Middle East shipping to ride out the storm

Published January 18th, 2009 - 08:04 GMT

The shipping industry worldwide faces stormy weather but the global economic crisis could turn into an opportunity for the Middle East, according to the organisers of the region's biggest maritime trade show.

"The Middle East is by no means immune from the difficulties afflicting the world but that doesn't mean the region's maritime industry will not benefit in the medium term," said Christopher Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade, organisers of the Seatrade Middle East Maritime exhibition and conference which concluded in Dubai last month.

"In a financial crisis, new opportunities emerge and I firmly believe the Middle East shipping industry will continue to consolidate and grow in the future," he added.

"Arab Gulf countries have accumulated large budget surpluses in recent years to continue funding their infrastructure expansions, all of which rely on global shipping. Most maritime economy experts agree that, regardless of the current financial crisis, the regional shipping industry will continue growing.

“The Arabian Gulf has long been a centre of energy-related transport but it is also now the hub of record volumes of containers and bulk cargo. Strategies may need to be adjusted to take account of a changing financial climate but the maritime industry will remain the lifeline of the regional and international business community.”

Seatrade Middle East Maritime 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, attracted international and regional shipping operators, financiers and suppliers to assess the impact of the global downturn.

A total of 313 companies from 33 countries exhibited at Seatrade Middle East Maritime, which is held every two years and is the largest maritime event of its kind in the region. More than 500 delegates also attended associated conferences including Money and Ships, the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Conference and Superyacht Solutions.

Principal sponsors included Det Norske Veritas, GEM, Dubai Maritime City Authority, NITC and Gulf Oil Marine Ltd. Other sponsors are: ABS, BP Marine, ClassNK, Drydocks World, Emarat Maritime, Ince Al Jallaf & Co, Lloyd's Register, Topaz Energy & Marine, Rais Hassan Saadi Group, SAIFEE Trading, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Sea Cloud Cruises GmbH and the Ministry of Tourism for the Sultanate of Oman.

The event was supported by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, DP World, Dubai Shipping Agents Association, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the International Association of Ports and Harbours, the Nautical Institute, the Royal Institute of Naval Architects, ImarEST, the UAE Ship Owners Association and the Supply Chain & Logistics Group.

Seatrade is also the organiser of Middle East Workboats which next takes place from 5-7 October 2009 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Public Works and Chairman of the National Transport Authority. From maritime security vessels to dredgers and water taxis to tugs, more than 2,000 workboats are estimated to be in use in the Middle East.

Seatrade Middle East Maritime 2010 will take place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 28-30 November 2010.

For more details, please visit: www.seatrade-middleeast.com

About Seatrade

Seatrade is among the shipping world's most respected brands, specialising in publications, events, management training, awards schemes and websites covering all aspects of maritime activity. In 2004 Seatrade Middle East opened in Dubai, emphasising the company's commitment to the region.

Seatrade is also involved in the organisation of the Seatrade Academy management training courses for shipping professionals, in association with the Cambridge Academy of Transport. The prospectus has expanded to include courses at Knowledge Village, Dubai.  Please visit www.seatrade-academy.com for details.


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