Milaha demonstrated its expanding maritime capabilities at the recent Seatrade Middle East Maritime 2012 Conference and Exhibition held in Dubai. From beginning to end, it was a successful showing for Milaha and the rest of Qatar’s contingent of leading companies showcasing their emerging presence in the region’s maritime industry.

H.E. Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al-Thani, Chairman and Managing Director of Milaha, kicked off the event by delivering one of the keynote addresses as part of an eminent panel of the industry’s most prominent figures. Highlighting the global economic challenges, H.E. Sheikh Ali explained how the strategic choices by the region’s leadership were allowing the GCC to collectively grow through these uncertainties and changes.

“This continued GCC growth through the recent economic challenges is the result of bold, strategic choices the region has been making. The region has been strengthening our historical role as a hub for the East/West trade, enhancing our strong natural resource base to expand production and move downstream while transforming our economies by diversifying the economic bases,” said H.E. Sheikh Ali.

He showcased Qatar’s investment initiatives, and explained that the unprecedented scale of these investments will require significant changes in capabilities. “New capabilities, new offerings, and new talent are what are required. A giant leap in how we operate is what is required,” H.E. Sheikh Ali told distinguished attendees at the opening session highlighting some of the changes Milaha was undertaking to meet these needs.

Milaha was part of contingent of Qatar’s leading maritime companies. Joined by Nakilat – Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) and Qatar Petroleum/Ras Laffan Port, the companies shared a pavilion focusing attention on the country’s increasing influence in the region’s maritime industry. This impact was evident with the Qatar Pavilion receiving tremendous interest from visitors at the exhibition.

Validating their growth and impact, all three companies were big winners at the region’s most prestigious shipping industry awards, the Seatrade Middle East & Indian Subcontinent Awards.

Milaha’s Chairman and Managing Director, H.E. Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al-Thani was announced Seatrade’s “Personality of the Year.” Nakilat – Keppel Offshore & Marine won “The Ship Repair/Shipyard Award” and Ras Laffan took home two awards “The Port Authority Award” and “The Energy: Oil and Gas Award” to complete the strong showing by Qatar. Now in their 9th year, these awards honour individuals, organisations and companies from across the region’s shipping and logistics industry that have shown excellence and innovation over the previous 12 months.

Known as the ‘Oscars’ of the maritime world, the awards are presented at a glittering gala dinner attended by more than 750 of the who’s who of the region’s maritime and shipping industry.

H.E. Sheikh Ali was pleased with the performance of the companies in demonstrating the emerging capabilities of the country within this industry: “I am proud we were able to bring increased attention to our country’s developing opportunities as well as local talents and competencies, and I look forward to greater challenge of supporting our region’s growth in the coming years.”