Emirates Shipping Association Marks the Success of the Maritime Leadership Program 2024


Thursday, 20th June By Jennifer Patricio

The Emirates Shipping Association marked the success of its inaugural Maritime Leadership Program 2024 (MLP24), which took place from 27 to 31 May in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

The unique executive program, developed under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI) and in collaboration with A.P. Moller – Mærsk, brought together maritime leaders in a series of high-impact sessions. These sessions were designed with Danish maritime industry program partners to promote a sustainable, efficient, and innovative maritime future, in line with EU goals and IMO targets.

Dr. Waddah S. Ghanem Al Hashmi, Sr. Director at ENOC, Board Member at Emirates Shipping Association, and MLP24 Program Director, stated: “The Maritime Leadership Program is a testament to our commitment to advancing the UAE maritime industry. By providing our leaders with access to the latest innovations and best practices, we are ensuring that they are well-equipped to drive sustainable growth and competitiveness in the global maritime sector.”

Key Areas of Focus


Delegates engaged with top experts, including Ole Graa Jakobsen, Vice President and Head of Fleet Technology at Mærsk Line, and Tanja Ebbe Dalgaard, Chief Strategy & Operations Officer from Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, to learn about Mærsk’s decarbonisation initiatives. MAN Energy Solutions provided insights on their dual-fuel technology and the demand for retrofitting vessels to meet these standards.

Leonardo Sonzio, Vice President and Head of Fleet Management & Technology at Mærsk, noted: “At Mærsk, we believe in the power of collaboration and knowledge exchange to propel the industry forward. MLP24 brought together key stakeholders from Denmark and the UAE to address the challenges and opportunities in decarbonisation, energy transition, diversity, equity and inclusion at sea.”
Tommy Thomassen, Chief Operating Officer at Mærsk Supply Service, remarked: “There are strong similarities between the Emirates and the Danish maritime cluster.  MLP24 was the result of several discussions about how to bring our two regions closer and benefit from working together. The program brings the right organisations together, and promotes innovative thinking on running an efficient, modern, and forward-looking maritime cluster.”


At Copenhagen Business School, delegates explored the vital role of digital transformation in the maritime industry. Presentations showcased how digital tools enhance business scalability and consumer connections, emphasising the integration of strategic, technological, and organisational aspects to improve security, efficiency, and green transitions.

Thomas S. Hansen, Head of Sales and Promotion at MAN Energy Solutions, noted:  “We have learned a lot from each other. It has been interesting to learn about the needs of the shipowners from the UAE, and we also feel that the shipowners have learned something from us. Here at MAN Energy Solutions we have a target of bringing big things to zero, and it’s our obligation as an OEM to assist the maritime industry with the green maritime turnaround.”

Maritime Leadership

Delegates were enlightened on the principles that have made Danish maritime practices a global benchmark for over a century including Denmark’s stable tax regime, commercial framework, and skilled workforce. Mærsk’s initiatives to promote inclusion and diversity, including a minimum number of female seafarers and leadership development workshops, were also highlighted.

Omar Baobaid, Vice President of Corporate Strategy at ADNOC L&S, reflected on his participation in MLP24: “The insights we’ve gained from the presentations and discussions with our Danish maritime counterparts have been very enlightening. The discussions on advanced technologies adopting low-carbon fuels and digital transformation have provided me with a clear roadmap to accelerate ADNOC L&S decarbonisation program and contribute positively to the global maritime landscape.”

Umesh Shinde, Managing Director of Synergy Denmark A/S, noted: “As we started to approach Danish organisations as part of the program, we saw a lot of interest and enthusiasm to have this bridge connected between the UAE and Denmark. The program has certainly lived up to our ambition to inspire, connect, and educate participants. I feel honoured to have been part of this program from the beginning, and I hope we continue to collaborate between the two countries.”

Emirates Shipping Association Signs MOU with Danish Shipping

During MLP24, Emirates Shipping Association and Danish Shipping confirmed their collaboration with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), marking the beginning of a new chapter in maritime cooperation.

Denmark and the United Arab Emirates, home to two of the world’s most influential maritime hubs, are set to strengthen their bilateral ties and drive innovation within the industry through this agreement.

Jacob K. Clasen, Deputy CEO of Danish Shipping, expressed his enthusiasm with the MOU:
“I’m very pleased to sign this MOU on behalf of Danish Shipping. The UAE is a significant shipping nation. […] We look forward to working together, learning from each other, and becoming better equipped for the challenges of the future.”

View the full press release here

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