The shipping news comes in waves

The Life: Rashid Abdulla Al Qahtani, the chief operating officer of DP World, UAE region, talks about a typical day overseeing the massive operation.
Rashid Abdulla Al Qahtani, the chief operating officer of DP World, UAE region. Jeff Topping / The National
Rashid Abdulla Al Qahtani, the chief operating officer of DP World, UAE region. Jeff Topping / The National

Rashid Abdulla Al Qahtani, the chief operating officer of DP World, UAE region, is responsible for the running of Dubai Port, which handled 11.6 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of container traffic last year. He speaks about a typical day overseeing the massive operation.

6.15am

On a normal day I get up around 6.15am. I take a shower and drive directly to Jebel Ali. It takes me around 45 minutes, as I live at the other side (of Dubai) near Mirdif.

7.30am

I start by going through my emails and the daily reports which are related to the previous day's operation, the safety reports about the incidents reported from all departments. These could be traffic incidents, cargo damage incidents or injuries to our people because we have 5,600 people working in two shifts in these four departments. Whatever is related to the equipment or people it is reported and distributed.

10am

I go through the production reports, which are about the previous 24 hours, how many ships we have had, which is usually between 15 and 18 per day. That's just container ships, general cargo is about four to five ships per day. The reports are mainly about productivity and ultilisation and major key performance indicators related to the production and safety - for example how many moves per hour … how fast we're turning the ships around. It takes around 24 to 48 hours (to turn a ship around). It depends on the size of the ship and the volume of the cargo. I give feedback and instructions if required. I ask questions to justify if we are below the target level, and if we are above it I compliment people for the good work.

11am

I have meetings. We have daily contact with the commercial department, which looks after our customers … and the technical department, which supports our equipment, so I keep in touch with those two major departments, plus the HR department. This is mainly for recruitment … and some other small stuff.

Lunchtime

Sometimes when I have time I have lunch, but usually I skip (it) and continue working.

12.30pm

I continue the job of wrapping up the day and go through what happened that day. I catch up with some overseas exchanges with other regions. I also go through reports and presentations. It's not necessarily the day-to-day operations. It's mainly long-term projects. Just now we're going through the budget process. We need to finish it by the end of September. I try to squeeze and to reduce if required, or go through the justification for the major capital expenses, plus the manning, how many people we will need, all this stuff.

3.30pm

I go home.

5pm

I have a late lunch or early dinner and catch up with my family, talk about the day.

8pm

I go to the gym or for a bike ride in the neighbourhood around Mushrif park.

9pm

I have a light dinner and watch TV. If there is a football match on I stay up and watch football. Usually I watch the Spanish league or the Italian league. If it's a Friday match I stay up late, but on Saturday night it's tough. I watch the match until about 11.30pm or 12am.

12am

I go to bed.

Published: August 25, 2011 04:00 AM

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