E-services to boost UAE maritime industry


Dubai Trade underlines Dubai’s position as the ideal base for trading across borders with its unique geographical location, excellent infrastructure and seamless processes across the private sector and government agencies.

Conducting business in the UAE continues to get easier and Eng. Mahmood Al Bastaki, CEO of Dubai Trade, says e-Services could soon make it the easiest place to do business in the world. A new study by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) has ranked the Emirates fourth out of 189 global economies in terms of ease of “trad- ing across borders”, a jump from fifth place last year. The study averages the country’s percentile rankings on 10 categories comprising a variety of indicators and giving equal weight to each category.

 “This achievement was not easy to attain. In 2008, UAE was ranked number 26. Year after year this country was progressing forward with gradual improvement, until number one was reached. This was achieved as a result of hard work and ambition and under the leadership of UAE’s wise leaders”, said Al Bastaki

Three important criteria were ob- served, starting with the number of documents processed daily, especially in import and export transactions; in addition to monitoring sea freight across all the countries to make a comparison on the sea trade sector. Moreover, we kept track of the number of days spent to clear containers and cargo ships.

“Our focus meanwhile is how to reach number one in the same rank- ing. It’s what His Highness Sheikh Mo- hammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is aiming to become number one globally in cross border trade. We feel very confident that it will be achieved in the near future,” added Al Bastaki.

This index was built based on many supportive factors. They chose the most popular city in each country, which applies to Dubai in the UAE. Then they searched for the busiest port in this city, which is Jebel Ali port. Taking into consideration that 50% of Middle East vessels go to, from and through, Jebel Ali Port, and it is ranked number seven in the index of the world’s largest ports. These indexes are important because it represents the naval trade, which occupies 60% of the world trade.

e-Services solutions

Since Dubai is the leading trading & logistics hub of the Middle East, it connects countries together, and serves quickly and efficiently in the maritime trade sector. This achievement is supported by e-Services.

e-Services plays a major role in measuring trade process, by evaluating the number of documents and days, in other words how the country gets the advantage of an e-Service to merge related documents together, eliminate the unnecessary documents, avoid duplication, and reduce the number of working days.

As a part of its e-Service, Dubai Trade has launched user guides and manuals on their electronic portal, ready to be downloaded in one click. These manuals keep the concerned parties updated with Dubai Custom’s online declaration and clearing system, and assist ship owners and builders with the navigation and functionality of Economic Zones World portal e-services. Moreover, it offers electronic requests for government administrative services in order to assist ship lines and traders with the navigation  and  functionality of DMCC’s (Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre) portal services.

6th  ESEA  E-Services  Excellence Awards

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of  Dubai, Dubai Trade, the premier cross- border trade facilitator under Dubai World, has  successfully  celebrated its 6th E-Services Excellence Award (ESEA) as an initiative to reward and recognize the top e-Services performers in the trade & logistics industry. The ESEA features a new theme every year which targets a particular e-Service with the main aim of encouraging the conversion to online and  award the highest performers.

For this award, Dubai Trade acknowl- edged nine of  the  highest  adopters of various key e-Services including Importer of the Year, Exporter of the Year, Re-Exporter of the Year, Shipping Agent of the Year – Containerized Car- go, Shipping Agent of the Year – Gener- al Cargo, Freight Forwarder of the Year, Clearing Agent of the Year, Haulier of the Year and Free Zone Company of the Year.

Logistics infrastructure

On the other hand, there are major key players providing logistics infrastructure for vessels in maritime industry. They provide their services in UAE including each emirate separately, starting with banks and insurance companies, where all vessels are needed to be insured and products hold taxes to be paid. Freight forwards also con- tributes in this process accomplishing between the parties, such as DHL and FEDEX. In addition to other key players such as customs brokers, tracking companies, shipping lines, environmental authorities, maritime companies, and traders (importers & exporters).

Government authorities such as Dubai Municipality, plays a major role in a ship’s movement. For example, they work as an inspector on products and foods before giving the permission of entry.

Business  challenges

Dubai has undergone tremendous growth over the years. Today, it enjoys its favorable place as a significant player in international trading and transport logistics. Since Dubai Trade is a part of this growth, it faces many challenges.

“Dubai Trade always witnesses growth and expansion, the  capacity meanwhile in Jebel Ali is 13.6 TEU (twenty equivalent unit), before the end of the year it will be 19, which makes it 15 years ahead of other GCC countries. This proves how Dubai is always investing in the infrastructure of maritime,” Al Bastaki explained

He added, “Challenges exist on a daily basis in our work, in the expansion of ports,  and  the  advancement of vessels size in manufacturing. Economically increasing the cost of oil rate affects trade business. Besides other challenges in how to adapt the quick changes and updates, as well as avoid obstruction in maritime transportation.”

Finally, Al Bastaki described his tar- get in trade sector, “Each one of the seven emirates is distinguished in the trade sector. My ultimate goal is to make trade easier, faster and cost effective for all stakeholders, in a vision of connecting the trade aspects in all emirates together, and maintain our position in leading cross-border trade.”