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HANSA 08-2018

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Schifffahrt | Shipping

Schifffahrt | Shipping Dubai’s shining beacon Dubai is up for the challenge of becoming a center of excellence in maritime by promoting its maritime cluster and adopting future technologies, writes Samantha Fisk Dubai, a city that has grown out of the desert and yet glistens for miles around as the desert sun hits the many glass windows of the skyscapers that litter the Arabian city. Along with the city’s growth the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) also aims to be just as opulent by bringing the local maritime companies up to standards (HANSA 10/16). Nawfal Al-Jourani, Chief Officer, Dubai Maritime Cluster, believes that Dubai has a chance to be a leading light in the maritime cluster market due to its proactive nature and collaborating with other clusters. Dubai’s vision is to create a vibrant and safe maritime environment, whilst enhancing the city’s position of excellence for maritime sectors. »The global ranking of Dubai is now in the top ten and we are competing aggressively. We are very close with all the other emirates and all the maritime clusters that have an office and we collaborate rather than displace because you cannot run a maritime cluster on your own,« Al-Jourani says. Dubai sees itself as a central link point between the East and West and in the past this has been through the Silk Roads. Today, Dubai has launched its maritime sector strategy (MSS) that looks to strengthen its economic role in the country. The MSS looks to incorporate new industry regulations to ensure compliance with the highest standards of safety and operation. The strategy will act as a catalyst for productivity and competitiveness, while creating an integrated maritime environment that responds to market changes and emerging trends by attracting regional and international investors. »We have a crown jewel, DP World. We looked at that and asked what’s our offering, what makes our sector sustainable and competitive and that is when we developed our maritime sector strategy,« explains Al-Jourani. »The strategy was launched in 2012 as part of a five-year plan and we have seen countless shipowners move in.« Al-Jourani opines that to build a leading maritime cluster it comes down to two factors hardware [technology] and software [people]. To build the vision you need to have people that are passionate about vision, »what’s different is the type of software the type of mentality the type of culture that drives people the people to work to achieve that vision,« he adds. 4.6 % of GDP Currently, the maritime industry contributes 14 billion Dirhams (3.26 bn €) towards Dubai’s economy, equalling 4.6% of its GDP. Today, Dubai is ranked in the top five cities in the world for business and is in the top ten for the maritime industry. DMCA aims to push Dubai’s maritime standing up higher in the future. 30 HANSA International Maritime Journal – 155. Jahrgang – 2018 – Nr. 8

Schifffahrt | Shipping He also adds that: »At the end of the day shipping is all about value added. What do shipowners want? They want a government that understands their business, that is easy with them on the taxes and also provides them with infrastructure so they can freely move people, money, expertise and knowledge. And, actually, without exaggeration we have all of that in Dubai.« Competition with other hubs One of the key elements in making the Dubai cluster a strong contender in the maritime sector is by improving the regulations and embracing any future regulations. »What type of regulation makes the shipowners’ life easier, what type of financial guidelines do we need to put in to place to attract them to come here, what type of regulatory services, what type of commercial and criminal justice law system that we have? I’m sure, if you see all of that, you will see Dubai is leaps and bounds ahead of its region,« says Al-Jourani. To create an attractive location for shipowners it needs to have good infrastructure as well. »Mobility is what makes or breaks a centre,« adds Al-Jourani. Along with good infrastructure you also need the services, such as classification and engineering facilities to be able to support the maritime sector – another key element along with the ports in Dubai. The DMCA sees that it can compete with other clusters such as Singapore and Vancouver with the services that it can provide and still is developing. Al- Jourani explains: »How do we compete, how are we different? Each maritime sector is unique for its two main points: geographical location and national identity.« Geographically, Dubai is central for travelling East and West, which makes it attractive to all businesses. Strategically, Al-Jourani likens the Dubai cluster to Singapore in that the maritime activity has not been organically grown, like that of other port cities such as London. He also believes that this is where Dubai’s growth will come from going forward, through inorganic growth through business being bought into the city. DMCA has signed an MOU with Vancouver and Hamburg for further collaboration between the clusters and is looking to also sign up with Singapore and London in the future, as Al-Jourani reiterates that a cluster needs to work together with others to be strong. Dubai is looking to become a maritime-friendly city as the cluster’s CEO notes that it needs to be sustainably-competitive and for this it doesn’t want regulations that burden shipowners that operate and trade there. The DMCA also highlights that it has won a category B seat at the IMO and has also started an arbitration centre in Dubai. Among the trade-friendly aspects is the free-trade zone at Jebel Ali port, it’s fully automated port that is still being established. Along with this, Dubai also offers a multi-entry visa. Further development of infrastructure links between Jebel Ali and Dubai International airport are also underway, to create a more seamless route for tourists as well as cargo. Dubai is offering the maritime community all the advantages of the modern world and also all the »Ritz« that only Dubai can offer. Dubai has set itself some high goals, but as DMCA states that the people can stay driven, Dubai could be a glittering example for the maritime industry. n Dubai aims to reach the top group of maritime clusters and sees its own plans not as lalaland HANSA International Maritime Journal – 155. Jahrgang – 2018 – Nr. 8 31

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