Page last updated: Tuesday, December 14, 2021
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Seatrade Maritime Middle East, part of UAE Maritime Week, opens with spotlight on recovery and growth for the region’s maritime sectors
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Seatrade Maritime Middle East (SMME), part of the UAE Maritime Week 2021, has opened in its 2021 location at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 and will run until 15th December welcoming visitors from around the world keen to get back to an ‘in-person’ event for the maritime sector.
Held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, in association with the Global Maritime Club, the event continues to receive overwhelming support from partners like Abu Dhabi Maritime, Dubai Maritime City Authority, with Abu Dhabi Ports Group, ADNOC, Saifee Trading, King Abdullah Port and Panama Maritime Authority, ABS among others.
State of the regional maritime economy
Day one kickstarted with keynote speeches by H.E. Suhail Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and H.E. Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Farag President of Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport. The session featured curated insights andfocused on the progress of the sector in the Middle East, despite the unprecedented challenges faced globally over the past two years. Speakers highlighted the opportunities and challenges, while also highlighting the UAE’s election for the third consecutive time to the IMO Executive Council.
H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei, said, “The last year and a half has proved to be a challenging time for the maritime industry. As we move into the post-pandemic era, there are several learnings and opportunities that the industry can utilise to enable progress. SMME has been facilitating industry growth since inception. We are confident that this year’s edition will not only help us gain insightful solutions, but will also bring about positive reforms in the industry, reinforcing the UAE’s and the Middle East’s front-running as booming centres for the global maritime industry. The event will influence high-value deals and contribute to the maritime economy that is over 90 billion annually.”
Chris Greenwood, ABS Director of Regional Business Development, Middle East and Africa said, “ABS is really proud to be part of what is the gold-standard of maritime events in the Middle East, in SMME. There have been some interactive discussions on major topics such as seafarers’ wellbeing, the opportunities and risks associated with digitalization, and the challenges associated with the decarbonization of the marine industry that will lead to tangible change. We are equipped with exceptionally talented and hard-working teams addressing these challenges, and we are able to bring these capabilities to bear to positively contribute to the development of the Middle East maritime industry and support the National Vision strategies. We look forward to continuing to be the leading Class Society in the Middle East and supporting SeaTrade in 2022.”
Promoting the adoption of best practices
The keynote session of the day titled ‘State of the Middle East Maritime Industries’ was led by ABS, where participants delved into the pressures facing shipping and logistics in the Middle East, and how they have re-shaped the industry in recent times. The session also looked at the market overview, regulatory challenges, developments in ports and terminals, and impact of sulphur 2020 among others.
One of the key topics highlighted included the seafarers’ crisis. since the beginning of the pandemic has still not been fully resolved yet, despite efforts from several governments and international maritime bodies. Seafarers were on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, caught in a constantly shifting landscape of travel restrictions, conflicting travel requirements and anti-crew business decisions.
Numair Shaikh CEO of Tomini Shipping and Emre Cebecioglu, Smart Ports Business Development MEI from Wartsila led the session on improving of crew practices and looked at some of the lessons learned from the pandemic and the steps taken to ensure that seafarers are cared for come what may. The session also analysed the changing demands of the workforce and shed light on the limitations of the current regulatory and operational frameworks around crewing, and how maritime bodies can reinforce and improve them for the future.
Chris Morley, Event Director, Seatrade Maritime, stated, "It has been a phenomenal experience for us with the tremendous attendance and participation we have witnessed on day one. The numbers are encouraging and extremely promising for the growth of the maritime sector. We are overwhelmed with the support extended to us by the government of the UAE, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and our sponsors whose support has been instrumental in giving greater exposure to SMME. What makes this year’s event even more special is that it has coincided with the ‘Year of the Fiftieth’ and Expo2020 Dubai. This will boost growth opportunities for the sector."
A third session on Ocean Transport in an Integrated Logistics Network was also held towards the close of day one. With stakeholders demanding transparent, reliable, real-time data on cargoes and inventories, the supply chain of the future is integrated. The session dived into the current status of the maritime industries within these complex networks and looked at some opportunities for partnerships and improvements. It also analysed the future of the supply chain industry to anticipate mergers and acquisitions and partnerships.
Over the next couple of days, attendees at the Seatrade Maritime Middle East will witness intensive discussions on a number of topics including profitable application of data in a digitalised shipping industry, Maritime regulations you should be ready for, Energy Transition, Zero Carbon Shipping, Low Carbon Shipping and more.