The Dubai International Boat Show opens today featuring as many as 450 boats, key new launches and an expanded focus on sailing, watersports and fishing.
Billed as the number one marine luxury, leisure and lifestyle industry event for the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, the show runs from March 1 to 5 at the Dubai International Marine Club - Mina Seyahi in Dubai, UAE.
Now in its 24th edition, the show boasts an impressive 39 boat launches, including 16 global and 23 regional launches.
“For buyers of new boats, there is always a preference for new models, and especially those which allow for some element of customisation,” said Mohammed Harib, CEO of Dubai International Marine Club. “Dubai has cemented its global reputation for new boat sales primarily on the excellence of the Dubai International Boat Show, with its wide and varying range of newly-launched boats on display each year.”
Alongside its reputation for superyachts and new launches, the show is also establishing its name for supporting a full spectrum of water sports.
“We want Dubai International Boat Show to be an immersive experience for all visitors,” said Saeed Harib, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, Vice President and Chairman of Dubai International Marine Club - Mina Seyahi, and Senior Advisor to the Dubai International Boat Show.
“With our coastline and warm weather, being on the water is an obvious recreational choice in the UAE. An important measure of our success going forward will be how effectively we encourage our residents and visitors to become more involved in boating and water sports.”
FOCUS ON DUBAI
The region’s leading leisure marine exhibition and conference will feature 450 boats on display, according to organisers, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
With more than 800 companies and brands from 55 countries exhibiting at this year’s event, more than 25,000 visitors from more than 120 countries are expected to attend.
Organisers say the event is benefitting from regional currencies being linked to the strong US dollar, with US’ brands eyeing a market where selling prices remain on par with their own costs, while Europeans are able to offer greater value for money to Middle East buyers.
“The UAE is one of the best yachting hubs in the world,” said Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft, the biggest single exhibitor at the show. An Emirates-based company with three shipyards in the UAE and one in the Maldives, Gulf Craft manufactures boats for a range of markets under four separate brands, and has been ranked among the world’s top 10 superyacht builders.
“Dubai appreciates the leisure marine sector,” Bamps added. “There is a strong demand from local buyers for yachts and boats of any size, from relatively modest cruisers and sport boats, through to the most luxurious private yachts. We know that anyone looking to buy a boat or yacht in the UAE will be at the Dubai International Boat Show, but we also know that it puts us on the map with international buyers, which is important to us because we market and sell globally.”
Dubai’s reputation is endorsed at the top of the market, where two members of the Superyacht Builders’ Association (SYBAss) will be launching new products – a first for the event.
These are a global launch by Netherlands-based Heesen Yachts, and Italy’s Mondomarine, in the SYBAss-supported Superyacht Life section of the marina display.
“The Middle East unveiling of the Serenity, the first of the new SF line, is particularly significant for us,” said Mondomarine co-owner Roberto Zambrini. “Mondomarine developed the SF line in collaboration with its regional partner SF Yachts, with interior styling by Fatima Almaidan and exterior by Luca Vallebona, penned in Dubai at SF sister company SFL Design.”
ART Marine, one of the show’s largest annual exhibitors, sees Dubai International Boat Show as an essential event. Representing the Ferretti Group yacht brands, the company chooses Dubai to introduce important new products. This year sees the regional debut of the 76’ Perseo, a sporty new 23-m coupé yacht from Ferretti’s Riva line.
With the 24th show, organisers have continued to broaden the event’s appeal as a marine lifestyle event.
New for 2016, the show will extend to the beach for the first time, offering taster sessions of popular water sports. Other new features include hands-on experiences where visitors can learn the basics of owning and driving a boat, as well as fishing.
With potential first-time boat owners set to make up a large number of the expected visitor turnout, the show has ensured a wide range of small to medium sized builders will be participating to showcase a range of craft that also includes speed boats, jet skis, quad skis and other marine leisure products.
“Dubai International Boat Show has been serving the boating community for almost 25 years, and we are growing with that community,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President of DWTC. “This is an event that covers the complete range of craft available, with something to suit every taste and budget, from superyachts to small runabouts, and a host of exciting new water sports that visitors can try out for themselves.”
Visitors can also experience the first round of the 2016 F1H2O World Championship, happening alongside Dubai International Boat Show. Eighteen drivers from nine teams will compete in Dubai’s first ever Grand Prix from March 2 to 4, kicking off the 33rd season of the F1H2O championship. Entry is free for all boat show attendees.
The Dubai International Boat Show will be open to trade visitors and the public from 3 pm to 9.30 pm daily. A single entry ticket cost of Dh60 ($16).
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