Dubai has been ranked fifth among the 20 most prominent international centres for commercial maritime shipping for the fourth consecutive year, as the emirate seeks to boost its status as a global maritime hubs.
Dubai, the only Arab city on the list, is placed ahead of various global centres such as Rotterdam (Netherlands), Hamburg (Germany), Athens/Piraeus (Greece), Ningbo/Zhoushan (China), and New York/New Jersey (the US), the Xinhua-Baltic international shipping centre development index report said.
Singapore, London, Shanghai and Hong Kong secured the top four ranks on the list.
The rankings are based on port inputs (20 per cent), business services inputs (50 per cent) and general environment inputs (30 per cent).
The global recognition reinforces Dubai’s leadership in the field of maritime shipping, Sultan bin Sulayem, chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.
International maritime freight traffic accounts for more than 80 per cent of the total volume of global trade, demonstrating the vital importance of this sector and its role in driving economic growth, he added.
Dubai’s “strategic location and business-oriented outlook” has fast-tracked the emirate to international maritime hub status, the report said.
Last year, ports across the UAE registered more than 25,000 vessel calls and handled more than 19 million 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs.
“We are seeing strong growth driven by positive regulations and incentives of [the] maritime sector in Dubai, specific initiatives to attract and sustain international companies, flexible legislation, 100 per cent ownership and no tax on personal income,” the report said.
In May, the Dubai Maritime Authority introduced a directive to promote best commercial practice and fair competition across its maritime sector and enhance transparency of local sea container charges.
This month, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, approved plans to overhaul the city’s marine transport, expand services and add new vessels to carry millions of new passengers by 2030.
Sheikh Hamdan approved an initiative to expand the maritime network by 188 per cent to serve more than 22 million passengers annually by 2030.
This marks a more than 50 per cent increase in passengers from the current 14 million.
“The Dubai Maritime City Authority seeks to enhance co-operation with various stakeholders to further reinforce the growth and development of the maritime sector in the emirate,” said Dr Saeed bin Ahmed, executive director of Dubai Maritime Authority.
“We are working on a series of plans and initiatives to promote the sustainable development of the sector.”