Breakbulk Middle East (BBME) 2020, the GCC’s premier conference and exhibition on breakbulk and project cargo, returned to Dubai for the third consecutive year as the two-day event formally kicked off today (February 25) at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
According to the organisers, the first day witnessed immense participation of 3300 participants, recording an increase of 24 per cent compared to 2019’s edition. The premier event for the project cargo business featured a topical industry agenda to reinforce the event’s ability to foster consistent growth, and united key industry players to bolster the economy
BBME 2020 is being held under the patronage of Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, the UAE Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) for Land and Maritime UAE, who said: “Breakbulk Middle East is visibly nurturing industry growth in every sense of the word. As this new decade continues on the UAE is eyeing major developments, and with international investors being noticeably present here today, this will be essential in spurring regional growth.”
Al Nuaimi added: “With Expo 2020 on the horizon, the timing of this year’s edition of Breakbulk Middle East will be doubly beneficial. As maritime is comprised of a number of components of the industrial supply chain, project development that stems from this year’s event will be vital for sustainable growth. The UAE currently accounts for 35% of investment in the maritime region, and we have invested over AED 157 billion into expanding local ports here. These efforts have been made in an attempt to bolster the entire Middle Eastern maritime infrastructure, and we look forward to seeing the steps that are taken in making this ambitious vision progressively come into fruition.”
Delivering the ceremony’s opening remarks, Eng. Ahmed Al Khouri, Director-General of the FTA for Land and Maritime UAE commented: “The industrial supply chain is extensive and Breakbulk Middle East has once again done a tremendous job of uniting and displaying its strength in full force. With the UAE fueled by our desire to strategically advance world transport and trade activity, feedback that is produced via interaction between key industry players will be invaluable. Day one of this year’s event has already formulated captivating discussions and showcased strong leadership. Moving forward, this continued output will assist in increasing the country’s global maritime stock, and enhance operational efficiency.”
The figures are indicative of breakthrough growth, as the event has maintained its consistent theme of gradual growth on an annual basis, the organisers said in a statement. Moreover, the significance of these numbers are representative of an unparalleled ability to accurately portray and fortify the regional, and ultimately the international industrial supply chain, it added.
Further reinforcing this notion, a number of new initiatives were also introduced in the event: An inaugural speed networking session was implemented for ‘Breakbulk Masters’ to engage in introductory 5-minute meetings with selected exhibitors. This initiative was strategically administered in an attempt to increase project cargo business for the sake of benefitting the regional economy.
Additionally, ‘Breakbulk AR’ was also introduced to display the capabilities of leading companies in an innovative and interactive manner. The second day of the event will also initiate ‘Breakbulk Education Day,’ an initiative to educate and prepare the next generation of local industry talent, and a ‘Women in Breakbulk Breakfast’ to increase efforts of minimizing the gender gap.
Eng. Hessa Al Malek, Executive Director of Maritime Transport at the Federal Transport Authority for Land and Maritime “FTA”, and also President of AWIMA (Arab Women in Maritime Association) elaborated saying: “The future of the industrial supply chain, and the success of the global economy are dependent on a workforce that embodies passion. With Breakbulk Middle East doubling down on its efforts to develop the youth and encourage stronger female participation, the eventual benefits will be immeasurable. Moreover, as the UAE is a country which has been built and sustained through innovation, the steps which Breakbulk Middle East taken to implement similar systems is commendable.”
Leslie Meredith, Marketing Director of Breakbulk Events & Media added: “The event’s record-shattering engagement to this point is extremely promising for industry growth and we are proud to see this in action. Majorly contributing to the overpowering exposure of this year’s edition is the cooperation of over 19 sponsors and 25 regional and international media partners. Additionally, we have organized over 15 panel discussions, which feature in excess of 45 conference speakers; these expert opinions, insights and suggestions as it pertains to market trends will not only further strengthen the UAE’s already outstanding position in regards to maritime, but it will also elevate the regional and collective break bulk industry.” –TradeArabia News Service