The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has unveiled the ‘Sail Safely’ initiative, as part of its ongoing efforts to protect the marine environment, improve maritime safety and security, as well as protect people’s lives.
The free-of-cost program, started earlier in August 2021 comprises an extensive training schedule for captains of leisure and fishing boats to ensure that they follow the sector’s highest operating standards, avoid maritime accidents and protect people’s lives.
The initiative supports the ministry’s efforts to conserve the maritime environment, helping it in making the UAE a role model in achieving sustainability, particularly given the country’s status as a Category B member of the International Maritime Organization’s Executive Council. The UAE is also looking forward to renewing its membership for the third time, which brings with it the extra duty of adopting and implementing best practices.
“With a coastline of over 1,650 km, the sea is a key lifeline for us in the UAE as we largely depend on it in our daily lives. We desalinate seawater to get drinking water. The fishes and marine life are the main pillars of our food security and underneath the seabed lie our most important oil fields, from which we extract over 30 percent of our oil production. That’s why protecting our marine environment is vital for our survival.”
The Ministry’s endeavor and training among the UAE maritime community have resulted in a 50 percent reduction in marine accidents. These efforts will help to prevent marine accidents by encouraging the use of new technologies and modern sailing equipment on boats. As a result, the sector is growing in the UAE, which has over 310 marinas for boats, yachts, and ships, as well as about 20,000 yachts and leisure boats.
‘Sail Safely’ comes at a crucial time, as it coincides with Expo 2020 Dubai, which is expected to attract a large number of visitors and tourists to the UAE. It also coincides with the opening of many real estate developments, waterfronts, and boat and yacht marinas. The Ministry’s efforts complement other economic activity in the UAE, ensuring that the maritime sector remains a key player in the country’s overall development.