Dubai City Information Site

The Dubai Ports World Controversy



Hi, Sunil here to talk about the Dubai Ports World debate back in 2006

I included this discussion because you might find it interesting if you are interested in doing business in Dubai.

This quick read is good even if you just want to get a feel for the United States’s relationship with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Dubai Ports World (DPS) is a subsidiary company of Dubai World, which is a holding company owned by the Dubai government.

In early 2006, the company purchased the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) of the United Kingdom for $7 billion.

It was then the fourth largest ports operator in the world and at one time was the world’s largest.

So what is the problem with that?

Well the P&O operated ports in the United States in major cities like New York, New Jersey, Baltimore and Miami amongst few others. The deal was initially approved but US lawmakers objected with it after further review.

Many US lawmakers felt that this was going to breach the US port security. The mindset was definitely influenced by the September 11 attacks in the US, during which 2 of the hijackers were UAE Nationals (Citizens). You can see why the US had a problem with this deal.

Debates got pretty heated in the US and finally the Dubai Ports World officials said that it would voluntarily sell its American ports operations to a US Company. DPS sold the American operations to American International Group.


Dubai Ports World

Several ships docked at the DPS


So what does all this mean for you? Well it’s just an example showing the strong and ongoing relationship between the US and the UAE. We can sit here and speculate all the bitter feelings UAE must have had because although Dubai said it “voluntarily” sold the US operations of DPS, the truth can be that someone from the US pressured them to do so.

But in either case, I don’t think either country would do something so drastic to affect the strong relations between the two. Like I’ve said before, Dubai is very pro America and Americans are quite accommodating to Dubai residents as well. The US uses many of Dubai’s facilities and considers it one of its good allies.

This discussion may be of particular interest to you if you are interested in doing a trading business in Dubai. You will have to dig more into the ports and how they operate.

If you are interested in learning more about the DPS, visit their Main Website.

Here is the link to the Washington Post articles that published the Controversy back in 2006.


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