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UAE continues to mobilise support for its re-election Category-B membership in IMO Council

DUBAI, 30th November, 2021 (WAM) — The UAE continues its efforts to mobilise support of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) member states for its re-election to the IMO Council Category-B membership.

The elections will be held in December 2021 in London, UK. The UAE seeks to highlight its pioneering role and unremitting efforts in strengthening the national maritime sector and supporting the maritime and logistics industry worldwide.

The UAE also underlines its pivotal role in developing strategies, policies and agreements that enhance safety standards and protect the marine environment.

Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, emphasised that the UAE is one of the key maritime countries regionally and globally. Aside from having the support of many world countries, he explained, all maritime organisations and bodies commend the UAE’s role in facilitating maritime trade worldwide, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Al Mazrouei added, "Through its membership in the IMO Council Category-B, the UAE has played an active role and succeeded in developing the maritime industry. This was achieved by formulating strategies and policies, setting standards regulating the work of the maritime sector, and strengthening maritime legislation and regulations to serve the shipping sector and international trade. The UAE has also introduced fundamental amendments to many decisions that have development and improved the work system to keep pace with global developments and mobilise efforts for the safety, security and protection of the marine environment worldwide. We hope to continue this role, in close cooperation with the other member states, to advance the global maritime sector and the shipping industry, as well as enhance maritime safety and security and protect the marine environment worldwide."

Hessa Al Malek, Advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport Affairs, UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, said, "The UAE actively participates in all IMO activities, main technical committees, sub-committees, and related working groups. The UAE hosted several regional workshops to assist IMO to deliver capabilities in implementing international maritime regulations and standards. We exert all efforts to rally support for the UAE’s re-election to the IMO Council Category-B to continue its role in serving the maritime sector and enhance women’s participation in the maritime sector. The UAE contributed to drafting several IMO resolutions for women empowerment, gender equality and enhancing women’s participation in the maritime sector. It also took part in preparing a proposal to add a reference to women empowerment in IMO’s strategic direction. This was unanimously approved by the Council. Additionally, the IMO Council decided to establish the International Day for Women in Maritime, to be observed on 18th May every year."

Mohammed Khamis Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative at the IMO, said that the UAE is highly commended by IMO member states for its key role in supporting global trade. The country was ranked 3rd worldwide in transport services trade and fifth as a key competitive maritime hub.

Al Kaabi added, "The UAE is intensifying its efforts to mobilise support for its re-election to the IMO Council Category-B for the third time in a row. We continue to meet with representatives of IMO member states to highlight the UAE’s achievements in the maritime sector and its efforts since its election to the IMO Council for the time in 2017. We also talk about the UAE’s contributions to support the reforms undertaken by IMO ad well as its seaborne trade and transhipment efforts to cater to about two billion people in China, India, the GCC States to Eurasia and all the way to Eastern Europe."

In 2017, the UAE was elected to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council under category B and was re-elected in 2019. The UAE is seeking re-election for the third consecutive time.

Election will take place from 6th to 15th December, 2021 in London. The UAE aims to continue its active role in strengthening maritime legislation and regulations to serve the shipping sector and international trade.

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‘Faster than Starlink:’ STC plans satellite internet for Saudi Arabia in 2023


The Saudi Telecommunication Company (STC) is looking to roll out high-speed satellite internet in 2023 that will eventually cover all corners of the Kingdom, according to a company executive.

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STC has already trialed the technology in the planned megacity of NEOM, STC General Manager of Business Development Saad al-Rabiah told Al Arabiya English.

“We’re looking now into moving to a larger scale this year, 2023,” al-Rabiah said during the LEAP conference in Riyadh.

The satellites STC is planning to use “have higher speed than, for example, Starlink, the one with Elon Musk,” al-Rabiah explained.

Whereas Starlink is focused on providing internet access to less developed countries, STC’s plan aims to provide high-speed internet to all areas of the Kingdom, which already has internet access for around 90 percent of its population.

Improved internet access will “elevate [the] living experience” of people in rural areas, according to al-Rabiah, allowing them to communicate with friends and family, and access better levels of education and healthcare.

“It will also help governments to make sure that spending is more efficient in rural areas,” as people will be able to access certain services online.

Other initiatives that STC is working on include its smart cities program, which tracks traffic flow and uses artificial intelligence technology to give authorities the necessary information to re-route traffic.

Drone technology employed by STC is scouting out possible locations for mining minerals in the country’s vast desert.

STC’s AI-equipped cameras and remote controlled cranes are unloading ships in Dammam port. Automating this process cuts makes it more efficient and cuts down on any potential accidents, al-Rabiah said.

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Turkey’s Ceyhan oil terminal, Iraq’s KRG pipeline halted after quake


A major earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria early on Monday has halted operations at Turkey’s oil terminal in Ceyhan and flows via Iraq’s northern oil export pipeline from Kirkuk.

Turkish pipeline operator BOTAS said there was no damage on main pipelines which carry crude oil from Iraq and Azerbaijan to Turkey. An emergency meeting will take place on the issue, the Tribeca shipping agency said.

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In a notice, Tribeca said ports in southeastern Turkey are affected by the quake and that delays in operations are reported.

Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has halted flows through the pipeline which runs from Iraq’s northern Kirkuk fields to Ceyhan, the region’s ministry of natural resources (MNR) said on Monday.

The KRG had been pumping 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) and Iraq’s federal government was pumping 75,000 bpd through the pipeline, an oil industry source told Reuters.

Oil exports will resume after a “careful inspection of the pipelines is finalized,” an MNR statement said.

Most upstream oil producers have several days of storage capacity, so KRG production should continue in the near term, the oil industry source added.

Azerbaijan

Regarding Azeri crude flows to Turkey, two sources said there was no damage at the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) terminal, but one of the sources added that inspections would take place over the next 1-2 days.

There is sufficient storage capacity in Ceyhan and in Baku, and flows could be reduced if needed, the second source said.

The eastern Mediterranean terminal of Ceyhan is some 155 km (96 miles) from the area of the quake’s epicentre.

The magnitude 7.8 quake struck southern Turkey and northwest Syria early on Monday, killing and injuring hundreds as buildings collapsed across the region.

State pipeline operator BOTAS said natural gas flows were halted to Gaziantep, Hatay and Kahramanmaras provinces and some other districts as a result of damage to a gas transmission line.

Residents in northern Iraqi provinces reported feeling a light tremor following the earthquake.

Read more: Another 7.5-magnitude earthquake hits southeast Turkey, felt in Lebanon

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Saudi Arabia says tech giants to invest more than $9 bln in Kingdom, says IT Minister


Saudi Arabia has attracted more than $9 billion in investments in future technologies, including by US giants Microsoft and Oracle Corp, which are building cloud regions in the Kingdom, a government minister said on Monday.

Saudi Minister of Communication and Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha said Microsoft will invest $2.1 billion in a global super-scaler cloud, while Oracle has committed $1.5 billion to build a new cloud region in Riyadh.

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“The investments… will enhance the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s position as the largest digital market in the Middle East and North Africa,” Alswaha said at LEAP, an international technology forum taking place in Riyadh.
Alswaha did not give details on the timeframe. Oracle told Reuters the investment will be made over several years.
The minister said China’s Huawei will also invest $400 million in cloud infrastructure for its services in Saudi Arabia and another cloud region in partnership with oil giant Aramco.
An additional $4.5 billion was invested in global and local assets across multiple sectors at the forum, Alswaha added.
Tonomus, a subsidiary of the $500 billion signature NEOM project, said last year it invested $1 billion in 2022 in AI, including a metaverse platform.
Increased demand for cloud computing has pushed technology companies such as Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet’s Google to set up data centers across the world to speed up data transfer.

Read more: Second edition of LEAP technology conference opens in Saudi Arabia

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