The maritime industry is an integral part of Dubai's rich history and complements the high-level achievements and success stories of our ancestors and fathers across various maritime industries such as diving, pearl hunting, fishing, marine trade, navigation and anchors," Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai Maritime Authority, has said.
In his opening speech at the Dubai Maritime Summit, Bin Sulayem further noted that the maritime industry is one of the key pillars of growth in the global economy. The sector plays a vibrant role in linking different parts of the world through an integrated maritime network, which has facilitated the flow of goods and people and helped boost international trade. Above 80% of world trade moves by sea as many countries worldwide are pouring more and more investments into maritime infrastructure, via the construction and capacity expansion of ports on a continual basis to handle the surging volumes of cargo traded across global seaports.
"Throughout its modern history, Dubai has served a leading role in the regional and global maritime industry. Its leaders early forecasted prospective growth trends of world trade. Hence the forward-looking vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minster of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to make the emirate of Dubai a regional and global trading hub. For this purpose, the maritime industry has been developed through increased investment towards building capacity of seaports, airports, free zones, logistics and customs administrations to cope with a remarkable rise in Dubai's foreign trade; which soared to record-high AED 1.329 trillion in 2013, that is more than 9 times its value in the year 2000 which stood at AED 143 billion. Such growth is being kept up with through continual expansion of ports, particularly Jebel Ali Port which will take its total handling capacity to 19 million TEU early next year," said Bin Sulayem.
For him, the maritime industry is a major economic sector in the UAE, with the country's share approximating 60% of the sector's total value within the GCC. Experts estimate that UAE will contribute 30 to 35% of the Middle East's projected investments in the sector valued at USD 170 to 190 billion over the next three years. The UAE's relevant investments are expected to reach USD 66 billion within the upcoming three years.
"The Dubai Maritime Summit is a clear demonstration of DMCA 's strong commitment to position Dubai as a first-class regional and international maritime destination. The event offers an ideal platform to activate channels of cooperation amongst industry leaders to contribute to building a secure maritime environment of excellence, leadership and high efficiency," he added.
The Chairman of Dubai Maritime Authority urged specialized authorities to join efforts and foster strong communication between them to come up with similar supervisory and regulatory standards. Such standards will keep pace with the global industry's high competitiveness and the rapid development and achievements of the local maritime sector.
DMCA , he said, has issued a well-defined plan aimed at developing, organizing and promoting the maritime sector to reinforce Dubai's status on the global maritime landscape. We have established the Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy (MSS) to focus on local maritime clustering and implement the highest comprehensive levels of excellence in terms of maritime safety, ports, financing, brokerage, logistics, marine insurance, equipment supplies and other relevant segments. If these segments are properly developed, they can significantly contribute to Dubai's GDP and enhance the emirate's leading position as a top-notch regional and international maritime centre.
"On a global perspective, we commend the international maritime sector for their efforts to face head-on current changes and market developments especially in terms of technology and environmental movements. For its part, DMCA shows its support through its purpose-based initiatives aimed at strengthening Dubai's position in the international maritime arena," he stated.
Dubai Maritime Week is poised to attract international maritime leaders, senior government officials, decision-makers, industry professionals, leading experts, and ship owners from the UAE and the region. It is a platform for discussing the latest regional and international maritime trends and exploring the best industry practices to help promote sustainable development across Dubai's maritime sector.
Dubai Maritime Week 2014 is hosting a series of conferences, panel discussions, forums, along with events and activities, as well as a series of programs aimed at increasing awareness of the important role played by the maritime sector in the emirate and support its growth and expansion in collaboration with a number of strategic partners from government agencies in Dubai.