BRIDGING OUTWARDS

Abu Dhabi 2017 | TRANSPORT | FOCUS: MAQTA GATEWAY

One of the core pillars of the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 is to enable economic diversification and growth. Abu Dhabi Ports made its own contribution to this vision by launching the Maqta Gateway in 2014, a port community system that integrates functions and sectors of trade into a single platform.

The UAE and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi have come a long way since the construction of the bridge back in 1967. The new Maqta Gateway, which became operational in 2016, offers a one-stop shop for ports, exports, imports, containers, shipping lines, customs, regulating bodies, and government agencies. Details of all of the above are available in real time at any time of the day. This is one of the basic infrastructure requirements of a Port Community System (PCS), whereby easy exchange of information optimizes management by enabling the automation of port logistics. The launch of the Maqta Gateway marked the first PCS in the GCC, heralding the beginning of a new era of logistics and trade in the Gulf.

Stage 1 was completed in 2016 and is specific to shipping lines and shipping agents handling container cargo. It allows international companies to track shipments through the port and read vessel schedules. The CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, developer and manager of all of Abu Dhabi's ports, Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, said, “Maqta Gateway will play a prominent role in facilitating the growing import and export activities, positioning Abu Dhabi as a major business hub in the region.” He believes that rather than simply voicing a commitment to the Emirate's vision for the future, visions require action and to, “constantly innovate and employ new technologies to become key enablers of diversification by streamlining maritime trade.”
Maqta Gateway has already begun deploying the latest technologies in modern logistic services by launching its own digital Vessel Management System (VMS) to offer customers complete automation of vessel management processes and services on a single platform. Some of the services offered by the VMS are vessel registration, voyage declaration, vessel call requests, port clearance, marine services, and berth shifting. In addition, vessels can exchange unified digital information with the entire port community before arriving, expediting the required formalities and streamlining the entire process.

In early 2017, Maqta Gateway obtained an ISO 9001:2015 certification from the International Organization for Standardization, a Geneva- based organization that promotes proprietary, industrial, and commercial standards. In its year of operation, Maqta Gateway has provided recognized world-class services for facilitating global maritime trade along with products and services that meet international regulatory requirements. This represents a huge step for Abu Dhabi, and proves that it is on the right path to becoming both a regional and international trading hub for large-scale shipping.

The General Manager of Maqta Gateway is Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, who leads the implementation and management of Abu Dhabi Ports' digital vision at Maqta. A Young Future Energy Leader, she graduated with a PhD in Interdisciplinary Engineering with a special application in Seaport Operations. Dr. Al Dhaheri's background makes her the right person at the helm for an operation like Maqta Gateway. Dr. Al Dhaheri is bridging the gap between one of the oldest mainstays of civilization—sea trade—and one of its most recent—digitalized systems and communication—as she told the press on the opening of the gateway: “The system is user friendly and will significantly improve operational efficiencies and create transparencies between all port users.”

Maqta Gateway seeks to integrate sea trade with technological communication platforms to create an evolutionary port of trade linking South Asia, Africa, East Asia, and Europe. Maqta is Abu Dhabi's bridge to the rest of the world.