Strong maritime infrastructure vital for the future
With 61 per cent of cargo destined for the GCC states arriving via UAE seaports, the country's necessity for a strong maritime infrastructure cannot be overstated, experts discussed ahead of the fifth edition of the annual Breakbulk Middle East (BBME) event.
Breakbulk Middle East, the leading GCC event for the project cargo and breakbulk sector, is set to take place on February 25-26, 2020 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The event will be hosted by DP World-UAE Region for the second consecutive year. The two-day conference will be held under the patronage of Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, the UAE Minister of Infrastructure Development and the Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority for Land and Maritime.
Ahmed Al Khouri, director general of the UAE Federal Transport Authority - Land and Maritime (FTA) emphasised: "We are living in the dawn of a new decade, and there is a strong sense of optimism that this year will be one of great transformation for the UAE. As a result, we are confident that 2020 only marks the beginning of what will surely translate to unprecedented growth for both our country and the entire Middle East. With Expo 2020 set to take place near the end of this year, the world will see Dubai, and the rest of the UAE, in a light which it has never been acquainted with before. As we look forward to this date, Breakbulk Middle East will serve as one of various contributing forces that help in realising of our aspirations."
Hessa Al Malek, executive director of Maritime Transport, FTA echoed similar sentiments saying: "Under the wise leadership and vision of our leaders, the UAE is determined to solidify its status as the World's leading nation by 2071. We are one year away from Vision 2021, an initiative that will see this plan kick into high gear so that we can strategically strive towards achieving this goal. With multiple components involved in successfully achieving this feat, the union of vital sectors and assurance that they work collectively is of much importance. Breakbulk Middle East will serve as a bridge that connects these key sectors, thus helping fuel the UAE's future success."
The UAE's successful re-bid for Category-B membership within the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council can be seen as a stepping stone in further increasing this number, and subsequently elevating its already high-profile global maritime ranking. Additionally, BBME's collaborative efforts with a company like DP World that handles more than 70 million containers annually can contribute similarly.
Breakbulk AR, an augmented reality initiative that is set to debut at the event, will allow companies to showcase their company and project capabilities. BBME will also unveil a 'Women in Breakbulk Breakfast' networking platform at the upcoming event, and partner with AWIMA (Arab Women in Maritime Association) to empower women even further.
Ben Blamire, BBME's event director, further highlighted the event's importance and stated: "Over the last five years, we have strategically administered initiatives to grow both the event and its ability to increasingly benefit the industry. This year's press conference, with yet another panel of reputable speakers, only adds further credibility to the upwards trajectory of Breakbulk Middle East, in addition to reinforcing the success that this year's edition is certain to bring the industry. We understand and admire the UAE's commitment to complying with the International Maritime Organization's regulations. After successfully securing candidacy for B-category elections to the IMO council, it's our goal to have the event serve as an assist to continue their upward global trajectory by rightfully maintaining their current position or preferably elevating their status to A- category."
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