Sheikh Rashid opens Port Rashid Container Terminal 1980

Port Rashid began as a 4 Berth Port designed for conventional cargo ships. It quickly expanded into 15 Berths but even that was not enough so it was decided to expand further into 35 conventional Cargo Berths. But then containerisation arrived totally changing port requirements. Sheikh Rashid agreed to reconfigure the Port Rashid Extension to include a purpose designed Container Terminal.
Sheikh Rashid formally declared the Port Rashid Container Terminal open in April 1980.

The opening speeches are in progress while Port Rashid and Marine Police Officials standby. Sheikh Rashid is seated in the audience. Sheikh Rashid's Mercedes Benz car is parked in the background.

Location: Outside Port Rashid Container Terminal - © Len Chapman

Commemorative Stone - Location: Outside Port Rashid Container Terminal - © Len Chapman

The speeches had no sooner ended than Sheikh Rashid quickly stood, walked to the Commemorative Stone, gave the cord a pull so the curtains opened, then turned around and took off for the Container Terminal Entrance. Guests were left to scramble out of their seats and hurry to catch up with Sheikh Rashid.

© Len Chapman

I had been briefed to stand by the one of the new Container Cranes so if Sheikh Rashid wanted to inspect the Crane, I could take him up in the Lift and explain the Crane's working to him. Sheikh Rashid arrived at the Crane. Ahmed Mansouri (who was accompanying Sheikh Rashid on his tour) indicated the Crane and asked if Sheikh Rashid would like to inspect the Crane. Sheikh Rashid stopped, slowly raised his head as he took in the 150 metre height of the Crane, lowered his head, looked at me then briefly shook his head from side to side. Sheikh Rashid didn't want to inspect the Crane.

© Len Chapman

At least having to stand by the Crane gave me the the opportunity for photographs, although the setting sun and a long telephoto lens was not the best combination for quality images.

© Len Chapman

Sheikh Rashid was followed by a swarm of people including Government and Port Officials and Represenatives of Sir Willam Halcrow and Partners (Consultants for this Project), Taylor Woodrow and Costain International (Joint Venture Construction Contractors for the Project).

Len Chapman

© Len Chapman

Within a few years of Sheikh Rashid opening Port Rashid Container Terminal, the Terminal achieved recognition as one of the world's major Container Terminals with an enviable reputation for efficiency. In barely 15 years Dubai transitioned from handling cargoes by barge and dhow on Dubai Creek to a modern Container Terminal utilising the latest technology.