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Captains of regional shipping industry to steer maritime event

Captains of regional shipping industry to steer maritime event

Dubai: A steering committee of major Middle East shipping industry leaders has been formed by the region's premier maritime event to focus on the challenges faced by the rapidly expanding sector. The steering committee has been formed for Seatrade Middle East Maritime 2008, which runs from 14-16 December at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

The committee will help direct the high level conferences alongside Seatrade Middle East Maritime which will examine the implications of the upsurge in maritime activity and the challenges presented by the global economic climate.

'The maritime industry in the Middle East is growing rapidly, not only in the UAE but throughout the region. It is vital that we adhere to international standards and employ industry best practice. By bringing key figures together to form a steering committee for Seatrade Middle East Maritime, the event will ultimately provide a platform for all maritime professionals to network and examine the issues that confront the industry today and the challenges that we will all face in the future,' said Captain Jitendra Misra, - General Secretary, UAE Shipowners Association.

Besides Captain Misra, the committee is made up of other senior executives of Vela International Marine; Dubai Maritime City; Topaz Energy and Marine, one of the leading marine oil and gas fabrication companies in the Middle East; Mideast Ship Management, a subsidiary of the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia; Quadrant Marine Consultancy; Det Norske Veritas, the maritime classification and risk management company and Drydocks World.

The Seatrade Middle East Maritime exhibition and conference is held every two years and has evolved into one of the world's fastest-growing maritime events, ranking among the industry's Top 10 largest.
'Looking forward, we cannot ignore what is going on in the rest of the world with a slowdown in developed economies,' commented Christopher Hayman, Managing Director of Seatrade, the organiser of Seatrade Middle East Maritime 2008. 'However, the impact on the Middle East maritime industry is expected to be minimal. Our optimism is based not only on continued global demand for oil and gas but the increasingly vital role the region is playing as the hub between Europe and Asia as well as the Middle East's own major growth trends.'

'A diversified and independent ship owning industry to match the expertise of the region's oil company fleets has made the Arabian Gulf one of the most vibrant international maritime centres in the world. Dubai, for example, now occupies a place in the world's top five ship management centres, he continued. 'Economic growth is driving major port and terminal expansion to handle record volumes of containers and bulk cargo. Recent research shows major seaport expansions worth in excess of $33bn taking place in the Middle East. Shipping and offshore activity has fuelled a boom in ship repair, conversion and ship building.

'In addition, the Gulf is now a major destination for winter cruising, playing an important role in the region's inbound tourism mix. The region also has one of the largest concentrations of superyacht ownership in the world and is a leader in waterfront developments with expertise in yacht technology, design and outfitting growing rapidly.'

The 2006 edition of Seatrade Middle East Maritime was the biggest yet, attracting some 6,000 trade participants from 63 countries - 45% from outside the region. This year organisers expect participation to increase by at least 30% with more national pavilions than ever - including China, France, Holland, India, Germany, Singapore and the UK.

Principal sponsors of Seatrade Middle East Maritime 2008 include GEM, Det Norske Veritas and NITC. Other sponsors include: ABS, BP Marine, Dubai Maritime City, Drydocks World, Emarat Maritime, Ince Al Jallaf & Co, Lloyd's Register, Nico International, Rais Hassan Saadi Group and SAIFEE Trading.
The event is supported by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, DP World, Dubai Shipping Agents Association, Dubai Maritime City, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the International Association of Ports and Harbours, the Nautical Institute and the Royal Institute of Naval Architects. [30/7/08]