The Dubai International Boat Show is set to inject new life into the Middle East boating industry, according to one of the world's leading yacht designers.
Donald Starkey, the founder of internationally renowned Donald Starkey Design, will inform delegates during his keynote address at the sixth Gulf Boating Conference that green marine technical developments and projects to be unveiled at the show will contribute to a resurgent interest in the industry.
The Gulf Boating Conference, which will run alongside the Dubai International Boat Show and Dive Middle East Exhibition (Dmex), which will take place at the Westin Dubai, Mina Seyahi, on March 10.
"While we are experiencing the most difficult times ever in the leisure marine industry, new technologies and a focus on more environmentally friendly engineering could be a catalyst to help move the market forward," he said. "There are global and regional signs of increasing confidence in the overall economic situation returning to the market and that better times are on the way."
Starkey said there is no time like the present for people to be encouraged to invest in a new boat as a means of enjoyment and escaping the stresses of work by spending quality time with friends and family.
"Waterside facilities in the region should continue to be developed in a way that makes this possible. The spin off effect on other leisure and service businesses will be felt in a very positive way," he said. "The Dubai International Boat Show is the ideal platform to bring the industry together and help companies kick start new business in 2010."
There will be 13 global launches and 25 regional premieres on show at the event, organisers have revealed.
Among the industry experts who will join Starkey at the Gulf Boating Conference are Erwin Bamps, Chief Operating Officer, Gulf Craft, who will speak on the current situation in the Middle East, and Angelo Tossio, Marpol Surveyor for DNV Maritime Services, who will focus on green marine, technology and boat design. Other topics include trends in boat manufacturing as well as analyses of where the Middle East industry is headed.
An expert panel discussion will also be led by senior representatives of the boating industry including Andrew Wagner, Managing Director, Al Masaood Marine; Constantinos Constantinou, President and CEO, ART Marine; Toby Hawes, Business Development Manager, Hatteras Collection UAE; and Simon Arrol, Principal, The Arrol Consultancy.
Places for the conference can be booked by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The boat show takes place from March 9 until 13 at the Dubai International Marine Club.
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