“I don’t see any immediate impact of the global economic crisis on the region’s maritime industry,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai World – owners of DP World – as well as Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Nakheel, and Dubai Waterfront Company.
“There is still heavy demand for cargo operations – both importing and exporting – between the region and the rest of the world,” said bin Sulayem after officially opening Seatrade Middle East Maritime, which has attracted international and regional shipping operators, financiers and suppliers to assess the impact of the global downturn.
Speaking after touring the exhibition, he described Seatrade Middle East Maritime as one of the world’s fastest-growing events of its kind as well as one of the global industry’s largest. “The large number of companies participating in this event reflects the importance of the maritime sector in the United Arab Emirates and the region,” he added.
Seatrade Middle East Maritime, which runs until 16 December, is under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. The Dubai event is held every two years and is ranked among the industry’s top 10 largest.
A total of 313 companies from 33 countries are exhibiting at Seatrade Middle East Maritime. More than 500 delegates are also attending associated conferences including Money and Ships, the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Conference and Superyacht Solutions.
Christopher Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade, the event organisers, said:
“The Dubai World chairman (bin Sulayem) is right to emphasis that this region has an important place in world shipping.”
“The Arabian Gulf is one of the most active international maritime centres and while it has always been pivotal in global energy-related transport, more recent economic growth has driven record volumes of containers and increasing bulk cargo. Strategies may need to be adjusted for the new financial era we are entering but the maritime industry will continue to be the lifeline of the regional business community,” he added.
With vessel hijacking on the increase off the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden, a special evening session of the Money and Ships conference will take place on 15th December. The session includes speakers from the security industry, legal advisors, tanker operators and seafarer organisations. Further issues to be debated include fuel, emissions and green technology; the challenge of manning; regional port and trade development; along with shipbuilding and repair.
Seatrade Middle East Maritime 2008 is the largest maritime event of its kind in the region with a record number of exhibitors and stands. National pavilions include China, France, Germany, Holland, India, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Principal sponsors of Seatrade Middle East Maritime 2008 include Det Norske Veritas, GEM, Dubai Maritime City Authority, NITC and Gulf Marine. Other sponsors are: ABS, BP Marine, ClassNK, Drydocks World, Emarat Maritime, Ince Al Jallaf & Co, Lloyd’s Register, Topaz Energy & Marine, Rais Hassan Saadi Group, SAIFEE Trading, Royal Caribbean Cruises Line, Cloud Cruises and the Ministry of Tourism for the Sultanate of Oman.
The event is supported by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, DP World, Dubai Shipping Agents Association, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the International Association of Ports and Harbours, the Nautical Institute, the Royal Institute of Naval Architects, ImarEST, the UAE Ship Owners Association and the Supply Chain & Logistics Group.
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