Gulf tanker attacks had no impact on UAE maritime flows, minister says

The recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman had no impact on the UAE’s maritime flows, according to a top government official.

“We have not seen any changes in this,” Abdullah Al Nuaimi, chairman of UAE’s Federal Transport Authority and its infrastructure and development minister, said on Sunday. “I don’t see an impact of that.”

Oil prices continued an upward trend on Sunday gaining 1.47 per cent with benchmark Brent crude reaching $64.23 per barrel at 5.51pm UAE time amid simmering tensions in the Middle East.

There have been attacks on tankers in the Arabian Gulf over the past two months. Two vessels carrying crude from Saudi Arabia and the UAE were damaged last month. The US blamed Iran, which denied any involvement.

In May, four tankers off the coast of Fujairah were attacked in what authorities said appeared to be “sabotage”.

Mr Al Nuaimi also said the UAE is preparing a draft law that will allow foreigners to own 100 per cent of maritime companies in the country.

However, full foreign ownership of companies in the maritime industry will apply only in certain cases, and will be subject to the UAE Cabinet’s regulations set out last week. The July 2 announcement stipulated that a final decision on the percentage of foreign ownership rests with each emirate.

The new bill is expected to pass in the first half of next year and will address issues ranging from a new dispute settlement system to protecting the rights of seafarers, Mr Al Nuaimi said.

The comments came after the UAE Cabinet’s announcement of business activities eligible for up to 100 per cent foreign ownership under a law ratified last November, as the country seeks to increase foreign investment and create jobs for nationals.

The list of 122 economic activities across 13 sectors includes renewable energy, space, agriculture, manufacturing, transport, logistics, hospitality, food services, information and communications, among others.
Source: The National