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DMCA steps up efforts to promote Dubai as innovation hub

The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has released a list of all the technology and innovation initiatives that it has undertaken over the past year, as part of its ongoing efforts to make the city a competitive and attractive maritime cluster in line with the aims of Dubai Plan 2021 for economic development of the Emirate.

Firstly, DMCA held a Dubai Maritime Innovation Quattro Helix Partnerships workshop to reinforce its coordination with government, academics, the private sector and R&D institutions in Dubai. One of the results was a proposal to develop maritime education programmes in cooperation with the University of Dubai.

UAE Maritime Innovation Day

Then there was UAE Maritime Innovation day, held to demonstrate DMCA’s efforts to attract more investment in research, technology and maritime innovation, also updating attendees on maritime developments in areas such as smart navigation, digitization and Big Data.

The event was organised as part of a strategic partnership with DNV GL, one of the leading classification societies, which also includes establishment of the DNV GL DMCA Innovation Centre, designed to help foster maritime innovation programmes in Dubai.

Innovation Quay

Likewise, DMCA launched Innovation Quay (IQ) as a testbed for disruptive technologies and accelerator of innovative start-ups, thereby helping the country diversify economically in preparation for the post-oil era.

An interactive Maritime Innovation and Digitization Day was also held, again as part of the partnership with DNV GL, in order to update the local maritime community on latest developments in maritime technology.

DMCA also sees autonomous navigation and remote-controlled marine craft as a promising development for the future, and says its aims to cooperate with relevant partners and leading maritime digital system providers to develop Dubai as a leading hub for such activities.

On the cargo front Dutech, the technology arm of the Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), has introduced Nau, described as a ‘smart platform that helps in cargo activity reservation for traditional dhows on the busy Dubai creek. Compatible with different PCs, tablets and smartphones and available in many languages including English, Nau has been approved by the PCFC as one of the ‘10 X’ Initiative projects where Dubai aims to be 10 years ahead of all other cities.

Dubai Maritime Virtual Cluster

In addition, Dubai has launched the Dubai Maritime Virtual Cluster (DMVC), which is developed to provide easy, efficient, high quality, comprehensive, and integrated portfolio of maritime services to global investors. Through a virtual platform, ( it aims to bridge gaps and encourage positive participation of maritime leaders.

This new DMVC initiative includes an informative knowledge portal and a maritime virtual center for innovation, research and training to promote maritime development. In addition, it facilitates interaction among main regional and international industry players by giving them access to an integrated portfolio of smart maritime services and reliable and comprehensive information on key initiatives under the umbrella of the DMCA. 


Last but not least in the field of commercial cargo shipping, Cargospeed is a new global company created through a partnership between DP World and Virgin Hyperloop One, intended to provide hyperloop-enabled cargo systems to support the fast, sustainable and efficient delivery of palletised cargo. DP World chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem is now chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One with DP World its largest investor.

A scaled-down model of DP World Cargospeed (pictured) was on display at the Seatrade Maritime Middle East exhibition in Dubai in late October 2018, held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, as part of UAE Maritime Week, where DMCA also organised the successful Dubai Maritime Summit and UAE Maritime Future Leaders seminar.


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