Dubai hosts the Maritime Academic Conference and Expo MARACAD 2016 in its second edition
- Experts and academics are looking for new maritime training methods
- A Unique Platform for Regional and International Maritime Educational Community
- Is it time to establish an Arab union for Maritime institutes?
Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al-Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime, and the strategic support of Dubai City Maritime Authority, the International Maritime Academic Conference and Expo MARACAD 2016 will be held for the second time on the 20th of September 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
MARACAD Conference & Exhibition, offers the main platform for experts, specialists and academics to discuss critical maritime education and training methods, and how these link to today’s technological advancements and unconventional teaching programs. It also creates an opportunity for international and regional government and semi government organizations and institutions, to meet with maritime experts and academics though its conference and associated exhibition, allowing all visitors and delegates to be updated with the latest that technology has to offer.
The upcoming maritime event, which is organized by Cham events, will raise a range of topics during its sessions. Marine Engineer Ali Shehab, Deputy Chief Executive of Fleet Operations, Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) – a MARACAD 2016 Gold Sponsor – emphasized the need to attract talented youth and to encourage them to work in the maritime sector whether in shipboard operations, shipbuilding, ship repair, or other services.
“As a leading international company in maritime transport, KOTC is very much focused on its human element investment strategy” Mr. Shehab said. He believes that the shipping community today is in dire need of modern training methods, and emphasizes the priority KOTC places on recruiting and retaining Kuwaiti youth by offering scholarship programs and a career path on board its oil tankers. KOTC’s certified training scheme extends from the point of recruitment to the highest ranks in navigation and engineering.
Dr. Mustafa Massad, President of the Jordan Academy for Maritime Studies, also a MARACAD 2016 Gold Sponsor, stated that the importance of this event stems from the fact that it is the only maritime academic gathering in the Arab world, and one of the few maritime academic events in the world. “We hope that this will lead to the founding of an Arab union for maritime, an institute that will work on unified policies for maritime education and training in the region which are compliant with ever-changing international maritime requirements and meet the needs of ships, ports and technology” he said.
Dr. Massad also highlighted the effectiveness of simulators in education and training in addition to conventional methods, and the consequent growing need for simulator trainers. However, he added: “As for e-learning, despite its importance and uptake in other areas of education, and in spite of attempts by maritime academic institutions and shipping companies to take advantage of technology in the field of communications, its spread might be limited in the specific area of maritime. It might be early to use e-learning, especially as it requires international and national legislations to coincide for the maritime industry in order to realize its full potential.”
The Head of Jordan Academy for Maritime Studies recognizes training opportunities for students on board ships as a key issue for discussion at MARACAD. In his speech, Dr. Mustafa Massad is expected to focus on the requirement to consolidate the efforts of different academic institutions, particularly in Arab countries, and the need to raise the standards among the academic staff and unify public examinations
From his part Capt. Gamal Fekry, Managing Director of Red Sea Marine Management Limited RSMS, a MARACAD 2016 Gold sponsor, will affirm that the Arab region is currently suffering from a severe shortage mainly in specialized fields, such as petrochemicals and liquefied natural gas. The solution lies in private navigational companies and governmental organizations working to encourage and support cadet training that is structured within a defined time frame.
Capt. Fekry added: “In the past, maritime was not considered as an attractive field for the young. However, the new advancements in technology have made it more appealing, so seminars and conferences are a necessity to encourage cadets to enter this industry. We at RSMS, are certainly committed to preparing and qualifying cadets through modern training programs and by using new technology in evaluating and training deck engineers and officers as a way of inspiring them.”