Design  /  Mapping

Abu Dhabi Ports Marine Map Collection

Project Background

Abu Dhabi Ports commissioned Explorer to design and produce a suite of maps to be used across various marketing collateral, internal reports and more. These maps included a world map, a map of the GCC region, a UAE map and five site location maps. In addition to designing and creating the maps, Explorer was also responsible for managing the required ministry approvals on the GCC and UAE maps so that they could be published.


Abu Dhabi Ports
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Arabic | English




Brand Application | Creative Concepts | Map Design | Cartography | Translation | Proofreading

Mapping Approach

As these maps would be used for a wide variety of purposes across several different countries, the key mapping challenges were in ensuring the right layers were included on the right maps and any sensitivities were flagged for the client to take into consideration. For the world, UAE and GCC maps, Explorer's mapping experts used our own mapping data for the borders and labels and applied the approved design. For the site location maps, we digitised the client's CAD files of each port site, then conducted our own research to discover any changes to the areas, such as new buildings or roads. Each information type, such as labels, borders and icons, was added to the maps in separate layers so the client pick and choose what information to display depending on the map's intended use.

Creative Approach

It was imperative that all of the maps adhered strictly to Abu Dhabi Ports' well-established brand guidelines. After closely studying the guidelines, Explorer's creative team developed several design options, which included styles ranging from the traditional to the more abstract. We worked with the client to refine and perfect their preferred style, and defined the design for all elements depicted on the maps, including labels, icons, colour palettes and legend style.