UNLOCK interviews Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri CEO of Maqta Gateway Abu Dhabi Ports
In June 2018, the Abu Dhabi Port Authority announced that they had built the first in-house Blockchain solution called Silsal to provide access to transaction status updates between importers and exporters.
We interviewed Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, CEO of Maqta Gateway at Abu Dhabi Ports. We first asked Dr. Dhaheri about the technology and the current phase of the project. As she explained, “We developed Silsal completely in-house at our Digital Innovation Lab using hyperledger as the technology platform. Silsal is currently in the POC (Proof of Concept) stage and has been field tested with our strategic customers at Abu Dhabi Ports.
As for the how will Abu Dhabi ports connect to the vast number of customers across the board given that each are at different technological levels Dr. Al Dhaheri explained, “ Initially nodes are not needed to implement the solution and depending on the technical level of the company they will select the appropriate option. For the solution to work we are providing three options: direct integrations, Wallet or Node.
With any blockchain implementation cost savings is one of the major benefits. According to Al Dhaheri, “The World Economic Forum predicts potential savings from blockchain implementation in shipping to range from 20% of the total physical transportation costs which would amount to $1 trillion addition to global trade. This figure corroborates the fact that digitalization can truly shape the future and that is something we’ve considered when trying further benefit our trade partners and shipping lines. With Silsal fully implanted, transports and logistic operations would be significantly smoother.”
So how would it all work? Al Dhaheri states, “The blockchain would act as a type of digital ledger allowing members of the trade community to record and extract details regarding transactions with greater security, transparency and efficiency. The supply chain process would be highly connected through a unified interface that would serve to connect all members of the industry locally and internationally. This would greatly improving how the trade community operates. As for Silsal when it is provided to Importers/Exporters and Freight forwarders and based on our estimations, for example, one importer that does 50,000 shipments per year will save around 3.2 million AED.
As for the future plans and its relation to the UAE Blockchain Strategy, Al Dhaheri states, “The goal for UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021 is to become a world leader in adopting technology. Their strategy aims to capitalize on blockchain technology to transform 50% of government transactions into the blockchain platform by 2021. Maqta Gateway’s blockchain solution opens a full world of cost savings and innovative solutions for the logistic trade here in Abu Dhabi and with the growing international connections, and in this way our strategies are integrated. We are helping by using blockchain and other technologies to facilitate trade whenever possible through our innovative solutions.”