Dubai’s maritime sector improved its GDP contribution by 7% in 2015


The maritime industry significantly improved its contributions to Dubai’s GDP in 2015, accounting for Dh2.6.9 billion around 7% of the total. Shipping had the largest share, followed by ports, maritime engineering, and maritime support services. The latest numbers reflect the increasing contribution of the maritime sector to the local economy which grew at an unprecedented rate of 25% between 2011 and 2015, confirming Dubai’s continuing success in becoming one of the most globally competitive, distinguished and comprehensive maritime centres in the world. The Maritime Sector Strategy introduced and implemented by the Dubai Maritime City Authority has been an instrument in promoting the competitiveness of the local maritime sector and keeping pace with rapid regional and international developments to maintain a safe, sustainable and integrated industry, according to the statement issued by Dubai Customs.

H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and President of the Dubai Maritime City Authority, said, “Under the guidance of our wise leadership and the tireless efforts of Dubai Maritime City Authority, the local maritime sector has made valuable contributions towards enhancing the gross domestic product of the Emirate of Dubai. The maritime industry was among the top five areas that positively impacted the economic growth of the emirate in 2015. The maritime authority continues to develop and implement strategic initiatives centred on nurturing a maritime environment that attracts leaders of maritime industries all over the world. It also provides all the necessary legislative and infrastructure to enhance the components of the maritime cluster, especially shipping, ports, maritime engineering, training and maritime support services. These elements collectively form a solid basis for maximising the contributions of the maritime sector to the local economy.

The Dubai Maritime Cluster Office will present the full details of Dubai maritime sector economic performance at the upcoming Dubai Maritime Summit taking place in Dubai, on Nov the 2nd.

Dubai- A global maritime capital

The rise in the maritime sector’s share of the local GDP is the culmination of several achievements which have positioned Dubai at par with the world’s largest maritime communities, according to a report issued by Norway-based Menon Group for Business Economics. Menon predicts that the emirate will rank 7th among the world’s best maritime capitals by 2020, outperforming London, New York, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Rio de Janeiro, according to Dubai Customs

The international report counted Dubai among the global Top 10 regarding competitiveness and attractiveness of its maritime cluster components. The emirate placed 4th among the five largest headquarters for port operators worldwide and 6th in terms of both ‘ports and logistic services’ and ‘world-class specialised logistic services.’ Dubai outperformed other established maritime hubs such as New York, Rotterdam and Oslo to rank 10th in size of ship owners’ fleets and size of fleets managed from the city’. These positive results are primarily attributed to the successive achievements and significant developments witnessed by the local maritime sector under the directives of Dubai’s Executive Council and the efforts exerted by the Dubai Maritime City Authority and its strategic partners from the government and private sectors. All are committed to advancing the goal of the Maritime Sector Strategy to consolidate Dubai’s position as a first-class global maritime centre.

Dubai Maritime Cluster

The launching of the Dubai Maritime Cluster Office marks a significant step in the continuous journey of achievements led by the Dubai Maritime City Authority. The Office is responsible for monitoring, implementing and promoting Dubai’s Maritime Sector Strategy with a sharp focus on fostering fruitful cooperation and close coordination among local, regional and global governmental and private agencies and other sectors involved in the maritime industry. It will play a major role in elevating the contributions of the maritime sector to the accelerated economic development of the emirate and its complete transformation into one of the most important business centres in the world. This will be achieved by increasing the number of maritime companies operating within the local maritime cluster which currently number about 5,000 plus as well as enhancing local maritime activities which hit more than 12,000 in 2015.

By establishing the Dubai Maritime Cluster Office, DMCA has successfully developed an integrated framework for following up the implementation of inspirational maritime initiatives complementing the goals of the Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy. The Strategy is the first plan drawn up in Dubai for improving the competitive factors of the local maritime sector. It focuses on reinforcing infrastructure, upholding legal and legislative excellence, developing maritime services, investing in maritime training, and building a supportive environment for business and investment. Despite being a new entity, the Office is already steadily moving towards the path of excellence through a series of pioneering initiatives that together form a major pillar for strengthening the role of the maritime sector as a vital driver of Dubai’s economy.

These initiative include the following:

Dubai Maritime Club

The Dubai Maritime Club is one of the top initiatives that is transforming Dubai into one of the most comprehensive, prestigious and competitive maritime clusters in the world. Its primary role is to provide new, innovative and practical solutions for addressing the most critical issues faced by the maritime sector based on in-depth discussions about the technical, legal, economic and logistical factors affecting the present and future of the maritime sector. The Club provides an interactive platform for stimulating innovation, creativity, excellence and teamwork, as well as activating direct communications and encouraging constructive dialogue and knowledge transfer to develop a competitive, sustainable and secure maritime environment for regional and international investors.

The Maritime Creativity Lab

The Maritime Creativity Lab marks a major turning point in the history of the local maritime sector. It drives the development of innovative ideas for creating integrated strategies aimed at developing the local maritime clusters. It was established in response to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to standardise the successful experiences and practices behind the Government Innovation Laboratory to further enhance governmental services and raise the government’s administrative efficiency. The laboratory establishes strong foundations for transforming innovative ideas into effective strategies can further improve the performance, safety, effectiveness and competitiveness of the local maritime sector.

Dubai Maritime Intelligence

The Dubai Maritime Intelligence initiative is fast gaining strategic importance as a cornerstone for enriching maritime knowledge through an electronic information and knowledge system that consolidates the leadership of Dubai as one of the world’s most advanced maritime centres. The working mechanism of the initiative is focused on collecting, analysing and presenting data and information related to Dubai’s maritime sector in Dubai via an interactive and interdependent series of images, graphical screens and statistical indicators depicting the components of the maritime cluster.

Dubai Maritime Week

Dubai Maritime Week has achieved unprecedented success in establishing itself as a premier maritime event on the regional map. It highlights international best practices and innovative methodologies for supporting the development of Dubai as a maritime economy characterised by renewal, sustainability and competitiveness. This consolidates the presence of Dubai as a leading centre of maritime excellence and innovation in the world. The biennial event hosts an elite group of government officials, decision-makers, regional and international experts and other concerned maritime stakeholders who analyse current developments and foresee prospects that will place Dubai at the forefront of the world’s leading maritime and logistics centres.

Dubai Maritime Summit

The Dubai Maritime Summit stands out as a major contributor to Dubai’s leadership as an international centre of maritime excellence and innovation driven by a vision based on promoting effective bridges of communication between the pioneers of the maritime sector of UAE and the world. It encourages constructive dialogue on the latest global maritime developments to determine the best and most innovative solutions for enhancing the competitiveness of maritime sector components.

Maritime Agenda

The Dubai Maritime Agenda is credited with highlighting the leadership of the Emirate of Dubai as an influential force in shaping the future of the maritime industry regionally and globally and an international maritime centre. The initiative is a major pillar for advancing maritime excellence, creativity and innovation in order for the emirate to join the ranks of the world’s most important maritime centres and achieve the goals of the Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy.

Dubai Maritime Training Centre

The Dubai Maritime Training Centre embodies national efforts to promote optimal investments into the human element as the backbone for the development of the local maritime sector. It has successfully built a strong foundation for the moulding of a generation of qualified human resources capable of developing innovative solutions to serve the ambitious aspirations towards developing maritime sector components and activating the industry’s contributions in advancing economic development and meeting future needs, in line with the vision and directives of the wise leadership.

Amer Ali, Executive Director, DMCA, said, “We are proud of our pioneering achievements over the past few years which have led to tangible and highly positive results regarding advancing the maritime sector’s contributions to the local economy; the sector currently accounts for 5.3% of Dubai’s GDP. We are committed to further intensifying our efforts to maintain the momentum through innovative and proactive initiatives aimed at achieving the Maritime Sector Strategy’s goal of creating a safe, sustainable and integrated maritime sector and ultimately turning Dubai into one of the most competitive maritime clusters in the world.

The maritime sector

The Dubai Maritime City Authority has a proven track record in developing and implementing pilot initiatives which significantly impact the advancement of the maritime sector. The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre is particularly noteworthy as an initiative that will undoubtedly reshape the local and regional maritime sector through stronger legislative and legal excellence. It is the first initiative of its kind in the Middle East dedicated to the settlement of regional maritime disputes by legal frameworks and independent regulatory controls. The formation of the Maritime Advisory Council, on the other hand, is a significant leap in strengthening communications, cooperation and coordination among concerned public and private sector authorities and enhancing the confidence of regional and international investors in the local maritime business.

Smart Transformation

The Dubai Maritime City Authority has marked important achievements over the past year which have significantly advanced the ambitious goal of transforming Dubai into one of the world’s largest maritime communities by 2020. Smart transformation was one of the Authority’s most outstanding accomplishments in 2015 which saw the launching of the Smart Marine Services Platform initiative designed to automate processes, support the scope of the maritime authority, and improve the quality of services.

International presence

The Dubai Maritime City Authority’s achievements are not limited to developing, promoting and regulating the local maritime sector. It has also successfully represented the UAE in prominent international maritime forums and events. The maritime authority provides valuable insights on the most distinctive features of Dubai’s pioneering experiences as a major player on the global maritime map. It shares the pioneering achievements of the local maritime sector and reaches out to the world through productive participations in high-profile international platforms dedicated to the maritime industry. The Authority constantly introduces quality programs and innovative initiatives designed to enhance the competitiveness of the local maritime sector. The latest of these is the formation of the Raseina team under Resolution No (3) of 2016 which aims to improve maritime tourism’s role as a major component of the local maritime sector.

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