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Emirates Shipping Association Reinforces Maritime Dialogues For A Sustainable Future

Emirates Shipping Association (ESA) strengthens the UAE’s status as a prominent global maritime hub by successfully hosting 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 vital priorities, including advocating for the UAE registry as a Flag State and reinforcing decarbonisation efforts in the shipping industry. Industry leaders, regulators, and experts convened to explore strategies for strengthening 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 and knowledge exchange, positioning the UAE as a frontrunner in the global maritime arena.


Driving an integrated maritime business community

One of the event’s highlights 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 Ministry launched the platform 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, making the UAE an attractive destination for maritime-based investments.


Capt. Abdulkareem Al Masabi, Chairman of the 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 unite 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, benefiting our members and strengthening the 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 like 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. This 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 bring in players from different local and international spheres to ensure UAE Flag becomes prominent by initiating dialogues with MOEI, DMA, Classification societies, Ports of different states, financial houses and other relevant stakeholders. Our strategic alliances and association members are our strength, and we would like to welcome you as 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, and 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, and its impact on the industry, shared their insights on the implementation and implications of these laws and identified the scope of benefits 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.


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