Abu Dhabi sets up new body to oversee its maritime sector

Abu Dhabi Ports assigned to regulate the emirate's waterways through the creation of Abu Dhabi Maritime

Abu Dhabi Maritime will be responsible for the development of infrastructure and the management of the emirate’s coastal zones. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Ports
Abu Dhabi Maritime will be responsible for the development of infrastructure and the management of the emirate’s coastal zones. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Ports

Abu Dhabi established a new body to regulate its maritime sector as it moves to streamline oversight, attract more foreign investment and develop infrastructure to boost the sector’s contribution to the economy.

Abu Dhabi Maritime was formed by the Department of Municipalities and Transport through an agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports. The new body will be the custodian of the emirate’s waterways and marine ecosystems.

“The new entity will commence its work by implementing a comprehensive regulatory framework, developing world-class maritime infrastructure and introducing consolidated strategic planning for coastal zone management,” said Saif Al Mheiri, managing director of Abu Dhabi Maritime.

The move is part of the emirate’s efforts to diversify its economy and grow non-oil sectors to boost job creation and attract investment.

“Our synergistic approach backed by a highly interactive digital single-window portal will ensure that Abu Dhabi’s maritime waterways and ecosystems continue to attract new investors and increase the maritime sector’s contribution to the growth of our national economy,” Mr Al Mheiri said.

Abu Dhabi Maritime will function as a consolidated single point of reference for the sector. It is mandated to administer all the emirate’s waterways and will be responsible for drafting, monitoring and enforcing regulations and codes.

In addition, it will develop and maintain all infrastructure and assets on the waterways, with its own work overseen by a new Maritime Advisory Council.

The establishment of Abu Dhabi Maritime will “take the regulatory oversight of our maritime sector to the next level”, said Falah Al Ahbabi, chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport and chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports.

Abu Dhabi Maritime will soon launch the expanded Delma Port, the company said.

This will accommodate more than 60 local fishing dhows, new slipways, a digitised booking system serving the wider boating community and mooring facilities in four marine-protected areas, in co-ordination with the relevant ­entities.

Abu Dhabi has waterways that cover 45,000 square kilometres along a 2,400km stretch of coastline. These are home to 17 commercial and community ports, more than 100 maritime facilities and more than 1,000 companies. Additionally, more than 40,000 vessels move through these waterways each year.

“Establishing Abu Dhabi Maritime serves to advance our emirate’s goal of becoming a world-leading maritime centre through the pursuit of regulatory advancement, fulfilling the needs of the maritime sector and attracting more direct foreign investment,” said Mohamed Al Shamisi, Abu Dhabi Ports group chief executive.

Updated: August 6, 2020 02:43 PM


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