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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Champions the International Day of The Seafarer

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is championing seafarers, from educating the next generation of leaders at Saudi institutions to ensuring that those at sea have the safety and support they need to handle the challenges of their profession. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) celebrates International Day for Seafarers every year on June 25 to commend those working in the industry. As Saudi Arabia joins the IMO and Member States in these celebrations, the Kingdom reflects on the ongoing efforts to support the essential work of seafarers.

The Day of the Seafarer was established in 2010 Diplomatic Conference in Manila, with the purpose to recognize the invaluable contributions of seafarers worldwide to international trade, the global economy, and civil society. This year's International Day of the Seafarer theme focuses on safety, emphasizing the efforts of seafarers to maintain a safe working environment in the maritime sector.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia partners with international entities such as the IMO, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), and is an active participant in the IMO and International Labour Organization (ILO) Tripartite Working Group to Identify and Address Seafarers Issues such as mental health challenges.

On a domestic level, Saudi Arabia saw the number of Saudi seafarers increased 30% in 2023, with over 2,000 individuals entering the industry. The Kingdom is committed to supporting Seafarers through training and capacity building initiatives.

Saudi Arabia is also heavily investing in maritime infrastructure, providing state-of-the-art training facilities and advanced technological equipment to prepare seafarers for the future. Initiatives such as the establishment of maritime academies and courses at the National Maritime Academy (NMA) in Damam. NMA provide top tier internationally recognised training and certification for seafarers and are currently at 117% capacity. King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah is also supporting educating Saudi seafarers, and  ranked first in the Arab world  KAU offers courses on Hydrographic Surveying, Nautical Science, Ports and Maritime Transport, and Marine Engineering, and courses built around marine sciences such as Marine Geology, and Marine Physics. Both institutions aim to become and internationally recognised institute for education and training of maritime cadets, preparing them for professional and international certification.

By prioritizing the needs of those who navigate at sea, Saudi Arabia is fostering a more sustainable and prosperous maritime industry. This support not only benefits seafarers but also strengthens the global supply chain, contributing to economic growth and international cooperation.

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