UAE and KSA investment continue to support offshore sector

Marine offshore expert highlights Middle East region's offshore market continuing upturn
Offshore, Workboats, Seatrade, Dubai


The Middle East region's offshore market continues to demonstrate an upward trajectory, which makes it the most robust marketplace from a demand perspective--widely attributed to the significant investment plans of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to Gregory Brown, associate director for Offshore, Maritime Strategies International, a maritime forecasting and strategic advisory firm.

Gregory Brown, associate director for Offshore, Maritime Strategies International

He expressed confidence in the upturn despite the market being structurally challenged. In line with this, the coming Seatrade Offshore Marine and Workboats 2019, the leading conference and trade show for the global Offshore Marine and Workboat industries, which will be held from September 23 to September 24, 2019 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, will serve as a strategic platform for industry experts and professionals to converge and discuss key issues and challenges of the industry.

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According to Brown, the offshore vessel market is in the early stages of recovery as witnessed by the presence of increased activity and the growing demand for high specification vessels. Coming off from a market downturn that was experienced in the last five years, the market is now witnessing a key upturn--marked by the entry of new contract awards and increased utilization and pricing rates.

Brown shares, “We are currently on the way to recovering from this five-year downturn, the strongest one felt since the mid-80s. Despite being seen as a slow recovery, we can see that there are robust pockets of activity--opportunities that can help us drive in more growth to the industry.”

Industry experts have pointed out that the recovery will be seen in a number of phases. A large part of the recovery will be brought in by an increase in the number of collaboration and consolidation activities from market players, which will leave a strong positive impact on the offshore market.

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“The biggest challenge for the offshore market will be finding its role within the global energy mix. In fact, we have yet to see final investment decisions because the market went through a structural cost issue. To address this, we need to effect real structural change and real structural rethinking of how these reserves are developed because they always have to look at them in the context of what the alternative investment is. We won't get that big inflection overnight as fellow industry professionals have said that we will go through a number of phases before we experience full recovery,” Brown concluded.

As part of UAE Maritime Week held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE, Seatrade Offshore Marine and Workboats 2019 is expected to connect the UAE with the international offshore marine vessel and workboat industries. The exciting two-day event will bring together each and every corner of the industry--from offshore marine vessels to ports and offshore marine suppliers--discuss timely industry concerns, build new relationships and widen your industry knowledge. 

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