Maritime expo reports big rise in exhibitors

Published September 8th, 2009 - 09:18 GMT

Middle East market for specialised vessels shrugging off the global downturn, say organisers of Middle East Workboats

The organiser of the region’s premier maritime event for specialised vessels is reporting a 60% increase in exhibitors compared with last year, despite the global slowdown.

“While the economic downturn has taken its toll on the global shipping industry, the Middle East market for workboats of all kinds continues to show vigorous growth,” said Christopher Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade, organiser of the Middle East Workboats exhibition and conference from 5-7 October 2009 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Workboats include tugs, ferries, supply vessels; police, fire, patrol, pilot, rescue and oil spill boats; along with, dredgers, barges and floating cranes. More than 2,000 such vessels are estimated to be docked or repaired in the Middle East.

The Middle East Workboats exhibition and conference – now in its second year -  is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister for Public Works and Chairman of the National Transport Authority.

Sheikh Hamdan has described the Middle East Workboats event as “an important platform for the industry” in light of developments and land reclamation projects underway in Abu Dhabi. He added that a large number of marine projects including new islands, gas and oil operations will require marine transport and related services.

"The continued development of offshore oil and gas and maturing maritime and shoreline projects is spurring demand for a variety of sturdy workboats throughout the region, including their support and maintenance," said Hayman.

“More than 170 exhibitors will be taking part – a 60% increase on 2008. They are coming from 25 countries – a 5% increase on 2008 - and have booked 50% more exhibition space than last year. We also have three country pavilions - China, Singapore and Spain – along with five of the international vessel classification societies taking part.

“While economies may have gone into reverse elsewhere, the Middle East continues a growth trend with billions of dollars poured into marine and shoreline projects which need a variety of workboats from police and rescue boats to passenger ferries, fire boats and waste disposal vessels.”

Principal sponsors of Middle East Workboats 2009 are DNV, ESNAAD, Irshad. Other sponsors are ABS, DVB, Khalid Faraj Shipping, Lamnalco, Svitzer, Topaz Energy & Marine, Wartsila abd ZMI. Supporting organisations are the International Marine Contractors Association and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects.

For more details about Middle East Workboats 2009, please visit:


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