Simon Moore is in no doubt as to the significance of the London Gateway project under way on the outskirts of the British capital by the banks of the Thames.
"We're probably only going to do this once in the 21st century, build a brand new port, and here it is," Mr Moore, the project's chief executive, said last month.
Scheduled to open this year after nearly four years of construction, London Gateway is an example of UAE capital and know-how being put to work in a British environment.
With £1.5 billion (Dh8.56bn) earmarked for investment on the site, it is a significant commitment by the government-owned DP World in the currently challenging economic conditions of the United Kingdom.
DP World is one of the largest global ports operators, best known in the Emirates for the Jebel Ali port and free zone to the south of Dubai. Jebel Ali is the world's biggest man-made harbour and the biggest port between Singapore and Rotterdam.
For many global exporters, it is the gateway to the UAE and to the Middle East and Africa. Jebel Ali is a significant contributor to the UAE's economic growth.
Xavier Woodward, a spokesman for London Gateway, says the UK project "will be very similar to Jebel Ali, the same model, though smaller". It will have a logistics park and port facilities able to accommodate some of the biggest ships in the world. When fully operational, Gateway will have capacity to handle 3.5 million TEUs (standard container units); Jebel Ali will have capacity for 19 million when new facilities are opened next year.
But the British ports environment is different to the UAE's. The two current big container ports are a considerable distance from London, on the south and east coasts, and the strategy behind Gateway is to offer customers - shipping lines, haulage groups and other distributors - clear advantages in costs.
"It is a Gateway to London and the South East, yes, but we're also closer than the others to Birmingham, Manchester and other big centres," says Mr Woodward.
Mohammed Sharaf, DP World's chief executive, underlined the importance of the Gateway development at a recent gathering of investors in Dubai: "This will be our second major port in the world. The British economy might be poor, but the London economy is different, and is still booming," he said.
Gateway is also inextricably linked with the deal that became a landmark in UAE corporate history in 2006: the £3.9bn acquisition of P&O, one of the great brands of British history, formerly known as the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.
The Gateway site, previously a Shell oil complex, is actually in the county of Essex and the site was one of the assets DP World acquired in the P&O deal.
The company further deepened its connection with the British economy in the summer of 2011 when it listed 20 per cent of its shares on the London Stock Exchange, the first UAE company to do an LSE listing. The Government of Dubai, through the Dubai World conglomerate, retains the balance in its asset portfolio.
When London Gateway is fully open, analysts expect it to provide, directly and indirectly, as many as 36,000 jobs for Britain, at a time when UK "austerity" measures are putting a premium on employment.