His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure, Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority - Land and Maritime (FTA) today inaugurated the second edition of MARACAD 2016 the Maritime Academic Conference and Expo at Sheikh Maktoum Hall, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
During MARACAD 2016, which is organized by Cham Events and will continue until 21 September, the latest maritime training and educations topics and challenges will be discussed and suggested solutions will be offered, bringing about an exchange on best practices and the trends that will serve the sustainable development of the maritime industry not only in UAE but throughout the region.
The participation of the Federal Transport Authority in this vital event highlighted the experience and advanced position of UAE as a pioneer state in the development of the maritime education and training sector.
In his speech, delivered at the opening of MARACAD 2016, His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, expressed his happiness that UAE is hosting the second edition of MARACAD 2016 the Maritime Academic Conference and Expo which has proved to be the strategic platform for the exchange of ideas and opinions regarding investment in maritime human resources that represent fundamental pillars supporting growth in the maritime sector - locally, regionally and globally.
The Conference this year has witnessed strong participation by the pioneers of the global maritime sector, senior government officials and decision-makers, and local and regional ship owners and operators. MARACAD enjoys the strategic position of being the first regional event of its kind that aims to promote a constructive dialogue and establish solid strategic partnerships to improve the maritime education and training sector, and explore new avenues to promote optimal investments in the human element as the basis of comprehensive development.
Al Nuaimi continued his speech by saying that, last May, The International Maritime Organization conducted the mandatory IMO Member State Audit Scheme on UAE Maritime Administration, where the preliminary findings concluded UAE's commitment to the maritime industry rivals that of the well-developed maritime countries. This step will surely support efforts to nominate UAE to International Maritime Organization Council next year.
He added that this international audit and its valuable results are a part of an all-inclusive expansion which FTA is implementing in the maritime transport sector, where finding an international highly qualified maritime body that supports UAE in achieving the vision of our wise leadership, is the perfect way to implement FTA strategic objectives in developing and regulating the maritime sector and strengthen competitiveness.
Al Nuaimi emphasized that according to the Global Competitiveness Index of 2014-2015, UAE is ranked first regionally and third globally in terms of quality of seaports infrastructure, and is ranked sixth globally in terms of seaports structure. And according to The Doing Business report issued by the World Bank, UAE is in first position amongst the Arab countries as well as in the top 10 countries involved in cross-border trade, which has been the case for several consecutive years. Our ports, which are the largest man-made ports in the world, are equipped with the latest equipment and the highest capabilities in handling and discharging cargo, and are the best in the region.
"We are privileged that Dubai placed seventh internationally in the list of the best maritime capitals of the world by the year 2020, according to "Menon Economics" which is issued in Norway. Dubai also took a spot amongst the top ten most competitive and attractive countries for the maritime industry in the world, and placed fourth amongst the top five headquarters for ports operators in the world, sixth in the world in terms of "ports services and logistics" and "world-class logistics services, also Dubai ranked tenth in term of "size of registered merchant ships" and "size of ships managed". All these accomplishments are in favor of the UAE, they embody its maritime economic strength on the international level and symbolize the efforts exerted and achievements accomplished in the port sector through past years" he added.
Al Nuaimi said that "With these worthy achievements, we dwell on the main theme of MARACAD for this year; supporting and investing in the human element in the maritime industry, in terms of education and training. Without human resources, no achievements could be realized, and the development wheel will not rotate. There is always a need to expand the horizons of maritime education and training".
The opening session of the conference, which was launched in conjunction with an exhibition that will continue for two days with the participation of experts and speakers from the maritime transport industry, witnessed many questions and insights on the present situation of the maritime business and the future of the regional and international maritime education and training sector.
The conference will comprise six panel discussions covering topics that will contribute in UAE position as a leading country in the shipping industry and UAE movement in the regional market to ensure this market sustainable support, initiatives of academic scientific research in the marine sector and the role of the International Maritime Organization in supporting and developing the maritime education, maritime labor market, policies and requirements that govern it as well as training maritime sector needs and the role of maritime support services in the field of development of the maritime sector, job opportunities and IT role in the development of the maritime sector.