Under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Breakbulk Middle East (BBME) has announced that it will return to Dubai for the third consecutive year. This time, BBME 2021 will take place from the 09-10 of February 2021. DP World, UAE Region, the leading trade enabler, will once again serve as the event’s Host Port. Breakbulk Middle East has now been organised for six consecutive years, achieving a consistent year-on-year growth.
The event’s 2020 edition witnessed attendance of Arab transport ministers and government officials from Syria, Sudan, Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, 3,444 visitors, and 1,663 companies from 72 countries.
H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and InfrastructureH.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure said: “Rapid transformation and development has taken place over the course of the last year. In regard to the UAE, some of the country’s most notable changes include having successfully elevated our global and regional maritime standing, drafting a new maritime law to suit emerging needs of the industry, and securing a second consecutive term as a Category-B Member within the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council. Breakbulk Middle East has shown great promise by growing yearly, especially in Dubai, and producing tremendous results. BBME’s ability to unite industry leaders, promote collaboration, and foster necessary solutions is of great benefit to the entire industrial supply chain. With that said, we look forward to witnessing how the sixth annual edition will elevate its service offering even further to provide added contributions to the UAE.”
H.E Eng. Ahmed Sharif Al Khouri, Director General of the Federal Transportation Authority for Land and Maritime said, “Rapid transformation and development has taken place over the course of the last year. In regard to the UAE, some of the country’s most notable changes include having successfully elevated our global and regional maritime standing, drafting a new maritime law to suit emerging needs of the industry, and securing a second consecutive term as a Category-B Member within the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council.
“As it pertains to Breakbulk Middle East, the event has shown great promise by growing yearly, especially in Dubai, and producing tremendous results. BBME’s ability to unite industry leaders, promote collaboration, and foster necessary solutions is of great benefit to the entire industrial supply chain. We look forward to witnessing how the sixth annual edition will elevate its service offering even further to provide added contributions to the UAE.”
The effects of the pandemic have reverberated throughout the industry and the world. “The COVID-19 crisis has been impacting every aspect of life and work,” AlKhouri said. “The pandemic has also underpinned the need for businesses to be agile to remain competitive. The UAE has demonstrated in its fight against this pandemic resilience as well its emergency response readiness, and successful planning and action. Now with a gradual return to normalcy, the nation serves as a model for how public and private collaboration is crucial in addressing challenges.”
Despite the current industry challenges, the UAE is continuing its efforts to increase the country’s competitive role in global trade and the international economy. The FTA has expressed that the country will expand the development of local ports with a total investment of AED 157 billion (USD$42.7b) over the coming years. Moreover, strong collaboration between Breakbulk Middle East and one of the UAE’s most prominent ports, DP World, UAE Region, is likely to prove advantageous for the country.
Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director of DP World, UAE Region said, “The UAE has been among the fastest economies in the MENA region to resume commercial activities previously halted to curb the spread of COVID-19. Precautionary measures and safety protocols are being formulated for ensuring business continuity. As port development in the region reaches new heights, capitalizing on opportunities will help ensure a successful future.
“Moreover, companies who remain competitive in the current market and prioritizes innovation are the ones who will excel and enable greater productivity. Breakbulk Middle East has established itself as a proven platform for opening up such opportunities and encouraging values that produce results. This has been a major factor why we consistently support the event and are thrilled to once again collaborate with the aim of creating a brighter future for both the regional and global breakbulk stakeholders.”
DP World, UAE Region, operates Jebel Ali Port, the largest marine terminal in the Middle East and the flagship facility of DP World’s portfolio of more than 150 maritime and logistics operations across six continents. As the region's largest and most sophisticated gateway, Jebel Ali Port's high degree of specialization and purpose-built facilities handle all types of breakbulk, project cargo, Ro-Ro and other general cargo. DP World is the Premier Global Trade Partner of Expo 2020 and handles all cargo bound for the Expo project. Jebel Ali Port's breakbulk, project and heavy-lift capabilities are spread over 27 berths with a depth of 15 meters and 1.4 million m2 of storage area.
Preparing for Prosperity Despite Challenges
Ben Blamire, Event Director of Breakbulk Middle East, said, “Industries worldwide, including the events sector, have been severely impacted by COVID-19. Almost overnight the events landscape changed and we, like so many others, have faced the harsh reality of rescheduling or postponing several international events on our calendar. We have been challenged to assess our business model and recalibrate our portfolio. However, with every challenge comes opportunity, and we’ve kept moving forward, leveraging new initiatives to maintain our successful status, especially in the MENA.
“The active participation, engagement and collaboration between many of industry experts is what has helped the Breakbulk Middle East maintain its position as the fastest growing event in our global portfolio. Moreover, the numbers speak for themselves and the contributions that have been made towards building the sector and enhancing the economic development of the region are highly apparent. As these quantitative results become increasingly visible over the coming months, we are excited to begin gearing up for another edition of the event which will help further solidify the standing of the UAE and extended Middle East.”
Breakbulk Masters, Breakbulk Education Day, Breakbulk AR, and Women in Breakbulk Breakfast were among the new initiatives which Breakbulk Middle East rolled out at 2020 edition of the event. These innovative offerings were well received and will return in 2021, along with additional opportunities to promote networking and new business relationships at the event.
Leslie Meredith, Marketing & Media Director of Breakbulk Events & Media concluded, “Today’s climate requires constant progression across all industries. The UAE is iconic in this sense, as its success has been built upon consistent innovation. With Dubai being one of the most elite business hubs in the world, and a leading nation in maritime growth and international trade, the city has become an optimal location for Breakbulk Middle East. As always, we look forward to leveraging the city’s strategic location, and reputable profile of the country to unite an even higher number of project cargo professionals. Moreover, we are eager to offer additional innovative initiatives that encourage increased collaboration and standardize a forward-thinking culture for the benefit of the regional and international industrial supply chain.”