The boat show, a marine lifestyle event

The boat show, a marine lifestyle event.

Middle-East Market for Largest Yachts Grew 6% Annually from 2009 to 2015;

The Middle East is a thriving market for yachts and boats. According to the Superyacht Builders’ Association (SYBAss), the region’s market for yachts greater than 40 metres in length has grown at an average of 6% per year from 2009 to 2015. Among the Middle East’s ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs: those whose net worth is more than USD 30 million), 55% are likely to buy a yacht longer than 40 metres, representing the highest ‘propensity to buy’ for any region globally.

The UAE now consistently ranks among the major manufacturing nations for superyachts, according to the ShowBoats International Global Order Book, while official figures from Dubai Maritime City Authority reveal new licenses issued for water craft of all types more than doubled in 2015 when compared with the previous year: 1,623 licences issued, compared with 698 in 2014.

“For buyers of new boats, there is always a preference for new models, and especially those which allow for some element of customisation,” said Mohammed Harib, CEO of Dubai International Marine Club and Member of the Board. “Dubai has cemented its global reputation for new boat sales primarily on the excellence of the Dubai International Boat Show, with its wide and varying range of newly-launched boats on display each year.”

Alongside its reputation for superyachts and new launches, Dubai International Boat Show is also establishing its name for supporting a full spectrum of water sports.

“We want Dubai International Boat Show to be an immersive experience for all visitors,” said His Excellency Saeed Harib, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, Vice President and Chairman of Dubai International Marine Club – Mina Seyahi, and Senior Advisor to the Dubai International Boat Show.

“With our coastline and warm weather, being on the water is an obvious recreational choice in the UAE. An important measure of our success going forward will be how effectively we encourage our residents and visitors to become more involved in boating and water sports.”


The region’s leading leisure marine exhibition and conference will feature 450 boats on display, according to organisers, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). With more than 800 companies and brands from 55 countries exhibiting at this year’s event, more than 25,000 visitors from more than 120 countries are expected to attend. Organisers say the event is benefitting from regional currencies being linked to the strong US dollar, with United States’ brands eyeing a market where selling prices remain on par with their own costs, while Europeans are able to offer greater value for money to Middle East buyers.

“The United Arab Emirates is one of the best yachting hubs in the world,” said Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft, the biggest single exhibitor at the Dubai International Boat Show. An Emirates-based company with three shipyards in the UAE and one in the Maldives, Gulf Craft manufactures boats for a range of markets under four separate brands, and has been ranked among the world’s top 10 superyacht builders.

“Dubai appreciates the leisure marine sector,” Bamps added. “There is a strong demand from local buyers for yachts and boats of any size, from relatively modest cruisers and sport boats, through to the most luxurious private yachts. We know that anyone looking to buy a boat or yacht in the UAE will be at the Dubai International Boat Show, but we also know that it puts us on the map with international buyers, which is important to us because we market and sell globally.”

Dubai’s reputation is endorsed at the top of the market, where two members of the Superyacht Builders’ Association (SYBAss) will be launching new products – a first for the event. These are a global launch by Netherlands-based Heesen Yachts, and Italy’s Mondomarine, in the SYBAss-supported Superyacht Life section of the marina display.

“The Middle East unveiling of the M/Y Serenity, the first of the new SF line, is particularly significant for us,” said Mondomarine co-owner, Roberto Zambrini. “Mondomarine developed the SF line in collaboration with its regional partner, SF Yachts, with interior styling by Mrs Fetema Almaidan and exterior by Mr Luca Vallebona, penned in Dubai at SF sister company, SFL Design.”

ART Marine, the Middle East’s largest 360 degree leisure yachting enterprise, and one of the show’s largest annual exhibitors, sees Dubai International Boat Show as an essential event. Representing the Ferretti Group yacht brands, the company chooses Dubai to introduce important new products. This year sees the regional debut of the the 76’ Perseo, a sporty new 23 metre coupé yacht from Ferretti’s Riva line.

“As a business, we don’t just operate in Dubai or the UAE, and we work to reach customers in every market where we have a presence,” said Gregor Stinner, CEO of ART Marine. “Part of reaching customers throughout the Middle East is to be as visible as possible at the Dubai show, because we know that anyone in the region who is serious about yachts will be here, and they expect to see the brands we represent here.”

The boat show with something for everyone

With the 24th Dubai International Boat Show, organisers have continued their work to broaden the event’s appeal as a marine lifestyle event.

New for 2016, the show will extend to the beach for the first time, offering taster sessions of popular water sports. Other new features include hands-on experiences where visitors can learn the basics of owning and driving a boat, as well as fishing.

With potential first-time boat owners set to make up a large number of the expected visitor turnout, the Dubai International Boat Show has ensured a wide range of small to medium sized builders will be participating to showcase a range of craft that also includes speed boats, jet skis, quad skis and other marine leisure products.

“Dubai International Boat Show has been serving the boating community for almost 25 years, and we are growing with that community,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President of DWTC. “This is an event that covers the complete range of craft available, with something to suit every taste and budget, from superyachts to small runabouts, and a host of exciting new water sports that visitors can try out for themselves.”

Visitors can also experience the first round of the 2016 F1H2O World Championship, happening alongside Dubai International Boat Show. Eighteen drivers, from nine teams representing 11 countries, will compete in Dubai’s first ever Grand Prix from 2-4 March, kicking off the 33rd season of the F1H2O World Championship. The 2016 line-up includes three World Champions, and 12 Grand Prix winners and runners up. Entry is free for all boat show attendees.


About Dubai International Boat Show:

Dubai International Boat Show, the most trusted and established marine industry exhibition in the Middle East, is a showcase of yachts and boats from both local and international builders together with the latest innovations in marine equipment and accessories. The multi-award winning show showcases the latest leisure boats, equipment and associated services in the Middle East. Exhibitors include both local and international boat manufacturers as well as the latest innovations in marine equipment and supplies. More than 26,000 international and local visitors attend including key buyers from Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia


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