(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)
Boasting a rich maritime history, and a coastline of 1,650km, the UAE's strategic location at the crossroads of global shipping routes has enabled it to become a central maritime hub in the world. Besides its natural endowments, the country has strived to achieve continuous development in the maritime industry, which is a key pillar of its national economy, contributing more than Dh90 billion to its GDP.
Hassan Mohamed Juma Al-Mansoori, undersecretary for the Infrastructure and Transport Sector at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, said:“We are proud of our achievements made over the years. The UAE's practices, decisions and legislations have helped develop the maritime sector, enhanced its safety standards, and contributed to protecting the marine environment globally. The UAE was ranked third globally in transport services trade and in Bunker Supply Index. It ranked fifth globally as a key competitive maritime hub. The UAE's ports rank among the top 10 internationally in the volume of container handling.”
Al-Mansoori added:“With the announcement of the Projects of the 50, we are setting our targets even higher. Through our re-election to the IMO council, we aim to work with member states to advance the global maritime sector and the shipping industry through a collective contribution to the IMO's mission of achieving the safety, security and efficiency of maritime transport in clean oceans.”
As a centre for maritime excellence, the UAE has always capitalised on the sector's success to empower economic prosperity. With its impeccable and well-balanced approach in dealing with maritime issues as a flag, port and coastal state, the UAE has become one of the most prominent countries supporting the IMO. It was first elected as a permanent member of the council under category B in 2017 and has maintained this status since. The UAE's seaborne trade and transhipment efforts cater to about two billion people from China, India, and the Gulf States to Eurasia and all the way to Eastern Europe.
Hessa Al Malek, advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport Affairs, UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, said:“As a signatory of the MLC convention, the UAE takes proactive measures to safeguard the interests of seafarers, aiming to improve the quality of life for seafarers. We were one of the first IMO Member States to designate seafarers as key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, and supported seafarers by facilitating safe ship crew change, administering vaccinations, and providing them access to medical care.”
Al Malek further added:“We have also been strongly championing women's rights in the maritime sector. The UAE is currently chairing the Arab Women in the Maritime Association (AWIMA), which is working with the IMO's Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) to support women in the maritime sector to achieve the fifth UN Sustainable Development Goal of establishing gender equality. It is also one of the founding members of the IMOGENder, a network of IMO delegates working to achieve gender equality.”
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