and management experience, Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director of DP World – UAE Region, has led the growth and development of the region's most important port through a period of major expansions. Al Muallem was appointed chairman of the executive merging team of Dubai Ports Authority, Dubai Customs, and the Free Zone in 2000, and executive coordinator for the Terminal 2 development at Jebel Ali Port in 2004. He holds a bachelor's in industrial engineering from the University of Portland and has completed extensive training at the University of Manchester.

How are you integrating innovative and disruptive technologies?
Technology drives our business and innovation inspires us. Enabling smarter trade is the essence of what we do. and we use technology and innovation to do this. Technology can often be disruptive, especially when it brings transformative change to the way you work and live. At Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), you will find technology everywhere. Blockchain, AI, big data, robotics, simulators, and IoT are enabling our logistics and supply chain efficiencies to keep us in the lead position. From the moment a container box arrives on board a ship to its exit from the port's gates, technology has added transparency, speed, and efficiency to our business. DP World is partnering with Oracle to drive digital transformation across its global portfolio. Cloud applications are helping us create new services and support diversification, adding value for all our stakeholders. Our vision is to become a digitalized trade enabler. The new BoxBay high bay storage system, which is under construction at Jebel Ali Port's Container Terminal 4 (T4), is an automated multi-tier container stacking system that will enable the port to handle the same number of containers as a conventional terminal while using a third of the space. DP World – UAE Region has developed and implemented various projects since 2018 to improve productivity and to conduct operations at the utmost efficiency levels. These initiatives include vehicle booking system (VBS), a smart truck appointment system to control the traffic to and from our terminals, an automated system of 60 rail mounted gantry (RMG) cranes, and the expansion of port-side reefer hub facilities to meet the rising traffic of refrigerated containers. Dubai Trade's one-stop electronic trade portal is another example that offers integrated electronic services to trade and logistics service providers under a single window. We are creating an eco-system for logistics and supply-chain operators with an aim to reduce the costs of logistics and make trade more efficient.

How do you assess DP World – UAE Region's impact on Dubai?
Trade has been the most consistent and successful frontline driver of Dubai's economy. DP World's growth strategy and policies are closely aligned with Dubai Plan 2021 and Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030. We represented 33.4% of Dubai's GDP in 2017. DP World – UAE Region accounted for 16.2% of Dubai's total workforce with over 450,000 working across our facilities in the UAE. We believe in pursuing growth in a sustainable manner. As the premier global trade partner of Expo 2020, Jebel Ali Port has been the gateway hub for all Expo-related cargo. Maritime trade will continue to be fueled by such growth plans in the coming years. As the world's largest man-made harbor, Jebel Ali Port has been setting new benchmarks as a container port and a commercial gateway for a region stretching from the Indian subcontinent to East Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The business model created by Jebel Ali Port as an integrated port and logistics hub is being replicated today across DP World's global portfolio and emulated elsewhere by emerging economies. It has been DP World's foremost contribution to Dubai and its impact will continue to shape and grow the economy of Dubai and the UAE.

How will you leverage the opportunities created by Expo 2020?
DP World's role is to ensure the smooth and steady flow of everything the Expo needs. We play a leading role in enabling the efficient operation of the logistics and supply chain requirements of the event. We are responsible for ensuring all Expo-related cargo brought into Dubai are handled safely and in a timely manner. As part of our overarching engagement, our role as trade enablers will be showcased at the DP World Pavilion, one of the largest at the Expo. The pavilion, centered around the concept of 'Making Trade Flow,' is being developed in line with Expo 2020's sub-themes of opportunity, mobility, and sustainability.