DUBAI // A new ‘driving license’ will soon become mandatory for people operating boats and yachts.
Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) said the new rules would come into effect from January next year and are designed to improve safety on the water.
“Regulating and developing the local maritime sector is top priority for DMCA, which is why we regularly introduce regulations and legislations to address local requirements in line with best international practices,” said Amer Ali, the executive director of the authority.
“The [new rules] for marine crew licensing reaffirms the efforts aimed at integrating all aspects of maritime safety and operational efficiency across local waters.”
Under the new rules, owners of marine craft are required to register their crew with the maritime authority. The rules apply to anything from abras, wooden dhows, speed boats and large leisure craft.
It is not clear whether a test needs to be undertaken in order to obtain a license.
A statement from DMCA said all applicants must have “the theoretical, practical knowledge and expertise”. In addition, the crew on board dhows need to be familiar with radar, navigation maps and communication systems. All crew need to know how to use first aid and fire fighting equipment and know the rules in regards to water pollution.
Adverts will come out in the next few weeks outlining the campaign in Arabic, Hindi and English.
Ali Al Dabbous, the eecutive director of operations at the authority, said: “It is prohibited to use any marine craft within Dubai’s territorial waters unless he/she holds a certified driving license from Dubai Maritime City Authority.”