UAE. The second The Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference, held in Abu Dhabi at the Sheraton Hotel and Resort, took full advantage of a stellar panel of speakers to chart a course for the future of the shipping and maritime sectors at an uncertain time politically and economically in world markets.
Conference chairman, Clive Woodbridge, editor of The Maritime Standard, said, “This Conference takes place at an interesting moment, with the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, and the vote for Brexit in the UK. The old order is changing and that makes this event so well timed. It is a chance to begin discussions about how the shipping and finance sectors respond to these seismic shifts.”
The Conference was hosted by Abu Dhabi Ports. Endorsing the event was chief executive of Abu Dhabi Ports, Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, who commented “Our participation and hosting of the Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference in Abu Dhabi for the second consecutive year is testament to our commitment to finding solutions for sustained growth and development. We are confident this event will serve as a platform that connects key players and decision makers together and create rewarding opportunities.”
Two influential personalities H.E. Dr. Abdullah Salem Alkatheeri, director general, Federal Transport Authority- Land and Maritime, and Capt. Abdulkareem Al Masabi, acting executive vice president - ports unit, Abu Dhabi Ports, gave the keynote addresses. Both struck an upbeat and optimistic note, highlighting the importance of the shipping and ports sector to the UAE, in general, and Abu Dhabi in particular, despite the uncertainties in the market. Both praised the organisers, The Maritime Standard, for their innovation and professionalism in bringing so many experts to Abu Dhabi to share their accumulated knowledge.
The chairman of Kuwait Oil Tanker Company, H.E. Sheikh Talal Al Khaled Al Sabah, was then invited on stage for a special presentation commemorating his attendance.
This was followed by a session looking at the changing global politico-economic environment, assessing the main challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Once again the conference heard from some leading personalities with many years of experience, including Ali Shehab, deputy chief executive of the Kuwait Oil Tanker Company; Khamis Juma Buamim, managing director and group chief executive of Gulf Navigation; Eng. Yasser Zaghloul, chief executive of National Marine Dredging Company; Eng. Rashed Al Hebsi, chief executive of Emirates Classification (TASNEEF) and Andrew Baird of Watson, Farley and Williams.
The conference audience was then treated to an Up Close session with well-known banker and financier Sanjay Mehta, of S One Capital who has over 25 years’ experience in fund management, investment banking and structuring mergers and acquisitions. In a one on one interview on stage with Clive Woodbridge, Sanjay Mehta gave some intriguing insights into his vision of how shipping and trade will evolve over the coming years, including an optimistic assessment of the product tanker market. “We like this market very much,” he said.
The afternoon sessions looking at developing strategies, and the right financial tools to meet the needs of challenging market condition, were also wide ranging and stimulating. There was plenty of discussion, triggered by excellent presentations from eminent speakers from the fields of ports, shipping, ship management, law, banking and finance. There was a general concensus that the banking and finance sectors need to work closely together and that Islamic Finance, while not a panacea for all, has a key role to play.
Trevor Pereira, managing director of The Maritime Standard, said, “This was a really unique event that brought together some of the most original thinkers and strategists from across the maritime sector under one roof. We successfully built on the success of the inaugural conference last year and I am sure everyone who attended went back to their day jobs with fresh ideas and enthusiasm to tackle the challenges that lie before them.”
Photo Caption: Clive Woodbridge, editor of The Maritime Standard
About The Maritime Standard
The Maritime Standard (TMS) publishes a regular e-newsletter aimed specifically at the shipping and maritime community. It is delivered fortnightly, on the 1st and 15th of every month, and has built up a circulation of more than 40,000 recipients. The newsletter includes up-to-date news and analysis from the shipping and ports industries and related sectors in the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent. Topics that are covered include tanker, container, dry and liquid bulk, ro-ro, and cruise shipping; terminal operations; port development; classification; ship repair and conversion; shipbuilding; ship agency; finance and insurance; maritime law; and transportation & logistics. The publishing portfolio will be expanded in 2016 with the publication of the first TMS magazine, focusing on the UAE. This will be a yearbook style publication that will give in-depth analysis and reports on key developments in the country’s maritime sector.
Another division of parent Flagship Events, The Maritime Standard Events focuses specifically on the requirements of the shipping and maritime sector. The company organises a series of industry-leading events across the Middle East, including conferences and exhibitions. It also organises events for third parties in the shipping and ports business.
The not-to-be-missed TMS Awards recognizes and celebrates success in the shipping, ports and related sectors across the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent. The Awards are held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman, Emirates Airlines and Group.
The inaugural event was held at the iconic Atlantis Ballroom, on The Palm with PR guru, journalist and writer Alastair Campbell as master of ceremonies. One of the most famous football players of all time, Ruud Gullit hosted The Maritime Standard Awards in 2015. The 2015 Awards were attended by over 600 guests from across the world, including senior figures from ports and shipping companies and public bodies in the region.
As well as over 19 general awards categories, the TMS team presents a number of individual special achievement awards recognizing the contributions made by high profile industry leaders and innovators. The Awards attract the region’s elite, including chairmen, chief executives and directors from all of the leading shipping companies, ports, terminal operators and maritime companies and organizations. The Master of Ceremonies for the 2016 Awards will be former Awards winning CNN Anchor, Jim Clancy.
The inaugural The Maritime Standard Tanker Conference will take place on 25th October this year in Dubai and is an event that nobody with an involvement in this important sector of the shipping industry will want to miss. Aimed at key decision makers and opinion formers, the one day conference will highlight the main regional trends in crude, chemical and products tanker operations.
Attendees will be given a unique insight into the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead, not just for tanker owners and operators, but those who provide services to this sector. You will leave the conference with a clear idea as to how you and your company can support, and benefit from, regional growth opportunities.
The first Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade conference was held in Abu Dhabi on November 26th 2015 at the Park Hyatt. This was attended by a high level panel of speakers and over 150 senior executives from across the Middle East, India and Europe. Hosted by Abu Dhabi Ports, the event boasted one of the highest ranked panel of speakers which read like a ‘who’s who’ of the region’s shipping and ports industry. The audience were treated to some detailed, expert presentations on the challenges facing the industry by these executives who were joined on stage by representatives of several leading banks and law firms.