News & Views

Bahrain maritime event a big success

Bahrain maritime event a big success

The second annual Bahrain Maritime Festival (BMF), organised by General Organisation of Sea Ports (GOP) from September 26 to October 8, was declared a big success.

The festival concluded following a successful series of maritime-themed activities, which allowed Bahrain the opportunity to join the rest of the world in celebrating World Maritime Day 2011.

It aimed at showcasing Bahrain’s developments and achievements in the maritime and shipping industry, exploring the rising threat of piracy and the international initiatives in place to combat it, and co-ordinating unified international efforts to minimise the effects of piracy.

This year’s BMF incorporated the International Maritime Organisation’s 2011 theme ‘Piracy, Orchestrating the Response’ into the festival, which focused on national and international initiatives aimed at combating piracy and co-ordinating specific international steps to curb its effect.

Highlighted during this year’s BMF activities were two key announcements by the GOP, the first of which was the announcement of the Bahrain Maritime Education Fund, which has been established to promote and support maritime education and training through scholarships to Bahraini students.

The second announcement was the completion of a seafarers’ centre, a project that was launched during BMF 2010, and that has been built to cater to the needs of international seafarers calling on Bahrain’s ports. It will also include office space for the Bahrain International Seafarers’ Society.

This year’s BMF also included an industry seminar entitled ‘Addressing Piracy’, which brought together leaders from the maritime industry to discuss and share knowledge and experience on the issue of piracy.

The seminar was attended by more than 130 maritime industry professionals and stakeholders, with key international speakers visiting Bahrain specifically to address the audience.

The GOP also organised a special educational programme in conjunction with its strategic partner, Tamkeen, as part of the BMF 2011 activities.

Students were given the unique opportunity to see first-hand the scope of Bahrain’s maritime industry, and to interact directly with some of the industry’s leading professionals.

The programme will roll out over the course of the school year to include as many students as possible.

A number of major companies and media partners supported the BMF 2011, including Asry – BMF’s strategic sponsor for the second consecutive year, and Tamkeen – the strategic partner for the school visit as part of the festival’s educational programme.

This is in addition to Bahrain Flour Mills, Al Jazeera Shipping, Bahrain Polytechnic, GAC Bahrain, APM Terminals, and UCO Marine.

Media partners included Akhbar Al Khaleej, Gulf Daily News, Al Watan, Al Ayam and Al Bilad.

The sponsorship model used for BMF stems from GOP’s strategic approach to building public-private partnerships across its operations and business.

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