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Dubai approves new policy on maritime safety

Comprehensive guidelines lend weight to Dubai’s bid to host Expo 2020

Gulf News

Dubai: New rules and standards for seafaring leisure and business operations have been approved by the Dubai Executive Council, it was announced on Monday.

The Maritime Safety Policy formulated by Dubai Maritime City Authority in collaboration with other government departments was approved by the Executive Council’s health and safety committee.

The policy is “of immense strategic importance in line with Dubai’s efforts to host the Expo 2020,” a statement said.

The policy is modelled on international best practices and standards in the maritime sector. The framework offers a set of “proactive and sustainable measures” to oversee issues pertaining to infrastructure, commerce, leisure, and environment besides safety. It will also set the rules for upgrading of infrastructure, developing operational processes and improving the efficiency and effectiveness in ensuring the safety of employees, passengers and visitors.

The policy is based on three key elements — maritime safety rules, maritime safety guidelines and maritime safety initiatives — while the main focus is on three critical areas covering maritime vessels, cruise ships and passengers, and maritime operations.

Together, the measures represent a strong foundation to support the national economy as it plays a vital role in attracting foreign investment to the maritime sector, developing various marine components and enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai at the global and regional levels.

Amer Ali, Executive Director, Dubai Maritime City Authority, said: “There is an urgent need to adopt a comprehensive policy and standard guidelines to ensure the highest levels of maritime safety. This will positively impact the operational performance of the local maritime industry and thus boost its contribution to economic development in the long run.”

He added: “Although the maritime sector in Dubai is extremely safe, it is important to adopt sustainable practises in order to keep pace with the rapid growth of marine recreational and marine business activities. Hence we had to take proactive measures to reduce potential accidents and minimise environmental impact, in addition to improving the infrastructure and promoting the competitiveness of the maritime industry. We are pleased to cooperate with many prominent government entities in Dubai to develop a unified framework to support our joint efforts to develop a modern and safe maritime sector in Dubai.”

The policy is a joint collaboration between the maritime authority and different government entities and maritime stakeholders in Dubai, including DP World, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dubai Municipality, Roads and Transport Authority, Department of Finance, General Administration of Civil Defence, Dubai Police, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Drydocks World, Global Navigation, Dubai Customs, and other federal departments.