The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has lifted restrictions on crew changeovers and will allow seafarers to leave their vessels whilst at dock in the Emirate of Dubai.
The announcement, made on social media, comes amid a long-running crisis in the maritime industry which has seen some seafarers remain at sea for 18 months, far beyond the maximum contract length under international law.
“In recognition of the efforts of the seafarers and their vital role in securing supply chains globally, Dubai Maritime City Authority decided to allow the resumption of crew change in the ports and waters of The Emirate of Dubai,” the DMCA said.
In making this announcement, Dubai has become the first major maritime nation to lift all crew restrictions.
It follows an agreement struck between 12 countries, including Dubai, in London on 9 July to lift measures mean to stop the spread of coronavirus that inadvertently prevented seafarers from stepping ashore.
While broadly welcomed by the maritime industry and major bodies, such as the IMO, some carriers believed it wasn’t enough to solve the problem in the long run.
Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, two of the biggest carriers in the world, both called upon national governments to do more to solve the crisis while speaking exclusively to Port Technology International.