Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority charged with regulating, coordinating and supervising all aspects of the maritime sector in Dubai, has revealed that the Cruise Ship Emergency Response Task Force met with the representatives from the cruise industry to discuss the priorities for the 2012/13 cruise season.
The two new areas of focus for the upcoming cruise season are safety (fire safety and areas of high risk) and environmental aspects. The high risk areas were determined after reviewing the 20-year historical record of the cruise industry. On the other hand, to ensure that the environmental aspects of cruise ships are adequately managed, DMCA will coordinate with Dubai Municipality, UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) to collect and verify the various environmental efforts being undertaken by cruise ships. The cruise ship that sets the highest leadership and performance standards, and demonstrates utmost care and environmental responsibility will be rewarded with the newly launched annual environmental award.
Amer Ali, CEO, Dubai Maritime City Authority, said: “The overriding goal of the Cruise Ship Emergency Response Task Force is to actively identify a range of measures to improve the safety of passengers, crew and the ports. DMCA will continue to work closely with the Task Force and all stakeholders of the cruise industry to reaffirm the reputation of Dubai and the rest of the UAE as one of the best international cruise destinations that places the highest emphasis on safety and quality standards.”
Earlier this year, the Cruise Ship Emergency Response Task Force hosted the first cruise sector mass casualty table top exercise and drill. The Task Force, focused on how best to organize and respond to a multiple casualty event aboard a cruise ship in port or in near coastal waters, given that such a situation would require a significant amount of communication and coordination across public and private sector operations. The tabletop exercise, taken from real-life occurrences, simulated multiple casualties aboard a cruise ship outside of Port Rashid in Dubai.
The Cruise Ship Emergency Response Task Force was established in September of 2011 by the DTCM and DMCA to help ensure the safety of cruise ships arriving in Dubai and to reinforce Dubai’s preparedness to deal with potential maritime accidents. The Task Force’s findings for the 2011/12 season have already made a significant positive impact on the way the cruise sector operates in UAE waters.
The Task Force will next meet with officials from other emirates and federal government authorities to report the recent progress and the voyage plan for the future.
Source: DMCA, September 25, 2012