Dubai is launching a new Marine Agency to regulate the dhow sector and promote its role in regional trade. The new unit will be managed by the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation in cooperation with Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA).
Dubai is a key destination for dhow ships carrying merchandise and goods from several regional countries. It is estimated that each year dhows transport over 720,000 tonnes of goods to and from the emirate. As well as better regulating and supporting this business, the move also aims to consolidate the safety and security of dhows in Dubai waters.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said, “The main responsibility of the Marine Agency will be to develop the current dhow trade sector by proposing legislation and regulations to develop operations and to gradually use electronic services and smart trade solutions to the procedures. The agency is also responsible for looking after the interests of the dhow owners and ensuring the safety, security and rights of seafarers while in Dubai.”
All local and foreign dhow owners will have to register their ships with the agency and follow its rules for sailing and carrying out shipping and loading operations in Dubai ports. The agency will also implement a transparent service fee applicable to local traders and will be responsible for a range of services including cargo handling, safety, and damage control.