Art Marine is one of Dubai's main yacht sales and charter groups offering tailor-made packages to corporate and tourist customers. Prices start at Dh700 an hour for a fishing boat, rising to Dh5,900 an hour for a 24-person yacht. Sales manager, Mike Jones, talks to Emirates Business about yachting and how the industry is booming despite a shortage of marinas.
What are the most popular charter destinations? Most tourists want to see the Palm Jumeirah and The World islands, but if they want to go overnight, Musandam and Abu Dhabi are popular as the capital has natural islands and mangroves to explore. Even people who have bought boats don't tend to take them very far.
Are the number of people investing in yachts increasing? It is a growing market, so the 5,000 berths that are coming online over the next few months will really help ease the pressure. Most of the new developments in Dubai have a marina attached, whether it is the Palms or the Waterfront for Jebel Ali Marina, all help ensure a positive future.
Who is the typical yacht owner? Our customers are mainly Gulf nationals, but we're also attracting more Western and Asian expatriates. It's still a young market compared to that of Europe, but as more people move in for work or to retire they have the money to invest.
Does business tail off over the summer? There is a slight dip in the charter business because there are not as many tourists here, but sales don't slow down. We also have the problem of a shortage of large boats for charter.
Are there restrictions or laws about boat ownership in the UAE? Anybody can own a boat, but restrictions are being brought in for licencing. Owners can only charter their boat if it is registered to a commercial company.
300m The price in US dollars – which is equivalent to Dh1.1 billion – of the most expensive yacht in the world, which is currently under construction in the UAE.
"Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull right up alongside it." David Lee Roth, singer and former Van Halen frontman