Navigating the Indian Monsoon Season: UAE’s Advantage for Vessels & Ports

The Indian monsoon season is a particularly concerning part of the year for vessel owners in India, particularly on the west coast of the county. In total, regions in west and south India get something close to 90% of their annual rainfall from June to September, which is the period the Indian monsoon season typically hits.

What’s more, the Indian monsoon season is becoming more damaging than ever for vessel owners. Since 1996, above-normal rains have come to the west of the country during the monsoon season, plus vessels have been battered for longer, with the monsoon season finishing later than ever before – it’s not unusual for the rains to continue until mid-October.

Vessel owners in south and west India will look at their north-eastern compatriots with some jealousy. In the NE of the country, the monsoon season brings steady winds that are conducive to sailing, but this isn’t the case in the SW. Instead, south-westerners will need to contend with a ferocity of wind and rain rarely seen elsewhere on earth, making taking to the sea dangerous at best, and impossible at worst.

Many choose to shelter their vessels off the Indian coast, where they’re incapacitated for months and still under considerable threat. Instead, savvier owners relocate their vessels elsewhere, with Umm Al Quwain – just over 1,000 miles from Mumbai – offering perfect refuge during the Indian monsoon season.

But why is Umm Al Quwain such a good choice for Indian vessel owners looking for sheltered anchorage during the monsoon season? And why do many choose Umm Al Quwain over other countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council? Find out the answers, plus much more, on this page.

The Indian Monsoon Season and its Impact on Vessels

As you might expect, the Indian monsoon season has a huge impact on vessels in the south and west of the country. In Mumbai, Goa, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Mangaluru, and more, vessels are moored up and owners simply hope the wind and rain won’t cause too much damage to their vessels. Often, it’s not even possible to conduct work aboard vessels during the season, preventing important maintenance, which must instead be done outside the monsoon – the time when the vessels could be working.

Of course, the impact on vessels has a direct impact on the owners of the vessels. Without being able to sail, all forms of income dry up. In fact, many of the crew members will go without work, instead heading back to their towns and villages further inland until the monsoon season breaks. This has a huge economic impact on owners and crew.

These challenges can be overcome in Umm Al Quwain, and many vessel owners choose to anchor or dry dock their vessels here. By shifting the base of operations for the season, vessels can often continue working, plus maintenance and refurbishment is possible.

Potential Challenges for Vessels in the GCC

Of course, there are other options for those looking to get away from the rainy season in western India, including options within the GCC. But of all GCC countries, the UAE offers the best choice. There are several reasons for this, including geography. The UAE is far closer to the Indian subcontinent than other potential mooring spots, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait.

What’s more, Umm Al Quwain – and, in particular, Dexter Offshore – has the facilities needed by vessel owners. These facilities aren’t just safe, but offer all modern options, allowing for the effective maintenance of vessels using the emirate as a base during the Indian monsoon season.

There are also operational reasons for choosing Umm Al Quwain over other parts of the GCC. For example, many countries will charge high wharfage fees to vessel owners, making the financial advantage of relocating during the monsoon season negligible. The dry climate of Umm Al Quwain is also hugely important to those looking at potential locations to head to during the monsoon.

Also, many places require a compulsory stand-by crew aboard the vessel, as well as a compulsory stand-by tug for barges – both of which are also often highly expensive. In addition, it can take a long time to obtain gate passes for surveyors and clients in some countries, making things highly inconvenient for owners.

You’ll also find that lay-up management services are widely offered in the UAE, making the entire process that much simpler. Contact Dexter Offshore to find out how our lay-up management service could help you.

Benefits of Choosing the UAE as Your Monsoon Shelter

There are many reasons to choose the UAE, and Umm Al Quwain in particular, as your monsoon shelter. When they’re all added together, it’s clear to see that the UAE is the logical option for anyone looking to shelter their vessel during the Indian monsoon season.

Lower Wharfage Fees

Wharfage fees – the price paid to store incoming and outgoing freight, as well as for general usage of the port – can be significant throughout the GCC. This is not the case in Umm Al Quwain, where wharfage fees are generally considerably cheaper than those found elsewhere in the region. In fact, Dexter charges lower fees than all ports in the GCC.

Just because the cost is low, don’t be mistaken into thinking that the quality of service is also below average. In fact, UAE ports offer some of the best services around, with safe locations and facilities on par with anywhere on the world.

Strategic Location

The UAE is a strategically important location in the shipping industry, sitting at the crossroads of global shipping routes. The importance of the UAE is shown by the fact that the ports in the country welcome over 21,000 ships per year.

But why is the UAE so well placed? Well, it is at a vital location between Asia and Europe, making it simple for vessels usually plying that route to stop in the UAE and take shelter during the monsoon season. Many other locations within the GGC require vessels to sail further into the Persian Gulf, further away from major shipping routes and the vessel’s home port in India.

Favourable Weather Conditions

Those looking to escape the Indian monsoon are searching for favourable conditions, and not conditions that are only marginally better than those they’ve just left. Rain is rare throughout the year in the UAE, as is any inclement weather that could affect general operations. This means that the UAE is the perfect spot for vessel owners looking for weather conducive to the continuation of their business.

What’s more, the UAE has a highly sophisticated system for forecasting weather, offering real-time information on conditions. The systems in many other countries in the GCC and close-by are nowhere near as effective. Overall, the UAE doesn’t just offer stable weather, but also has the systems in place to enable owners to plan their time in the country perfectly.

Safe and Well-Equipped Anchorages

The anchorages in the UAE are world-leading, offering a well-equipped location for anyone looking to carry out refurbishments, renovations, and maintenance. All essential services, including bunkering and dry docks, can be accessed easily, at a price that compares favourably to other locations in the Middle East. Within the UAE, Umm Al Quwain offers several suitable anchorage points for vessels of all shapes and sizes.

Safety is also a prime consideration for those looking to escape the Indian monsoon season. All reputable anchorages in the UAE are well protected by security systems, plus the overall crime rate in the UAE is already exceptionally low. In fact, the UAE has the second lowest crime rate in the world.

Safety also comes in the form of the ports available in the UAE. In the unlikely event of inclement weather, most storage areas – including the one offered by Dexter Offshore – are fully sheltered. This also ensures they’re protected from waves, swell, and current.

Efficient Access to Repair and Maintenance Facilities

The facilities in Umm Al Quwain, as well as the wider UAE, are world-leading, ensuring all manner of repairs and maintenance jobs can be carried out without hassle. Sourcing spare parts is simple, as the UAE is one of the world’s transport hubs – if the item you need isn’t in the country already, it’ll be simple to transport it there via air, land, or sea.

You’ll also find all the expertise you need, as the UAE has a large pool of skilled and unskilled workers, particularly in the marine industry. Several ship maintenance companies also operate in Umm Al Quwain, offering their expertise to vessel owners.

Closer Proximity to UAE-Based Clients with Offshore Campaigns in India

There are many companies with significant business interests in both India and the UAE. By utilising the UAE as a location for shelter from the Indian monsoons, business owners allow themselves to be closer to their UAE clients, boosting business opportunities. Most businesses will also retain a presence in India throughout the monsoon season, ensuring both countries are well covered.

Get in Touch for a Free Consultation with Our Marketing Director

Dexter Offshore is the number one resource in the UAE for companies looking for shelter from the Indian monsoon season.

We offer various options, including dry docking, for those looking to take refuge in Umm Al Quwain’s calmer waters and weather, plus the prices in Umm Al Quwain are favourable when compared to other options within the Middle East. What’s more, skilled and unskilled workers are available, plus obtaining parts and supplies is simple, thanks to the UAE’s position as a world transport hub.

If you’re looking towards Umm Al Quwain for shelter during the next Indian monsoon season, we’d love to hear more from you. Why not contact us today and arrange a free consultation with our marketing director?

Dexter Online also operates several other services in the UAE, including marine salvage assessments and ship chartering. We also engage with the wider industry throughout the Middle East, contributing towards offshore development in Oman and other countries.