The Italian Ambassador to Qatar, Guido De Sanctis, is fully supporting the inaugural Qatar International Boat Show (QIBS), which will take place at Lusail Marina in Doha from November 12 – 16, 2013. The number of Italian companies that will attend the QIBS 2013 consists of around one in five of all the exhibitors, making Italy the largest national contingent to be represented at the event.
The Italian companies and shipyards include Ferretti Group (whose brands include: Ferretti, Pershing, Itama, Bertram, Riva, Mochi Craft, and CRN); Azimut; Overmarine (Mangusta); Benetti; Sanlorenzo; Cranchi; FIPA Group (Maiora, AB Yachts, Cbi Navi, Intermare); and SeaNet Custom Marine Solutions.
In addition to the shipyards, the Italian marine industry association, UCINA (Confindustria Nautica), will be present. This is a non-profit organisation for the development and promotion of the boating sector, as well as encouraging knowledge about the sea and boating tourism.
UCINA is also a potential advisory member for a planned roundtable, initiated as a result of QIBS 2013, which would create policies and standards, promote tourism, encourage environmental concerns and promote the education of all things maritime in Qatar.
As well as UCINA, the classifying organisation RINA, which certifies ships, boats and yachts, has shown interest in being part of the same advisory team for the QMA. UCINA has also been recommending its members to participate in next year’s edition of the QIBS.
Mr. De Sanctis pointed out that Italian exports to Qatar amounted to 1.025 billion euro in 2012, and by the end of this year that figure could be worth around 1.2bn euro. “We share with Qatar the fact that we are both peninsulas, virtually surrounded by the sea, so we have both developed a good relationship with the sea.
“In the 1950s and 60s, Italians came into their own in the design of stylish yachts and we are now world leaders in this aspect of the maritime industry,” he continued. “I have met some Italian designers here in Qatar who don’t work with buildings, but work exclusively in the yachting industry. I have seen some photographs of what they have achieved in interior design and it’s very impressive. Many other countries are trying to catch up; but the Italian ability to combine in a boat the elements of mechanics, comfort and beauty is a unique one. This explains why our companies will represent the majority of the exhibitors at the Boat Show in Qatar.
“Qatar as a country is a growing market and this growth is reflected in the maritime industry,” De Sanctis continued. “We understand that Qataris fully appreciate the special meaning of luxury. They like quality, improvement and customization – just like us; and ideally no two yachts should be identical. This is something we appreciate and know how to do. We are very good at custom made things.”
In the last few months, the embassy in Doha has opened an office of the Italian Trade Commission (I.C.E.), whose role is to assist Italian companies wanting to establish themselves in the Qatari market. The Italian decision to enlarge its embassy demonstrates the importance that Italy places on improving trade with Qatar.
“We have now a stronger structure, able to offer better assistance to Italian companies wanting to establish themselves in Qatar, since we recognise that the country is a strongly growing market and the bilateral relationship between our two countries is improving exponentially. I wish the Qatar International Boat Show 2013 all possible success,” Guido De Sanctis concluded.