Dubai Drydocks, the region's largest maritime services facility, announced plans to enter the mid-size shipbuilding business with an investment of Dh165 million. It is also investing Dh367 million to upgrade some of the drydocks that will extend their lives to 40 years from the current 25 years. The company is planning to enter the newbuilding business for small and mid-sized tankers with an annual capacity of between one and two tankers. A report has been submitted to the government for approval and if it comes through, the work on the project will start by year-end.
The company already has shipbuilding facilities, but on a smaller scale. With recently created Newbuilding Division within the Dubai Drydocks and enhanced engineering department, it will be able to build mid-sized vessels. This undertaking will require an additional 200 professionals. It is expected that upgrading of the drydocks will be completed in 18 months. Dubai Drydocks recorded 15 per cent growth in operations and business last year. They served 260 vessels and carried out conversion for two large vessels.