On Thursday 11th October 2018, DP World launched the first stage of its Berbera port expansion, designed to equip the Somaliland port for major vessels and transform it into one of Africa’s pre-eminent facilities in the breakaway region. Due to this, a landmark ground-breaking ceremony with Somaliland’s vice president, Abdirahman Saylici and DP World senior management took place in Berbera, Somaliland. Rather than us regurgitating the key facts, you can read the full press release from Dp World here:

Somaliland hopes the port expansion – which was first agreed in 2016 – will boost its economy by attracting other international investors, reduce unemployment and set it on the road to independence from Somalia.

Crucially, at the ground-breaking event in Berbera, we learned that the contracted firm for the DP World Berbera Port is long term DP World partner Shafa Al Nahda. Shafa Al Nahda is also UAE-based and has been a historic contracting partner for DP World in the last decade with both collaborating on various projects.


A few other key notes:

  • The ceremony was attended by senior members of Somaliland government and received widespread media coverage – both nationally and internationally.
  • There was no Somali representation at the official port signing ceremony, although representatives from Djibouti, Ethiopia and the EU were present.
  • Ethiopia’s absence sparked many questions and concerns from attendees. Somaliland Foreign Minister, Saad Ali Shire, held a press conference the next day and said the following:

“Ethiopia didn’t attend the conference – but that doesn’t mean that they have abandoned the deal that we have signed with them. Their physical presence at the DPW Berbera launch doesn’t validate or invalidate the deal. The deal is still on, and will be carried out, God willing.” Shire said.

  • DP World CEO says outlook positive amid Djibouti dispute


We as Somalilanders are very excited by the prospects of the Berbera port and very much hope this is the first of many milestones to come!