By David Robinson

The Middle East’s only classification society, Tasneef, is planning to add two more yacht codes to the one it introduced in mid-February that covers private yachts of 24m-plus. There is no timing for when the two new codes will be issued, but work on preparing them is now underway.

UAE-based Tasneef is currently working on the drafts for the two new codes. A spokesman who is involved with the code preparation told SB: “The two new codes will deal with commercial yachts over 24m and yachts under 24m. A draft for the small yacht code is completed but there is no idea when it will be issued. Work on the commercial yacht code is underway and this will have a number of similarities to the private code for 24m-plus yachts.”

The idea for a 24m-plus private yacht code was first mooted in 2008 but not introduced until 2015. Tasneef was only founded in 2012 and is still busy developing its services. The spokesman explained: “Tasneef is part of the UAE Federal Transport Authority and it is currently running training courses for surveyors as well as employing professional surveyors.

“In time we will open a number of offices in key maritime centres as representative and surveying offices. We are also working to become a member of IACS (the International Association of Classification Societies) as soon as possible. ”

Tasneef serves as a classification body for both commercial ships and leisure yachts. To help with its development, Tasneef has signed a cooperation agreement with RINA, the Italian classification society which is also very active in the yacht market. On the commercial ship front, Tasneef has signed up several ships owned by leading locally-based ship owners.

Considerable emphasis has been placed on Dubai’s maritime rules and safety in recent months. For instance, a marine drivers’ licence became mandatory on January 1, 2015, and all watercraft must now be registered.

Dubai Maritime City Authority, the body that oversees maritime regulation in the Emirate of Dubai, has over 1,000 craft on its register. It is not known how many are over 24m.