Dubai is already well established in the maritime world as the home of one of the world's largest container terminal operators, DP World, and one of the ten busiest container ports, Jebel Ali. It is also a growing cruise port, with a luxurious cruise terminal at Port Rashid and port calls from most of the major cruise lines. But it also seeks to leverage its success as a port into broader growth as a maritime hub.
Just across the water from Port Rashid is a manmade peninsula designated as Dubai Maritime City, a 560-acre development zone complete with an industrial area, a commercial zone and the amenities of an urban center. The area is home to Dubai Shipbuilding and Engineering; Grandweld Shipyards; and the local representatives for the major diesel engine manufacturers, among other marine equipment and services suppliers. The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) says that the 5,500 firms in Dubai's maritime sector already employ some 75,000 people – and the Authority's new Maritime Cluster Office, announced at SMM 2016 in Hamburg, has been established to pursue yet more growth.
“SMM 2016 proved to be a resounding success for the [cluster office] initiative. The newly launched office is an important addition to the efforts aimed towards enhancing the status of the Dubai maritime sector, a fundamental pillar of Dubai Industrial Strategy initiated to establish the emirate as a global platform for industries promoting knowledge, innovation, and sustainability," said Amer Ali, DMCA's executive director. "SMM 2016 confirmed that this is crucial as Dubai continues its proactive approach to a more sustainable economic growth.”
The new office will liaise with stakeholders through a Maritime Advisory Council; set up a maritime summit, a maritime week and a new training center; and oversee "the promotion of maritime best practices across various sub-sectors in the maritime cluster in the emirate as part of its goal to catapult Dubai into the ranks of the world’s most important and competitive maritime centers.”