Gulf shipyards set to witness major growth

April 18th, 2008 - 12:08 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, April 18 (IANS) Shipyards in the Gulf are rapidly emerging as regional hubs for ship building, repairs and conversions as the Middle East maritime industry witnesses rapid growth, according to industry observers. “High oil prices are expected to fuel continued growth in the region with little impact from a slowdown in the US,” said Vanessa Stephens, events director of Seatrade, the organiser of 2008 Middle East Workboats exhibition and conference.

The exhibition - the only event of its kind in the region - would be held in Abu Dhabi April 28-30, WAM news agency reported Friday.

“While the global credit crunch may be making it somewhat harder to raise money elsewhere in the world to pay for big non-energy related ship orders, the regional workboat market is not expecting a major downturn,” Stephens added.

“Ever-increasing demand for ships in the Gulf from oil tankers to cargo and container ships to barges, dredgers, tugboats and an array of specialised crafts continues to provide huge opportunities for the expanding shipbuilding, repair and maintenance industry,” she said.

The Middle East Workboats conference would discuss business opportunities in the region created by oil and gas industry projects as well as various offshore development and land reclamation schemes.

The conference would also discuss the industry’s safety record and propose measures for improving safety.

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