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Live From SMME 2016
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7,000 visitors expected at Seatrade Maritime Middle East

The eighth edition of Seatrade Maritime Middle East (SMME) opens today in Dubai bringing together maritime industry professionals from across the region and beyond.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE, and part of Dubai Maritime Week, the three-day exhibition and conference, now in its eighth edition, returns to the Dubai International Conference & Exhibition Centre to welcome the region’s largest gathering of shipping and maritime industry decision makers with almost 7,000 participants from 69 countries expected to attend.

“In the two years since our last event, global trade movement has faced increasingly challenging economic pressures, and the international maritime industry continues to be impacted by future oil price forecasts, the state of the Middle East economy in general and the effect of the Chinese trade slowdown - the timing of this year’s event couldn't be more pertinent,” said Emma Howell, group marketing manager, Seatrade.

This year’s interactive conference programme will once again bring together a panel of maritime industry leaders, influential economists and shipping analysts for an in-depth analysis of where the current industry status quo, and will also examine regional industry opportunities, along with a series of presentations and ground-breaking case studies on key maritime projects, including Egypt’s Suez Canal expansion, and schedule of educational technical forums.

The opening economic forum session on the first morning will be chaired by

well-known moderator and broadcast journalist, Eithne Treanor, and features a high profile panel line-up that will set the scene for three days of successful conference discussion. Panelists include Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai, president & ceo, Milaha; Marcus Machin, ceo, Tufton Oceanic Finance Group; Admiral Mohab Mohamed Mameesh, chairman & md, Suez Canal Authority; Tim Power, md, Drewry and Tim Fox, head of research and chief economist at Emirates NBD.

Day two of the event (Tuesday 1 November) presents an action-packed schedule, opening with the Seatrade Tanker conference at which a number of the industry’s most respected experts led by Katharina Stanzel, md, Intertanko, will engage in a Middle East-focused discussion on the crude oil tanker market and product tanker trading.

The half-day session will cover supply growth patterns, demand influencers and a prognosis of potential future earnings, taking into consideration factors such as trade and ton-mile configurations and order book volume; as well as an analysis of the factors influencing and driving product tanker demand.

A brace of technical forums will dominate the early afternoon with sessions examining the critical issues facing an ever-changing seascape in terms of shipping and environmental challenges shipping and environmental challenges, followed by a lively discussion on Crewing: The vital interface, both held in association with IMarEST.

Moderated by Nikeel Idnani, Honorary Secretary, Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) UAE Branch, the panel features a respected group of panelists including Stephen Bligh, senior principal Consultant, head of section, maritime advisory, Region South East Europe & Middle East, DNV GL and Lee Chee Seong, vp– network operations, United Arab Shipping Company (UASC).

With demand for technically proficient crew still exceeding supply, the panel will debate the full gamut of contributory factors such as the role of human behaviour in safety at sea and the impact of unmanned ships, the tricky topics of contract ‘sweeteners’ and the possibility of increased funding for industry relevant university and diploma courses.

Another highlight of the three-day event, is hosting the 61st annual International

Ship suppliers & Services Association (ISSA) Convention. Taking place on 31 October and 1 November, the association has partnered with the UAE National Ship Suppliers Association (UNSSA) to deliver a one-of-a-kind event for maritime industry professionals at which they can connect with leading ship owners, managers and suppliers, learn the latest market trends and innovative solutions, and explore new business opportunities.

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