Maritime sectors in UAE and France to enhance cooperation


Officials and participants during the event in Dubai.

As part of its efforts to enhance cooperation between the local and the international maritime sectors, the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure hosted the “French Maritime Days” event, in collaboration with “Business France”, at a hotel in Dubai.

The event aims to facilitate collaborations between the maritime industries in the UAE and France, and enable the exchange of expertise, thus enhancing the maritime capabilities of both the countries, and increasing the adoption of innovative solutions and modern technologies in the sector.

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 said: “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 digitisation of the industry, and also increases operational efficiency and commercial performance.”

Al Hayyas added, “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.”

Raffaella Silvetti, Director of Inward Investments at Business France Middle East, which operates under the auspices of the French Embassy said: “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.”

Sandra Papet, Head of Industries & Cleantech Department, in charge of the French SMEs specialised in the maritime sector added: “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 UAEs ambitious roadmap committed to becoming a more sustainable maritime destination.”

The “French Maritime Days” event is the first step towards an integrated plan to enhance the presence of the French maritime companies in the Middle East, and attract international investors for the ongoing development projects. French ports also seek to enhance their level of cooperation with the logistics companies in the UAE through this event. The main aim of this event is to further enhance partnership opportunities and trade exchanges between the two countries.

Over the three days of the event, French companies will have the opportunity to meet the most prominent local maritime players, including DP World, Abu Dhabi Ports Group, Khalifa Industrial City, Adnoc Logistics and Services, Dubai Maritime City, Drydocks World, in addition to Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding Company, Grandweld Shipyards, and Poseidon Yachting Company.


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