This year’s 20th edition of the Dubai International Boat Show will celebrate the rich history and incredible growth of the regional maritime industry, bringing together the ‘who’s who’ in the vast sector from across five continents. In addition to an impressive number of global and regional firsts, the world’s leading marine leisure industry players will unveil their launches to tens of thousands of boating enthusiasts, confirming the event’s growing international reach and continued ability to attract top quality buyers in record numbers two decades after its inaugural staging.
20 years ago, the Dubai International Boat Show was originally launched as the ‘Watersports & Powerboat Show’ as a fully indoor event held at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The 1992 edition of the show attracted 55 local and regional exhibitors and 3,000 visitors, and has witnessed sustained growth and development over its 20 year history. As the show quickly evolved and expanded, the industry demand steadily increased with the event moving from an ‘on land’ display to a ‘land and water’ – split venue display in both the Dubai Creek on water and Dubai World Trade Centre for the indoor land display. In 2004 the event settled into its current home at the Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi which accelerated its transformation into one of the most influential brands in the world, encompassing the Luxury Supplies & Services Hall, The Equipment Supplies and Services Hall, The External Boat Display on Land, The Diving Exhibition, The Supercar Promenade and an extensive on-water Marine Display featuring some of the world’s most luxurious superyachts. Dubai International Marine Club became the permanent home of the Dubai International Boat Show. This impressive achievement is testament to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to make Dubai a global maritime hub. This year the show witnesses incredible growth of 43 times in size and 14 times the number of exhibiting companies since its inception.
With an astounding 33 premiers, including world and regional launches, and 750 companies plus 430 boats on display, the strength of this year’s 20th anniversary event programming clearly reaffirms its position as one of the top five international boat shows and the Middle East’s number one destination for leisure marine trade. 46 countries including first-time country participation from Austria, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Hongkong, Madagascar, Poland, Philippines, Seychelles and Tunisia – will also be making their mark at the Dubai International Boat Show, running from 13-17 March at the Dubai International Marine Club – Mina Seyahi.
The show will feature 186 new exhibitors and some of the world’s most renowned brands this year, including Abeking & Rasmussen, Al Futtaim Marine, Blohm + Voss Shipyards GmbH, Bombardier Business Aircraft, CSO Yachts, Dutch Thruster Group, Fehrmann Metallverarbeitung GmbH, Fraser Yachts, Green Marine, Kaiserwerft GmbH, Koot Yachts, Limassol Marina, Mave, Milano Teleport S.p.A., Oldenburger Yacht Interior GmbH & Co., Otto Pienning GmbH, RE-Boat Srl, Sunreef Yachts, Yamal Boats and many more.
A highlight of the 2012 show will feature 11 members of the world’s most prestigious super yachts builders association (SYBAss), to include Abeking & Rasmussen, AMELS, Benetti, CRN, Feadship, Fincantieri, Heesen Yachts, Lurssen, Oceanco, San Lorenzo, and Trinity Yachts, with each showcasing their latest yacht models and designs in a dedicated SYBAss Pavillion.
“20 years ago, the Dubai International Boat Show was conceived to connect the worldwide maritime industry to a country and region with a passion for the sea. The show has now grown to be the single most significant driver of the leisure marine industry in the region,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the show. “The event is a spectacular showcase for those companies who see the enormous business potential in this region, and Dubai is ideal in terms of infrastructure, geography and international trade experience to realise that potential.”
This regional demand for boats and related equipment and services has not gone unnoticed by the world’s manufacturers, from Asia and Europe to North America. Korea has increased their exhibiting companies by 65 per cent and has confirmed attendance from Scotra Co. Ltd, BaekSan Propeller Co. Ltd, DJ PUM, Hyundai Lifeboats Co.ltd and Jisan Trade, all of which are first-time exhibitors.
Company attendance at the French pavilion is similarly on the up, with a 40 per cent increase incorporating marine managing gurus Luxmarina and first-time exhibitors such as Alubat S.A.S, Chantier Catana and Iguana Yachts set to figure prominently.
Turkey is also boosting its profile, increasing its stable of exhibitors by 35 per cent to accommodate companies like Boyut Marine – Istanbul and Eris Pervane Dokum San. Tic. Ltd. Sti.
Further demonstrating the lure of the boat show is the return of Germany which, after a year’s absence, is back with eight companies in tow, including Dornbracht GmbH & Co KG Aloys F, Otto Piening GmbH and Spectec GmbH.
The event’s 33 launches, among other indicators, reflect the burgeoning demand for berth space at marinas from Casablanca to Muscat and Dubai to Jeddah. Across the Middle East and North Africa market, analyst firm, Booz & Co., has predicted that the current number of berths registered in the MENA region unofficially at close to 40,000, will likely double by 2015, and could even nearly quadruple by 2025. The company adds that developers would need to make capital investments of up to USD 300 billion in the next 15 years to make possible a scenario under which 300,000 marina berths could be created by 2025.
Several of the Dubai International Boat Show stalwarts including leading shipyard Westport have increased their space while North Africa’s latest shipyard, Koot yachts, are among the many first time exhibitors alongside Al Rubban, AM Shipyard and Dutch Thruster Group, who also make their debut appearance. Key exhibitors including Al Shaali, ART Marine, Aquaspeed, Azimut, Cummins, Emirates Boats, Gulf Craft – who are celebrating their 30th anniversary – Heinen & Hopman, Princess Yachts and Sunseeker also ensure that the 2012 Dubai International Boat Show will be the most successful yet.
“This is a particularly important year for us to be participating in the Dubai International Boat Show, as its 20th anniversary edition coincides with Gulf Craft’s own 30th anniversary celebrations. We’ve had a significant presence at the show since it began in 1992 and continue to see it as one of the most relevant and successful platforms to showcase our products and capabilities to a global audience,” said Mohammed Hussain Alshaali, Chairman, Gulf Craft.
“We have some exciting announcements this year and will have new products on display across our range of Oryx, Silvercraft, and Majesty Yacht brands. We expect DIBS to once again be an excellent showcase for Gulf Craft’s competitive advantage in terms of range, quality of craftsmanship and value for money that has ensured our success as a major global manufacturer of luxury yachts and boats with a presence in more than 40 international markets,” added Alshaali.
Among the key sponsors, the Dubai International Boat Show welcomes back some of the most prestigious names in their respected fields, emphasising both the world class calibre of the exhibitors and the quality of VIP visitors and buyers that attend the show annually. For the third year in a row, Mercedes-Benz is supporting the event as the official show car, and one of the world’s most elite watch brands, Officine Panerai, also returns for the third consecutive year, while leading private jet manufacturer, Bombadier, joins the show as a major supporter for the first time. In addition, the show welcomes Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company as the official insurance partner, and welcomes back for the second consecutive year Gulf Finance and Vertu.
And following on from the hugely successful inaugural Supercar Promenade last year, the finest models on four wheels will be back in force at the show with world class marques that will align perfectly with the prestige of the high-end boating brands. Visitors will be able to get behind the wheel of some of the world’s fastest and most expensive cars – among them Bentley Continental Series 51, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, and Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé – all of which can be purchased at the show and driven off the site.
The Dive Middle East Exhibition (DMEX), the only dedicated diving exhibition in the region, in association with Emirates Diving Association, will bring together international manufacturers and local suppliers of sub-aqua diving equipment and services, with live demonstrations and daily 'try-a-dive' sessions.
The Dubai International Marine Club will also be hosting a two-day ‘Safety and Performance Seminar for Powerboat Racing’ alongside the Dubai International Boat Show, with experts providing the latest information on boat racing safety trends, the legal landscape, drowning prevention, race safety coordination, rescue support and more. The seminar will be held on 14-15 March, 9:00am-1:00pm in Mina Seyahi Hall during the boat show and is free to all visitors.
Competitions, prize giveaways, and live entertainment will be running throughout the show, with the popular feature 'Heritage Village' presented by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing providing an experiential glimpse back in time to Dubai's rich history of maritime culture.
An exciting opportunity for visitors coming to the 20th edition of the Dubai International Boat Show is the chance to win a spectacular, fully-equipped 22-foot fishing boat. Built by Al Shaali Marine, the boat contains the latest, cutting-edge Lawrence Satellite Navigation system supplied by Japan marine, a 120 break horse-power Tohatsu engine, generously-supplied by Al Sayegh Brothers, customized paint work, executed by International Paints, and an array of accessories and equipment kindly donated by Exalto Emirates and is worth an estimated AED 250,000.
Dubai International Boat Show 2012 runs from March 13 - 17, 2012 at the Dubai International Marine Club - Mina Seyahi and will open to trade visitors and the general public from 3:00pm – 9:30pm daily.