- 27th Edition of the Dubai International Boat Show set to host impressive 38 global and regional launches at the iconic Dubai Canal
- Nearly US$65 billion invested in ports across the UAE in 2018, aiming to meet demand
- Sublime superyachts, supercars and live sea races make Boat Show a family favourite
- Five-day event dedicated to all sea-based pursuits, including yachting, diving, fishing
DUBAI – Dubai International Boat Show gets underway next week – welcoming no fewer than 450 yachts and boats from around the world to the Dubai Canal.
Ranging from fishing boats and small leisure-craft, to 50-metre (164ft) superyachts complete with their own private waterfalls, sun-deck hot tubs and cigar rooms, plus a host of thrilling sea-toys, the Dubai International Boat Show will be home to all things “chic nautique”, and will once again be the Middle East’s premiere showcase of everything sea-based.
Running February 26th through March 2nd, the 27th edition of the annual show will have Dh1.5billion worth of boats for sale, thrilling live jet-ski, sailing and fishing competitions, diving displays, expert-led sea-based conversation, and a host of fun have-a-go sessions.
It will host a combined 38 global and regional launches, will welcome more than 800 different companies and brands from 50 countries, and be buzzing with live shows, land and sea fun for all the family, and unrivalled glitz and glamour.
A show on the crest of a wave serving a swelling market
The global recreational boating market is experiencing an upswing, with growing interest in leisure activities such as fishing, sailing and watersports guiding the boating industry to a projected worth of $74.7 billion by 2022[i]. In the UAE alone, the industry was valued at approximately $1.3bn to $1.5bn last year[ii]. This demand, coupled with rising popularity of marine and coastal tourism activities, relaxed maritime regulations and a 50 per cent increase in local berths – a number which is set to grow by a further 1,400 with the 2020 opening of the new Meraas-developed Dubai Harbour – has seen a sizeable swell in the UAE’s recreational boating market, now home to more than 10,000 registered small-to-midsized boats, and a considerable share of the Middle East’s 216 40-metre-plus superyachts.
The region as a whole is investing heavily in its maritime offering, with the UAE accounting for 35 per cent of that total investment. In conjunction with rising tourist numbers, the country is well positioned to continue to develop into one of the world’s most sought-after luxury marine locales.
Dubai International Boat Show plays a critical role in creating and sustaining this market for superyachts and boats of all sizes and budgets across the region.
Spending power rising as region matures as a yachting hub
His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and Senior Advisor to the Dubai International Boat Show, said: “Dubai International Boat Show is a key driver of the expansion of the region’s recreational maritime sector. The UAE, and the wider region, has become a global must-visit location for all water enthusiasts, from leisure yachters and pleasure cruisers to divers and sailors. As we look towards an exciting future led by next year’s Expo 2020, we are excited to bring the world to Dubai to share all that this unique, vibrant and beautiful city has to offer as a maritime destination. Dubai International Boat Show is an unparalleled experience, and will once again bring the cream of the industry to our city’s shores.”
The Middle East is a key marketplace for the wealthiest of yacht owners, with 216 superyachts registered in the region. With an anticipated wealth growth of US$12 trillion across MENA by 2021, spending power is on the rise – something that has been observed across all levels of boating investment.
Manufacturers report that they are seeing an increase in demand for leisure boats and superyachts alike throughout the Gulf. To accommodate this growing maritime market, nearly US $65 billion (Dh238bn) was invested in ports across the UAE in 2018 – an ongoing commitment that saw the UAE ranked as the world’s fourth best performing and logistically advanced port last year. Implemented in tandem with the relaxing of formerly stringent maritime laws – including an extension of duration for crew visas – the recreational boating world has taken note.
Spectacular yachts, sublime watercraft
The 27th edition of Dubai International Boat Show promises to be its most impressive yet. It will feature 15 exclusive global launches from boat-builders including Gulf Craft, ASIS Boats, Integrity Yachts and Victory Team. More than 23 regional firsts will be docked at the show too, brought to the Middle East for the first time by multi-award-winning industry stalwarts including Cranchi Yachts, Dominator Yachts, the Ferretti Group. Princess Yachts and IMG Boats. Prices are expected to start from Dh100,000 – less than the cost of most family cars.
Always a huge draw for both the buyers and dreamers alike, the show’s gathered assortment of superyachts will feature no less than 17 floating mansions, including the 50-metre Heesen Rocket. the 47-metre Aquamarina, and the 38-metre Custom Line 120. Alongside that will be the show’s Superyacht Avenue – presented by the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) – where members including Amels, Baglietto, Benetti, CRN, Feadship, Fincantieri Yachts, Heesen, Lürssen, Oceanco and Sanlorenzo will all be in attendance exhibiting their most exciting on-going projects.
One of the longest-participating exhibitors at Dubai International Boat Show, Emirates-based Gulf Craft will bring a plethora of spectacular watercraft, including the 42-metre Majesty 140 and the 31.7-metre Majesty 100: two true superyacht masterpieces.
“Dubai International Boat Show is the most anticipated show of the year for us,” said Abeer Alshaali, Executive Management Officer at Gulf Craft. “The show is a key player in the industry, and a must-attend for companies looking to reach both a regional and international audience. Gulf Craft has seen a year-on-year increase in sales leads at Dubai International Boat Show, and we expect that 2019 will be just as successful.
“Dubai has developed its maritime industry significantly in the past few years. The city is more accessible than ever, with an expansion of coastline developments and the relaxation of maritime regulations. Now is the time to experience all that Dubai’s recreational marine industry has to offer.”
Going global, with brands from 50 countries
As Dubai strengthens its status as an international boating destination, the Boat Show continues to grow as an established and prestigious event for exhibitors from around the world. Joining for the first time this year are global brands from both Liechtenstein and booming sailing market Croatia. In total, 50 different countries will take part.
Ahmed Al Ameeri, CEO of leading yacht distributor Seas & Deserts said: “The Middle East – and in particular, the GCC countries – is now one of our central markets, to which we have delivered large numbers of our famed Azimut Yachts, with many of these sales orchestrated through the Dubai International Boat Show.
“We consider the show one of the most important dates on our agenda, as it allows us a unique opportunity to connect with our buyers, key industry stakeholders and the wider leisure marine industry, and we cannot wait to be involved this year.”
Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibition and Events Management of Dubai World Trade Centre, said: “Now in its 27th year, the Dubai International Boat Show has organically developed into a pivotal industry event, attracting exhibitors and buyers from around the world. We are thrilled to be the epicenter of all things sea and ocean, and to act as an international platform for the global recreational boating community on all levels – from the affordability and range of the vessels we bring together, to the lengths we go to in ensuring we provide visitors to the show with the ultimate platform to discover what’s out there, and hopefully find their perfect boat.”
So what fun is to be had alongside the boats?
The 27th edition of the Dubai International Boat Show will take full advantage of its location in the heart of Dubai to offer visitors a dazzling array of experiences. Beyond the towering superyachts in the Marina Display, the DIBS Outdoor Area will feature a bumper line-up of small to mid-sized watercraft offerings from ASIS Boats, Iguana Yachts, and Island Marine. Visitors will be kept on the edge with live demonstrations of the latest in high-performance “sea-toys”, including the fastest underwater sea sled in the world from SEABOB; the Awake Rävik, a 35-mph, silent electric surfboard with a wireless hand-held throttle; and the world’s first active shark deterrent band, the Sharkbanz by Deltastarco.
Elsewhere, the UAE Pavilion will showcase the best of the best in homegrown equipment and manufacturers, from the likes of Jas Marine, Al Falasi Marine, Al Mazrooei Boats and Victory Team.
Visitors are encouraged to really throw themselves into all a life by the sea can offer by enjoying the show’s out-at-sea sailing experiences and watersports taster sessions in the new WaterSports Village. For a more land-based buzz, the Super Car Promenade will present the fastest, flashiest and most exclusive cars to ever hit the tarmac, as will two brand new hyper-car parades, that will feature next-level motors from the likes of McLaren and Bugatti.
A packed race schedule that’ll really turn up the heat!
For those with a competitive streak, the week will give ample opportunity to bag top prizes. On Thursday, February 28th, competitors will set-off on the DIBS Dubai to Muscat Sailing Race. Participants will launch at 2pm, and followers can watch the action live online, all via on-board cameras. Elsewhere, the event’s Dubai International Marine Club-endorsed Fishing Championship will see its largest participation yet, where the top three catches will reel in gold-dust tickets to compete in the Indian Ocean Blue Marlin Cup – an event whose top price is US $100,000.
The show will also feature a thrilling live fly-board competition, which will wow visitors from 6pm on Friday evening, and on Saturday, the International Aquabike Competition will welcome more than 70 world-class athletes and past champions from across the world, all coming face-to-face with genuine world titles up for grabs! Each of these contests will be hosted at the show’s on-site beach, with free entry to all and races running from 10.30am to 5.30pm. Participants include UAE champion jet-ski rider Ali Al Lanjawi, a gold and silver medalist at last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta; Abdul Razzak, former World Champion jet-skier from Kuwait; and Australian former world champion, Kevin Reiterer. This is not to be missed!
Going deeper into diving than ever before – and expert-led innovation and insight
With 154,000+ certified SCUBA divers registered in the GCC, the refreshed Dive MENA Expo – formerly DMEX, and organised in partnership with the Emirates Diving Association (EDA) – will offer dive-minded visitors ample opportunity to learn, network, and source new equipment to support this thrilling sport around a live on-site dive pool. A conference agenda of Daily Dive Tracks with industry leaders from around the world including Ali Bin Thalith, Secretary General of HIPA (UAE), Ernst Van Der Poll, Founder & CEO at Connect Ocean (Costa Rica), and Imran Ahmad, world-renowned underwater photographer, will offer a new depth of diving insight.
In an event first, the 2019 Dubai International Boat Show will play host to the Middle East’s debut VriThink Night Out. The Night Out will feature more than a dozen yachting industry experts – including Dan Pool of Ortega, Ken Hickling of Sherpa 63 and Jeroen Droogsma of Solar Sport One – presenting for five minutes at a time in an open social platform that allows leaders from across different disciplines to share their innovation, knowledge and understanding with hundreds of people all working to further enhance yachting and boating. It’s one of the only events of its kind, and its easily digestible format ensures each and every presentation – whether on new design, perspective-altering trend discovery and analysis, or just dream concepts – that will stimulate and inspire all those lucky enough to attend. Starting at 7.30pm on the Wednesday (February 27th), all are welcome.
The Beach is back this year, with an incredible line up of family friendly activities, live musical acts and on-water entertainment. For a bit of retail therapy, the event offers the DIBS Retail Village, featuring lifestyle accessories and kit to keep visitors decked out on land and on sea. The Nikki Beach Lounge will be ready to help you take the edge off with its famed chilled-out ambiance.