With the once lucrative mid-size yacht market in a standstill, boat manufacturers are being forced to introduce affordable offerings at the entry-level and bigger, more customizable boats at the high-end with an aim to expand and maintain consumer base.
In keeping with this trend, ART Marine, an Abraaj Capital portfolio company, announced the launch of an experiential campaign aimed at luring more people to this recreational lifestyle. Plainly dubbed 'Discover Yachting' the Middle East's largest importer and distributor of luxury motor-yacht will aim to "open up the exciting world of yachting to a broader audience", the company's chief executive said at the Dubai International Boat Show yesterday.
"The Dubai International Boat Show offers the ideal platform for ART Marine to launch the Discover Yachting campaign, the aim of which is to engage new audiences and highlight the surprising accessibility of the yachting world to a wider audience," said Constantinos Constantinou, President and CEO, ART Marine.
"Our plan is to make owning a yacht and enjoying the freedom and lifestyle that goes with it, more realisable than it has ever been before.
"Yachts are a significant component of that formula but there are other things that are very important in this discovery.
"We want to open up the world of the seas to many more customers and everything that we do will be focused on making life on water easier, more accessible and in certain ways more affordable to broader audience," said Constantinou.
The campaign includes the regional launch of new models in the Azimut and Atlantis ranges, the introduction of two new US recreational boating brands to the Middle East, new charter partnerships, and the expansion of ART Marine's marina management portfolio. The firm's biggest announcement, however, was the launch of the Azimut Grande series featuring the 120-foot SL and 126-foot customizable yachts.
ART Marine Chairman, Alessio Tumblio told Emirates Business, the company had opted to build bigger boats as it was a natural progression for their high-end customers.
"We have a big customer base of owners in the range between 80ft and 95ft, and we felt owners wanted bigger boats so we decided to offer a bigger range. The bigger the boat, the more the options of customisation. Since our customers are spread across the world, we must be able to adapt to the needs of customers from all the countries. As a result, the Grande series will offer an unprecedented possibilities and scale of customisation."
Tumblio said the firm chose Dubai as its global launch pad for the new series following the successful launch of its flagship A103SL here three years ago.
"Dubai has a big potential for us. The global launch of the 103sSL here in 2007 was very lucky for us and we wanted to replicate and the same success with Grande," he said.
Art Marine has sold 11 A103SLs since its launch in Dubai at an average price of €8.5 million (Dh42.4m).
The Grande 120Sl will be sold for €13m, while the 126 will sell for about €14m. The firm also announced its entry into the smaller size segment.