Local, regional and international maritime professionals will descend on Abu Dhabi today (Monday 3 October) for three days of eagerly anticipated debate, dialogue and deal-making at Middle East Workboats 2011 - the definitive event for workboat operators, builders and equipment suppliers.
With the GCC leading maritime services sector expansion in the region, a growing number of opportunities from the Gulf to the Red Sea across the harbour and escort tug business, support and servicing arena, coastal construction and Greenfield energy exploration will likely dominate exhibitor and conference discussions.
“Upgrade and expansion of the Middle East work boat fleet continues unabated, with the global downturn having left large areas of this maritime sector virtually unaffected. Owners of vessels servicing the energy sector are replacing older units and adopting new technologies as they strive to meet increasingly demanding requirements of key regional charterers,” said Emma Hamilton, Middle East Marketing Manager for event organisers, Seatrade.
The exhibition and conference, returns to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 3-5 October with a packed agenda and a healthy 21% increase in exhibitor numbers compared to the 2009 event, according to Seatrade. Apart from regional exhibitors, Europe, Singapore and China are well represented.
“In terms of profile, design and build, equipment suppliers and offshore support companies will make up 50% of exhibitors, with navigation, communications, safety equipment accounting for a further 20%,” added Hamilton.
Conference delegates will be brought up to speed on modernisation trends in workboats, along with an insight into the latest technological advances and sophistication in workboat design, courtesy of a high profile line-up of renowned industry speakers. Other topics on the agenda include the challenges facing vessel operators and owners today, such as crew recruitment and retention, the charter market, advances in offshore ship technology and environmental issues.
A full schedule of technical seminars and round table sessions will provide additional opportunities for proactive dialogue and education. Building on the successful format used in 2009, visitors are once again invited to participate in the interactive industry-led round table sessions taking place on the afternoon of day two, and share experiences and best practice with suppliers, operators and boat builders.
New for 2011 is the highly anticipated Industry Question Time session, which will take place on the morning of Wednesday 5 October. Five industry experts will discuss maritime services sector hot topics including sustainable business models, risk management and the legal ramifications of corporate responsibility, before the floor is opened up to questions from a mixed audience of industry professionals and students.
A line-up of top industry professionals will be speaking this year including; Robert G. Allan, P. Eng., Executive Chairman of the Board, Robert Allan Ltd; Capt Ian Bacon, Marine Consulting and Operations Manager (Middle East and India), GL Noble Denton; Joseph Brincat, Vice President, Middle East Region, ABS; Mustapha Boussaid, Director, Maritime Investment, Waha Capital; Bo Damsgaard, Head of Marine Service, Maersk Oil Qatar AS.
Other top industry speakers include Andrew King, Managing Director, P&O Maritime Services; Knut Mathiassen, Regional Head – Shipping Finance – Middle East & Africa, Standard Chartered Bank; Lars Seistrup, Chief Operating Officer, SVITZER Asia, Middle East & Africa; William Tobin, Offshore Syndicate Manager – Underwriting, The Shipowners’ Protection Ltd; Vincent Weve, General Manager, Stanford Marine; Capt Cheikh Atbi, Marine Competency/Training Specialist, IRSHAD; Andrew Brown, Business Development Manager, Lamnalco Group and Roy Donaldson, Chief Operating Officer, Topaz Energy & Marine Ltd.