(MENAFN - ALMadarpr) UAE – Dubai – 30th of January 2021: As part of its vision to support the breakbulk and project cargo industry, Breakbulk Middle East (BBME), the GCC’s leading breakbulk and project cargo event, held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, is scheduled to take place digitally this year. Titled Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special, the new version of the much-awaited event is scheduled to take place on February 9 and 10, 2021.
The event’s primary goal is to unite the maritime community and provide a roadmap for them to be able to tackle the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special” will feature significant topics that will be discussed by industry experts, who will provide insights on the roadblocks faced by the industry, business planning in 2021 and beyond.
Since its inception, BBME has continually ensured that it leaves a lasting mark on the industry through its various endeavours. The event has led the way for the breakbulk and project cargo industry in the region by stirring up discussions about pressing concerns and connecting experts with industry professionals. This year’s edition has been endorsed by key players including regional ports like DP World, UAE Region and Abu Dhabi Ports; organisations like Bahri Logistics, Agility and COSCO Shipping. The event also has onboard 250 partners who will add immense value to the experience.
H.E Sheikh Nasser Majid Al Qassimi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Infrastructure and Transport Sector at the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure said: “The breakbulk, and the project cargo sector that represents a complex market encompassing commodities as varied as steel and forest products, to heavy-lift shipments for wind turbines and equipment for construction work, plays an essential role in the Middle East. The UAE is a front-runner in this sector, occupying a predominant position as a trans-shipping centre. Several factors such as the quality of the port infrastructure and the country’s strategic location that enables it to serve as a link between the East and West, have led the UAE to achieve a leading status. According to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, the total output for the logistics services sector reached AED219 billion and the sector is expected to see an increase despite the unprecedented challenges of the global pandemic.”
H.E Sheikh Al Qassimi added: “The continuous initiatives of the government clubbed with efforts of events like Breakbulk Middle East play a significant role in reinforcing the industry by uniting industry players and providing a platform to discuss the hardships faced. We are optimistic that the digital version of BBME 2021 will prove to be a hub for knowledge exchange and networking opportunities and an incubator for young talent, driving growth in the industry.”
Working towards a brighter future
With support from leading names like DP World, UAE Region, Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special aims to accelerate the UAE’s strategic vision to build a diversified and sustainable economy. In this regard, DP World, UAE Region itself has successfully achieved tremendous progress by undertaking significant projects and utilising its competencies to enhance the maritime and logistics economy in the country and the region.
Abdulla Bin Damithan, Chief Commercial Officer, DP World, UAE Region said: “The breakbulk sector is a key pillar responsible for the development of the UAE’s economy. We acknowledge its vital role in the regional and global economy. In this regard, for us at DP World, UAE Region, this sector is one of the most important business segments. Through our concerted efforts, we ensured that the Al Wasl dome, the largest 360-degree projection surface in the world, which will offer millions of visitors to the Expo an unparalleled visual experience, was safely discharged and transported to its destination. We are also responsible for ensuring all Expo-related cargo is handled safely and promptly.”
Bin Damithan added: “According to a report by GlobalData, in the UAE, the construction sector that contributes in a major way to the project cargo industry, is expected to achieve a growth of 3.8 percent this year. Considering the rapid growth in the industry, these figures are expected to increase despite the pandemic. To ensure that the industry maintains its year-on-year growth, the contribution of Breakbulk Middle East over the years has been immense. It has given the industry a great push by encouraging vital discussions and tackling key topics. We are proud of our association with Breakbulk Middle East as the event plays an integral role in highlighting the importance of maritime trade and are eagerly looking forward to the digital version that also highlights the increasing importance of technology and digitalisation in today’s world.”
Inspiring a new generation
Standing in support of the industry especially during a critical stage, Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special will have pertinent pre-recorded, on-demand sessions like Breakbulk Intelligence: Navigating the Projects and Business Landscape in a Post COVID World, part of which is the Middle East Capital Project Review. Speakers will give updates on regional capital projects within the oil and gas, infrastructure, renewables and other sectors, while also discussing their predictions for the project market in the future. The challenges and opportunities in the Middle Eastern market and their comparison with other countries and regions around the world will also be highlighted. Speakers will put into perspective the impact of COVID-19 on the business. Everything, right from cargo delays to employee safety and welfare will be discussed, providing attendees with comprehensive knowledge about the dynamic market and the breakbulk supply chain.
The digital special will also have engaging sessions on Education Day supported by Breakbulk Middle East’s regional education partners, including College of International Transport and Logistics at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport headquartered in Alexandria; the Academy’s branch in Sharjah, UAE; Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi; Abu Dhabi Maritime Academy; Middlesex University Dubai and Jordan Academy for Maritime Studies. In line with the strategic vision of the government to safeguard the labour force of the industry, this session will provide students with the opportunity to connect with industry leaders and learn about the sector and the opportunities available.
H.E Prof. Dr. Ismail Abdelghafar Ismail Farag, President of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport said: “Breakbulk Middle East is one of the key events dedicated to the project cargo sector. The event acts as a great hub to inform seasoned experts and aspiring professionals about the latest trends and the challenges the industry is facing. The fact that it brings students and experts under one roof makes the event extremely important to the industry. We are honoured to be associated with this mega event that is striving to enlighten the younger generation, ensuring that the breakbulk and project cargo industry is in safe hands.”
Ben Blamire, Event Director, Breakbulk Middle East added: “Year after year, BBME has achieved greater success, producing incremental growth, industry development, and economic advancement in the Middle East region. 2020 has been a challenging year for the industry as a whole, despite the difficulties, it is encouraging to see that the sixth edition of BBME has received overwhelming support from governments in the region and industry partners. This inspired us to introduce the new and improved digital version of the event. Breakbulk Middle East has gained the reputation of being the GCC’s leading event dedicated to the project cargo, breakbulk and heavy-lift industries and we strive to live up to our prestige. We are confident that Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special will offer an experience on par with the in-person event that is scheduled to take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 01-02 February, 2022.”
Leslie Meredith, Marketing Director, Breakbulk Events & Media explained that “As the pandemic continues to evolve, we at BBME are committed to providing an environment that is secure for all attendees. Safeguarding the interests of all our attendees is our top priority and we are doing everything in our capacity to ensure that we meet this goal. This prompted us to take the event virtual. We hope to utilise the power of technology to its full potential to ensure that our attendees witness a seamless event. Eventually, our primary goal is to unite the industry and offer learning opportunities despite the challenging times.”
Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special will be free for all. A detailed schedule of the event will be released soon. Breakbulk also recently launched the Breakbulk365 program that includes engaging webinars and the BreakbulkONE Show to ensure the project cargo industry stays connected and updated on insights and regional information at all times. To receive the weekly BreakbulkONE newsletter, sign up at
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