The Dubai Boat Show: Growing Alongside the UAE

By Ben Roberts

Continuing our insight into the cultural impact of yachting in the UAE, we're taking a look at the rise of the Dubai International Boat Show; setting its increasing popularity against a backdrop of the upcoming superyacht destination of Dubai.

The Boat Show
For 25 years, the Dubai International Boat Show has acted as the primary platform for yachting and maritime luxury brands in the United Arab Emirates.

The show itself has outgrown locations and has expanded with the rising demand in the area, notable through other developments such as Dubai Harbour which will bring an extra 1400 berths to the UAE for superyacht owners to use.

Set to feature 450 boats (worth an estimated AED 1.5 billion) from February 28 to March 4, the Dubai International Boat Show at the Dubai International Marine Club - Mina Seyahi is in its 25th year and is set to welcome 87 new companies and brands to the docks.

The 19 superyachts out of the 450 boats on display include the 77-metre Silverfast, the 70-metre Joy and the 47-metre Majesty 155 with exhibitors such as Amels, Baglietto, Benetti, CRN, Feadship, Fincantieri, Heesen, Lürssen, Mondomarine and Oceanco returning in full force.

The Show is also set to highlight the changing marine industry landscape once again this year, with a world of superyachts, expanded beach entertainment area, robotic submersibles designed to explore underwater, sea-faring drones, supercars, luxury art and more.

“Dubai International Boat Show in its 25 years has grown in tandem with the Dubai leisure marine industry. With its coastline developments, warm weather and stunning environment, Dubai has become a world capital for the marine industry. Dubai International Boat show is and has always been an outstanding opportunity to highlight our achievements to the world,” said H.E. Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, and Senior Advisor to the Dubai International Boat Show.

“The government is investing heavily in expanding the Dubai waterfront, providing every opportunity for us to introduce many more residents and visitors to water sports and boating with facilities that highlight Dubai as a world leader in the maritime industry.”

A Region Dedicated to Development
Featuring a 1,400 berth marina, the largest in the Middle East, the new Dubai Harbour project will integrate the current Dubai International Marine Club, Skydive Dubai and Logo Island sites into a single community.

“Dubai is firmly established as the focal point of the leisure marine industry in a region which has obvious attractions for boat manufacturers and the full range of marine and water sports products and services. The Dubai International Boat Show has, year on year, driven sales in the region and thus pushed marine developments in Dubai,” said Mohammed Hareb, CEO of Dubai International Marine Club and Member of the Board.

Dubai itself has been booming in terms of contribution to the maritime sector, which grew at an unprecedented rate of 25% between 2011 and 2015. Latest industry figures predict that Dubai will outperform London, New York, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Rio de Janeiro as one of the world’s leading maritime capitals by 2020.

“With recent infrastructure developments, Dubai is taking another momentous step toward further enhancing its status as one of the most innovative marine hubs in the world,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions and Events Management, DWTC.

“The Dubai International Boat Show serves as not only a key international platform for showcasing our latest creations, but also as an opportunity to represent the UAE as a global player in the leisure marine industry,” said Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft. “The event has grown significantly in size and scale, reaching both a regional and an international audience.

“Dubai is also well positioned in terms of both geography and time -- a global business hub that is also home to a rich sea-faring heritage, and as the wider region witnesses rapid waterfront transformation, there will undoubtedly be a growing interest in the yachting and boating lifestyle.”

The Dubai Boat Show runs from February 28th - March 3rd.

By Ben Roberts
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