Dubai's Jebel Ali port has awarded a 130 million dirhams ($35.4 million) contract to Belgium
-based Dredging International
to make the port accessible to "Post Panamax" super-container vessels, officials said on Tuesday. The channel work and related operation is expected to take a year.
"To meet the needs of the international shipping community, the Dubai Port Authority has taken the decision to deepen the basin to 52 ft. (16 m) so that we can serve the new generation of vessels," said the executive chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.
Sulayem said work had started at Jebel Ali Port on Sunday to increase the depth alongside berths 16 and 17 and was due to be completed in a week.
The port also plans to deepen and possibly widen its approach channel to 56 ft. (17 m) to allow entry even at low tide.