“On this World Maritime Day, International Marine & Energy recognises the impact our industry has on the globe, with the sector being responsible for around 90 percent of all world trade. Looking a little closer to home, we see the progress of our region, with Dubai ranked among the top five global maritime centres on the 2023 International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index for the fourth consecutive year.
Today, our industry proudly celebrates the 50th anniversary of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). This year's theme, ‘MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on,’ shines a deserved spotlight on a half-century of dedicated environmental protection in the maritime industry.
In the Middle East, where maritime trade serves as a linchpin of economic prosperity, MARPOL's significance cannot be overstated. Our region boasts a vibrant and diverse ecosystem, and its protection is paramount. Over the past five decades, a regulatory framework built to ensure our seas remain pristine has guided us toward a more sustainable future.
As we embrace the digital age, technology and innovation play pivotal roles in achieving compliance with MARPOL's stringent standards. The Middle East's commitment to the convention extends to the development and adoption of eco-friendly technologies, from cleaner fuels to emission-reduction measures, as well as the recent establishment of the UAE Maritime Decarbonisation Centre, the first-of-its-kind centre in the MENA region and only the fourth globally – setting an example for the global shipping community. The region's commitment to MARPOL is a testament to our dedication to preserving our marine environment.
Under its visionary leaders, the Middle East remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding the maritime environment, ensuring that the legacy of ‘MARPOL at 50’ endures for generations to come as we reaffirm the pledge to protect our oceans.
On this World Maritime Day, we salute the progress made, while looking forward to a future where sustainable maritime practices remain steadfast.”
Note: An article by Mr. Hamed Fathi, Director and Head of Legal, International Marine & Energy (IME)