The Dubai International Boat Show is expanding its features to capture the increasing regional marine market, as stated by its organisers, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). This is in line with the sector’s exponential growth in the lead up to 2020, as predicted by governmental educational institute Emirates International Maritime Academy, based in Dubai Maritime City.
According to Dubai Maritime City Authority Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the UAE’s maritime industry makes up 60 percent of the total value for the sector across the GCC. The UAE will be responsible for as much as 35 percent of the up to $190 billion investment in the Middle East’s marine sector over the next three years, experts estimate.
The 23rd running of the Dubai International Boat Show, 3-7 March of 2015, will be marked by international and regional premieres but, more importantly, new show features dedicated to sailing, fishing, and water sports, according to DWTC, reflecting the annual event’s significant growth in popularity among serious buyers from across the UAE and GCC, Africa, Southwest and Central Asia, and beyond.
“Every year, the Dubai International Boat Show gains in stature and international popularity because it continues to evolve and improve its offering for visitors,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President of DWTC, commenting on the show’s new features.
With tens of thousands of visitors, from more than 120 countries, expected to attend over the five days of the show, and scheduled to view a full range of hundreds of boats on land and water, the show will soon be among the world’s top 4 marine industry events by 2020, agree the show’s largest exhibitors.
“Dubai International Boat Show enjoys tremendous potential for attendee selection over the next five years, as it focuses on quality buyers of all sizes of boats. This event also has the potential to become a global Top 4 industry event, after the US and Europe’s three big events,” said Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft, the UAE-based manufacturer of boats and yachts, and the world’s top 10 superyacht shipyard.
“Dubai’s inherent advantages over other, particularly developing market shows, are that Dubai is itself a brand which communicates excellence in all things, particularly exhibitions and events, and also that there is a high degree of wealth in the region coupled with a demonstrated willingness to spend on water craft. For Gulf Craft, the Dubai show is a platform to highlight who we are and to shine in front of a very select audience.”
Within the region, increased wealth among residents is expected to drive further show attendance and related sales. The number of HNWIs across the world has ballooned by 59% since 2003, more than doubling in the Middle East, according to the 2014 Wealth Report from global real estate giant, Knight Frank. And the Dubai International Boat Show has a demonstrated track record of having secured more than 20 per cent of its overall annual attendance from HNWIs.
Gregor Stinner, CEO of ART MARINE, the Middle East’s largest 360 degree leisure yachting enterprise and one of the show’s largest annual exhibitors, agrees that the Dubai International Boat Show is clearly in its ascendency and the most important regional boat show for the company.
“For ART MARINE, Dubai International Boat Show is the best possible platform to showcase our broad range of branded boats from the Ferretti Group. These range from the smallest Riva at 27 feet to megyachts of up to 90 meters in length built by the Group’s flagship shipyard CRN, as the event attracts key regional buyers from Egypt to Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman. ART MARINE is also the regional leader in marina management, so we use Dubai International Boat Show as our annual industry networking meeting point. For us, the show is already a global top 4 event.”
Bruno Meier, the company’s Chief Operating Officer and member of the DIBS Conference’s Steering Committee, has said he believes the number of operational marinas in the GCC will nearly double from 43 in 2009 to 85 by 2016, with available berths moving from 9,000 to 16,000 over the same time period.
ART MARINE continues to expand its presence and will be opening its first Luxury Line Boutique Showroom this month in Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace, whose marina has been managed by the company for over three years.
2015 Show Sectors and New Features
Show sectors for this year include: Marina Display, Superyacht Life Area, Outdoor Display, Marine Luxury and Lifestyle, Equipment Services and Supplies (ESS), and Diving Middle East Exhibition (DMEX).
New show features include dedicated sections in the Outdoor Display area of the show for DIBS Sailing, DIBS Fishing, and DIBS Water Sports – industry areas supporting strong sales growth over the last several years, say organisers – in addition to returning show features, Supercar Promenade, Gulf Boating Conference –, Retail Village, UAE Inspired Pavilion, and the ever popular Entertainment & Competitions.
The new DIBS Sailing sector of the show is an interactive zone where sailing enthusiasts can see boats, brands and suppliers from around the world, while the DIBS Fishing sector will meet the needs of even the most expert fisherman.
Finally, DIBS Water Sports will be an exciting new show zone dedicated to all related things, from kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, and paddle boarding to surfing, kite surfing, and wind surfing, with a dedicated testing pool for water sports enthusiasts.
With Gulf states increasingly developing planned communities around an active, on-water lifestyle, the demand for sailing, fishing, and water sports craft has skyrocketed over the last few years, according to participating companies.
Advocating one of the new show features, Sultan A. Alshaali, CEO of Alshaali Group, said: “Al Shaali Marine has been a long-time supporter of the Dubai International Boat Show, and we are pleased to see that the show is now creating a dedicated area for fishing boats, some of our biggest sellers at this event. We are makers of yachts of up to 130 feet in length, but we also enjoy a proud heritage of making and selling some of the world’s finest fishing vessels.”
To best promote the show’s Superyacht experience, the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) will again unite to represent the world’s most leading superyacht builders, bringing them together in one dedicated platform at the Superyacht Life Area of the show’s Marina Display.
“While we will continue to provide a global platform for the sale of superyachts, we also want to explore new ways to serve our increasingly international buyers from emerging markets such as Africa, China, and India. We believe that there will be tremendous interest, and sales, in support of our push to bring water sports, sailing, and fishing more fully into the realm of our larger show offering,” said DWTC’s LohMirmand.
The 23rd Dubai International Boat Show at Dubai International Marine Club – Mina Seyahi is open to trade visitors and the general public from 3pm – 9.30pm daily from 3-7 March 2015.