Emirates Shipping Association (ESA) strengthens the UAE's status as a prominent global maritime hub through the successful hosting of the 'Maritime Future Dialogues' event. As a significant part of the UAE Maritime Week, the event attracted influential industry players, stakeholders, and experts. This gathering facilitated connections, idea exchange, and the formation of valuable partnerships.
ESA aims to establish the UAE as a prominent global maritime hub. Hence, the maritime dialogue included impactful panel discussions which addressed key priorities, including advocating for the UAE registry as a Flag State and reinforcing decarbonization efforts in the shipping industry. Industry leaders, regulators, and experts convened to explore strategies for reinforcing the sector's world-class status under the upcoming UAE Maritime Law. Additionally, insights from the COP28 team and the International Chamber of Shipping were shared, highlighting opportunities within COP28. These discussions fostered collaboration, knowledge exchange, and positioned the UAE as a frontrunner in the global maritime arena.
Driving an integrated maritime business community
One of the highlights of the event was the signing of an MoU between ESA and the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOI UAE) to further enhance the capabilities of the ‘Blue Pass’ initiative through collaboration and mutual support. The platform was launched by the Ministry in partnership with Marihub to strengthen the national maritime sector by creating a digital cluster of local and international maritime authorities and associations, such as the ESA, to facilitate the exchange of services, and attract foreign investors. Through a state-of-the-art online portal and smart app, the project will offer transparent and seamless services, including supplies, support services, and discounts, thereby making the UAE an attractive destination for maritime-based investments.
Capt.Abdulkareem Al Masabi, Chairman of Emirates Shipping Association highlighted, "We are delighted to host the 'Maritime Future Dialogues' event as part of the UAE Maritime Week. It was a tremendous opportunity for industry leaders, stakeholders, and experts to come together and strengthen the UAE's position as a global maritime powerhouse. Through productive discussions and collaborative efforts, we aim to foster innovation, drive sustainable growth, and establish valuable partnerships within the maritime sector."
He added, “By joining forces with the UAE Blue Pass, we are further demonstrating our commitment to enhancing the seamless maritime operations in the UAE. This collaboration will enable us to leverage advanced technologies and streamlined processes, ultimately benefiting our members and strengthening the overall maritime industry. We look forward to the opportunities and synergies that will emerge from this partnership."
H.E. Eng. Hessa Al Malek, Advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport and Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure said, "The Blue Pass project aims to establish an integrated maritime business community, where everyone can easily provide services and fulfil their requirements through a unified digital portal. The project goes beyond providing a platform for maritime services and supplies, as it also unifies the common needs of companies and ships operating in the sector. This facilitates collective purchasing power and discounts on various support services, such as financing, insurance, training, and port services. The project is expected to reshape the investment environment in the maritime sector in the UAE and the region, creating incentives that attract investors."
Sharing his thoughts during the signing, Anders Østergaard, Secretary General of Emirates Shipping Association, and Group CEO of Monjasa said: “The shipping industry has been a key enabler of the UAE’s economic growth over the years. Which is why, we at ESA have always been committed to catalysing the progress and development of the sector and enhancing its capabilities in various aspects.”
Østergaard added, “Our vision is to facilitate the opportunity of UAE as a port of Registry and explore partnerships and mechanisms through which we can make this an efficient process. We are driven to bringing in players from different spheres, both locally and internationally, to ensuring UAE Flag does become of the prominent one, by initiating dialogues with MOEI, DMA, Classification societies, Ports of different states, financial house and other relevant stakeholders. Our strategic alliances and members of the association are our strength and we would like to welcome you in part of this community.”
Legal updates and the road to COP28
The event, attended by MOEI UAE, energy giants, and some of the leading classification societies across the globe, explored and assessed the most pressing concerns facing the sector, derived practical solutions to these issues, as well as charted the way forward for the years to come. Representatives of these key maritime entities engaged in an in-depth discussion on the current status of the UAE maritime law, its impact on the industry, shared their insights on the implementation and implications of these laws, and identified the scope of benefits that these laws could bring to the sector.
Following the panel discussion, attendees were treated to a thought-provoking session focusing on the maritime industry's role in achieving the decarbonisation goals set for the world, in light of COP28 UAE (the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) scheduled to take place from 30 November – 12 December 2023 at Expo City Dubai. The discussion explored the steps being taken by the UAE to achieve net-zero by 2050, and the significant developments taking place in the local shipping sector to meet the national target including different initiatives that the industry can explore to reduce their carbon emissions and alternative fuel commitments.