Dubai International Boat Show 2019 – Interview with Show Director, Riju George

Due to open its doors later this month, from 26th February until 2nd March ...

Dubai International Boat Show 2019 – Interview with Show Director, Riju George

February 11, 2019

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Due to open its doors later this month, from 26th February until 2nd March 2019, the Dubai International Boat Show is promising to be bigger and better than ever! We have spoken to the Show Director Riju George about the most important changes, new trends, entertainment and advice for newcomers or visitors. Don’t forget to buy your tickets ahead of time and online, saving 15% on the price as well as time and enjoy this spectacular event to be held at the Dubai Canal, Jumeirah near the Dubai Ladies Club.

More than 400 boats will converge at the 2019 Dubai International Boat Show

More than 400 boats will converge at the 2019 Dubai International Boat Show

What are some of the greatest changes/improvements on last year’s show?

Our new location on the Dubai Canal was a huge success for us last year and is a venue that enables us to grow the show even more for 2019.  Life on the sea is far from just a dream for many people nowadays; it is really so accessible, and in line with that the 2019 Dubai International Boat Show will incorporate every aspect of ocean-living and have something to offer hobbyists of all recreational sea activities, spread across our spot on the Canal.

Of course, the show will still be home to many of the most glamorous yachts in the world, showcased alongside beautiful leisure and fishing vessels. We will also be bringing thrilling live stunts, water sports and the latest in diving technology, With more than 154,000 certified divers now residing in the GCC, the 2019 Boat Show’s new-look Dive MENA Expo – formerly DMEX, and organised in partnership with the Emirates Diving Association (EDA) – will bring more divers than ever together to learn, be inspired, share ideas and discover the latest equipment in the company of diving and technical experts from around the world. An on-site dive pool will ensure the Expo offers the ultimate hands-on diving experience for those wanting to get their feet wet, while the Expo’s Dive Tracks will feature expert divers from around the world sharing their stories and insight.

On top of all of this, we will have a new have-a-go watersports village, where visitors can try out some fun sea-toys, plus live yachting, sailing, fishing and jet-ski competitions, and a huge showcase of all the recreational sea-craft and equipment needed for anyone keen to get out on the water and to start living a little!

Are there any upcoming trends in the yachting industry to watch out for? 

What we’ve seen in recent years in terms of buyer trends is the shift in boating being considered as a hobby of only the wealthy to a wider lifestyle embraced by modern working families, with many pleasure craft coming in at less than the cost of a car. That’s reflected in the direction we’ve taken the show in this year, where we want to incorporate every aspect of ocean-living and have something to offer hobbyists of all recreational sea activities. The taste for the marine lifestyle is constantly growing, and potential buyers are realising that boat ownership is both affordable and accessible – and that ranges from the most glamorous yachts in the world, to beautiful leisure and fishing vessels, all of which we’ll be hosting.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the DIBS 2018

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the DIBS 2018

What advice can you give first-time attendees visiting the show?

To bring the family. The Dubai International Boat Show is a lifestyle event first and foremost and provides fun for all the family: from our watersports village and kids games to sea-stunts, superyachts and even hypercars – the next level up from supercars! Our central location provides excellent connectivity for visitors coming from all parts of the city, with ample parking for visitors and great transportation links via bus, metro and water taxi. It’s never been easier to be part of the fun!

For buyers, my advice would be to come with an open mind. While you may have a clear vision of the type of yacht or boat you’re in the market for, we pride ourselves on exhibiting beauty and variety across our 400+ boats, so if you attend with an open mind to being wowed, then we truly believe you’ll leave the show with a vessel that was beyond even your greatest imagination.

What can visitors expect for daytime and night-time entertainment?

The 2019 Boat Show will host a number of maritime competitions, including the eagerly-anticipated annual Dubai to Muscat Sailing Race. It will also feature a jet-ski competition, and a Dubai International Marine Club-endorsed fishing competition.

Our art display will be back in 2019, as will a host of other attractions. Visitors can really throw themselves into all that life by the sea has to offer, including our out-at-sea sailing experiences and water sports taster sessions. And that’s not forgetting our Super Car Promenade, featuring the fastest, flashiest and most exclusive cars to ever hit the tarmac.

We are also immensely excited about playing host to the Middle East’s first ever VriThink Night Out. The Night Out will feature more than a dozen industry experts presenting for five minutes at a time in an open social platform that allows leaders from across different disciplines to share insight, knowledge and understanding with hundreds of people all working to further enhance yachting and boating. It’s one of the only events of its kind, and its easily digestible format ensures each and every presentation – whether on a new design, perspective-altering trend discovery and analysis, or just dream concepts – that will stimulate and inspire all those lucky enough to attend.

What are some of the most highly anticipated luxury yachts on Superyacht Avenue this year?

DIBS 2019 will highlight the emirate’s status as the world’s most exciting leisure marine hub that now competes on a global scale with shows such as Miami, Cannes and Monaco.   Always a huge draw for both the buyers and dreamers alike, the Superyacht Avenue, presented by SYBAss, will feature the latest designs from superyacht-builders including Amels, Feadship, Heesen, CRN, Benetti, Lurssen, Oceanco and Baglietto.  Some of these yachts include; Gulf Craft, Majesty 140, a true yachting masterpiece, designed and built right here in the UAE and launched at the 2018 Dubai International Boat Show and Azimut Yachts, S7, Azimut’s new carbon fibre motor yacht which is a sight to behold – measuring 68.9ft (21m). In terms of something completely different, look no further than The FOILER; the world’s first Flying Yacht, a project by UAE based company ENATA.

The FOILER - Flying Yacht by ENATA

The FOILER – Flying Yacht by ENATA

Can you recommend any other nearby sights tourists should include in their visit to Dubai?

Dubai has something for everyone. Whether old or new, land or sea, the city caters to millions of visitors from around the world with unique ways to see the city. There are plenty of things to do in Old Dubai – whether you’re looking to uncover a piece of local history or heritage or to simply savour some traditional delights. While the city has a reputation as a thriving modern metropolis, Dubai’s traditional Arabian markets are still a crucial part of daily life and trade, and a wander through one of the bustling souqs is an essential experience. Here, you can discover the true essence of Dubai’s shopping heritage while exploring Dubai’s famous souqs – including the Gold Souq, which is lined with bespoke pieces with prices that aren’t set in stone; the Textile Souq, a bustling and crowded space with rolls of fabric, fine silks, airy cottons, and dazzling sari fabrics; and the Spice Souq, which offers the greatest sensory overload with the vibrant colours and aromas of some of the world’s most prized spices.

Even with a tight deadline in Dubai, tourists can still see the tallest building on earth- Burj Khalifa, shop at the world’s largest mall and get a taste of Arabian life in just eight hours.  Next door to Burj Khalifa is The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest destination for shopping, entertainment and leisure. The mall covers more than one million square metres – an area equivalent to 200 football pitches. Alongside over 1,300 shops, it also features everything from an ice rink and Vegas-style fountains, to an ancient dinosaur fossil and a giant aquarium.

Photo © Jeff Brown

Photo © Jeff Brown

What destinations and events or activities would you recommend for a luxury yacht charter in the region?

The charter market in the region continues to grow and regulation changes allow more boats to visit and more boats to be chartered from here. We are in a great area and more than half of the year is perfect for chartering, especially while it may be too cold in Europe. The UAE serves as the perfect all-around hub for the yachting elite with incredible facilities, weather, and attractions such as the Formula 1 and the annual Red Bull Air Race.

On the ground level, Dubai, the UAE and wider GCC is home to thousands of incredible hotels and resorts, making it the perfect place to explore fully by boat. These lands are home to a sensational blend of modern metropolises and ancient tradition, guaranteeing to meet the needs and go beyond the expectations of any tourist or traveller.

In terms of activities, the Gulf is now home to in excess of 100 different diving destinations. The UAE is investing heavily in improving its already expansive dive offering to align with its greater dive ambitions. New coral gardens are being planned for the waters of Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman to help boost marine life and rejuvenate the ecosystem, while artificial caves built in Dubai are being placed in the country’s waters to encourage fish life. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and the Fujairah Centre for Adventures signed a memorandum of understanding to nurture a sprawling coral-reef garden off the coast of Fujairah, developing it into the world’s biggest.

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