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UAE focused on investments in facilities, services to meet global trade needs

Monday, 07 June 2021 | 16:00

The UAE is focused on the investment in facilities and services required to meet the needs of global trade and hence shipping businesses located within the Middle East have some significant investment programmes underway, said Nikeel Idnani, honorary secretary, Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) UAE Branch.

Idnani said: “The marine subsidiaries of national oil companies have ambitious fleet expansion programmes to meet the oil, gas, petrochemicals transportation requirements of their parent companies. The assets will require maintenance and the ship repair yards are consequently enhancing their infrastructure while chalking out plans to diversify to reduce dependence on traditional tanker repair activity. In fact, long-term thinking has indeed been a hallmark of the UAE maritime sector strategy since the visionary building of Jebel Ali port in the 1970s which is now the biggest and by far the busiest port in the Middle-East.”

The region joins the global shipping industry in its commitment to raising environmental protection by exploring sustainable options through the latest innovations and emerging technologies that could improve the efficiency and performance of vessels. A primary example is the Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) in it’s commitment to reducing GHG resulting from fleet operations, has recently been assessed as being fully compliant with the latest ISO 50001 energy management standards, following a series of initiatives designed to maximise energy use savings across its fleet and reduce emissions levels. KOTC joins the crème de la crème of global shipping companies that have successfully implemented the ISO energy management system.

Other equally important changes include digital solutions, automation and autonomy, and the resulting cybersecurity risks and data threats which are being explored to help plan and prepare for the future of Middle East shipping. “Despite regional oil and gas companies redefining their exploration and production strategies in light of recent global events, there will still be a number of major upcoming offshore projects in the Middle East that will bring commercial opportunities for the equipment and services sector. Decarbonisation, digitalisation, and sustainability are the buzz words that resonate with responsible Middle East governments,” said Idnani.

The mission of the IMarEST is to be the international organisation of choice for all concerned with marine resources and activities, by providing professional leadership, upholding standards, developing and sharing knowledge based upon integrity, quality, and fairness. The IMarEST was established in 1889 in London, where it continues to be headquartered. It is the first international multi-disciplinary professional body and learned society for all marine professionals. It is the largest marine organisation of its kind, with 23000 members in 128 countries underpinned by activities in global branches, including the UAE. As a pragmatic responsible organisation, IMarEST provides a reality check while being committed to developing and implementing maritime-focused activities which are commercially efficient and environmentally sustainable.

The Dubai-based IMarEST UAE Branch is a nonprofit entity managed by a committee of volunteers. The branch has established itself as the regional benchmark of marine engineering by providing an impartial platform to disseminate world-leading technical research by companies at the forefront of marine technology.

The IMarEST UAE branch, which is based in Dubai, fosters links between IMarEST members, other professional bodies, and industries at the regional level, leveraging on the reputation built as one of the foremost marine technical organisations in the Middle East.

“We believe that an investment in the maritime services environment yields the best interest in terms of nurturing the talent pool and creating a solid foundation for marine professionals. This boosts regional maritime competitiveness commensurate with Dubai’s ambitious vision of being the world’s top five leading maritime centers by 2024,” said Idnani.

The UAE has the seventh-largest proven oil reserves, has consolidated its position as one of the world’s leading maritime hubs. The country’s success in this sector is largely due to putting in place long-term strategies that provide a framework for major investments in infrastructure and shipping assets as well as harnessing new technology. Dubai is the leading maritime center of the Middle East and at a global level, it currently ranks 9th, in the list of 50 leading maritime capitals of the world.

Oman is also increasing the scope of its shipping services segment in order to strengthen its appeal as a maritime and logistics hub by integrating its flagship Oman Shipping Company and Oman Drydock Company into a single corporate entity in a bid to improve efficiency levels and ramp up a fleet expansion program. Saudi Arabia’s Bahri owns and operates a world-class fleet, including one of the world’s largest fleet of Very Large Crude Carriers, championing the Saudi Vision 2030 to transform the Kingdom into a key strategic regional hub and logistics gateway across three continents.
Source: Khaleej Times

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