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Seatrade Maritime Middle East Virtual 2020 will reinforce the leading status of the maritime industry in the region

The event that will utilise the power of technology to provide an immersive digital experience is set to witness exceptional participation from local and international players

Stressing on the importance of modern technology and digitalization in the industry, Seatrade Maritime Middle East Virtual 2020 (SMMEV), is set to open from December 14-16, 2020. The three-day event will provide a unique platform to generate business leads and gain industry insights, helping the industry recover from the COVID-19 crisis and promoting growth.

The event will open with a video message from Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The line-up of panellists includes notable names from the industry around the globe. Kitack Lim’s address will be followed by a keynote from Abdulla Bin Damithan, Chief Commercial Officer, DP World UAE Region, after which the first session of the event titled ‘The Road to Recovery’ will be held. Throughout the event, speakers will discuss topics ranging from solutions to tackle the global pandemic, market outlook, reduction of emission, decarbonisation of shipping, digitalization in the shipping industry, the need to build a resilient supply chain and people sustainability.

H.E. Eng. Hessa Al Malik, Advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport Affairs, The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure said: “The industry today is going through a massive shift due to the disruption caused by the global pandemic. We are heading towards a new era with the adoption of digitalization and smart transformation. To shed light on the developments and the challenges the industry is facing, it is imperative to unite the leaders and professionals from the industry. The efforts that the team at SMMEV have taken to make this event a reality is commendable. Over the years, Seatrade continues to support the industry and promote to its development is a major way.”

The announcement of the winners of the Seatrade Marine Awards Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa Awards 2020, will also take place on day one of the event. Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade, said: “This year is special as we are celebrating the 17th anniversary of these Seatrade Maritime Awards.. Our awards honour the achievements of organisations and personalities who have done outstanding work in the industry. This year has been challenging, but despite this, the industry has showcased resilience and several industry players have continued their stellar work. The awards prove that the industry in the region continues to rise to the challenges it faces with tenacity and ambition.”

Exhibitors from around the world

The virtual platform will offer a space for participants to network, build relationships, make new connections and experience seamless, AI-powered matchmaking. During the three days of the event, attendees and exhibitors will be able to log in to the online event platform, using the meeting and matchmaking features. They will be able to showcase their brand, upload media and highlight products to create an engaging touchpoint for prospects. Attendees will find exhibiters through the supplier listings and event guide. They can also request meetings with those who match buyer demographics.

Chris Morley, Event Director, Seatrade Maritime said, “When we decided to go ahead with the launch of the virtual version, we never expected such a huge volume of participation. The virtual exhibition will have 120 exhibitors, including a special pavilion from Jiangsu, China’s leading shipbuilding province. A 30-strong exhibitor pavilion representing sectors including ship, marine and port equipment, engine and propulsion, technology, ship designers and builders, as well as safety and security will be a part of SMMEV. Considering the potential of the market in the Middle East region, we are confident that the virtual version of the event will help businesses gain valuable leads.”

Hoping to make the most of the virtual platform, Li. Xiaodon, Director of International Trade Promotion Center of Jiangsu Province, said: “We are pleased to continue this tradition of promoting the interaction and cooperation between Chinese and foreign companies. Jiangsu hopes to strengthen cooperation with enterprises from all around the world.”

A wealth of knowledge

The new platform provides access to a variety of content including enlightening discussions and sessions via live broadcast or on-demand content. Dr. Captain Ahmed Yousef, Associate Dean of the College of Maritime Transport and Technology at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Sharjah Branch, said: “During live events, we often find it difficult to attend all sessions because of tight schedules. But virtual versions are great as they give you access to content whenever suits your schedule at work or at home. At SMMEV, attendees can browse through the virtual exhibition and get acquainted with the latest products and services presented by the exhibitors from around the world. This platform is ideal to gain insights about the industry. Hence, we will ensure that all our students participate and utilise this exceptional opportunity to learn about the operations in the industry. It will also help them to connect with the right people, and build relationships with decision-makers and influential people in the maritime industry.”

The Seatrade Maritime Awards Middle East, Indian Subcontinent & Africa 2020 will also take place on day one of SMMEV 2020. The exhibition and networking opportunities continue until December 16. The in-person event of Seatrade Maritime Middle East is expected to take place in 2021 at the Expo 2020 site. The hybrid event will allow for virtual interactions, allowing global businesses to work in the Middle East.