Over recent years the marine industry and nautical community of the UAE has experienced significant growth across all maritime sectors. This rising strength of the UAE developing as a global maritime hub be it yachting and marinas, ports, cruising or ship repair and ship building, is serving as a catalyst to establish a new umbrella association to represent all parts of the marine sector.

At the recent Dubai International Superyacht Summit a presentation from Saeed Al Marri, the Marina Manager of Mina Rashid marina, gave an outline of what is being proposed. He spoke of “an increasing interest from the nautical community to meet and share knowledge, information problems and support each other’s businesses.”

He pointed out that a number of non-associated nautical lobbies already exist in the UAE and that together with the marine authorities and developers, they have contributed to the development of the UAE marine industry over the last 20 years.

He told Summit delegates that the plan is to introduce a unification of all sectors of the marine industry with representation through the EAMI- the Emirati Association of Marine Industry. He pointed to such a body strengthening the UAE maritime industry; making it more compact and to give the UAE a stronger reputation in international marine circles.

In terms of the yacht sector he suggested that through partnership and collaboration EAMI could with such existing organisations as ICOMIA, the MIA and GMI to name a few. Through these links he envisaged the UAE yacht and superyacht sector being able to secure a stronger presence and status at an international level.

This is a significant step forward because previously there have been rules about forming bodies that represent industry and business sectors. There has, for example, been an attempt to form a marinas association. The fact that the state-owned maritime group DP World appears to be backing the plan for the EAMI, removes such restrictions.

In another move a new national Marine Environment Protection Agency (MEPA) has been formed. The UAE MEPA becomes the eighth member of the International MEPA movement founded by Greece’s HELMEPA, which celebrated its 35th anniversary last year.

The Inaugural Declaration of UAEMEPA was signed by Khamis Juma Buamim, chairman of the Dubai Council for Marine & Maritime Industries (DCMMI) and HELMEPA director general Dimitris C. Mitsatsos was signed earlier this month.