Dubai International Boat Show 2022 highlights Dubai’s leading position in maritime industry

The Middle East region is home to 12.6 per cent of the world's superyachts, the second-highest fleet-to-billionaire ratio in the world


Rohma Sadaqat

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Published: Wed 9 Mar 2022, 6:50 PM

The Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS 2022) has played a major role in strengthening the position of Dubai as a global maritime hub which attracts people from all walks of life and from over the world, officials said on Wednesday morning.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, inaugurated the 28th edition of the event which is running from March 9-13, 2022 at its new venue at the Dubai Harbour. The show brings together more than 800 brands from 54 countries, and will feature 34 new launches as well as a range of interactive features throughout the five-day show.

Saeed Hareb, secretary general of the Dubai Sports Council and senior advisor to the Dubai International Boat Show, noted the importance of the event returning to its new location close to the heart of Dubai. “It is important for us to showcase the facilities at the harbor to the rest of the world.”

Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice president of Events Management at the Dubai World Trade Centre, organisers of the event, also spoke about the significance of Dubai Harbour and its location within the heart of Dubai Urban Plan 2040. “This is major tourism hub and for us it is a great permanent home for the Dubai International Boat Show. Another reason why we are very excited about the new location is because of the sea access it offers, so we will see a lot of boats in action during the show.”

She also looked back at the various initiatives that have driven an increased volume of tourists to the city such as the Dubai Winter Destination and winter tourism season. “Everyone wanted to experience and explore what Dubai had to offer and a lot of people were coming into Dubai during the winter season with their boats, so the industry has been going on a steady trajectory over the past two years.”

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome everybody to the new and permanent home of the Dubai International Boat Show,” said Abdulla Bin Habtoor, chief portfolio management officer at Shamal Holding, the owner and curator of Dubai Harbour. “We embarked on a journey a few years ago to design a new island in Dubai where we wanted to reimagine how the city engages with the seafront. In doing so, we designed the largest marina in the city, and one thing that we always had in mind was to design a permanent home for the Dubai boat show.”

“This was because we knew that we could not achieve our vision in the industry alone,” he added. “We need the right partners to showcase our strengths and offerings. With 700 marina berths, we are very much interested in growing the recreational boating industry in the UAE.”

Farouk Nefzi, CMO of Feadship, also highlighted the healthy state of the boating industry worldwide, saying: “If you look at the deliveries so far, you can clearly see that the majority of units are between 40 to 60 metres. We have been delivering quite a few yachts over the years of the pandemic. However, as an industry, we need to look ahead to the needs of the millennial and Gen Z. This is because, going up to the year 2030, there is going to be around $50 trillion worth of wealth that is going to be transferred from the older generation to the millennial and Gen Z.”

Millennials, he explained, are a very different type of customer, who value themes such as sustainability and experiences in their lives, and ship builders need to understand their needs to better cater to them.

Gulf Craft unveils first details of a new superyacht

Gulf Craft, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, on Wednesday unveiled the design for a new superyacht at the Dubai International Boat Show.

The UAE’s pioneering boat builder is once again present at the show with the largest fleet of boats and yachts ranging from 34 to 120 feet.

Mohammed Alshaali, chairman of Gulf Craft, said that the Dubai International Boat Show is an event that celebrates the UAE’s fast-growing yachting sector, but also pays tribute to the region’s rich maritime heritage. “This year, we are highlighting the growth of our company as well as showcasing a series of new models all manufactured from our integrated facility in the UAE. Over the past four decades, we have evolved from a regional boatbuilding pioneer to a global brand. We are honored to have contributed to the region’s yachting sector and will continue to build on our legacy to elevate the nation’s reputation as an outstanding yachting destination.”

In a press conference at the event, he unveiled the design concept of the Majesty 111, which will set the design precedent for all future Majesty models, offering more than ever before in terms of its design, engineering, architecture, and technical features.

“It is not a new yacht, but a new concept,” he said. “The yacht will be present at the boat show next year.”

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