Recent IMO report reveals strong demand for more skilled maritime workers
The UAE is looking towards consolidating its leading position as a global maritime hub when it hosts the first edition of the Maritime Academic Conference and Expo, which will be held from November 9 to November 10, 2015 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The event, which is being held under the official support of the Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime, seeks to highlight the strategic role that the UAE marine industry plays across the international maritime industry and its significant contributions towards the country's economic growth.
Recent industry reports show that the country’s maritime segment contributes around five per cent or around AED 70 billion to the UAE’s national economy. The industry’s key vibrancy has also translated to the creation of more than 75,000 jobs—earning a top five global ranking in the number of employment opportunities for the maritime segment. Despite this, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has cited a strong demand for more skilled maritime workers and has made the call for a 70 per cent increase to fill the shortfall in the increasing demand for mercantile transportation around the world.
Maritime experts have lauded the moves to hold the first-ever Maritime Academic Conference and Expo as both timely and strategic as it aims to address the challenge that the IMO has presented. The exciting two-day conference is aimed at encouraging the international maritime industry to become more active in both the Middle East and Gulf region—thereby encouraging enhanced academic nautical activities in the UAE and promoting the concept that the country can coordinate such activities in the region more effectively than unilateral action taken by individual countries.
H.E. Salem Ali Al Zaabi, Director General, Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime, said, “We are very keen on providing our full support for this industry-first event. The Maritime Academic Conference and Expo will serve as a strategic platform for participants from all over the world to analyze and discuss the special requirements of nautical training centers in the region--highlighting the proposed establishment of a dedicated maritime technical center for the Gulf region and the Middle East. We commend the important role that this event will play as it helps in our continuing efforts to promote sustainable development in the maritime sector and reinforce UAE’s position as a first-class international marine hub.”
The first Maritime Academic Conference and Expo is looking to achieve a series of objectives that aim at driving in more growth for the maritime segment—underline the UAE’s need for trained managerial staff in the maritime sector; foster strong relationships between the IMO, governmental maritime institutions, maritime companies, ship owners and operators, and institutions that offer educational and training services to the nautical sector; benefit from IMO's various programs and initiatives and strengthen communication ties with decision makers in the global maritime industry.
The event will feature key discussions and workshops covering the following key topics;
•The UAE and its move to support the sustainability of the marine industry
•The Middle East and maritime academic scientific research initiatives
•The IMO’s role in the development of maritime education
•Maritime labor market and the requirements and policies that govern it
•The changing training needs of the shipping industry
•The role of marine support services for the development of the maritime industry
•Technology and electronic services in the maritime industry development
The inaugural conference's agenda will also be highlighted by the presentation of research papers from leading maritime organizations like the IMO, the Marine Research Center in England and various leaders of the leading global maritime academic institutions. The event is expected to draw in active participation of several maritime associations who have expressed willingness in providing possible support through scholarships and job opportunities.
Alia Al Hussein, General Manager, Cham Events, the official organizers of the event, said, “The UAE maritime industry continues to remain vibrant and attractive--a fact that is strongly demonstrated in the high activity and large contributions that it has made to the local economy. The first Maritime Academic Conference and Expo seeks to build on this growth and highlight the urgent need to upgrade maritime education, training & awareness and the need to set-up academic institutions devoted to maritime specializations. We are confident that this event will also act as a key catalyst in the development of solutions to challenges in the industry, while also setting new benchmarks and standards for all to follow.”