The yachting industry's importance to Dubai's maritime sector and the challenges facing the sector came under spotlight at the 2017 Middle East Yachting Conference held today on Monday in Dubai.
The yachting industry has proven to be one of the main pillars for the growth of Dubai’s maritime sector and emerged as a main contributor to economic development, supported by leading initiatives that have had a great impact on the confidence of regional and international investors in the competitive advantages of the local maritime sector, an industry expert said.
''Yachting has helped significantly improve the components of the local maritime sector, especially ports, marine services, and the operation and maintenance of huge marine vessels – all of which have made Dubai one of the most important global maritime hubs along the likes of Singapore, London, Oslo, Shanghai, Hamburg and Hong Kong,"Nawfal Al Jourani, Chief Officer of Dubai Maritime Cluster Office,Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), said as he opened the first session on ‘A winning combination: Engaging the Boating Community in Dubai’ which discussed the history and development of the local maritime sector and its role in supporting the local economy. The features of the Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy and key developments, major challenges and available opportunities in the local sector were highlighted as well.
Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) joined the elite sponsors participating in the conference, held as part of the launching of the latest edition of the Dubai International Boat Show, the largest event of its kind in the Middle East, running from February 28 to March 4 at the Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi.
The conference was held under the theme ‘Honouring the Past, Treasuring the Present, Shaping the Future’ and included extensive discussions on major emerging local and regional trends and future plans for the maritime sector with a particular focus on relevant sustainability issues.
Several leading international experts, government officials and decision-makers from various maritime sectors worldwide were participating.
Hamed Hassan, senior manager of the DMCA’s Registration and Licensing Department, presented the latest in the field of registration services and commercial licensing provided by the authority to Dubai’s vital maritime leisure industry.
Hassan said: "The DMCA intends to open new channels for exchanging knowledge, successful experiences and best practices with leaders of the regional and international maritime sector. This will enable us to identify new mechanisms for optimizing available opportunities for driving the development of the recreational navigation industry in Dubai and the Middle East. We are pleased to participate in the 2017 Middle East Yachting Conference which provides a platform for supporting efforts to transform Dubai into a global yachting powerhouse. We are confident that the extensive discussions and positive talks with the pioneers of the maritime sector will lead to effective partnerships for boosting the growth, sustainability and competitiveness of the yachting industry which in turn promotes the competitiveness of the local maritime cluster."
The conference was widely participated in by distinguished keynote speakers, regional and international experts, and pioneers of the maritime sector.
It featured a series of seminars and extensive panel sessions on major maritime topics and themes – including the present and the future of the maritime sector, ways to improve the quality of ports and marinas in the Middle East, the impact of the value added tax on the UAE’s yacht market, and prospects for sustainability in the regional and international ports sectors.