Critical contribution of maritime sector during the pandemic praised at TMS Awards

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The seventh annual The Maritime Standard Awards, held on Monday at The World Trade Centre, Dubai, celebrated the achievements of the top performers in the region’s shipping and maritime sectors over the past year and in particular recognised the contribution of the industry as a critical service provider during the pandemic. This year was slightly different to past events, being held under strict governmental health guidelines. But it still proved to be a high quality and glamorous occasion, demonstrating why the TMS Awards are widely recognised as being the leading ceremony for the sector in the Middle East and Subcontinent.

Held once again under the patronage of His Highness, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline, the Awards were this year hosted by two well-known UAE personalities. ‘King of Comedy’ Ali Al Sayed kept the guests amused with his stand-up routines while well-known TV presenter Rania Ali impressed with her professionalism and style.

Over 400 executives from the worlds of shipping, ports, shipbuilding and repair and related sectors were present in the Ballroom to see the events of the night unfold. Working with the team at the WTC, TMS put in place a series of measures that ensured guests were kept safe and comfortable throughout the evening, and were able to enjoy a rare evening of celebration and socialising with colleagues with complete peace of mind.

H.E. Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Executive Director, Dubai Maritime City Authority was a notable attendee, gracing the occasion as the Guest of Honor. While Mr Mohamed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director DP World, delivered the keynote address.

The Maritime Standard Awards founder and managing director, Trevor Pereira, said: “The event showed just how special a place Dubai is. Thanks to the assistance of the authorities we were able to hold the Awards face to face in a really safety conscious environment. In other places these events have had to be postponed; but we were able to showcase the tremendous contribution of the industry in a way that could only have been possible in Dubai.”

In total 21 awards were presented to individuals and companies following the deliberations of the judging panel. Clive Woodbridge, editor of TMS and chairman of the judges, said, “Despite the challenging times the industry has faced we once again received a record number of entries this year. A common theme was how well the industry has adapted to the circumstances of Covid-19, responding in a flexible, agile and innovative way. All the entries were of an exceptionally high standard and it was more difficult than ever to decide who should be crowned winners. Anyone who was shortlisted should be genuinely proud of their achievements.”

In addition to the awards determined by the judging panel, there were a number of special awards presented by the TMS team for particularly impressive levels of performance. The Maritime Standard Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Saadi Al Rais, head of the Ras Hassan Saadi group; The Personality of the Year Award was given to Abdullah Bin Damithan, Chief Operating Officer, DP World; The Excellence in Shipping Award went to Mr. Abdulaziz Sabri, President, Bahri Ship Management; while the Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Captain SR Patnaik, CEO of International Shipping & Logistics. Dr Noura Al Dhaheri, CEO of Maqta Gateway, was the recipient of the Woman in Shipping award, and Ramee Rashid of Seamaster Maritime was named Young Person in Shipping. The winner of the Deal of the Year was ADNOC L&S, while Jesper Kjaedegaard was presented with the Editor’s Choice Award.  A further special TMS Hall of Fame Award was presented to Eng. Ahmed Shareef Al Khoori, Director General of the Federal Transport Agency (FTA)- Land & Maritime.

Trevor Pereira added, “It was an evening that I will never forget and was all the more enjoyable as we have been starved of the chance to get together over the past 9 months or so. We wanted to show to the world the tremendous efforts that this fantastic industry has made to keep essential goods flowing and services running in the pandemic and hopefully with this special occasion we did the sector justice.”