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UAE Shipowners Association Launched

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

17 May 2007

A new association representing the interests of ship owners in the United Arab Emirates was officially launched at a reception at the Dubai International Financial Centre on May 13.

The objective of the The UAE Ship Owners Association (UAESOA) is to promote the interests of ship owners based in and operating from the UAE, in addition to providing a common platform for interaction within the rest of the industry. Other key priorities are to promote the establishment of professional standards and a code of conduct and ethical industry practice.

Major General Sharafuddin Sharaf, Vice Chairman of Sharaf Group, and President of UAESOA, commented:

"UAESOA has been established to provide a platform to support the interests of ship owners and the maritime industry of the UAE. We aim to bring the ship owners together with, maritime suppliers, service providers and concerned members of the public, for the benefit of the wider maritime community. We welcome all the ship owners based in UAE to join the association."

UAESOA will represent the UAE at international conferences and other maritime gatherings, and will be affiliated to the International Chamber of Shipping. The association also aims to promote the UAE flag internationally by proposing suitable amendments to the relevant authorities and streamlining the procedures and associated legislation for the registration of ships under the UAE Flag.

One issue the UAESOA is eager to address is the lack of awareness of financial packages available to the industry. Captain Saleem Alavi, Business Development Manager, Dubai Maritime City commented: "There is a general lack of awareness of the financing options available to ship owners. We hope that the association will be a conduit between ship owners and the finance industry."

The association will be self-funding through membership fees, which fall into four main categories. Founder membership is available only to those originally involved in the setting-up of the association. Full membership is open to companies registered in the UAE that own ships of 500 Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) or more, which is further categorised depending on the number of ships they register.

Associate Membership is open to any company registered in the UAE that does not own a ship but is engaged in ship operating or ship management and Honorary Membership is open to prominent members of society.

Captain Jitendra Misra, General Secretary of UAESOA, and Managing Director of Emarat Maritime said, "We will have regional influence although our main activity will be in the UAE. The association has started with eight members and we are expecting up to a hundred others to join shortly."

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