The UAE is Asia’s most connected country in the maritime world. This is due to the following factors.
- Strategic location
- Building of connections
- Adoption of new technology
- Safety and sustainability
- Infrastructure to handle all kinds of ships at its key ports
According to UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport 2018 report, the UAE came in at 25th. This is in terms of ownership of world fleet by dead-weight tonnage in 2015. These include 200 vessels of national flag and 695 vessels of foreign or international flag.
Even more, the UAE is at 19th among the top 20 countries in terms of global container-carrying world fleet in 2018. Likewise, it also ranked Dubai ninth among 20 leading global container ports in 2017.
The Gulf is a key hub
Amer Ali, executive director of the Dubai Maritime City Authority, said in terms of sea routes, the Gulf is on one of the world’s busiest. Moreover, it is close to key lanes between the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
“Capitalising on its position between Africa, Europe and Asia, Dubai plays a vital role in intercontinental maritime trade, with infrastructure that makes it a natural hub for regional distribution.
“On intercontinental trade, Dubai benefits from a diversified market, with fall-offs in traffic in one region partly compensated for by more robust markets elsewhere,” Ali said.
“We have brought about a radical change in the local maritime sector through an extensive range of industry initiatives and regulations which support the industry’s smart transformation,” he added.
The UAE launched the Innovation Quay initiative. It encourages leading manufacturers and research institutions to conduct field studies. Additionally, it also creates new experiences using the latest innovative technologies such as drones, 3D technology, and smart and self-driving ships.
Also, Dubai was recently named one of the top five in the International Shipping Centre Development Index. Furthermore, it is also positioned as one of the world’s five most competitive and attractive maritime clusters.
Most noteworthy, in Dubai, the maritime industry has made immense economic contributions. It hosts over 5,500 companies performing over 13,000 marine-based activities. The local industry went up by 25 per cent from 2011 to 2015. Importantly, it now accounts for 7 per cent of the emirate’s gross domestic product.
Moreover, over 76,000 maritime jobs now support Dubai’s steadily-growing economy. Hence, this confirms Dubai’s continuing success in becoming one of the most globally competitive, distinguished and comprehensive maritime centres in the world.
Credit: Khaleej Times