The UAE has a strong competitive advantages against developed countries in the marine industry to become a Category B member of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) whose voting will take place on December 1.
“I am confident that the UAE will win the voting,” Dr Abdullah Mohammad Bel Haif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development; and Chairman, Federal Authority for Land and Maritime Transport.
The UAE is considered one of the world’s fastest-growing maritime hubs and one of the most economically and commercially developed maritime markets in the Middle East, he said.
The UAE experience acts as a road map and incubator for 20 of the world’s leading ports, some of which are considered among the top 10 for their advanced infrastructure in the field of transport and shipping, Al Nuaimi pointed out.
The UAE has been a productive IMO member since 1980 thanks to its highly diversified maritime sector and rich maritime heritage. The strong presence of the UAE on the global maritime map has been a key factor in continuously reinforcing regional and international cooperation, he said.
UAE also operates 77 ports abroad. Dubai Ports World (DP World) operates marine terminals in a number of countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Cyprus, Turkey, Spain, France, Germany and the UK.
The UAE is also the largest marine terminal and port operator in the Middle East, and provides market access to more than 2 billion people across the region.
The UAE’s major seaports include Jebel Ali port and Mina Rashid in Dubai, Khalifa Port and Zayed Port in the capital, Mina Al Hamriya and Fujairah Container Terminal.
Becoming a member of IMO category B will enhance UAE image worldwide — reaffirming that the UAE is a well-developed country, especially across its maritime sector, Al Nuaimi said.
To date, the UAE is the only Arab candidate for the membership in category B. “We have found a positive appeal from Arab countries to support our file in the nomination, especially as the UAE has all the resources that qualify it to win this membership,” the minister said.
Membership into the IMO will help increase the UAE’s contribution to the promotion of maritime safety, protection of the marine environment, and empowerment of international, regional and national maritime security. It will also support the UAE’s humanitarian efforts to maritime search and rescue, interaction and participation with other member countries of the IMO, development of maritime transport and ports, the transport of goods by sea and developing prospects for maritime cooperation and leadership in the Arab region and the Arabian Gulf region.
The membership will also enhance the UAE’s technical effectiveness and channels of direct communication with international maritime decision makers to develop and support the implementation of international and regional technical cooperation programmes of the IMO, the minister said.