UAE makes history with consecutive IMO Category-B Membership; What’s Next?


From being named the seventh most popular destination to visit in the world, placing eighth in global financial centre rankings, and positioning itself ninth among the world’s top maritime capitals, Dubai has established itself as one of the most elite cities on the planet. Moreover, these are just a few of the many credentials which the UAE can proudly boast; securing its repeat Category-B Membership within the IMO (International Maritime Organization) Council is the most recent.

The UAE submitted its file for re-nomination during the fourth quarter of 2019 and officially secured a second term when the elections took place on November 29th at the 31st General Assembly Meeting. With the victory, the country became the first Arab Nation to obtain such a feat. Moreover, the UAE bested competition that was composed of 10 leading countries in the field of international maritime trade, the likes of which included Germany, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, France and Australia.

H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) – Land and Maritime UAE emphasized, “This historic victory demonstrates the UAE’s continuing endeavor to become a powerful member of the global shipping industry. We are pushing to continue the country’s competitive role in global trade and the international economy, especially in our continuing efforts to expand the development of local ports with a total investment of AED 157 billion over the coming years. While we are thrilled to be the first Arab Nation to be awarded such an honor, growth and progress will not stop here.”

Steering towards new horizons

Dubai’s recent status as first among maritime hubs in the Middle East, can strongly be attributed to the UAE currently accounting for 35% of total maritime investment within the region. With the country having recently drafted a new maritime law, and subsequently having secured its repeat Category-B membership within the IMO council, this regional prosperity and progression seems likely to continue.

H.E. Eng. Ahmed Al Khouri, Director-General of the FTA – Land and Maritime UAE highlighted, “The UAE is ambitions to strategically create and implement international laws and regulations that further develop world transport and trade activity. This successful repeat bid firmly positions us to fulfill these aspirations. Moreover, the win affirms our country’s credibility to play an instrumental role in promoting the international maritime system and ultimately driving in more growth for global maritime trade.”

H.E. Eng. Hessa Al Malek, Executive Director of Maritime Transport at the FTA – Land and Maritime UAE further added, “We are proud to have attained this achievement. With advanced capabilities and competitive advantages, we feel worthy of this victory which provides merit, as well as cements the UAE’s leading position as a world class maritime center. As we expand our scope for the global benefit of maritime, we will shift focus to transferring our leading experience in managing and operating 77 ports worldwide, including vital ports in the UAE and Europe.”

The UAE’s securement of a consecutive term in the IMO council, and its recognition as the first Arab Nation to accomplish this, accurately reflects the country’s diligent efforts and integral role in the global maritime industry. With a vision to become the world’s leading nation by 2071, the UAE can celebrate now by adding this conquest to its long list of successes. However, while this accomplishment is noteworthy, the UAE is aware that the work does not stop here. It only represents a forward push. Yet, with hard work and determination being deeply engrained within the DNA of the country, this momentum is all but guaranteed to lift the UAE to even greater heights.