Completing the success of the cooperation between the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFA) to facilitate ships’ crew change, 3,000 seafarers have been recently registered within Dubai territorial waters, comprising 1700 sign on and 1300 sign off since DMCA announced the resumption of crew change. It is a remarkable achievement for Dubai, which is allowing crew change, offering a safe haven for those stranded on board their ships for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After DMCA’s decision to resume the procedures allowing for changing ships’ crews in ports and anchorage areas within the territorial waters of Dubai, it has witnessed growth in marine activities, while maintaining full compliance with the Dubai Health Authority and ensuring confirmed flights from the UAE.
Competent authorities continue to receive hundreds of requests to change crews of different nationalities, in close coordination with DMCA, the port authorities, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, airlines, and continue to work with the Dubai Health Authority to facilitate the precautionary measures which will enable the crews to sign on and off from the ship as a top priority.
Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Executive Director of Dubai Maritime City Authority, explained that the increased activities of changing crews within the territorial waters reflect the growing confidence in Dubai’s leadership in the global maritime map. He noted that the emirate has provided all the means of guarantee to assist the sailors, which were held due to the exceptional global circumstances associated with COVID-19.
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum highlighted DMCA’s commitment to enhance communication, cooperation, and coordination with the concerned authorities, Dubai ports and airports in the UAE to ensure smooth, efficient and reliable operations, and in line with international health protocols and precautionary measures followed by the emirate. He concluded: "The resumption of the marine crew change operations comes from our constant efforts to guarantee the highest levels of health, safety and security of seafarers, visitors and workers within the maritime sector.
The move has proved to be a strong boost to national efforts to revitalize the economic movement in the post-corona period, which prompts us to continue providing the necessary facilities for the return of marine activities while following strict precautionary measures that ensure the change of ship crew members and managing its operations are conducted with full efficiency, in line with Dubai’s leading position as one of the most competitive, safe, and attractive marine capitals in the world. "
The decision to resume the procedures for changing ship crew members within the territorial waters in the Dubai obligates all shipping agents to coordinate closely with the DMCA, the GDRFA – Dubai, Dubai ports and airports in the UAE, in order to speed up procedures for the movement of crew members from the airport to the ship and from the ship to the airport. Maritime agencies also have an obligation to perform the required medical examinations, in compliance with the preventive procedures and guidelines pertaining to COVID19 to preserve the health and safety of both the crews and personnel involved in maritime activities.