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Dubai: USA’s greatest ally in fight against terror, says former NYPD Chief

United Arab Emirates: Monday, April 03 - 2006 @ 15:51

His comments came at the opening of Airport, Port and Transport Security Middle East (APTS ME), the region’s only integrated conference and exhibition to focus exclusively on the challenges facing airport, port and transport terminals, at Dubai’s Grand Hyatt hotel.

“Intelligence, communications and co-ordination is the way of the future and Dubai has it all,” said Kerik, who is now Chairman and CEO of The Kerik Group LLC.

“DP World and its strict adherence to international security standards demonstrates that Dubai is truly a world leader in establishing best practices in all areas of maritime and aviation security.”

Keynote addresses at the confex, which runs until tomorrow, focussed
on the need for greater regional and international cooperation.

“We have to communicate and co-ordinate on a global basis as security measures cannot be planned in isolation. It has to be teamwork,” said Kerik.

The former police chief’s comments result from his first hand experience of the 9/11 incident. As police commissioner during the crisis, he says the greatest lesson learnt was that security planners did not have great imagination.

“We were prepared for every other possible terrorist threat except the attack on the World Trade Centre towers by airplanes. If we had a continuous dialogue with international partner-countries like the UAE, we would have been better prepared to deal with the situation,” he said.

Security was never a concern with DP World, observed Kerik. “I think it was a mistake for the US to reject the DP World deal, but on the other hand, Dubai should have been pre-emptive about its success and invested in creating a positive image about its high security preparedness.”

Kerik also mentioned that the US, and probably the world, had a lesson to learn from Dubai’s professional approach to doing business. “The US should have taken lessons from Dubai about politics being separated from business and the way the UAE partners with GCC countries in ensuring high standards of security at entry and exit points.”

Kerik thanked the Dubai government on behalf of the people of USA for its continued effort in its fight against terrorism. Conferences such as APTS ME, he said, created an opportunity for security experts to voice concerns, share experiences and establish new measures that would bring about greater international and regional interaction for a secure global place.

A massive increase in concern surrounding the safety and protection of the Arabian Gulf’s entry points is seen as partly responsible for APTS ME doubling in size on the inaugural 2005 event in terms of both exhibitors and conference delegates.

“International speakers such as Bernard Kerik have shown why conferences like APTS ME are essential in any security professional’s business agenda,”

said David Wood, Managing Director, International Business Events Ltd, (IBE), organisers of APTS ME.

“Within just two years, APTS ME has become a cornerstone event in the global security industry calendar underscored by the presence of senior officials like Donald R Zoufal from the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications and Charlie Stevens from the UK’s Immigration Service.”

Among regional speakers were: Mohammed Ahli, Operations Director, Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Dubai; Anwar Wajdi, Deputy Managing Director, DP World; Brigadier/Dr Jamal Mohammed Al Marri of Dubai Police; Michael Proffitt, CEO of Dubai Logistics City; Essa Abdulla Yateem of Bahrain’s Directorate General of Ports and Mohammed Thamir Al Kaabi, representing Bahrain International Airport.

APTS ME 2006 also features a dedicated conference focussing on the supply chain security sector. Among other confex highlights are three specialised workshops on key industry issues – threatening behaviour, uncovering the hidden threat and emergency management

APTS ME 2006 is hosted by the Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Dubai, and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Dubai and Chairman of the Emirates Group.

Leading industry associations and government bodies supporting the conference include Bahrain International Airport, Sharjah International Airport and Fujairah International Airport. APTS ME is also supported by DP World, Emirates, Dubai Shipping Agents Association,the Arab Air Carriers Organisation and UK Trade & Investment.

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Monday, April 3- 2006 @ 15:51 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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