Abu Dhabi Ports Company: Management Approaches


The purpose of this paper is to observe, identify, and analyze the management approaches of Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC). It also aims at finding out what makes this company one of the most successful businesses in the UAE, and to discuss its mission, vision, and goals, and methods that they use to achieve them. This report seeks to address critical quality issues and define the company’s typical manufacturing and special process audit methodologies.

According to the findings, leaders of ADPC on all levels build unity of objectives and directions and establish conditions in which personnel are involved in achieving the company’s quality goals. For instance, they have launched the Health Safety and Environment (HSE) award, which is aimed to reward employees for their contributions to improving ADPC’s overall HSE performance.


Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) is an organization that owns, manages, and operates 11 ports and terminals in the UAE and Guinea. In March 2006, it became a part of the restructuring of the Emirate’s commercial ports and took over all port assets previously owned by the Abu Dhabi seaport authority (ADSA) (Abu Dhabi Ports, n.d.). ADPC plays a significant part in maintaining the growth of the economy in the United Arab Emirates. The company contributes to 3.6% of the GDP growth of the city of Abu Dhabi (not related to the oil industry) and 2.2% of the GDP growth of all Emirates (Abu Dhabi Ports, 2018b). ADPC provides industrial zone services and world-class integrated ports.

Study of Abu Dhabi Ports Company According to the Eight Dimensions of Quality Proposed by Garvin

  1. Performance. In addition to the development of the port infrastructure itself, the provision of support services behind the port gates is also necessary to ensure commercial and industrial development. Attracting customers is an important aspect of the development of the ADPC. The company builds port facilities based on market requirements. ADPC has already started a project to create a Port Community that will bring together suppliers of all services offered to various stakeholders across all ADPC ports and terminals.
  2. Features. It is the first company in the Gulf region that runs a semi-automated port, Khalifa Port, constructed to process ultra-large container ships. They implement the most modern technologies, such as Al Manara and Masaha, Gate Management System (GMS), which reduces downtime (nearly four times faster than average index) for transaction or movement of vehicles. ADPC has offered a unique and first of its kind service that connects cruise and air travel. Now, it is possible to check-in to the flights on Etihad Airways, including baggage, right in the cruise terminal, which makes the journey of the customers more convenient.
  3. Reliability. As for maintaining safety and security standards in their ports, ADPC remains steadfast. The advanced control center of ADPC is equipped with modern technologies, and they combine CCTV monitoring with security patrolling to stay precise in relation to their ports and facilities.
  4. Conformance. The ADPC product’s design and operating characteristics satisfy established standards, and they have numerous awards proving the high quality of their services.
  5. Durability. The amount of tourists has been significantly increasing since 2006, and today, Zayed Port welcomes ships from all over the world. In 2017, the company recorded a 48 percent increase in passengers arriving at the terminal, which is close to six times more than it was forecasted in 2016 (Abu Dhabi Ports, 2018c).
  6. Serviceability. Covering an area of more than 7800 square meters, ADPC’s spacious modern terminal can simultaneously receive three vessels on more than 900 meters of free pier space (Abu Dhabi Ports, 2018a). They keep to the highest safety standards in their terminals and offer various services. Highly experienced professionals offer solutions to clients’ every request, providing an unimpeded passenger voyage for their cruise visitors. Entry and exit from the city are simplified as much as possible. The terminal provides visitors with direct access to public transport, such as taxis and buses.
  7. Aesthetics. Many companies try to perfect the previous six dimensions and forget about the aesthetics, but ADPC is not one of them. They put much emphasis on this matter and strive to make the appearance of their ports as presentable as possible.
  8. Perceived quality. Many customers admit a high-quality level of ADPC services, specifying its good care and properly defined interests. Being one of the best arranged organizations in the UAE, experienced personnel demonstrate excellent services and results. ADPC has a respectable reputation and has been recognized with several awards and certifications in innovation and excellence. The Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance is one of the most prestigious awards in UAE, and ADPC won it three years in a row.

From my point of view, ADPC not only brings spectacular changes to the Abu Dhabi seascape; the responsibility of this organization is the economic development of Abu Dhabi as a whole. A team of professionals is constantly working with all key stakeholders, regulators, and government agencies to improve and create an effective supply chain model through the port of Abu Dhabi worldwide. Moreover, they are willing to cooperate with other international companies and support economic expansion despite geography.

ADPC’s range of maritime services includes inspections and shipping support, ship assistance, and navigational maintenance at UAE’s ports and beyond. ADPC is also working with tourism development and investment administration (TDIC) to implement a project to expand and strengthen the coastline and beaches. It is necessary to increase the influx of tourists, making this region attractive for stopping on cruise routes of ships for beach holidays.

Management Approach

The chief priority of ADPC is to supply executive managers with relevant, efficient, and precise financial reports to ensure successful decision-making. The other preferences include taking corrective measures in a prompt manner and performance control. The ADPC aims to supervise the port infrastructure, its constructions, arrangements, and customers with the least difficulty for maximum benefit in compliance with its shared goals and vision.

Patel (2016) states that “The company establishes a quality management system as a means of ensuring that products conform to the specified requirements” (p. 155). There are multiple options and methods at the operational and the strategic stage for ADPC to offer the required management services for its ports. The strategic goals of this organization include:

  1. To follow the governing and legislative policy;
  2. To offer an efficient, productive, and reliable facility management services to meet the requirements of customers;
  3. To implement modifications with the least impact on the clients.

The ADPC accomplishes its goals by providing complex, innovative solutions across global markets, while reducing transaction time and enabling complete transparency. It is important to note that “A survey of the cruise visitors found they expressed a high level of satisfaction with the services at Abu Dhabi’s cruise terminals, with an 85 percent overall satisfaction level with the Sir Bani Yas terminal and 90 percent with the Zayed Port facilities (ADPC’s port)” (Department of Culture and Tourism, 2020, para. 5).

On March 2, 2020, ADPC announced its collaboration with Robert Allan Ltd, a global commercial vessel designer and tugboat leader, to create the world’s first fully autonomous commercial marine tugs (Abu Dhabi Ports, n.d.). It is estimated that in the future, the tugs will join the fleet of SAFEEN, which is a division of ADPC that provides port services. One of the key advantages of the advanced design of the new tugs is the extension of operational capabilities. The omission of a crew on board will allow operating such a vessel from the shore, as well as working in more unfavorable weather conditions. Moreover, the new technology will help to enhance the efficiency and security of operations.

Quality Management

ISO 9001 is the most popular standard in the world, on the basis of which a quality management system (QMS) is created in an organization, and then its certification is carried out. Abu Dhabi Ports’ quality management systems were certified with ISO 9001:2015, an internationally recognized standard for quality management systems (Abu Dhabi Ports, n.d.). It proves ADPC’s dedication to meeting and exceeding customers’ and stakeholders’ needs and also to raising the level of high quality in their services. The scope of ISO 9001:2015 covers all affiliated companies of ADPC.

According to Patel (2016), “The goal of the process audit is to assure that the customer’s product requirements are met through an efficient, effective and reliable manufacturing process” (p. 101). If the organization is accredited the ISO 9001:2015, it means that the company is able to steadily provide services and products that comply with the client and normative requirements, and increase customer satisfaction.

Key Quality Issues

The selected location for Khalifa Port posed a serious problem. Ras Ghanada is UAE’s largest coral reef, which has a size of 25 square kilometers of the seafloor, located next to Khalifa Port (Abu Dhabi Ports, 2018b). This reef serves as a habitat for more than 20 species of hardy corals, fish, and other marine animals (Abu Dhabi Ports, 2018b). To preserve this natural marine treasure, ABPC recruited a team of international professional consultants to create a sustainable design for the port. Eight kilometers long environmental breakwater was constructed to protect the Ras Ghanada coral reef (Abu Dhabi Ports, 2018b).

In ADPC, they put much emphasis on maintaining the environment. They conserve natural resources and energy, improve air and water quality, and promote responsible and sustainable design. They have launched various campaigns and programs aimed at preserving the environment, susuch as Water Quality Monitoring Programme, Air Quality Monitoring Programme, Waste Management & Recycling, Awareness Campaigns, Sustainability Campaigns, HSE Award – NEESHAN (Abu Dhabi Ports, n.d.).


Management has to make changes necessary for quality improvement and promote a sense of quality all over the organization. For effective and efficient management of an organization, it is essential to involve all people on all levels and respect them. Recognition stimulates the involvement of staff in reaching the company’s objectives. The establishment of the technical services department for the sustainable and fully functional port is an important concern due to the character and the specificity of the advancement, its operating structure, the quantity of policymakers, and services involved.

The leadership group should coordinate efforts to solve the problems of the organizational structure in ADPC. Concerning the practicality and potential benefits of introducing inexpensive Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) tools for informed decision-making in ADPC, much attention has to be paid to defining limitations and risks. OBIEE helps to reduce the reporting time, enhance the speed in providing real-time data, minimize the use of paper reports because of using electronic formats, hence, improve overall efficiency. Implementation of OBIEE tools gives more possibilities to develop versatility, preventive systems, and corrective measures in the reporting process.


ADPC is the general developer, operator, and manager of the UAE ports and industrial zone in Abu Dhabi. Thus, such values as quality, safety, dynamism, integrity, and sustainable development are essential for ADPC, and that is why they focus on their vision, mission, and goals. This company aims to be the first choice supplier of world-class ports to increase the shareholders’ value and to achieve sustainable growth by concentrating on innovativeness and proactiveness. ADPC deals with various stockholders with their needs and expectations and strives to rise and become the leading industrial sector at an international level.

The company chooses strategically important positions, connecting the UAE with the world, and its multimodal groundwork linking land, sea, air, and railway roads offers shareholders effective contact to a number of clients. The high quality of ADPC services satisfies the needs of vessels and their visitors. ADPC provides vital and significant infrastructure for the world’s maritime industry. They offer an integrated approach through their industrial, social, and leisure ports. ADPC is emerging dramatically in terms of technologies to release the large potential of 90% of the world’s trade movement by sea.


Abu Dhabi Ports. (n.d). Smart. Sustainable. Safe. Web.

Abu Dhabi Ports. (2018a). Cruise services. Web.

Abu Dhabi Ports. (2018b). Our story. Web.

Abu Dhabi Ports. (2018c). Zayed port. Web.

Department of Culture and Tourism. (2020). Abu Dhabi celebrates record-breaking year with more than 500,000 cruise visitors during 2019. Web.

Patel, S. (2016). The global quality management system: Improvement shrough Systems thinking. CRC Press.

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