DMCA: Leading the sustainable development of Dubai’s maritime sector

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The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has always been at the forefront of bringing about a radical change in the UAE’s maritime sector through an extensive range of industry initiatives, regulations and guidelines, which reaffirm Dubai’s position as a leading maritime centre. Through ground-breaking collaborations, DMCA has enhanced the nation’s maritime infrastructure, operations, and logistics services, and has produced investment opportunities to boost Dubai’s competitiveness.

Speaking about the strategies adopted by DMCA to ensure the continued progress of Dubai’s maritime sector and initiatives aimed at improving the local maritime infrastructure, Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Executive Director, DMCA, provides insights on DMCA’s approach.

Mention some of the recent noteworthy activities undertaken by DMCA?

DMCA aims to consolidate Dubai’s position as the leading maritime destination in the world, by strengthening cooperation with strategic partners to translate the insightful vision and sound directives of the wise leadership. DMCA has been a key instrument in promoting the development of the maritime sector, through its efforts to develop Dubai’s capabilities in the sector and raise it to the highest international standards by enhancing safety standards despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic. We implement activities that serve, develop and promote the local maritime community, and transform Dubai into a globally competitive maritime hub. We ensure that maritime components such as the Dubai Logistics Strategy, Dubai Industrial Strategy (maritime sector), and the Maritime Safety Policy are in line with these efforts. Dubai plays a vital role in intercontinental maritime trade, with an infrastructure that makes it a natural hub for regional distribution. Capitalising on this, we have launched initiatives designed to improve the local maritime infrastructure.

What is DMCA’s strategy to create a safe investment environment for global industry leaders?

Our strategy is to continuously collaborate with relevant government entities, private businesses, and stakeholders, to create an investment-friendly environment within the sector to help drive economic sustainability and growth. By expanding our scope of work and laying down effective policies to support and secure maritime operations and businesses across Dubai, we have created a safe, efficient, sustainable, and vibrant maritime community, which is essential to make Dubai a preferred destination for maritime activities. By working towards improving the local maritime infrastructure and forming important local, regional, and global partnerships, we have played an active role in advancing the historical achievements led by Dubai in the UAE.

How does DMCA reaffirm Dubai’s position as a first-class international maritime hub?

Dubai is among one of the top five Shipping Centres in the International Shipping Centre Development Index. Capitalising on this, DMCA continues to develop an integrated, safe, and sustainable maritime environment that effectively responds to rapid changes, keeps up with emerging trends and meets future needs. We have formulated ideas to enhance the maritime sector’s competitiveness and make Dubai one of the world’s most innovative cities. In addition to expanding the scope of work and laying effective policies to support and secure maritime operations and businesses across Dubai. We expect to witness high activity in all segments of the sector, especially ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai. 

To what extent does DMCA monitor, develop and promote maritime activities in the UAE?

It’s a part of our mission to enhance maritime services, operations, and logistics services in Dubai. Our collaborations with leading organisations in the sector allow us to participate in major global trade, logistics, and maritime activities. Such initiatives establish a fully integrated and safe maritime environment. Through our ongoing efforts, we hope to establish a sustainable maritime sector and turn Dubai into one of the world’s most developed and competitive maritime capitals.

How did DMCA’s decision to resume crew changes in July 2020, enhance UAE’s status as a globally renowned maritime hub?

Our collaborations with leading organisations in the sector allow us to participate in major global trade, logistics, and maritime activities; and host beneficial workshops and training programs, such as the ‘Maritime Innovation’ workshop. For instance, ‘Sea Dubai’ is a DMCA initiative designed to turn Dubai into a leading global leisure destination. Such initiatives establish a fully integrated and safe maritime environment and are a part of DMCA’s ongoing efforts to establish a sustainable maritime sector and turn Dubai into one of the world’s most developed and competitive maritime capitals.

How did DMCA’s decision to resume crew changes in July 2020 enhance UAE’s status as a globally renowned maritime hub?

We resumed crew changes in July 2020, provided that COVID-19 guidelines and requirements set by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) are observed and complied with. The new resolution came in line with the DMCA’s commitment to ensure the return of the local maritime sector to its normal pace. Our aim then was to guarantee the highest levels of health, safety and security of seafarers, visitors and workers within the maritime sector. As a result of this, DMCA witnessed growth in maritime activities in territorial waters and proved to be a strong boost to national efforts to revitalise the economic movement in the post-covid era.

What steps is DMCA taking to spread awareness about marine safety to marine craft drivers and water sports enthusiasts?

Our aim is to ensure a safe and sustainable maritime sector in Dubai with the help of clear frameworks. We do this by implementing mandatory decisions for marine licenses, which includes licensing crews of various personal, commercial, sports, tourist and recreational marine means. Our key focus is to create a safe, efficient, sustainable, and vibrant maritime community to make Dubai a preferred destination for marine leisure activities. We bear the responsibility of implementing mandatory decisions for marine licenses and organises the work of various marine means based on clear frameworks that will ensure the creation of a safe and renewable marine sector. Mandatory marine licenses serve as a strong push towards enhancing maritime safety, for which we have also launched various awareness programs, social media campaigns and circulars.

How has DMCA worked towards modernising the infrastructure of the maritime sector in the UAE?

We work closely with leading stakeholders and partners to craft effective and well-balanced regulations to establish clear industry foundations and promote productivity and competitiveness, while building an integrated, safe and sustainable maritime environment capable of responding to market changes and emerging trends. Our objective is to attract regional and international investors and ultimately position Dubai as a firstclass international maritime hub. Existing regulations such as the licensing of marine crafts and crews, and the Boating Safety Guide, as well as the rules governing all crew and maritime activities in Dubai waters work towards this objective.

What is DMCA’s strategy to boost Dubai’s competitiveness at the regional and international levels?

It’s a part of DMCA’s comprehensive strategy to attract more investors from towards making Dubai the world’s leading investment destination. Additionally, the fact that Dubai enjoys a world-class status in terms of infrastructure and tax benefits helps it improve its competitiveness. Furthermore, the rapid development of the “World Logistics Passport” demonstrates the capabilities of Dubai in the trade and logistics sector. These capabilities can help reduce costs and increase the efficiency of the logistics value chain, which will enhance DMCA’s efforts.

To what extent does DMCA contribute to marine environment protection?

It’s a part of our responsibility to build a sustainable maritime community. We also aim to ensure a sustainability-driven future for the maritime sector by increasing the contribution of solar and other renewable sources of energy, low-carbon technologies, and clean energy solutions. Furthermore, DMCA aims to develop and implement rules and regulations that ensure operational efficiency in terms of clean energy supply, reduce carbon footprint, and maintain a sustainable environment. Our campaigns such as the one launched in collaboration with Dubai Police, work towards raising awareness on the need to adhere to the speed limits in Dubai waters.

Can you elaborate on the key milestones DMCA’s team has achieved over the last year?

DMCA employs the best talents in the industry to implement unique and effective initiatives and programs. Our team has made valuable contributions to improve the competitiveness, attractiveness and comprehensiveness of the local maritime sector, which under the guidance of the wise leadership is now one of the top five sectors affecting economic development in Dubai. One of our most important achievements is the consolidation of Dubai’s reputation as a major maritime gateway to global trade, through the development of a comprehensive and integrated framework for the development of maritime policies and the promotion of maritime activities according to solid foundations of innovation, excellence and smart transformation.

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