The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure recently hosted the “French Maritime Days” event, in collaboration with “Business France,” at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai, as part of its efforts to enhance cooperation between the national and the international maritime sectors.
The event is expected to facilitate cooperation between the maritime industries of the UAE and France, enable the transfer of expertise, and thereby enhance the naval capabilities of both countries and the adoption of innovative solutions and modern technologies in the region.
The event was attended by a number of high-ranking officials from the Ministry and the maritime sector and also saw the participation of various maritime authorities, companies, and ports operating in the country.
During the event, Capt. Abdullah Al Hayyas, Director of Maritime Transport Affairs at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure stated that “Our role in the UAE’s maritime sector is not limited to managing and operating one of the most important global maritime hubs in terms of shipping, logistics, bunkering and oil exports. We are also responsible for building collaborations with some of the leading maritime hubs globally and stimulating the exchange of innovative ideas and advanced products. France is one of the leading maritime hubs globally in terms of development of advanced technologies, as well as the adoption of best practices and smart tools that contribute to the digitization of the industry, and also increases operational efficiency and commercial performance.”
Capt. Al Hayyas further stated that “French ports are among the most important commercial gateways to the European continent as a result of their strategic location at the centre of the Northern Mediterranean coasts. There is no doubt that our cooperation with them will contribute to increasing the reach of our “Made in the UAE” products to the European markets, which are considered one of the most important high-value consumer markets in the world. This is one of the most important objectives of the “Year of the Fiftieth” projects that focus on increasing the number of national exports worldwide.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Raffaella Silvetti, Director of Inward Investments at Business France Middle East, which operates under the auspices of the French Embassy remarked that “The UAE’s strategic geographical location between Europe, Africa and Asia has cemented its position as a leading global maritime hub. The French maritime sector is currently under the spotlight at the ocean-themed fortnight taking place at the France Pavilion, Expo 2020. Today, thanks to our cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, we are inviting major French ports to discuss their development strategies, showcase mutual investment opportunities, explore collaborations, and further strengthen economic ties with the Emirates. With a maritime surface area of 11 million km2, France has the largest coastline in Europe and the second-largest maritime area in the world. The commitment of our ports to adopt new technologies and green solutions has been instrumental in developing world-class facilities using artificial intelligence, big data, and various other digital solutions, that can also support and improve the efficiency of the maritime industry of both the countries.”
For her part, Ms. Sandra Papet, Head of Industries & Cleantech Department, in charge of the French SMEs specialized in the maritime sector stated that “We are looking to enhance and support the local maritime industry by making use of our expertise, and getting the local stakeholders to connect with innovative French maritime and logistics companies, in order to benefit from cross-collaborations and cutting-edge technologies that will transform the industry as a whole. In line with the “Year of the Fiftieth” projects announced by the UAE government, the French maritime ecosystem has a unique set of skills and know-how involved in a lot of highly technical projects that can support the UAE’s ambitious roadmap committed to becoming a more sustainable maritime destination.”
The “French Maritime Days” event is the first step towards a concerted effort to increase the presence of French Maritime companies in the Middle East and attract international investors to the UAE for ongoing development projects. Through this event, French ports also seek to increase cooperation with logistics companies in the UAE. The main objective of this program is to further enhance the potential for partnership and trade between the two countries.
During the three days of the event, French companies will get a chance to meet the leading naval players in the UAE such as DP World, Abu Dhabi Port Group, Khalifa Industrial City, ADNOC Logistics and Services, Dubai Maritime City, Drydocks World, as well as Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding Company, Grandweld Shipyards and Poseidon Yachting Company.
The French companies participating in the “French Maritime Days” event will showcase their capabilities in the areas of IoT, robotics, automation solutions, environment, energy conversion, cybersecurity, green ships, smart ships, smart trade, and smart ports development for logistics, security developments, as well as security protocols followed in maritime and port operations.