His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited the Dubai International Boat Show on its last day.
It has been the most successful boat show ever with sales figures expected to exceed all previous records, according to organiser Dubai World Trade Centre. Hundreds of boats had been sold during in the first four days, and the high turnout of visitors means it is set to surpass the 2007 record of more than 25,000 visitors.
Local and international boat builders are all negotiating deals and reporting one of the busiest shows of the season. Companies supplying and servicing the industry, particularly from the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, are also witnessing a high level of sales and interest.
For UAE-based luxury yacht builder Palm Marine, the show has already seen the sale of seven boats with a combined value of more than $10 million, and a large amount of promising leads. Demand has been particularly high for its Palm Islander 420 and 600, part of its hugely successful range of Flybridge yachts.
“It’s been a remarkable event for Palm Marine, with very high interest in the full range of our products,” said Harald Schlegel, Business Development Manager, Palm Marine. “The UAE’s leisure marine industry is entering a very dynamic stage, driven by the opening of new waterfronts and marinas, and this year’s Boat Show has provided an excellent opportunity to meet a full range of potential customers.”
Companies from Kuwait and Qatar have also enjoyed strong sales. Kuwait-based Alghanim Marine is reporting high sales of its Cigarette boats – a high performance powerboat.
“This is our fourth year at Dubai International Boat Show and this year is by far the busiest and the most international. We’ve brought the Cigarette 39’ Top Fish this year and the response has been really positive across all areas,” said Thunayan Alghanim, President, Alghanim Marine.
Qatar’s Al Fardan Marine has enjoyed significant sales of motor yachts at this year’s event. “One of the delights of this year’s show has been that we’ve been able to meet customers from a very wide area – Europe, the Middle East and even China,” said Fadi Al Yousfi, General Manager, Al Fardan Marine.
First Marine, which started the event with a range of boats in the 20 foot range on its stand, sold four with a combined value of $357,000 within the first two days.
Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of DIBS 2008, said: “The core purpose of the boat show is to do business, make sales, and bring buyers and suppliers together. The strong sales exhibitors are enjoying at this year’s event demonstrates how effective the show is for companies looking to drive sales in one of the world’s most dynamic leisure marine markets.”
Boat Show 2008 hailed as the most successful yet