Dubai has retained its position in the International Shipping Centre Development Index (ISCDI) as one of the top five maritime hubs in the world for the fourth year in a row. Dubai came in fifth place after Singapore, London, Shanghai, and Hong Kong among the 20 most powerful international centers for maritime commercial shipping, ranking ahead of Rotterdam, Hamburg, Athens, Piraeus, New York, New Jersey, and Zhoushan. According to the report issued by Baltic Exchange and Xinhua, a London-based international news agency affiliated with the China Economic Information Service (CEIS), Dubai is also the first in the region, underlining its popularity as a competitive, productive, and inclusive marine ecosystem.
Dubai’s reputation as a world-class logistics and maritime hub is a result of its maritime tradition of over hundreds of years. Using innovative infrastructure and technology, Dubai has made use of its marine ecosystem in an impressive manner with the establishment of top-tier port facilities like those at Jebel Ali Port and Dubai Dry Docks. Sultan bin Sulayem, the chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, opined that the latest recognition reflects Dubai’s competitiveness on the global shipping landscape and ability to implement scientific frameworks and policies that enhance the efficiency of the maritime sector.
The ISCD ranking is based on the three primary indicators of port infrastructure, shipping services, and general environment. In addition to these, there are several secondary factors including the ability to attract maritime businesses, utilization of innovation and creativity in building maritime ecosystems, impact and participation in the growth of the global shipping sector, the rate of transporting dry as well as liquid cargo, number of cranes, the capacity of containers, and port draughts. The index also measures other shipping services such as ship brokerage, shipping engineering, shipping business, and shipping financing including maritime legal services and customs tariff for shipping. Moreover, the index evaluates government transparency within each country on the list, while also taking into account the ease of doing business, the performance of logistics services, and capabilities of the departments and e-governments of the countries. The index analyzed the overall performance of 43 cities that provides port and shipping business services around the globe.
The fact that Dubai retained its position as one of the top five maritime hubs in the world is not surprising, given the vibrant maritime landscape and ecosystem that the city possesses. According to the data by Gulf Business, Dubai’s foreign trade in Q1 2021 touched Dhs354.4bn, growing 10 percent from Dhs323bn in the corresponding period in 2020, and up 5 percent compared to Q1 2019. Its sea trade during that period reached Dhs120bn, recording an increase of 3 percent. With novel ideas and creative strategies, Dubai is on its way to become the biggest commercial hotspot in the world, attracting investors from all over the world.
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