Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure Launches ‘Blue Pass’ Transformational Project To Reinforce A Maritime Business Cluster
The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, in collaboration with Marihub, has launched the ‘Blue Pass’ transformational project, which aims to build a cluster of local and international maritime organisations, helping them exchange their services. The project will enhance the competitiveness of the national maritime sector and promote the UAE’s position as one of the world’s leading maritime hubs. The Blue Pass project will create quality packages of privileges and facilities that will increase the national maritime sector’s attractiveness to foreign investors. This will provide additional value to maritime companies operating in the UAE and commercial ships visiting its ports.
This project is one of the transformational projects outlined in the Federal Government Performance Agreements for 2022, which were signed in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. These performance agreements represent quality projects that will propel the UAE towards a better future and promote its competitiveness. The transformational projects are characterised by their significant impact across all sectors within short periods, ensuring the implementation of the new government work methodology of the UAE Government.
This transformational project supports the UAE government’s efforts to accelerate the achievement of the interconnected and technologically advanced infrastructure pillar of the ‘We The UAE 2031’ vision. This requires more quality efforts to contribute to achieving government aspirations and positively reflect on society and the country’s various sectors. The project will be a significant supporter in making the UAE the global hub for the new knowledge and data-based economy in the next ten years.
Through its state-of-the-art online portal and smart app, the project also aims to create a unified database of maritime companies and commercial ships operating in the UAE’s ports and territorial waters. Yachts and recreational vessels will also be listed in the database. They can offer their services transparently and seamlessly to all platform members. The project will use e-commerce to provide supplies and support services at competitive prices. It will translate into discounts, quality incentives, special offers, and competitive privileges.
Targeting Top Competitiveness Hubs
Commenting on the Blue Pass project, H.E. Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said, “The UAE has been a frontrunner in several global competitiveness indicators in the maritime sector. It ranks 3rd globally in the Bunker Supply Index, 5th as a key competitive maritime hub and 12th in the transport lines index. This results from the UAE’s competitive business environment, which attracts major international maritime companies and makes the country’s ports a preferred destination for international shipping lines. However, we will not rest on our laurels. We want to occupy the top position in all international maritime indicators. We are confident that the Blue Pass project will enhance the UAE’s maritime reputation. Our destiny is to connect the world and be its top maritime hub. We are keen to enhance the sustainability of the maritime sector and reward all companies and ships that adopt green practices so that the project becomes an incentive for building a cleaner maritime sector.”
Al Mazrouei pointed out that this partnership complements several initiatives that seek to increase the maritime sector’s contribution to the UAE’s GDP, which is currently estimated at AED90 billion annually. The aim is to make the UAE’s blue economy a significant pillar of its national economy.
One-Stop Shop for Maritime Services
H.E. Eng. Hassan Mohammed Al Mansouri, Under-Secretary of Infrastructure and Transport Affairs at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, said, “The maritime industry is one of the sectors that rely heavily on traditional methods and personal relationships in conducting business. This makes it difficult to acquire supplies and services that maritime companies and merchant ships require. This has led us to search for innovative solutions to facilitate business, reduce operational expenses, and avoid wasting time on supply operations. Therefore, we have launched the UAE Blue Pass project to enable our partners to access all maritime services through a unified digital portal and smart app, allowing ship operators and workers in maritime companies to obtain their needs seamlessly at the touch of a button.”
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.”
Supporting Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Captain Karim El-Najjar, Founder and Director of Marihub, said, “The UAE is unique in fostering creativity, and it considers innovation a major component within its government processes. The maritime sector receives much attention from the decision-makers to transform it from a model based on routine transactions into a smart sector. They want it to use the power of data and information to add value to the industry. Since the inception of Marihub, we have seen the great opportunity of unifying all the actors in the sector, building a unified digital base to serve companies and facilitate immediate access to them. It also enables easy entry and participation in the UAE blue economy and highlights promising investment opportunities for those wishing to do business in the maritime sector.”
Al-Najjar added, “The project will take marine services to a new level, creating new rules for buying and selling, exchanging benefits and negotiating incentives and facilities in the maritime sector. We believe this model will become a unique success story for the maritime sector in the UAE. Many countries worldwide are keen to replicate this model and learn from the UAE’s expertise.”
The Blue Pass project is complemented by many other high-quality projects and initiatives launched by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. These include the UAE Maritime Cluster initiative and the Maritime Network, which aim to build a global network of professionals and experts. The vision is to enhance the competitiveness of the UAE’s maritime sector and market it globally, making use of the strong presence of international maritime companies in the UAE.