Transport and Logistics Middle East

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Prior to the pandemic, you'd only really see or hear about the supply chain-if you worked outside of it-on the news during a discussion about trade embargoes and the like, or perhaps you· d see a distant containership sailing in the distance while you sat at the beach. Yet within a matter of days the supply chain took centre stage in our global, regional and local consciousness. Worry set-in regarding empty shelves due to customers panic buying and governments and their peoples demanded security regarding a smooth supply of goods.


Soon we saw mass demand for P.P.E., cleaning products and particular food items, and this is all before we've even mentioned the challenge of the vaccine. It was at this time TLME and some of its closest partners opted to make a video showing the unheralded hard work many workers and managers across the supply chain were putting in. We all know-and are extremely thankful for-the sacrifices of our hospital and emergency services staff; we know it hasn't been easy for them and we recognise their commitment and sacrifice at this time. Yet, we felt it should also be noted that many of our supply chain staff also made big sacrifices to ensure food, water and protective equipment was always on time and without delay, even if there was a gigantic fracture in the supply chain due to the pandemic. Many figures and friends in the industry have told TLME of their sacrifices-the endless shifts that start in the morning and reach right through the night, the complete redesign of logistical models to fit in new demands in an instant, the uncertainty in remaining active and present while the world went into lockdown and fatalities mounted globally... These are just some examples of the stories we heard. It was at this time our CEO (Sam Khan) decided to make a video outlining these sacrifices and it was entitled 'Heroes of the Pandemic'. We felt this would have a good impact in the logistics sector, but what really surprised us was the response from outside the sector. Media, figures and people from across the Middle East region took an interest in this, and we started to realise that-at last-the supply chain was at the forefront of people's attention. This led us to create more content and delve deeper into the actions of those within the supply chain, and in time, it became clear that the supply chain-which is all too often seen simply as a dry, technical and robotic industry-was starting to tell a human story. Of course, this was great for our sector, and it became clear that we couldn't just hold a regular Excellence Awards this year, the answer to what we should do was staring us directly in the face. And thus, the Heroes of the Pandemic Awards was born.

the supply chain to how our sector has collaborated on a global scale, often showing huge levels of ingenuity, discipline, creativity, and persistence during a very difficult time.


We had many discussions in the TLME offices prior to the pandemic regarding our mission in the Middle East region, in the logistics sector and the role of transport and logistics in the world. We, in time, started to see the supply chain as the veins and arteries that carry vital sustenance around the world, yet just as we rarely think about the work our body is doing in pushing blood around our limbs and keeping us stable, so too does the global gaze of the world overlook what truly empowers it.


The Heroes of the Pandemic Awards will see TLME recognise the finest performers in the Middle East region, both from a governmental and logistical standpoint. Nominees have been chosen on the grounds of exceptional service during highly challenging times, as well as creativity, ingenuity, collaboration, order fulfilment and dedication. This year we have 40 awards spread over 5 categories, which are: Special Recognition (VIP's, governmental), Technology, Sea Freight, Air Transport, and Logistics. Each award has at least 3 nominees, with some having as many as 8. Every award will have a brief introduction followed by the announcement of the winner. Given the winners are decided by a public voting system, every award is gifted to the individual, company or organisation that the regional public feels deserve it best. So, with the above in mind, may you have a great evening and enjoy hearing the human stories of dedication, excellence and heroics from across our supply chain.



The View from Dubai A vision for the future of Dubai in a post­ pandemic world


s an organisation rooted in Dubai with strong links to the commerce, trade, and governance of the Emirate, we always keep a close eye on how Dubai and the UAE as a whole is developing and pioneering. With this in mind, herein we're going to lay out how Dubai - and the UAE region - has dealt with the pandemic and what we can expect in the near-future. To offer a quick overview, the UAE region has performed very well in a global context, even utilising the difficulties of the pandemic to create new and ways of doing business. Take for instance Mr Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, the founding chairman of Dubai-based conglomerate Al Habtoor Group (AHG), he has reported a highly positive Q1 performance during the post-pandemic recovery in the UAE. Mr Al Habtoor said: "The Covid-19 pandemic, which took the world by storm, took everyone by surprise. It was something no country was prepared for, let alone companies or TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

individuals. Many industries around the globe were brought to a standstill or faced complete collapse, particularly the travel and tourism industry. "[Yet] the United Arab Emirates was exemplary from the start. We have proven that we are a nation that excels in crisis management. Protecting our citizens was the number one priority. The collective efforts from the government and the willingness of the general public to support their measures is to be commended."


HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has himself stated that the UAE will be the fastest country to rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic. The prediction from Sheikh Mohammed has been built on the huge efforts in the region. Sheikh Mohammed has stated: "We will start 2021 with a series of projects and major initiatives - 2021 our fiftieth year and our golden jubilee, and it will be different from all years." Sheikh Mohammed does indeed have reasons to be confident in the coming years as the UAE has continued to counter global trends despite the pandemic. During 2020 for example, the UAE actually created nearly 248,ooo new jobs. Sheikh Mohammed tweeted earlier in the year that: "The world economy shrank 4 per cent, international trade dropped 20 per cent, and the world lost millions of jobs in 2020." In the same year, the UAE economy created 100,000 jobs in retail sector and e-commerce and 148,ooo jobs in the financial, technology and telecommunications sector. We repeat: Crisis management creates opportunities and management crises destroy gains.

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