Jan 12 | 2021
UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure partners with AASTS to develop maritime sector
Photo: (Left) H.E. Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Faraj, president of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport and (right) H.E. Hassan Mohammed Juma Al Mansouri, under-secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure
Breakbulk Middle East education day partner Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport branch in Sharjah (AASTS) and the event’s patron the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure have signed a partnership agreement to utilise AASTS’ expert staff to develop the UAE’s maritime sector. The agreement supports AASTS’ vision to enhance the Arab maritime sector by preparing the nation’s youth to be competent industry professionals, while also providing research and development services. The move also supports AASTS’ mission to cement the UAE’s position as a leading global maritime hub.
The agreement was signed by H.E. Hassan Mohammed Juma Al Mansouri, under-secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and H.E. Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Faraj, president of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.
Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure H.E. Hassan Mohammed Juma Al Mansouri said, “In the UAE, we are determined to be ‘number one’ in all areas and aim to become a unique example in sustainable development, ensuring the prosperity and wellbeing of the current and future generations in the post-oil era. This is the essence of the UAE’s strategy as we prepare for the next fifty years. The maritime economy and the maritime sector are key pillars to achieve this vision. Over 20,000 maritime establishments and companies operate in the UAE. This figure is the largest in the region. Our ports receive over 12 million containers annually, supporting the economic growth in the UAE and other GCC countries. Thus, boosting maritime investments, which are valued at USD 65 billion, annually.
“This vision cannot be achieved without qualified and creative professionals, who are capable of using this opportunity to build on the achievements our founding fathers, under the flag of the Union. Our leaders transformed challenges into success and unparalleled prosperity and our partnership with the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport support this vision. As one of the region’s most prominent academic institutions, it is the Academy’s mission to aid the growth of the Arab region. It plays an important role in setting a benchmark in the education and training sector and providing Arab countries with competencies and expertise in scientific research, consultancy and academic studies in the maritime sector.”
From his perspective, H.E. Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Farag, President of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport explained, “As an organisation associated with the Arab League, we are mandated to build partnerships that develop the economic capabilities of all Arab countries. However, our relationship with the UAE is a special one. We have received unlimited support from the UAE’s leadership to empower and develop the maritime sector. This has been evident since the establishment of the Academy’s branch in Sharjah, which is the largest of all our branches and is comparable in size and capabilities to our headquarters in Alexandria. Generous scholarships and state-of-the-art facilities that have been allocated to the Academy in Sharjah make it on a par with some of the best international universities and maritime academies.”
Training support for cybersecurity
With the agreement comes valuable training support that is necessary for a robust and future-proof maritime program. “The UAE has made great strides in digitalising its maritime infrastructure. Its ports are listed among some of the most technologically advance worldwide,” Prof. Dr. Hossam Shawky, Acting Director of the Academy's Branch in Sharjah said. "We can say that the UAE’s digital capabilities are on par with some of the biggest programming and e-solution companies and even outperform them with their practical applications. As the demand for technology-enabled solutions is increasing with the changing times, there is an urgent need to provide the maritime sector with young cybersecurity experts to enhance the protection of digital maritime assets. This will foster the UAE’s leading status, making it a global provider of a vital service whose demand is increasing rapidly.”
Training vessels for students
According to Dr. Captain Ahmed Youssef, Associate Dean of the Maritime Transport Technology College, AASTS maritime education is different from other theoretical specialisations as it totally depends on the practical aspect.
“This is the biggest challenge several maritime academies around the globe face considering the high costs of training vessels,” Youssef said. “This agreement is especially valuable as the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure will provide full support to facilitate the training of our students on ships operating in the UAE. This will give the Academy a competitive edge, making our national graduates better qualified as they will be equipped with hands-on experience of working on ships of various types and sizes."
Both the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and AASTS will be present on the exhibition floor at Breakbulk Middle East 2021. AASTS is a multi-year supporter of the event’s Education Day designed to introduce local students to a career in project cargo, maritime and related sectors. The 2021 Education Day program will take place on the main stage on the second day of the event, Wednesday, 10 February, at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Saeed Hall 1.
About the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport Branch in Sharjah:
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Sharjah and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport subsidiary of the Arab States University, headquartered in Egypt, to establish a branch of the Academy in Khorfakkan, Sharjah. Dr. Ismail Abdul Ghaffar Ismail President of the Academy has signed the MOU at the headquarters of the Sharjah Research Academy. In its future plans, the new academy in the Emirate of Sharjah will graduate students specializing in various maritime science and technology majors, international maritime logistics and international maritime law, which will provide modern specialized quality studies and provide the market with specialists in all fields of maritime work.