Abu Dhabi maritime summit empowers Emirati youth leaders

ABU DHABI - "Abu Dhabi Maritime Youth Summit for Empowering UAE Youth Leaders in the Maritime Domain" has successfully concluded last Thursday.The summit was hosted by "Tasneef Academy", the Educational Arm of Emirates Classification Society "Tasneef", in the St. Regis Hotel in Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi. The summit brought together a group of prominent international and national leaders in the shipping

  
24 January 2016
ABU DHABI - "Abu Dhabi Maritime Youth Summit for Empowering UAE Youth Leaders in the Maritime Domain" has successfully concluded last Thursday.

The summit was hosted by "Tasneef Academy", the Educational Arm of Emirates Classification Society "Tasneef", in the St. Regis Hotel in Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi. The summit brought together a group of prominent international and national leaders in the shipping and maritime sector with UAE entrepreneurs and college students to review the career opportunities offered by this strategic sector in order to ensure the continuity of the UAE international achievements in the maritime field and the cross-border trade.

Eng. Rashed AlHebsi, CEO of Tasneef, said: "We launched this summit on the sidelines of "The Abu Dhabi Summit of Global Marine and Maritime Leaders" to gather both leaders along with the young Emirati cadres who are willing to work in the maritime field as we are confident that they are able to achieve success internationally."

Al Hebsi added: "Companies operating in the UAE spend more than $ 61 billion a year on maritime services such as ship registration, insurance, financing, P & I clubs fees, maintenance and other services. The national companies get less than 15% of these revenues, while foreign companies operating from outside the country acquire the rest of the revenues. The presence of the UAE cadres in those companies is almost zero, in which deprives us of gaining experience and knowledge that can enable us in the future to have a national capacity in this sector."

The UAE status in the international maritime economy

Khamis Buamim, Chairman of the Dubai Council for Marine and Maritime Industries, highlighted the UAE status in the international maritime economy, saying: "The UAE has a unique strategic position in the map of shipping routes. The national companies could manufacture the best ships and maritime platforms comparable to what is produced by the most developed countries in the world. The UAE maritime products are exported to those developed countries, including the United States, Germany and many other EU countries."

Buamim reviewed a documentary showing one of the major offshore platforms that operates remotely during the process of shipping it from the UAE to Europe, as well as a presentation of many of the ships manufactured in the UAE, which are used today by oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico after the US government banned many of the other ships to work in that region following the massive oil spill that occurred there.

The summit included a number of valuable discussions by leaders from the national companies working in maritime filed.

Abdullah Saeed Al Suwaidi, CEO of the National Drilling Company addressed the UAE youth, saying: "We promise to offer you the best career opportunities and the professional experiences through our advanced training programs along with our unique rewarding programs.

Over the past years, we were able to double the number of UAE citizens in the company due to their exceptional performance and their proficiency in sea drilling platforms. We are now in the process of recording high numbers in the field of oil drilling because of the Emirati innovative cadres in our company."

Khaled Al Ameri, Senior Purchasing Director at the National Marine Dredging Company, said: "NMDC changes the geography of coasts, opens new maritime routes and builds artificial islands. The company has also succeeded in the biggest world marine dredging project by leading the new Suez Canal project so we need national cadres in order to continue this success and consolidate the UAE position as the leading specialized country in the marine dredging services. Al Ameri also announced the company's willingness to cover the educational expenses of six UAE citizens annually in addition to granting them job opportunities after their graduation.

Support by "Dubai Trade" and "Khalifa Fund"

Eng. Mahmood Al Bastaki, CEO of Dubai Trade, the online gateway for trade and logistics services in Dubai, said "Dubai Trade Scholarship for Emirati Entrepreneurs" to get "Certified Trade and Logistics Professional" program which strengthens expertise in the field of shipping and customs clearance. The hands-on program is designed to give trainees in-depth understanding of the full business concepts and procedures related to all stakeholders involved in the trade supply chain.

Ayman Al-Emadi, Director of Department of Skills in Khalifa Fund, said: "The $61 billion, which was announced as an annual expenditure in the UAE maritime sector represents a surprise to all who are concerned about the trade and the economy in the country, but at the same time it is an ideal opportunity for citizens for the establishment of small and medium enterprises that can take advantage of this great investment opportunity.

At Khalifa Fund, we promise to offer the needed expertise and the funding to every young citizen who dreams of establishing a maritime business in order to be able to prepare the business action plans. We will also collaborate with "Tasneef" in order to help Emirati entrepreneurs in the preparation of feasibility studies through a group of experts and advisors we have in Khalifa Fund."

Emphasizing the role of women as a main participant in the development of the UAE, the Summit hosted a group of young female citizens who occupies important technical and operational roles previously confined to men in the maritime field, whereas Aisha Al Marzouqi, the UAE's first woman crane operator at Khalifa Port talked about her experience and how this career granted her the confidence and pride to contribute to the development of her country.

Noora Khamis, Crane Operator in DP World, also talked the experience she gained and how the new technologies currently enabled a remote control systems for the cranes which makes the work comfortable, safe and more similar to dealing with video games, and therefore there are no barriers to female citizens to join this field.

On the other hand, Amna Al Marzouqi from DP World confirmed that the UAE young cadres are now leading the technical operations in DP and they have proven their competence to the highest level of ability and experience. She also encouraged everyone to join this important sector.

Declaration of Abu Dhabi maritime summit for youth

At the end of the summit Eng.Rashed AlHebsi, CEO of Tasneef has announced the main summit pillars as: support for the UAE's global strategy and maritime status, promoting the awareness and the development of maritime media, encouraging Emiratization in the jobs and marine business.

The declaration also included recommendations to launch several initiatives, including "The UAE Emiratization Index for the Maritime Sector" which will be sponsored by "Marasi News Magazine", the first UAE bi-monthly magazine for senior decision makers in marine and shipping industry. The declaration also included launching an initiative to establish "The UAE Maritime Youth Forum" sponsored by Tasneef to be a platform to meet and exchange experiences and provide advisory support and assistance and encourage all young UAE citizens to contribute in the preparation of the celebration day called by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, after fifty years, when the last barrel of oil will be shipped from the UAE.

The summit, which was held in partnership with the UAE Navy, received a significant support from national institutions and companies. It was also supported by the National Marine Dredging Company as a Diamond Sponsor, ADMA-OPCO & The National Drilling Company as Platinum sponsors, and Dubai Trade as a Knowledge sponsor.

© The Saudi Gazette 2016

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