In line with its ongoing efforts to empower young Emiratis to work in the maritime sector, the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport Sharjah Branch (AASTS) has signed a cooperation agreement with Zakher Marine International to train the Academy’s students on board its fleet. Zakher Marine is a leading marine services company based in Abu Dhabi and specialises in providing offshore support services. It has one of the biggest and most diverse fleets of marine support vessels in the UAE.
The agreement includes providing the suitable living and training conditions onboard ships operated by Zakher Marine, in line with local and international regulations, laws and treaties related to training. The agreement also ensures fulfilling the needs of the students and seafarers as well as providing them with the necessary care and insurance cover while on board the ships.
Supporting the UAE Maritime Strategy
Commenting on the agreement, H.E. Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Farag, President of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, said, “We are proud of our partnership with Zakher Marine, which has been one of the pioneering organisations in developing and enabling excellence in the maritime sector since its inception. Today, the company supports the most important component of the UAE Maritime Strategy, which is developing and preparing human resources who are the cornerstone of developing all marine sectors as well as the blue economy, which the UAE considers a key component of its sustainable economy for the next fifty years and beyond.”
Farag added, “The move by Zakher Marine marks the beginning of more cooperation between the private and the academic sectors in the maritime industry. This will feature several stages, including the development of training courses for seafarers, and research and development services to find solutions for the technical problems faced by private companies. Other services will include providing career certificates for professionals, maritime passport renewal, conducting competency tests, and other areas of cooperation. We are confident that Zakher Marine will be a role model for other companies in supporting young Emiratis to gain the best practical experiences.”
Eng. Mohammed Habashneh, Chief Operation Officer at Zakher Marine International, said, “At Zakher Marine, we consider our cooperation with the Academy to train its students on board our fleet, a commitment towards the future generations who have joined marine specialisations, which lack the competent professionals. We also realise that this cooperation in fact helps us because we contribute to preparing Emirati professionals, many of whom will be captains and engineers on board our fleet. So, we will be the beneficiaries of this initiative in the long run. We will continue to shoulder our responsibility in serving the UAE maritime sector, which is one of the most robust in the region, by providing everything we can. With the capabilities of the academic institutions coupled with the expertise of their staff, we are sure that the maritime sector will witness further growth and development in the future.”
A unique diversified fleet
Dr. Capt. Ahmed Youssef, Associate Dean, College of Maritime Transport and Technology, AASTS said, “Zakher Marine’s fleet is one of the largest fleets in the marine and oil field services in the UAE. It has some of the biggest vessels in their class, including large crew transporting vessels and a large number of jack up barges fitted with propellers that are rarely seen except in virtual simulation systems. It also has a number of naval barges and marine transportation vessels. Training the Academy’s students on board these different vessels and offshore platforms is an unparalleled opportunity for our students to gain practical experience and sail modern boats equipped with advanced and unique systems.”
Youssef added, “We value this pioneering initiative by Zakher Marine to support maritime education and training. We hope this initiative will lead the way for other national companies that own naval fleets to train students, especially since the UAE fleet ranks 21st worldwide, with its diverse vessels from giant oil and liquefied gas tankers, to the world’s largest and most luxurious record-breaking yachts. We will continue our efforts to open more prospects for cooperation with leading organisations in the maritime sector to fulfil our mission to provide the National and global maritime industry with the best qualified professionals.”