By Rafiq Vayani
DUBAI: Held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI UAE), the UAE Maritime Week held its official press conference today in anticipation of the upcoming 2023 edition of its conference and exhibition. The event, scheduled to take place from May 15th to May 19th, 2023 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, is poised to serve as a pivotal networking platform for advancing the maritime industry’s development, and charting a course towards a more sustainable and prosperous future.
During the press conference, esteemed government officials, including representatives from MOEI UAE and the Dubai Police, along with prominent maritime entities such as the Emirates Shipping Association (ESA), Dubai Shipping Agents Association (DSAA), and the National Association of Freight and Logistics (NAFL), articulated their strategic plans for elevating the sector’s capabilities and bolstering its efficiency and sustainability.
Driving sustainable development
The UAE Maritime Week, and its flagship event, Seatrade Maritime Logistics Middle East (SMLME), aim to stimulate the sector’s advancement and fortify the UAE’s prospects for maintaining its Executive Council category “B” membership status at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). With a keen focus on promoting innovation in maritime and advancing sustainability objectives, the event is ideally timed to coincide with the upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28). The confluence of these twin initiatives promises to catalyse the maritime industry’s transformation, and cement the UAE’s reputation as a global leader in sustainable development.
According to H.E. Eng. Hessa Al Malek, Advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport Affairs at MOEI UAE, the country boasts an unrivalled maritime pedigree, fuelled by its boundless potential, exceptional capabilities, and a pool of highly qualified professionals. With its 20 leading ports and a host of government and private sector entities, the UAE has cemented its reputation as a global maritime hub, committed to the seamless facilitation of international trade. Al Malek emphasised: “In light of this, the forthcoming UAE Maritime Week presents a vital opportunity for industry stakeholders to take stock of past accomplishments, chart a course towards a more sustainable future, and enhance the sector’s efficiency and competitiveness. Notably, our government has worked in close collaboration with industry strategic players to bolster the maritime regulatory framework and governance, invest in human capital development, and create an enabling business environment that stimulates growth and innovation.”
Reinforcing safety in maritime
The UAE has invested heavily in modern infrastructure, advanced technology, and a robust legal framework to safeguard its waters and promote secure maritime trade. The country has also actively engaged in international efforts to combat maritime threats such as piracy, terrorism, smuggling, and illegal fishing.
Further emphasising on these efforts, Dr. Colonel Hassan Suhail Thabet, Deputy Director, Dubai Ports Police Station highlighted: “We strive to maximise safety, security, and efficiency in UAE’s ports while protecting the marine environment. Through initiatives such as “Mariners’ Meet,” we work to communicate and collaborate with the maritime community. Our goal is to build a secure maritime ecosystem and raise awareness about relevant concerns and solutions. Partnering with the UAE Maritime Week allows us to inform and educate the public to reduce marine accidents and threats.”
Stressing on the impact of the UAE Maritime Week on the local and regional sector, Emma Howell, Middle East Development Director, Informa Markets Maritime & Cruise portfolio said: “For years, the UAE Maritime Week has brought together leading industry professionals from across the UAE and the Middle East. Through our efforts and the steadfast support from all our strategic partners, we have fuelled the steady growth of the sector. This year, we will have over 105 speakers diving into the details of the most insightful topics, and expect over 7,000 visitors to benefit from these discussions. Moreover, our attendees and exhibitors are set to sign over 10 MoUs during the event. This validates the fact that the UAE Maritime Week is the ideal place for business. With that, we look forward to a very successful event for all of us next week.”