Djibouti seizes control of port run by Dubai firm


Djibouti’s government has seized control of a container port operated by a company based in the United Arab Emirates, as trade relations between the two countries continue to deteriorate.

The government announced on Thursday that a contract with UAE-based DP World – the world’s fourth largest port operator – had been terminated, ending a 30-year concession the company secured to operate in Djibouti’s Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) in 2006.

Djibouti-UAE relations straining

Bilateral relations between Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates have been strained after the tiny African nation refused to allow the UAE to build a military base on its territory. Djibouti’s coastal position along the Horn of Africa not only makes it one of the world’s most important trade ports but also a crucial strategic military location for multiple countries.

According to Al Jazeera, relations between the two countries worsened when the UAE attempted to undercut Djibouti by offering Ethiopia an alternative port location in Somaliland. Landlocked Ethiopia relies heavily on Djibouti for trade with more than 95 percent of its imports coming in the port nation.

DP World says it has already begun legal procedings over Djibouti’s move to seize control of Doraleh Container Terminal.

Featured image: By Skilla1st – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.