The American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) hosted the 3rd Port City Universities Summit to promote cooperation between higher-education institutions in ports and the maritime industry.
AURAK President, Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, opened the proceedings with an address, welcoming the delegates and telling them it was a pleasure to have them at the event. He said AURAK was delighted to hold this event for the first time in the region and added that it was a great opportunity to build links between universities and between the maritime industry and higher education institutions.
The international participants included guests from Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, and South Korea.
Dr. Peter de Langen, the owner and principal consultant of Ports & Logistics Advisory, based in Malaga, Spain, delivered the keynote address. From 2007 to 2013, he worked in the Corporate Strategy department at the Port of Rotterdam Authority as senior advisor. His presentation focused on port development – the risks and opportunities, the impacts of digitalization, globalization and the energy transition, and the major challenges facing ports.
Dr. de Langen’s contribution was followed by a presentation by Captain Cliff Brand, the Chief Executive Officer of RAK Ports, which manages the harbor facilities in the emirate. He outlined the importance of ports in Ras Al Khaimah, the current capacity of the facilities and the RAK 2030 Maritime Strategy, a plan for the development of the five ports along the 64-kilometer coastline of the emirate.
Summit attendees then took part in three round-table discussions: on trends, disruptions and challenges for ports and port cities; innovation and university-industry cooperation in ports; and changing port-city waterfronts.
Conference participants rounded off their stay in the United Arab Emirates with a trip to Dubai.
AURAK is a nonprofit, government-owned institution of higher education which provides the local, regional and international communities with a North American-style education integrated with Arab customs and traditions. AURAK is licensed by the Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates and has been accredited in the United States of America by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) since December 2018. AURAK offers a total of 22 accredited undergraduate and graduate programs across a wide range of disciplines.