Inside Maritime Transport at the Federal Transport Authority–Land & Maritime (FTA)

An interview with H.E Eng. Hessa Bint Ahmed Al Malek, Executive Director of Maritime Transport, The Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime (FTA), who will be a part of Tuesday’s government panel at Breakbulk Middle East 2020.

BREAKBULK MIDDLE EAST PREVIEWTell us about your role as Executive Director of Maritime Transport at the FTA.

UAE is one of the leading maritime hubs globally, and that is why the maritime sector is considered one of the most important pillars to empower the national economy. Accordingly, I’m involved in supervising all of the regulatory activities in the UAE maritime industry to improve the business environment related to shipping and marine.

In addition to handling all activities related to ratification, implementation, and enforcement of International Maritime Organization (IMO) conventions in UAE as a flag, port, and coastal state as part of all matters related to the UAE relationship with IMO. I also follow up drafting, adopting and implementing the maritime strategic policies and projects related to capacity building and performance enhancements within the UAE maritime sector.

What are your primary objectives? Challenges?

Simply, our objective is to regulate, control and develop the maritime sector in the UAE. The most important challenges we are facing are working at the federal level to regulate the maritime sector and the shortage of maritime specialists within the FTA team.

How will these impact the transport of project cargo throughout the country?

The mentioned challenges have a limited impact on cargo transportation throughout the country. However, we aspire to overcome these challenges to be able to cope with the ambitious vision of the UAE leadership in the maritime sector.

What projects are in the pipeline or under development that will require the delivery of project cargo? 

We are working closely with the Abu Dhabi ports team to integrate with Al Maqta single window project, the first port community platform in the UAE. Moreover, we are currently in the preparatory phase to establish the Maritime Information Centre, which will help the industry to get an insight into the sector to make better decisions.

Which sectors look to be the most promising both short term and long term?

Of course, the development and new projects launched in the offshore sector are making a huge impact on improving the business opportunities for local investors. From the other side, we are counting highly on the release of the new maritime law to help improve the overall legal framework and attract more international investors to the UAE over the long term.

What role does China’s Belt and Road initiative play in the region?

Due to the strategic location of the UAE ports in the middle of the most important global trade routes, the Belt and Road initiative will attract more business to the UAE, enabling more in the area of transshipment cargo via UAE ports.

Are there other countries interested in project development partnerships?

Our most important strategic partner in the maritime sector is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The UAE government has signed many agreements with the KSA leadership to execute mutual projects and carry on massive development.

The UAE is known throughout the world as a progressive country. What trends will impact future growth? What does the UAE in 2030 look like?​

We are working now to equip our maritime sector with state-of-the-art digital transformation capabilities to boost trade. In 2030, we hope to be leaders in the artificial intelligence technologies, running the smartest ports that will be ready to receive smart autonomous ships.

As an accomplished woman in government, what advice do you have for other women who would like to follow in your footsteps?

My advice to women in the maritime industry is to work always to upgrade your qualifications and skills, and to be dedicated to your job regardless of your position.

H.E Eng. Hessa Bint Ahmed Al Malek, Executive Director of Maritime Transport, The Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime (FTA) will be a part of the Government Panel: Regional Outlook and Growth Opportunities for the Breakbulk Industry on Tuesday, 25 February from 11:10-11:45 at the Main Stage. 


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