A recent international survey conducted by Menon Business Economics Group, the globally renowned organization for benchmarking leading maritime capitals of the world, predicts that Dubai will rank among the Top 7 Leading Maritime Centres in the World in the next five years.
Industry analysts and authorities agree that Dubai is on track to progress from being the leading maritime city in the Middle East to becoming the seventh Leading Maritime Capital of the World by 2020, ahead of cities such as London, New York, Tokyo, Copenhagen, and Rio de Janeiro among others.
His Excellency Abdulla Abdul Rahman Al-Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai said: “We are pleased with the Dubai standing in the maritime sector global ranking. Being the number one in the region, and among the top players globally, indicates that we are moving in the right direction toward accomplishing the vision of our wise leadership. The Dubai maritime sector strategy which was launched in 2012 is centered around creating sustainable development by providing world class services, infrastructure, and business friendly regulations. This ranking new achievement confirms that the strategic objective is being met.”
Menon polled around 1,600 maritime professionals and experts from 33 countries of all five continents. The world’s leading maritime cities were benchmarked based on the four main maritime indicators of finance, technology, ports and logistics, and shipping, in addition to an overall assessment of the cities’ competitiveness and attractiveness. Dubai ranked 5th overall under the Ports and Logistics indicator, and was named one of the five largest port operators in the world by headquarters (4th).
H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and President of the Dubai Maritime City Authority, said: “We are proud of the results of Menon’s survey and are particular motivated to fulfil the prediction that Dubai will emerge among the world’s top 7 maritime centres within the next five years. As the results show, we are particularly adept at providing world-class port and logistics services, and so we shall further reinforce our capabilities and resources in this area. We will also aim for excellence in other key indicators such as shipping services, maritime legal expertise, maritime insurance, and competitiveness and attractiveness.”
“For our part, DMCA will continue to push for more infrastructure investments, introduce impactful policies and regulations, and hone more local expertise to expedite Dubai’s transformation into one of the world’s leading maritime hubs,” H.E. concluded.
Industry experts positioned the city 10th in the world in relation to both the size of ship owners’ fleets and size of fleets managed from the city, ahead of cities such as New York, Rotterdam and Oslo. Dubai also ranked among the Top 10 global players in terms of leading centres for port and logistics services (6th); site of world-class specialized logistics services (6th); and volume of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) handled in city ports in 2013 (10th).
The survey noted that strong knowledge centres with a solid pool of experts attract more maritime business to a city, and that marine insurance is essential to a functioning shipping market. With these in mind, Dubai again placed 10th in the world in terms of both the number of maritime legal experts practicing in the city and insurance premiums collected (in millions of US dollars) in 2013.
Respondents also ranked Dubai 9th in the world in terms of the number of ships classed by societies headquartered in the city. This is an important achievement as classification societies are vital to ensuring quality across the maritime sector. Finally, Dubai scored high marks under the additional ‘competitiveness and attractiveness’ indicator. It was 6th in industry experts’ answers to ‘where are the most attractive business environments for locating maritime business?’ and 9th in answers to ‘which cities have the most complete maritime cluster?’
The directives of the Executive Council of Dubai and the effectiveness of the Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy (MSS) that was launched and being implemented by DMCA are both largely credited for Dubai’s strong standing in the Menon survey. The MSS was formed to develop, regulate and promote the maritime sector with the vision of positioning Dubai as a first-class international maritime hub. It focuses on the fundamental values of leadership, customer service, creativity and human excellence, while maintaining a safe maritime environment. The strategy forms part of Dubai’s Strategic Plan of fostering a culture of quality and excellence in the maritime field and other key economic sectors in order to boost the real GDP growth rate of the city and the entire Emirate.