Dubai to host 37th Interferry Conference 2012



Interferry has announced the selection of Dubai Emirate for hosting the 37th Annual Interferry Conference 2012; which is considered one of the most important specialized conferences in water transport industry, thus bringing the Conference for the first time to the Middle East.

H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), and H.E. Günther Becker, Chairman of Interferry, marking the signing of the contract of hosting the Conference in Dubai, which will be held from 6 – 11 October 2012.

Al Tayer thanked Interferry for selecting Dubai Emirate as a host of this premier event; which endorses the confidence pinned by the international organizations & entities in the outstanding stature enjoyed by the emirate, and showcasing its ability to host world-class events and deliver them in style.

Marine transport is one of the oldest transportation modes in Dubai Emirate, where abras kept plying Dubai Creek for about two centuries, thus viewed as an integral part of the Emirate’s heritage and an important cultural icon.
RTA Marine transit modes comprise abras, water bus and the water taxi, which has recently been launched. RTA is seeking to achieve full integration of all mass transit modes, which include Dubai metro, public buses, water-borne transportation, and taxis. The number of users of marine transit modes (abras and the water bus) is estimated as 20 million riders per annum.

Al Tayer hailed the crucial role played by Interferry, which was established 33 years ago and currently has affiliated members hailing from 33 countries. Interferry is concerned with researching and collecting information on developments within and affecting the ferry industry, exchanging information and technical data through an international network of members, stimulating industry cooperation and advancement by providing a forum for people to share experiences and learn from others, and facilitating networking amongst other maritime organizations and entities to support, boost and activate ferry manufacturing and operation.

For his part H.E. Günther Becker, Chairman of Interferry, said: “There are several reasons why the Interferry Board of Directors wanted to bring the conference to Dubai in October 2012.  Along with the growing and prosperous economies of the region, there is an emerging ferry industry with some of the newest and most innovative operations in the world.  Interferry wants to encourage this industry and attract new members from the region. The RTA was our first member from the Middle East having joined in 2007.  Since then we have added members from Oman, Saudi Arabia and Egypt and we hope to increase the number significantly in future.

“Over the past three decades networking within the ferry industry has been facilitated by the Annual Interferry Conference.  The conference has been held in many different areas of the world: many times in Europe and North America as well as Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines and the Bahamas.  This year’s conference, the 35th, is in being held in New York City.  Next year it will be in Barcelona.  And in 2012 the conference will come to the Middle East for the first time.

“We expect to attract 250 delegates from around the world.  This will focus the global ferry industry’s attention on Dubai and the recent achievements that have been made here.  It will also enable local delegates to learn about developments in other parts of the world and to make contacts with operators and suppliers.

“Interferry is the only shipping association representing the ferry industry world-wide. There are currently 220 members (representing approximately 500 individuals) from 33 countries.  In addition to facilitating networking amongst its members, Interferry represents the industry on regulatory matters. To fulfill this role Interferry has Consultative Status at the International Maritime Organization, Observer Status at the European Community Shipowners Association, and is an associate member of larger shipping associations such at the International Chamber of Shipping and BIMCO.

“Interferry is seeking to achieve the safety of passengers, crew, cargo and ships; adherence to safety regulations; free, fair and open competition; fair and equitable shipping regulations, consistently applied; and protection of the natural environment; adherence to environmental regulations.
At the end of the press conference, H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, and H.E. Günther Becker, Chairman of Interferry, signed the Contract of hosting of Interferry 2012 Conference in Dubai. According to the contract RTA, in coordination with Interferry, will prepare the Conference program, provide all facilities, sites as well as halls, set all associated activities & visits, and provide all required transportation and arrange related visits, in addition to promoting the Conference across the UAE.

Interferry, in conjunction with the RTA, will assume the responsibility of selecting the topics to be discussed in the Conference, and communicating with the bodies interested in submitting working papers during the conference, designing the website along with its contents and requirements, and setting the requirements of communication and news releases besides supervising the accompanying exhibition.

The Conference was attended from the RTA by Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla, Board Member and Head of Interferry 2012 Hosting Follow-up Team; Essa Abdul-Rahman Al Dosari, CEO of Public Transport Agency; Yousef Jawad, Acting CEO of Corporate Administrative Support Services Sector. From Interferry also attended the CEO Len Roueche.