The leading event in the project cargo and breakbulk industry aims to provide maritime, logistics and transportation professionals with an accessible platform to discuss industry challenges despite the global crisis 

UAE – Dubai: Breakbulk Middle East (BBME), the GCC’s leading breakbulk and project cargo event, held under the patronage of The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, will be presented digitally this year. Titled Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special, the new version of the much-awaited event, will take place on February 9-10, 2021. The next in-person event is scheduled for February 2-3, 2022 in Dubai with DP World, UAE Region as the Host Port.

The event’s primary goal has always been to provide a platform for new business opportunities up and down the industrial supply chain and this year is no different. The program will include a roadmap for industry professionals to tackle the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and move forward towards a prosperous future. “Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special” will feature significant topics that will be discussed by industry experts who will provide insights on the roadblocks faced, business planning in 2021 and beyond.

Aiding dialogue

Since its inception, BBME has continually ensured that it leaves a lasting mark on the industry through its various endeavours. This year’s edition has been endorsed by key players including Abu Dhabi Ports; transport and logistics specialists like COSCO Shipping, Maersk and Agility. The event also has onboard MEED Projects, BBC Chartering, ADNOC L&S, deugro, Petrofac and Fluor who will add immense value to the experience.

H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei, The UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure emphasized, “The breakbulk and project cargo sector represents a complex market, encompassing commodities as varied as steel and forest products, to heavy-lift shipments for wind turbines and equipment for construction work, and plays an essential role in the Middle East. The UAE is a front-runner in this sector, occupying a predominant position as a trans-shipping center. Several factors such as the quality of the port infrastructure and the country’s strategic location that enables it to serve as a link between the East and West, have led the UAE to achieve a leading status. According to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, the total output for the logistics services sector reached AED219 billion and the sector is expected to see an increase despite the unprecedented challenges of the global pandemic.”

Al Mazrouei added, “The continuous initiatives of the government complemented by events like Breakbulk Middle East play a significant role in reinforcing the industry by uniting industry players and providing a platform to discuss the hardships faced. We are optimistic that the digital version of BBME 2021 will prove to be a hub for knowledge exchange and networking opportunities and an incubator for young talent, driving growth in the industry.”

Inspiring a new generation

Standing in support of the industry especially during a critical stage, Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special will feature pertinent pre-recorded, on-demand sessions as well as live panels like Breakbulk Intelligence: Navigating the Projects and Business Landscape in a Post COVID World. Speakers will give updates on regional capital projects within the oil and gas, infrastructure, renewables and other sectors, while also discussing their predictions for the project market in the future. The challenges and opportunities in the Middle Eastern market and their comparison with other countries and regions around the world will also be highlighted. Speakers will put into perspective the impact of COVID-19 on the business. Everything, right from cargo delays to employee safety and welfare will be discussed, providing attendees with comprehensive knowledge about the dynamic market and the breakbulk supply chain.

The digital special will also have engaging sessions on Education Day supported by Breakbulk Middle East’s regional education partners, including College of International Transport and Logistics at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport headquartered in Alexandria; the Academy’s branch in Sharjah, UAE; Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi; Abu Dhabi Maritime Academy; Middlesex University Dubai and Jordan Academy for Maritime Studies. In line with the strategic vision of the government to safeguard the labour force of the industry, this initiative will provide students with the opportunity to connect with industry leaders and learn about the sector and the opportunities available.

H.E Prof. Dr. Ismail Abdelghafar Ismail Farag, President of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport said, “Breakbulk Middle East is one of the key events dedicated to the project cargo sector. The event acts as a hub to inform seasoned experts and aspiring professionals about the latest trends and the challenges the industry is facing. The fact that it brings students and experts under one roof makes the event extremely important. We are honoured to be associated with this mega-event that is striving to enlighten the younger generation, ensuring that the breakbulk and project cargo industry is in safe hands.”

Ben Blamire, Event Director, Breakbulk Middle East added, “Year after year, BBME has achieved greater success, producing incremental growth, industry development, and economic advancement in the Middle East region. 2020 has been a challenging year for the industry as a whole, despite the difficulties, it is encouraging to see that the sixth edition of BBME has received overwhelming support from governments in the region and industry partners. Due to travel restrictions around the world, we made the decision to present this year’s event in a digital format to ensure community continuity.”

Blamire said, “Breakbulk Middle East has gained the reputation of being the GCC’s leading event dedicated to the project cargo, breakbulk and heavy-lift industries and we are committed to continuing this legacy without interruption, just as our customers have continued to move cargoes under difficult circumstances. We are confident that Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special will offer a bridge between in-person events, and I look forward to working with our partners toward a successful 2022, when we will meet in person at Dubai World Trade Centre.”

Leslie Meredith, Marketing Director, Breakbulk Events & Media explained, “As the pandemic continues to evolve, we at BBME are committed to providing an environment that is secure for all attendees. Safeguarding the interests of our attendees is our top priority and we did everything in our capacity to ensure that we meet this goal. This prompted us to take the event virtual. We hope to utilise the power of technology to its full potential to ensure that our attendees witness a seamless event. Our goal is to unite the industry and offer learning opportunities despite the challenging times.”

Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special will be free for all. A detailed schedule of the event will be released soon. Breakbulk also recently launched the Breakbulk365 program that includes engaging webinars and the BreakbulkONE Show to ensure the project cargo industry stays connected and updated on insights and regional information at all times. To receive the weekly BreakbulkONE newsletter, sign up at

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