By Chris Morley Brand Director, Seatrade Maritime
Back in 2008, a small workboat-focused show made its debut. Abu Dhabi was its host and an audience of owners, operators and suppliers put it on the map. Since then, that small show has grown in size and expanded in nature; making Seatrade Offshore Marine and Workboats Middle East (SOMWME) of the most critical arenas for the global offshore marine market.
Of course, an awful lot has also happened since that opening day in Abu Dhabi. A rather spectacular crash for the oil price saw offshore exploration activity slow down significantly and the market take on turbulent, tumultuous tides. Terms such as “recovery” and “optimism” were brazely thrown around and before a stark reality discarded them. Oversupply, lack of demand and budget cuts – this wasn't a buoyany market and plain sailing it was not.
Four years in, those tumultuous tides are finally being calmed by a current of optimism. “Recovery” is no longer treated as an audacious prospect but instead welcomed as a genuine reality. This is a market that has not just made it through the maelstrom, but survived and evolved in the process.While we anticipate increased offshore marine acitvity, our industry still has to navigate the choppy waves of digital transformation, environmental regulations and technology challenges. Industry events are remarkable vessels for aiding such market changes, but how can we expect you to benefit from an event that haven't grown with you?
In simple turns, we can't - which means change is needed from us, too. So, as Seatrade Offshore Marine and Workboats Middle East (SOMWME) prepares to drop anchor for 2019, we’ve made a few changes.
Changes that, we hope, will provide you with an event that is necessary, relevant and beneficial to you and our industry.
We’re Sailing Back to Our Roots
We’re going back to where it all began; a niche event for a niche market. This year, we’re focusing on Offshore Marine Vessels (PSV, AHTS, AHT, CSV and DSV to name but a few) - and those businesses that support the operation of those vessels.
By that, we mean anything, and everything related to the design; construction; supply; regulation; technological innovation and engineering of the vessels that serve the offshore marine industry. Owners, operators and managers will be able to meet with companies that solve their business solutions, and those companies will be able to have conversations with their prospective buyers.
The idea is that this is the event where you can meet the whole workboat and offshore marine vessel community, all under one roof and in a geographically central and buoyant location.
Find Us in Dubai
Let’s stay on that last point for a moment, because you’ve probably noticed that one pretty important factor has changed – location.
After eight years, we’re bidding farewell to Abu Dhabi and instead, arriving in Dubai.
Of course, Abu Dhabi remains the oil capital of the UAE and SOMWME has enjoyed great success in the emirate – so why are we moving? Here’s a few reasons:
- Dubai presents exceptional access to the wider GCC and Indian Subcontinent
- Fujairah has cemented its position as the second-largest anchorage, accommodating 100+ vessels at any one time.
- Dubai can now claim ownership of the third-largest port company in the world; DP World
- Sharjah has become a centre for many offshore vessel owners and operators
- Dubai has launched and now annualised the ever-growing UAE Maritime Week (previously Dubai Maritime Week) which attracts thousands of maritime specialists to the region at once
Experience UAE Maritime Week 2019
Organised by Dubai Maritime City Authority, UAE Maritime Week draws in a highly-engaged network of maritime professionals to enjoy a week of critically acclaimed events – and for the first time, SOMWME is one of those events.
Not only will you have a chance to focus on our specialist community at SOMWME, but you’ll also be able to reap the rewards of having access to the quality of professionals that UAE Maritime Week attracts and explore the other, specialist events available.
Refreshed Conference Agenda
The team has worked hard to revise our approach to our live content offering. The result? You now have a remarkable learning opportunity ahead of you, teaming with invaluable insights.
Diversification; big data; projected exploration; technology – these are just some of the topics that will fall under the spotlight this year, each to be delivered by the brightest pioneers, innovators and leaders from your industry.