Dubai, United Arab Emirates
A high-level delegation comprising senior officials from Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority in charge of regulating and supervising all aspects of the maritime sector in Dubai and the Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi, recently concluded a visit to the United States of America where they met different marine entities in California to discuss various aspects of maritime environment and pollution. The DMCA team was headed by Amer Ali, Executive Director of Dubai Maritime City Authority, while Majed Al Shamsi, represented the Department of Transport.
The delegation first met the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which has been responsible for developing a comprehensive body of regulation regarding ocean going vessels over the last two decades. DMCA officials discussed topics such as ship emissions, and innovative approaches to mitigate air pollution by ships in ports such as providing shore-side electrical power to the ship at berth while its main and auxiliary engines are turned off.
The team’s US visit also featured meetings with the Department of Boating & Waterways - California’s regulator for boat registration, water ways designation, and boating safety education – and representatives from the Marine Invasive Species Program. The program was initiated by the California Lands Commission to limit evasive species introductions to the California coast from ocean going vessels arriving from far foreign trips. The DMCA officials were given an overview of the measures adopted by the Lands Commission to limit the introduction of potentially harmful species to the California coast.
Amer Ali, Executive Director of DMCA, said, “This visit to the United States is in line with DMCA’s strategy of adopting the best international practices in all maritime-related aspects, especially environmental protection. For the last several decades the state of California has been pioneering efforts to ensure that commercial shipping operations have minimal impact on the marine environment. This visit allowed us to exchange knowledge, best practices and experiences with our counterparts in California, which will go a long way in our efforts to promote and protect the marine environment in the UAE and the country’s vital marine facilities.”
The delegation concluded their visit with a meeting with Chris Lytle, Director of Port of Long Beach, a multi-use green port and a pioneer port for container ships. Lytle briefed the DMCA team about various topics such as the innovative approach to scheduling of trucks to allow for the least amount of emissions and traffic congestion.