The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport branch in Sharjah concludes successful participation in Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special
The Arab Academy for Science,Technology and Maritime Transport branch in Sharjah (AASTS) successfully participated in the Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special, as a Key Knowledge Partner. The event is held under the patronage of The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.The virtual event provided a platform for professionals from the breakbulk and project cargo sector and students who aspire to be a part of the industry.Through this event, the Academy showcased its advanced capabilities in the field of maritime education and training with the aim of making an impact on the future generation that will drive the success of the industry.
On day one, Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Farag, President of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport was a key speaker as part of the Welcome and Outlook from the Government Perspective session. He spoke alongside H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei,the UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; H.R.H. Princess Sarah Al Saud,Director of Maritime Business Development at the International Forum for Maritime Transport, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria; Shahab Al Jassmi, Commercial Director of Ports and Terminals, DP World, UAE Region and Ben Blamire, Event Director, Breakbulk Middle East.
An incubator for aspiring professionals
In his keynote address, Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar highlighted certain themes including the Academy’s continuous support for Breakbulk Middle East and its strategic initiatives. He emphasised on the Academy’s role in shaping the future of the industry and spoke about the Academy’s efforts to ensure consistent development in the industry by utilising their research and development capabilities and the expertise of its staff.
Speaking about the Academy’s participation, Abdel Ghaffar added, “The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport is honoured to be the official knowledge partner for Breakbulk Middle East Digital Special. This is one of the very few events dedicated to the project cargo and the breakbulk industry and what makes it even special is its focus to encourage the younger generation of aspiring professions to be a part of this thriving industry. Our participation in this strategic event is in line with our preparations to contribute to the UAE’s “Towards the Next 50 years” initiative. We are delighted to represent the maritime education sector as it plays a crucial role in the advancement of the industry and is essential to safeguard our future.”
He explained, “The Middle East and especially the UAE has immense growth potential. The transport and logistics sectors are key to the UAE’s economic growth. The Dubai government launched the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, which identifies the maritime sector as one of the six priority sectors. The strategy forecasts that Dubai’s total GDP will increase by 160 billion Dirhams. To support the efforts of our leaders, it is also essential for us to do our bit by educating the younger generation of the country to accelerate this growth.”
Nurturing local talent
Day 2 of the event witnessed an impressive attendance for the Women in Breakbulk Leadership Forum and the Education Day sessions. Both sessions highlighted the importance of having a dynamic workforce that can add value to the growth of the sector and the need to train younger minds to explore opportunities in the industry.
Dr. Capt. Ahmed Youssef, Associate Dean,College of Maritime Transport and Technology, AASTS delivered an encouraging speech while virtually addressing an audience of young students, entrepreneurs and aspiring professionals. He highlighted the opportunities in the industry, the increasing need for the use of technology-enabled solutions and the urgent need to empower the younger generation.
Dr. Youssef said, “At AASTS, we strive to provide comprehensive education andtraining that will qualify young cadres to serve theproject cargo industry in the UAE and the Middle East. Itis my pleasure to be a part of the Education Day initiative. I strongly believethat to create a future generation of leaders such endeavours are of utmostimportance. I would like to applaud the team at Breakbulk Middle East forceaselessly supporting young minds and connecting them to the right people forthe success of the industry. I urge all the students to use this opportunity totouch base with industry leaders, learn from their experience, ask questions,make connections. All this is crucial if you are looking to pursue a successfulcareer in the industry.”
Enhancing women’s contribution
The Academy has always supported the participation of women in the industry. 43% of students at the Academy are women, making it the highest percentage of female students in any maritime academy in the Arab World.
Speaking at the How Women Are Contributing to a Post-COVID Business Recovery session, Noura Al Shamsi, Head of Community Engagement, AASTS clarified, “The breakbulk and project cargo industry is undoubtedly male-dominated though the industry does have successful women who are changing the face of operations in the industry. We at the Academy, since our inception,have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that young girls are educated about the opportunities in the industry. Informing our younger generation about the many possibilities is the first step to bridge the gender gap in the industry. We firmly believe that the industry does need the capabilities of women to progress”
The Academy has continually focused on shaping local talent to prepare them to be future leaders. And Breakbulk Middle East proved to be a great platform to connect the youth with industry experts and professionals. To ensure that their students can learn from experts and professionals who participated in the Digital Special, the Academy urged all its young cadres to be a part of the leading event.