As the luxury leisure marine market surges ahead, in tandem with soaring regional consumer confidence, increasing regional high net worth individual growth and new boat project builds, the Dubai International Boat Show has confirmed 30 large luxury boats exceeding 21 metres to be showcased. This year an impressive 19 superyachts – including the largest boat in the history of the show – will be on display among more than 430 boats on land and water.
The 22nd Dubai International Boat Show, the MENA’s leading luxury yacht platform, runs from 4-8 March at Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi and will feature 840 exhibiting companies and brands – a 12% increase over 2013 – reflecting the UAE’s increasing importance in the international luxury maritime market and heightened consumer confidence across the GCC. According to the McKinsey Global Private Banking Survey 2013, the total high net worth wealth in the Middle East is predicted to increase by USD3.3 trillion by 2014, positively impacting regional buying power and stimulating further growth across the sector.
Marine industry growth
With the International Monetary Fund (IMF) having recently increased its forecast economic growth for the GCC to 4.4% in 2014, an increase in new boat project builds will be a solid contributor to the region’s steadily growing leisure marine market.
As reported by US-based ShowBoats International Global Order Book 2014, UAE luxury yacht builders plan to build 18 superyachts – those 24 metres and longer – exceeding 850 metres in total. The definitive guide to the world’s luxury superyacht industry also ranked the UAE ninth among the most productive manufacturers of superyachts.
Erwin Bamps, COO of Gulfcraft, the UAE-based manufacturer of boats and yachts and the world’s top 10 superyacht shipyard said: “More than simply a great place for yacht enthusiasts to visit, there is a vision for the UAE’s superyacht building industry that it will, slowly but surely, increase its output until it is one of the very top manufacturing bases for luxury yachts anywhere in the world. At this point, the UAE’s shipbuilding growth appears really unstoppable.”
With the local and regional luxury yacht sector gaining momentum, Gregor Stinner, CEO of ART MARINE, the Middle East’s largest and most recognised ‘360 degree Regional Leisure Yachting Enterprise’, emphasised the industry must capitalise on its recovery.
“Now is the time for leisure boating companies to show their colours, as we see an upswing in the market and a resurgence of quality buyers looking to purchase boats upwards of 40 metres and the new boat market increasing particularly swiftly,” said Stinner. “We expect to capture at least 10-15% of the market this year and the Dubai International Boat Show is the region’s premier platform to develop business opportunities for business - it remains the most important event on the yearly calendar.”
Strong international participation
More than 50 countries are represented by Dubai International Boat Show exhibitors this year, as well as four dedicated country pavilions from Australia, Italy, USA and Turkey, with the USA confirming an impressive 35% increase in companies, highlighting global interest and investment in the lucrative Middle East market.
The show is also expected to draw more than 26,000 visitors from over 70 different countries, including 5,000 VIPs and key buyers. Regional royalty and top buyers from Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the UAE will join the thousands of visitors from Africa, Asia and China while strong visitor footfall from Europe and America is also expected. Dubai International Boat Show organisers believe the participation highlights the resilience of the region’s maritime industry.
“The Middle East’s association with the world’s most luxurious superyachts positions the Dubai International Boat Show as the leading showcase for the industry within one of the most significant global markets,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), organiser of Dubai International Boat Show.
“The show continues to be the region’s largest and most preferred platform for sales, knowledge exchange, networking and trade. The GCC leisure boating market is well and truly back on track in the wake of the global recession, thanks to the region having established itself as a boat manufacturing hub, increasing leisure marine tourism and growing interest from key buyers in the GCC as well as emerging markets such as Africa, China and India while new exhibitors and trade visitors continue to flock to Dubai.”
New to this year’s show is the On Water VIP Experience, a high-end on-board superyacht catering service for VIP guests. Exclusive parties and networking events will be held throughout the show to facilitate relationship-building for regional and international buyers and exhibitors.
In addition, Dubai International Boat Show TV (DIBS TV) - a network of in-venue screens designed to create a dynamic and flexible means of broadcasting information and promotional messages to stakeholders and enrich the overall visitor experience - debuts this year. DIBS TV will serve as a principle broadcast medium for the show’s organisers and exhibitors to feature breaking show news, highlights and innovations daily from the exhibition floor and marina.
Show sectors for this year include The Superyacht Experience, Marina Display, Outdoor Display, Luxury Supplies and Services (LSS), Equipment Supplies and Services (ESS), Dive Middle East Exhibition (DMEX) and Supercar Promenade.
The purpose-built Marina Display area - the show’s crown jewel – will once again provide a stunning backdrop of the world’s finest superyachts and pleasure crafts for a wide array of regional and international premieres. As highlighted earlier, one of the world’s top 50 largest superyachts top this year’s attractions and is the biggest boat to appear at Dubai International Boat Show in the history of the event.
Other boats on display include Gulf Craft’s 41-metre Majesty 135, Sunseeker’s 24-metre sport yacht, a regional first, as well as the FARR-designed powerboat known as P38, being launched by Premier Composite Technologies.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to network with some of the world’s most celebrated Superyacht builders including AMELS, Azimut-Benetti, CRN, Fincantieri, Heesen, Lurssen, Mondo Marine, Oceanco, San Lorenzo and Trinity. The Superyacht Experience, which falls under the umbrella of the prestigious Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss), has 10 members confirmed to date.
The ‘UAE Inspired’ Pavilion reinforces Dubai’s position as the home of the Middle East marine construction and manufacturing knowledge, while the presence of the Heritage Village offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the UAE’s rich maritime history and diverse culture.
The Supercar Promenade returns for a fourth year running, with a dazzling array of world-class marques showcasing the fastest, newest and most innovative vehicles from powerhouse high-end motoring manufacturers such as McLaren, Bentley and Mercedes, and modified automobile specialists.
On 5 March, the Gulf Boating Conference will offer the perfect platform for global experts and industry authorities, as well as boating enthusiasts, to address the latest trends, technologies, plans and regulations affecting the marine leisure sector in Dubai and beyond.
Among the prestigious key sponsors welcomed back to the show are luxury watch brand Officine Panerai as a Supporting Sponsor, Mercedes Benz as the Official Car Partner and ART MARINE as Official Marina Display Partner. Bombardier, the world’s only manufacturer of planes and trains, is the exclusive sponsor of the LSS indoor pavilion.
With exciting Visit-and-Win promotions - including 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil semi-final and final tickets –up for grabs, the 22nd 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 4-8 March, 2014.