Time Frame: Digging deep to build a city

Mina Zayed, or Port Zayed, was opened in 1972 after four years of construction.

Its first day of operation marked a transformation in the economy of Abu Dhabi.

Until then, everything that arrived by sea was transferred from ships moored in the deeper waters off the city and brought ashore in smaller barges and dhows to a 50s-era concrete pier near where Airport Road now meets the Corniche.

This photograph, from our sister paper Al Ittihad, shows construction at Mina Zayed, which involved both land reclamation and dredging to create the emirate’s first deepwater port.

Literally overnight, goods could be imported quickly and easily, to fuel Abu Dhabi’s fast-growing oil economy. Cars, electrical goods and imported foods filled the new shops and supermarkets.

Mina Zayed is now one of four ports in the emirate, and while it has been overtaken by Khalifa Port at Taweelah in economic importance, it is an important terminal for cruise ships. For visitors to the city, it still remains the first port of call.

* James Langton

Published: March 31, 2015 04:00 AM