Emirates Classification Society TASNEEF has successfully organized the first board member meeting, where several subjects were raised for discussion regarding present achievements and concerns, in order to set future objectives. The meeting took place at St. Regis in Abu Dhabi and it was chaired by H.E. Major General Ibrahim Salem Al Musharrakh, Commander of U.A.E. Naval Forces and coordinated by CEO of TASNEEF, Eng. Rashed Al Hebsi.
The meeting was attended by top high-profile figures in the marine industry such as H.E. Khamis Jumma Bu Amim, Chairman of Drydocks World and Maritime World, H.E. Salem Al Zaabi, Acting General Director of National Transport Authority, DR. Ali Al Yabhoni General Manager of ADNATCO/NGSCO, Dr.Tayeb Kamali, Manager of Higher Collages of Technology and Capt.Jasim Al Khimari, Manager of Petroleum Ports Authority. Other representatives were from marine transport companies, insurance companies, shipping companies, legal firms, academic representatives and ship owners.
The meeting focused on TASNEEF progress and challenges, strategic goals and future actions along with a comprehensive discussion on UAE maritime market and future plans. During the meeting, the participants expressed opinions and views regarding emergent subjects, such as ship building industry, most of the vessels being built outside UAE, need of local high caliber from in the maritime sector and increasing the media awareness.
During his opening speech, H.E. Major General Ibrahim Salem Al Musharrakh, Commander of U.A.E. Naval Forces delighted the audience and his participation in the meeting, which includes a VIP key players in the maritime sector, and added, “U.A.E. Naval Forces is committed to develop local maritime industries and support in terms of building ships and we are proud that TASNEEF holding UAE flag and we always wish for it constant success.”
CEO of TASNEEF, Eng.Rashed AL-Hebsi emphasized that “in 2012 TASNEEF started with four community members and with a big ambition. Today TASNEEF succeeded, covering GCC region.” Al-Hebsi highlighted, “The UAE maritime flag represents 0.9 % of international tonnage and TASNEEF’s scope is to get at least half of this percentage. One of the big advantages is that UAE has ports known to lead internationally.”
Nevertheless, in November 2013, National initiatives starting to gain trust in TASNEEF and the first oil tanker was inspected by TASNEEF at Drydocks. In 2014, TASNEEF came up with the new notation SAHARA, to increase performance of vessels with up to 15-20%. Entities such as ADPC or DDW agreed to transfer their fleet to TASNEEF. Furthermore, TASNEEF is empowered by NTA to conduct surveys on its behalf and to implement the GCC code in order to control emission and increase safety and well-being of seafarers.
H.E Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman of Drydocks World and Maritime World also pointed out, “A great deal can be achieved through strategic partnerships with established classification societies, experienced leadership, professional staff, and by applying leading edge technologies.” “The most advanced vessels in the world are produced in UAE so we have a huge capability and potential to fulfill all our demands in the highest standards and professionalism so it’s the time to focus on building qualified national capacity to fill the gap technically and technology,” he added.
Current Challenges within UAE Maritime Sector
Al Hebsi presented the positive influence of UAE’s maritime history, strategic location and presence of ship owners. He also emphasized slow improvements in UAE legislation and UAE Maritime Law (which was not dynamically updated since 1981) ship building industry and technical competence and stated important challenges as the port state control, maritime court and finance, insurance companies and media awareness.
“H.E. Salem Al Zaabi, Acting General Director of National Transport Authority agreed that the absence of a unified maritime legislation in the UAE will lead to a loss of investments,” a top maritime official said. “There are neither unified legislations nor a dedicated authority that are formulated to protect the investments in the maritime industries across the UAE,” Al Zaabi added
DR. Ali Al Yabhoni General Manager of ADNATCO/NGSCO stated that it becomes a necessity development for the country to have a modern UAE flag, to encourage, attract and retain the maritime industry. “UAE can take the lead in this development for the GCC, lead in friendly environment and domestic shipping. The Arab world would get a strong voice in IMO and then the development will be in both international and domestic fleet,” said Al Yabhoni.
Al-Hebsi highlighted that UAE can develop a maritime regime as a driver to create a shipping cluster. A shipping cluster that consists of owners, yards, subcontractors, industries, brokers, insurance, finance, managing, crewing, training, education and research.
Moreover, additional challenges were discussed such as lack of communication between the entities, where the Japanese Classification Society was used as a positive example in this matter. Also, that UAE is not known as a maritime hub, that the name of the DFC code should be changed to ‘UAE Code’, that maritime education has a lack of focus on maritime law, visa and jurisdiction issues and costs.
Regarding the discussion about TASNEEF’s focus on regional or international development, Capt. Gamal Fekri, Chief Executive Officer at Red Sea Marine Management affirmed, “It’s better to build UAE maritime cluster by standing alone and we don’t need an international recognition as long as a classification society like TASNEEF has all the needed capabilities to outstand in the market.”
Al-Hebsi concluded TASNEEF’s first board member meeting as a great opportunity to weight achievements, progress and to set the strategy for next two years. “I’d thank all attendees for their vital participation and we will working as one hand in order to improve UAE maritime industry and leads it ahead towards international excellence.”
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