DMCA's regional focus and global ambitions

Dubai Maritime City Authority Executive Director answers our questions
The DMCA wants Dubai's maritime industry to continue growing.
The DMCA wants Dubai's maritime industry to continue growing.


The Executive Director of the Dubai Maritime City Authority, Amer Ali, answers our questions about the Authority’s involvement in the local industry and its ambition of making Dubai a leading maritime hub

ounded in 2007, Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has brought about a radical change in the local maritime sector through a range of industry initiatives and regulations which support its ambitious approach to creating a safe investment-friendly environment for industry leaders from all over the world, while reaffirming Dubai’s position as a first-class international maritime hub.

Established to monitor, develop and promote maritime activities, DMCA provides a platform of excellence and quality as it develops world-class regulations and guidelines to raise the bar on the maritime industry and boost its infrastructure, operations and logistics services while offering investment opportunities to boost Dubai’s competitiveness at the regional and international levels.

DMCA aims to build effective and strategic partnerships with relevant government agencies, private businesses and stakeholders in line with its vision to create a safe and vibrant maritime sector and therefore drive economic sustainability and growth in the emirate.

The Authority is keen on expanding its scope of work and laying down effective policies under the highest standards of maritime safety and best environmental practices, in adherence with the local and international laws to develop a safe maritime environment for all.

DMCA’s Executive Director, Amer Ali, sat down with M&PME recently to explain what exactly it is the Authority does.

Tell us about the role of DMCA in contributing to a safe maritime environment in Dubai?
We ensure high levels of maritime safety in Dubai by launching various key initiatives and establishing comprehensive programs and unified guidelines across the emirate. Our programs and regulations are vital for us to raise the bar in maritime activities and ensure safe navigation. One of these key initiatives was the implementation of Maritime Safety initiative.

This promotes maritime development and safety by requiring higher levels of operational performance and advanced, highly efficient infrastructure capable of ensuring the safety of workers, passengers, and visitors. It also reflects the commitment of local government authorities to provide all forms of support to further reinforce Dubai’s position as a leading global maritime hub.

How does DMCA ensure that the Dubai maritime environment is responsibly regulated and managed?
One of the fundamental thrusts in Dubai maritime sector strategy (MSS), is ensuring the sustainability and wellbeing of Dubai’s maritime environment.

We have implemented our Dubai Maritime Sustainability Program in collaboration with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and DP World to protect Dubai’s rich and diverse maritime environment from pollution. The program is an extension of Dubai’s government vision for sustainable growth across all economic sectors while maintaining a sustainable future for the maritime industry.

The groundwork for the program was initiated in 2011 with the launch of the Sulphur Oxide Emission Reduction Campaign for Ocean Going Vessels (OGV) aimed at reducing the sulphur content on their vessels. Following the success of OGV campaign, we put into operation the Traffic Separation Scheme program in 2012 to lower the risk of pollution and navigational accidents by enabling a transparent process for ship routing.

By adopting practical steps to address some of the sector’s greatest challenges relating to environment, we also promote sustained growth of the maritime industry and ensure that it continues to play a valuable role in the nation’s economy.

What are the marine legislations and regulations that you have put in place in order to strengthen the local sector?
Licensing of recreational and commercial maritime crafts and sport and recreational and traditional boats is an integral part of maritime framework, thus, we have implemented Executive Council Resolution No. 11 of 2013 on the Implementing Regulations of Resolution No. 11 of 2010 governing the licensing of marine crafts in Dubai.

The resolution serves as a key element in our initiatives to organise, develop and promote the maritime sector based on the highest standards of collaboration and excellence and innovation in leadership and customer service.

In addition, the development of Dubai’s Maritime Sector Strategy has contributed to the rapid development of the local maritime industry. Under MSS, we were able to issue new initiatives observing the highest standards of maritime safety and best environmental practices.

We also look forward to creating a competitive infrastructure and laying down an integrated logistics program to create a safe and sustainable maritime environment.

All these initiatives are aligned with our vision to create a vibrant, secure and world-class maritime sector via the integration of maritime safety, operational efficiency and secure navigation. By implementing resolutions and guidelines, we are able to promote the industry’s regional and global competiveness while positioning Dubai as a first-class international maritime hub.

How do you further enhance the services provided to Dubai ship owners?
DMCA maintains strong ties with different organisations from both the public and private sectors to boost Dubai’s competitiveness at regional and international levels and further reinforce its position as one of the world’s leading maritime hubs.

We will continue to strengthen our collaborations with them so that we can develop and implement industry-related regulations and initiatives. These initiatives reflect best environment-friendly practices under the highest standards of professional safety in the territorial waters of Dubai and the UAE.

We also work closely with our partners and key stakeholders to launch joint initiatives that embody the ambitious vision of enhancing the investment environment in order to attract maritime leaders from all over the world. We intend to meet all the needs and requirements of commercial vessel owners who are playing a vital role in the growth of Dubai’s economic landscape.

How does DMCA elevate the standards of the sector to attract more business & tourism opportunities?
DMCA is highly committed to promoting and offering new initiatives and programs that are aimed at improving the standards and conditions of Dubai’s maritime segment. For example, the DMCA has just launched an educational campaign that looks towards increasing the awareness on the importance of practicing safe and secure operations for floating restaurants.

The move is part of the ongoing efforts to promote maritime and environmental safety in accordance with best international practices. We have launched several initiatives along this line such as strengthening emergency preparedness and evacuation procedures and improving disaster response. We also train our staff and crew on the proper use of life jackets, rafts and identification of emergency exits and signs in times of emergency situations.

We also take up subjects relating to maritime safety, including effective internal and external communication, fire-fighting policies, and means of preventing marine pollution caused by operational oil spills, among others.

Do you plan on launching any new initiatives in near future?
We are continuously working on developing new initiatives that enhance Dubai’s standing as a well-known maritime centre, and respond intelligently to the dynamics and needs of the maritime sector of the emirate. Our initiatives aim at increasing the Dubai maritime product offering competitiveness, sustainability, and contribution to the Emirates GDP.

One of our recently launched initiatives is the ‘Maritime Creativity Lab’ in response to the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as he called to adopt the ‘Government Creativity Lab’ experiment as a standardised practice to develop government services and enhance government administrative performance.

Set to go into effect in early 2015, the ‘Maritime Creativity Lab’ provides a smart and interactive platform to boost communication among public and private entities, decision makers and through face-to-face meetings under the umbrella of DMCA. These meetings will be held to discuss major industry topics and emerging challenges as well as establishing effective strategies to overcome obstacles.

The ‘Maritime Creativity Lab’ based on latest advanced modes, smart communication networks and digital technologies such as tablets and smart screens. It is also providing an online portal and a set of mobile applications along with private accounts on social media networks to guarantee a favourable climate for drawing out creative ideas that would help develop a renewed and secure maritime sector in line with the highest standards of sustainability and excellence.

In addition, we launched the DMCA smart maritime application, which enables us to offer high-level, round-the-clock services to our customers in a faster and efficient manner. Users of this application may access essential details about the authority and the marine licensing services that we offer.

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