Ahmed bin Saeed inaugurates 31st Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference

DUBAI: H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council for Energy, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, today inaugurated the 31st edition of the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference (MPGC).

The conference, hosted by ENOC Group and organised by SandP Global Commodity Insights, is being held in The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre, until 22nd May 2024, under the theme ‘Evolving Core Energy Markets within a Sustainable Landscape’.

Bringing together the foremost leaders, innovators and stakeholders in the petroleum and gas industries, the opening ceremony of MPGC was attended by Saeed Mohammed Ahmad Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Chairman of ENOC Group, ENOC Board Members; Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO, ENOC; ENOC management; and key industry leaders.

The conference aims to explore the balance between fossil fuels and renewabl
e energy in light of global oil and gas flow disruptions, energy security concerns, and geopolitical problems. The 2024 edition of MPGC also includes three training courses hosted by experts that provide access to knowledge and key tools required for navigating complexities within the energy sector.

Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO, ENOC and Co-Chairman of Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference, said, ‘The Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference is a valuable global platform that the ENOC Group hosts to bring together specialists from the industry to engage in discussions on recent trends, potential issues and effective solutions. During a period of rapid transformation and shifting market dynamics, this conference acts as a catalyst for dialogue, innovation, and advancement. We look forward to driving insightful talks, productive collaborations, and tangible outcomes as we chart the future of energy.’

Over three days, the event features two optional tracks focused on downstream activities, low-carbon pr
ojects, and emerging energy. MPGC 2024 also explores the future of sustainable energy in the aviation and maritime sectors, refinery optimisation, chemical investments, gas and hydrogen interactions, carbon intensity in commodities trading, the circular carbon economy, and regional breakthroughs in hydrogen and its derivatives.

The conference aims to deliver effective insights into developing a sustainable energy future amid changing industry environments.

MPGC 2024 is expected to bring together over 400 participants from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas including leading traders, oil and gas majors, national oil companies, refiners, professional consultants, and digital technologists, as well as banks and exchanges, legal firms, regulators, renewable energy players, and other supply and service companies.

Source: Emirates News Agency

105% increase in licences issued for bunkering companies in Dubai

DUBAI: The Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) announced a 105 percent growth in the number of licences issued to companies specialising in bunkering in the waters and ports of the Emirate of Dubai during the first quarter of 2024, in parallel with the rise in the performance of maritime operations in general since the beginning of the year.

Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Executive Director of the Dubai Maritime Authority, said that achieving these successes is due to the advantages and facilities provided by Dubai for traders and investors, including the integrated digital infrastructure that has facilitated the time and effort of customers by completing the required service operations through a single digital window. He praised the efforts and capabilities of the Dubai Maritime Authority team to exert efforts, adapt and deal with the various challenges in the maritime sector effectively and under various circumstances.

He attributed the growth in bunkering licences to Dubai’s
strategic location, which has made it a prominent regional and global centre for maritime shipping. He also highlighted the government’s ongoing efforts and directives to create a conducive environment for trade and investment through a range of incentives and facilities that have contributed to sustainable growth in trade and economic volume.

Sheikh Saeed pointed to the Authority’s role in regulating and overseeing the maritime sector and maritime activities throughout the Emirate. The Authority has been keen to develop and adopt a strategy dedicated to developing and establishing maritime regulatory frameworks for the maritime sector to enable those working in this sector to practise their activities and invest in them in a manner that achieves the emirate’s economic directions.

Nasser Al Neyadi, CEO of PCFC affirmed that the Authority’s efforts with its partners have contributed to increasing the attractiveness of Dubai’s waters for maritime operations of all kinds, increasing berthing and towing operati
ons, and increasing demand for bunkering by marine vessels in the emirate.

The new statistics announced by the Authority indicated an increase in the approval rate for berthing operations by 3.4 percent, reflecting the high level of efficiency in managing ship traffic within the Emirate of Dubai, in addition to an increase in ship towing operations by 82 percent.

Source: Emirates News Agency

International Conference on Nuclear Security begins in Vienna

VIENNA: The International Conference on Nuclear Security (ICONS), organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), kicked off yesterday under the theme ‘Shaping the Future’.

The conference will continue until 24th May at the IAEA headquarters in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

The conference provides a global platform for ministers, policymakers, and experts to discuss the future of nuclear security worldwide, exchange information, and share best practices.

The conference aims to raise awareness of issues related to maintaining national nuclear security and enhancing systems for nuclear materials and other radioactive materials and associated facilities used for peaceful purposes. It also seeks to strengthen the IAEA’s guidelines in the field of nuclear security and share the experiences of countries in their application, as well as discuss further improvements to the agency’s nuclear security activities to ensure their sustainability.

The conference activities include reviewing nuclear security
experiences and achievements, current approaches and trends, and highlighting areas that may require further attention, including technological dimensions.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement issued by the agency that with the increasing use of nuclear materials and other radioactive substances worldwide, many countries need to enhance their level of nuclear security, as it is just as important as nuclear safety.

He added, “At ‘ICONS 2024,’ as the name of the conference suggests, we are shaping the future, not only for nuclear security but for the world that our children will inherit. This is because nuclear security is not just about preventing nuclear threats; it is an enabling tool for providing clean energy through nuclear science and technology, advanced medicine, and the hope for a better tomorrow.”

He emphasised that nuclear energy programmes require national threat assessments in this field and the fostering of relevant research.

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE tops MENA region in WEF’s Travel and Tourism Development Index

DUBAI: The UAE has ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and 18th globally in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) .

According to the report released today, the UAE raised its score by 4.4 percent in the 2024 index, climbing seven places from its 25th global ranking in the previous report issued in 2021.

The report ranks 119 economies based on a set of factors, and the index consists of five sub-indices, including the enabling environment, travel and tourism policy and infrastructure, infrastructure and services, travel and tourism resources such as nature and culture, and the sustainability of the travel and tourism sector.

The index provides a strategic benchmarking tool for companies, governments, international organisations and others to develop the travel and tourism sector.

The United States topped the index, followed by Spain and Japan, with the top three countries maintaining their ranking as in the previous report.

Among high-income econ
omies, only the UAE and Saudi Arabia were ranked among the top ten that showed the most improvement in their performance between 2019 and 2024.

The Middle East witnessed the highest recovery rates in the number of international tourist arrivals, 20 percent above 2019 levels, while Europe, Africa, and the Americas showed a strong rebound, regaining 90 percent of 2023 movement compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

“This year represents a turning point for the travel and tourism sector,” said Francisco Betti, Head, Global Industries Team; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum.

The report anticipates that the global tourism industry will recover from its COVID-19 lows and surpass pre-crisis levels, driven by a surge in demand worldwide, coinciding with more available air travel, improved international openness, and increased interest and investment in natural and cultural attractions.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Yalla Group reports AED289 million in revenues in Q1 24

DUBAI: Yalla Group Limited has announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2024, ending on 31st March. The company’s revenues surpassed the AED289 million mark (US$78.7 million), marking a 7.1% increase from the same quarter last year.

Additionally, the company experienced substantial growth in Q1 net income, reaching AED114.2 million ($31.1 million), a significant 56.2% increase over the same period in 2023.

Commenting on the announcement, Saifi Ismail, President of Yalla Group, said the steady growth in revenues and net income not only comes within the framework of achieving goals, but reflects the noticeable acceleration in the company’s pace of progress.

Source: Emirates News Agency

‘SAFEEN’ trials first electric tug in Middle East for Marine Services fleet

ABU DHABI: SAFEEN Group, part of AD Ports Group, has announced it is trialling an electric tug within their Marine Services fleet, the first of its kind in the Middle East, which will be deployed at AD Ports Group’s flagship facility, Khalifa Port.

Unveiled during the 27th International Tug and Salvage Convention, Exhibition and Awards 2024, Dubai, the Damen RSD-E Tug 2513 is an all-electric harbour tug, expected to provide numerous advantages.

These advantages include zero emissions from ‘Tank to Propeller’, operational efficiency thanks to boasting a 70-ton bollard pull able to handle the largest vessels, and cost-effectiveness due to lower maintenance costs compared to diesel-powered counterparts.

Captain Ammar Mubarak Al Shaiba, CEO – Maritime and Shipping Cluster, AD Ports Group, said, ‘Implementing electric tugs into our operations aligns with our local and global and local ambitions for greener maritime operations. AD Ports Group’s commitment to a sustainable future is underscored by adopting such t
echnologies, contributing to the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the maritime sector.’

Source: Emirates News Agency