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01 December 2023

Italian boat maker to set up facility in Dubai

Boats and luxury yachts worth over Dh1 billion will be on display in Dubai from March 3-7 at the Dubai International Boat Show 2015. (Supplied)

By Staff

Boats and luxury yachts worth over Dh1 billion will be on display in Dubai from March 3-7 at the Dubai International Boat Show 2015.

The UAE is set to build on its position as one of the world’s leading international yacht manufacturing hubs as local manufacturers expand their operations, international developers relocate and the maritime industry expands with coastline developments, according to industry experts. 

The UAE currently ranks ninth in the world for superyacht manufacturing, with 15 projects under development, according to the 2015 ShowBoats International Global Order Book.

Local and international manufacturers are set to announce a slew of new projects for the UAE at the 23rd Dubai International Boat Show.

Dr. Khalid Al Zahed, Vice Chairman, Dubai International Marine Club Board, said: “This year’s Dubai International Boat Show will reaffirm Dubai’s status as a leisure marine hub. As the water-based lifestyle becomes increasingly popular in Dubai, we will see this sector continue to expand and grow in the future. Dubai’s commitment to excellence in everything it does will drive the marine industry to achieve new heights and bring more visitors to the city.”

According to the Dubai Council for Marine and Maritime Industries (DCMMI), the total UAE maritime industry is worth more than $61 billion, with 386 boats above 24m built in 2014, up 8 per cent on 2013. The fleet of yachts in Dubai has doubled since 2009 and the DCMMI predicts the creation of a national classification society – Tasneef – and the introduction of the world’s first code governing private yachts, the UAE Yacht Code, will boost the industry’s future development.

Boat builders expand manufacturing activities in UAE

Boosting Dubai’s position as a global maritime hub, Comar Yachts, which has produced more than 6,200 yachts to date, will relocate some of its production facilities from Italy to the UAE.

The company aims to manufacture locally around 100 catamarans and powerboats per annum in the 26-46 foot range, as it looks to penetrate the wider GCC market and beyond.

Comar Yachts will also announce a major global launch at this year’s Dubai International Boat Show, with the world premiere of its Comet Power Cat line of power catamarans.

“The UAE has the advantage of being a major geographical hub, allowing us to extend our reach not only across the GCC but to India and south-east Asia as well. By moving production facilities here we are able to build boats, reach new markets and attract new customers more economically,” said Marco Liello, Partner, Comar Yachts. “If you look at the success of the regional yachting industry then a lot more shipyards should come to this part of the world, it’s just a question of finding the right place.” 

Local manufacturers are also expanding activities in line with the growth in Dubai’s maritime industry, which also aligns with Dubai’s National Innovation Strategy aiming to make the UAE one of the world’s most innovative nations within the next seven years.

The UAE’s Gulf Craft is investing $100 million over the next five years to develop a state-of-the-art facility to build a shipyard for the manufacture of mega and super yachts within the marine district of Dubai Maritime City, a world-class maritime cluster in the heart of Dubai.

“Dubai has everything in place to become a global maritime industry hub and to be a centre of excellence for the yachting industry – there is a high degree of wealth, a commitment to the water-based lifestyle and the allure of Dubai as a brand that stands for excellence,” said Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft.

“Regulation and integration of the industry are key to establishing international credibility, and the recent announcement of the UAE Yacht Code is a prime example. With these new regulations in place, which is a first-time globally for private superyachts, the UAE is put on the map when it comes to the production of world-class vessels.” 

With over 800 companies and brands from 54 countries exhibiting at this year’s Dubai International Boat Show, tens of thousands of visitors, from more than 120 countries are expected to attend.

New country participants in 2015 include Djibouti, Indonesia and Luxembourg, while Italy and the USA return as top participating countries, and the event will see 45 global and regional launches over the five days of the show.