Two of the largest superyachts built in the UAE have made this year’s list of the world’s Top 100 largest Superyachts. Abu Dhabi’s ADM Shipyards’ Swift 141 motor yacht has been placed at number 6 on the prestigious top 100 superyacht list, while the 162-metre megayacht Dubai retained its ranking as the world’s second largest superyacht.
Besides traditional yacht-building powerhouse Germany, the UAE is the only other country to have multiple mentions in the annual listing’s Top Ten. Andy Treadwell, Managing Director of Informa Yacht Group (IYG), organisers of the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show (ADYS) notes “The report is a confirmation of the UAE’s growing prominence as a builder and exporter of premium luxury superyachts. That positioning is strengthened by this month’s staging of the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show which will further propel UAE shipyards into the international industry spotlight.”
”The UAE, in particular Abu Dhabi, possesses huge potential to become a yachting and marine powerhouse in the near future. Though relatively a much younger market, the UAE is already punching above its weight with some of the largest superyachts in construction being built by these locally-based shipyards. They are already proving that ‘Made in UAE’ superyachts can take their place alongside their more established counterparts.”
ADM Shipyards’ motor yacht Swift 141 is due to be completed this year at the company’s shipyard in the UAE capital. The 141-metre Swift yacht will be the largest composite yacht superstructure ever built and when launched, will be one of the world’s fastest superyachts with a maximum speed of 26 knots. Its remarkable exterior styling and interior design are the work of Paris-based Pierrejean Design Studio.
The Abu Dhabi MAR Group also recently launched its new project, superyacht Panache in London. Motor yacht Panache is a new 65-metre luxury vessel by CMN and Eidsgaard Design (EDL). A model of the Panache superyacht will be showcased in the Middle East for the very first time at the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show (ADYS). “We’re bringing Panache to Abu Dhabi because we’re confident it will appeal very strongly to yachting enthusiasts from the region. We have other surprises that will be unveiled during the show on Abu Dhabi MAR Group’s stand,” commented Cyril Le Sourd, Sales and Marketing manager, CMN Yachts.
Treadwell likewise noted the success of another UAE homegrown yacht builder, Gulf Craft, whose flagship superyacht concept, the Majesty 135 motor yacht was sold at the 2010 Monaco Yacht Show, another IYG event, last year. Ordered by a Middle Eastern client for US $17 million (AED 62.4 million), the Majesty 135 superyacht is being built in the Emirates and is expected to be completed this year. “The Middle East has always been a key market in terms of superyacht buyers. With some of the largest and most impressive vessels now being built in the UAE, the industry is coming to the clients. It’s an exciting time for UAE shipyards,” he added.
According to Erwin Bamps, COO, Gulf Craft, the total number of yachts, from small boats to the larger and more luxurious superyachts manufactured by the company last year reached 500. The number of yachts built is expected to grow in 2011, fuelled by an increase in demand for new-builds. “We are going to be very cautiously optimistic this year. Having said that, we still see demand growing for new yachts by at least 15%,” added Bamps, whose company registered a 40% increase in sales in 2010, boosted by a recovering luxury sector which saw clients who had pre-crisis plans to buy yachts returning to the market.
Bamps also observed that Abu Dhabi has increasingly become an attractive proposition as a regional hub in the yachting industry, continuing to draw international names and buyers.
ADYS is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and is sponsored by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), with the iconic Yas Hotel – the only one in the world straddling an F1™ race track — as the official hospitality partner.
This year’s ADYS, runs from March 24 – 26 at Yas Marina, will be co-located and jointly promoted with the season opener of the FIA GT1 World Championship 2011 – one of the most glamorous events on the motor racing calendar. “This year is one in which Abu Dhabi celebrates its rich maritime heritage in a thoroughly modern context through the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show and the year-end hosting of the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager, ADTA. “With fantastic marina infrastructure now coming on line we are ready to chart a course as an international marine destination whether for powered or sailing craft.”