Statement by DP World in Response to Comments by Ismaïl Omar Guelleh on Berbera port Development


Statement By DP World In Response To Comments About DP World By Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, The President Of The Republic Of Djibouti, In An Interview With Jeune Afrique/Africa Report – PRESS RELEASE

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 30 November 2020: DP World has seen recent comments made by the President of the Republic of Djibouti, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, in an interview published in Jeune Afrique and the Africa Report. These comments, regarding the seizure of Djibouti Port and our developments of the Port of Berbera are false, and cannot be left unchallenged.

Port of Djibouti

The actions of Djibouti’s Government in seizing the Doraleh Container Terminal from DP World in 2018 were illegal under English law, which governed the concession, as well as international law. Six substantive rulings have been made in DP World’s favour by tribunals at the London Court of International Arbitration and the High Court of England and Wales. The rulings ordered Djibouti to restore the rights and benefits under the 2006 Concession Agreement to DP World and Doraleh Container Terminal within two months, or pay damages.

DP World remains the legal operator and concession holder of the Doraleh Container Terminal. The Government’s continued disregard for recognized legal practice and contracts undermines the confidence of international investors in the country, and in Africa.

DP World reiterates that the Djiboutian Government should abide by the many court rulings and restore our full rights under the concession agreement of 2006. The implication in President Guelleh’s statement that DP World has been offered monetary compensation, but refused it, is untrue. The Government has not offered DP World any compensation for this illegal expropriation of its investment. The comments made by President Guelleh, shows a consistent trend, in spreading rumors and false information, whilst completely disregarding international law. Despite the many assertions the President has made, no contact with DP World has ever been made by the Djiboutian authorities, nor has the Government complied with any of the many prior judgments against it, including one in which the Government was ordered to pay USD 485 million to Doraleh Container Terminal for breaching its rights to exclusivity.

The Doraleh Container Terminal was found by the English court to have been a “great success” for Djibouti under DP World’s management. DP World has invested hundreds of millions of dollars and returned a profit in line with the projected target each year of operation, providing a positive return for the country. DP World’s investments in the port attracted further investments into the region, created jobs and helped boost Djibouti’s economic growth.

Developments at the Port of Berbera

The claim made by the President that there is no development taking place at the Port of Berbera is false and not based on any reasonable insights the President could have. DP World has committed to investing up to US$442 million in improvements in Berbera which are 70 percent complete and will increase capacity by 500,000 TEUs per year. In August this year DP World completed a new 400 metre quay and a 25-hectare yard extension of the new container terminal. New harbour cranes have been installed. The terminal is on schedule for commissioning by the end of March.