AURAK Hosts 3rd Port City Universities Summit

November 15, 2019,

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 Yokohama National University, Japan, the National Penghu University of Science and Technology and the National Taiwan Ocean University, both in Taiwan, the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, ASEAN University Network, Thailand, Sriwijaya University, Indonesia, Victoria University, Australia, and Incheon National University, 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. At the end of the round-table discussions, the participants outlined their conclusions and debated their merits.

After the round-table discussions, the summit attendees had networking time in which to get to know each other better.

Prof. Dong-Sung Cho, President of South Korea’s Incheon National University, introduced his institution’s concept of a matrix college, teaching a blend of sciences and humanities to produce more rounded graduates, an idea that provoked the interest of the other delegates.

Conference participants rounded off their stay in the United Arab Emirates with a trip to Dubai to see historic buildings near the Creek, a waterway that has been influential in the history of the United Arab Emirates, Madinat Jumeirah and Dubai Mall.