H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), welcomed the participants of the Interferry Conference & Exhibition where about 350 delegates are expected to take part in the event.
"Thanks to the shrewd leadership of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the follow-up of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council, the Emirate of Dubai has seen a phenomenal economic development and become a key business & tourist hub. With its diverse and vibrant economy, the Emirate succeeded in attracting many investors & business leaders, thanks to its superb infrastructure, global outlook, free economic enterprise and the focus on delivering top-quality services at the least possible costs," said Al Tayer.
"The RTA is attaching tremendous attention to the marine transit sector, particularly the marine transport, and is keen on upgrading it in terms of quality, efficiency and modernity. It is also focusing on the provision of technically & administratively trained manpower, and follow-up of maintenance & operational efficiency, while assigning utmost attention to issues relating to safety & conserving the environment.
"The RTA, in coordination with the Interferry, has finalized all preparations for the event which will be held in Grand Hyatt Hotel where an array of distinctive events has been prepared comprising a host of activities & event that include a tour of the Dubai Creek to sample a part of the marine heritage of the UAE, particularly abra transport, besides paying visits to the marine transport stations.
"The Conference will discuss a number of key topics relating to the marine transport activity such as the means of coping with future challenges impacting the marine transport, improving the operational efficiency, developing sources of clean energy (solar energy, natural gas), introducing modern communication systems linking the water transit modes with the control centers, and establishing connections with various security entities in order to address the requirements of conforming to the timetable of trips. The Conference will also discuss transportation systems & technologies related to the revenue collection process of marine transport means and the integration with various transport systems such as buses, and trains in the neighbourhood. The Conference will also look into the investment potentials in the field of marine transport and how to uplift the marine transport in developing countries.
In a dedicated session in the Conference, the RTA will review its Strategic Plan for Public Transport, and the Master Plan of Marine Transport. RTA will shed light on its endeavours to upgrade the marine transport modes; which used to be restricted to abras, by introducing the Water Bus, Water Taxi and Ferry Dubai.
Established in 1976 under the name the International Marine Transit Association, the Interferry is the only international maritime organization representing the worldwide ferry industry. In 2001 the name of the organization was changed to its current name, Interferry; which currently has about 600 affiliates and 225 corporate members from 38 countries.
It seeks to represent the international mass transit boats worldwide and acts as a voice for all individuals in the ferry sector including owners, operators, ship designers, shipbuilders, equipment suppliers and manufacturers, in addition to suppliers and providers of support services to government agencies, and international classification societies.
The Interferry seeks to deliver multiple services to staff and customers of marine transportation including searching & gathering of information impacting the ferry industry, exchanging information and technical data between an international network of members, and promoting the industrial cooperation & advancement through providing a platform for professionals and individuals interested in gaining expertise and learning from others. The Interferry also supports a host of values in the marine transport and shipbuilding fields highlighted by the implementation of all safety standards relating to passengers, crew, cargo and ship, ensuring fair and just competition between manufacturers, developing fair rules & regulations to serve the marine transit sector, and conforming to the environmental sustainability in conformity with the global environmental systems.
To ensure the realization of its objectives & goals, the Interferry opted in 2004 to be affiliated with the UN International Maritime Organization in order to have access to all consultative services and necessary approvals within the scope of the organization. It will also be able to benefit from the participation in the periodic meetings of the maritime safety committee, and the marine habitat protection committee; which in turn contributed remarkably to developing environmental security & safety regulations governing manufacturers & operators of marine mass transit modes, particularly the standards governing the high-speed Interferry boats travelling at a speed up to 40 knots.