French maritime expertise anchors in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait


A delegation of leading French maritime companies will set sail towards the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait from April 22 to April 24, embarking on a strategic venture during the “French Maritime Tour.” This initiative, organized by Business France, the agency supporting the international development of the French economy, aims to navigate new projects and forge robust alliances in the port and maritime sectors of these dynamic regions.

The tour, marking its second edition, will feature strategic stops in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and an inaugural visit to Kuwait City. Tailored to facilitate direct B2B engagements, this mission will provide French enterprises a platform to pitch innovative solutions and engage in substantive discussions on topics critical to the maritime industry, including decarbonization, sustainable maritime solutions, digital transformation, and the security of maritime operations.

The UAE, with its pivotal maritime hubs like Jebel Ali Port managed by DP World, one of the world’s top port operators, is seeking advanced technologies to further its ambitious projects. To sustain its competitive advantage, the UAE is actively pursuing state-of-the-art solutions, especially in the development of ‘Ports of the Future’ and ‘Green Ports.’ These initiatives encompass a range of projects including the expansion and creation of new port facilities, the enlargement of Abu Dhabi Port, the construction of artificial islands, the enhancement of port security, and a firm commitment to sustainable practices. These efforts aim to ensure that port facilities, equipment, and operations are more environmentally conscious and sustainable.
Similarly, Kuwait’s major non-oil commercial ports are undergoing transformations to integrate smart technologies to enhance operational efficiencies and environmental sustainability. The program includes the development of the Silk City free trade zone in the north, as well as the Five Islands megaproject, at a total estimated cost of around $2.3 billion.
These developments present fertile ground for French expertise to support significant infrastructural expansions and sustainability initiatives in both countries.

France’s rich maritime heritage and technological prowess position its maritime sector as a beacon of innovation and sustainability.

As the world’s seventh-largest maritime power, France boasts the second largest maritime domain after the United States. Encompassing nearly 22,860 km of maritime borders shared with 30 states – more than any other country in the world – France is a dominant maritime nation. It is home to 66 maritime commercial ports, including 12 state maritime ports: 11 major maritime ports and one national interest port. As a global ocean player, France maintains a presence in all the world’s oceans, supported by an exclusive economic zone rich in biodiversity and brings to the table a profound commitment to advancing maritime technology and environmental stewardship, ensuring the sector’s adaptability to the challenges of the 21st century.

The solutions showcased by the French delegation reflects France’s commitment to preserving marine environments and promoting a sustainable maritime economy. These efforts underscore the pivotal role of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in adapting maritime transport to the challenges of the 21st century.

Featured innovations include decision-making systems for maritime navigation, underwater exploration and mapping, as well as advanced technologies like multi-beam and single-beam bathymetry, marine geophysics, and 3D modeling of maritime structures. Additionally, the delegation is presenting solutions for the inspection and maintenance of maritime works, rescue equipment, laser scanning tools, measurement devices for pleasure boats, and intelligent systems for real-time collection and sharing of meteorological data.

More than a commercial visit, this mission serves as a vital channel to enhance the long-established relationships between France and the Gulf Countries.

The delegation was warmly welcomed at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in Dubai,and engaged with local stakeholders who outlined Dubai’s and the Northern Emirates’ maritime ambitions.

On April 23, Maqta Gateway in Abu Dhabi is set to host the delegation for a comprehensive plenary session featuring presentations from local stakeholders, including Abu Dhabi Port, ADNOC L&S, and KEZAD with the presence of HE Nicolas Niemtchinow the Ambassador of France to the UAE. Additionally, B2B sessions are expected as well as pitches from French companies, and site visits across Abu Dhabi maritime infrastructures.

On the final day, the French delegation’s itinerary culminates in Kuwait City. They will be welcomed by a breakfast organized by HE Claire LE FLECHER the Ambassador of France to Kuwait. The agenda includes engagements with key local stakeholders like the Kuwait Ports Corporation or the Kuwait National Petroleum Company, opportunities for B2B dialogues with Kuwaiti firms, and concluding with a tour of Kuwait’s newly established port.