Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority charged with regulating, coordinating and supervising all aspects of the maritime sector in Dubai, has reported several key milestones in 2012, including the implementation of new regulations for jet ski usage, registration and licensing, while also creating greater awareness about maritime safety in collaboration with various maritime operators in Dubai.
DMCA has also launched several awareness initiatives targeting the water sports community and has started offering complimentary lifejackets for every registered jet ski in Dubai. This is part of efforts to maintain the high standards of maritime safety, minimize risks, prevent water sports accidents and ultimately save people’s lives while preserving the environment and built facilities. These initiatives have proved instrumental in bringing down the number of accidental deaths, incidence of water contamination as well as maritime violations in Dubai’s waters, which decreased from 98 in 2011 to only 38 in 2012.
Amer Ali, Executive Director, Dubai Maritime City Authority, underlined the importance of the regulations and legislations introduced by DMCA in 2012 in raising the bar of excellence in the maritime sector. These have also strongly supported the drive for innovation, safety and long-term growth of the maritime industry, in line with Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 and under the directives and vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“We have made significant progress with regard to regulating the use of jet skis in Dubai, allocating dedicated areas for these types of watercraft, setting the maximum speed limit, establishing maritime safety instructions and creating more awareness about safety measures and best practices that need to be adopted to avoid accidents or drowning. This has significantly helped cut down the number of fatalities and injuries related to jet ski usage in 2012. The Authority further laid down new measures to regulate cruise ship operations and therefore maintain a high level of environmental security and maritime safety. All cruise ships will be subject to inspection by Dubai Maritime City Authority to ensure best performance and compliance with international maritime safety standards and practices,” added Amer Ali.
New rules and initiatives have also been introduced to regulate the deployment of navigation aids (navaids) by Dubai-based maritime agencies, which are now required to submit an annual maintenance plan for the navaids and obtain a No Objection Certificate from DMCA before deploying navaids in Dubai’s waters. On the other hand, the Authority has conducted several major events in 2012, including Dubai Maritime Week 2012, the first-ever maritime industry workshop in Dubai and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Forum with senior management of marinas in Dubai. These events discussed various key topics, including amendments to local regulations regarding the licensing of personnel operating leisure and pleasure craft; enhancing existing emergency response plans; maritime traffic management; marina system regulations;
Dubai’s cruise ship industry has also benefited from DMCA’s initiatives in 2012, as the Authority formed a specialized team to help ensure the safety of cruise ships arriving in Dubai and to reinforce Dubai’s ability to deal with potential maritime accidents. The ‘Cruise Ship Emergency Response Task Force’ was also established to follow through the priorities set for the 2013 cruise season, especially in terms of fire safety and other areas of high risk.
Commenting on the important role of DMCA in Dubai, Ali Al Daboos, Executive Director of Operations, DMCA, said: “Focusing on enhancing the level of maritime safety in Dubai, the efforts of our team at DMCA has seen positive results with the implementation of new regulations governing various maritime operations of vessels in the emirate, where anchorages are divided into sub-anchorages for short and long-term docking and waiting areas for refueling. Such activities will also be monitored to ensure compliance with local and international regulations. These solid achievements in 2012 were successfully accomplished in collaboration with our strategic partners. We will continue to jointly push forward to lay down the strong foundations that will boost maritime operations and services across Dubai, under the highest standards of efficiency and excellence.”