By Andy Sambidge
Dubai Maritime City Authority says move will help to improve safety along the UAE coastline
Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority charged with regulating, coordinating and supervising all aspects of Dubai's maritime sector, has announced that marine craft driving licences will be made mandatory from January 2015.
The regulation aims to offer a more comprehensive regulatory platform that will help ensure maritime safety, secure navigation and operational efficiency along the UAE coastline, DMCA said in a statement.
Users of marine crafts will be granted an unspecified grace period to help them complete the necessary requirements in obtaining the marine craft licence, it added.
"The initiative is expected to help in the move to promote the local maritime sector and Dubai's development as one of the world's most prominent marine centres," the DMCA said.
Amer Ali, executive director, DMCA, said: "Regulating and developing the local maritime sector is top priority for DMCA, which is why we regularly introduce regulations and legislations to address local requirements in line with best international practices.
"The application of Resolution No. 2 of 2013 for marine crew licensing reaffirms the efforts aimed at integrating all aspects of maritime safety and operational efficiency across local waters, in cooperation with the parties concerned."
He added: "The DMCA remains committed in implementing the mandatory marine craft driving licence service in Dubai. Having launched the resolution for marine craft licensing in 2013, we worked towards presenting this to the public in a gradual approach to achieve an increased awareness and to highlight the importance of obtaining the licence.
"Under this new initiative, users of marine crafts will be granted a grace period to help them complete the necessary requirements in obtaining the marine craft licence. The DMCA will be launching a series of awareness campaigns and ads in newspapers in Arabic and English, in addition to doing outreach over the radio in Arabic, English and Hindi."
Ali Al Dabbous, executive director of Operations at DMCA, said that all applicants must be medically fit and have the theoretical, practical knowledge and expertise to drive light marine vessels, abras and leisure crafts.
Crew members on commercial and traditional wooden dhows must be completely familiar with the marine radar and communication systems and navigation maps, in addition to being able to use the various equipments for safety, first-aid, public safety, fire fighting and water pollution.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.