Yachting industry primed for sustainable future

Dubai International Boat Show 2023 gathers top players from around the world


A Staff Reporter

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A huge 13-metre whale crafted from recyclable materials was on display at the Dubai International Boat Show. - Supplied photo
A huge 13-metre whale crafted from recyclable materials was on display at the Dubai International Boat Show. - Supplied photo

Published: Fri 31 Mar 2023, 4:18 PM

The Dubai International Boat Show 2023 concluded recently at Dubai Harbour, after showcasing the latest sustainable innovations and advancements in the yachting industry. The 29th edition of the show saw prominent yacht manufacturers accelerate efforts to promote environmental sustainability, in line with the increasing demand for greener yachts and an industry-wide movement towards protecting our oceans.

The Middle East’s largest and most established boat show attracted exhibitors showcasing eco-friendly materials and electric engines, as well as other solutions aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the yachting and water sports industries. Prominent distributors and brands leading the charge include Silent Yachts, as well as the JLS Training Institute, OKTA core, Magonis, Cummins Arabia, Sunkiss, Ocean 360, and the GEMS Education network.

While some emerging energy technologies are still in various stages of development, a number of options available today can make a big difference.

Silent Yachts, which exhibited at Dubai International Boat Show 2023 for the first time, produces the first ocean-going production yachts in the world powered by solar energy, which is used to charge the batteries and run the electric motor. According to General Manager Ahmed Almousawi: “This makes them carbon-free and the process is as sustainable as can be. They are called Silent Yachts because they truly are silent; you won’t hear any noises or feel any vibrations as you would from a traditional yacht fuel engine. Not only does this make the yachting experience more pleasurable, but it also protects the coral reefs and the marine life.”

As the exclusive UAE dealer for the Ferretti Group brands, including Ferretti Yachts, Riva, Pershing and Itama; Ocean 360 has seen greater integration of green energy technologies into the full spectrum of yachting products, says Bogdan Borascu, Marketing Director of Ocean 360. To cater to this demand, Ferretti Group has allocated a significant budget towards research and development, which is mainly focused on renewable sources of energy such as solar power. New advancements in solar energy technology today have meant that it is possible to power entire yachts through renewable energy.

To lock in its commitment to a greener way of living on and off the water, the S.E.A Mission: Sustainable, Environmental Action was introduced at Dubai International Boat Show this year. A programme of initiatives promotes the sustainability of our oceans and as the premier marine lifestyle event, visitors also found a range of solutions that cater to a sustainable way of living for consumers.

Sunkiss, a luxury sun care brand, exhibited its sustainable products, packaged in ‘forever bottles’ - refillable, reusable, and made from recyclable aluminium bottles. “We partnered with the Dubai International Boat Show because we are very much aligned with the sustainability factor. Our aim is to help encourage and educate people about the importance of not only what you put on your skin, but also what goes into the ocean,” says Joanna Barclay, Co-founder of Sunkiss. “The response to our products was fantastic. It’s all about closing this whole circular economy and minimising the use of any plastic considerably.”

Combining community, creativity, and a love for the marine world, this year’s edition also partnered with the GEMS Education network in the UAE to celebrate World Whale Day with a fun art competition. A huge 13-metre whale crafted from recyclable materials was on display, along with posters created by students to promote sustainability. Asha Alexander, Executive Leader – of Climate Change at GEMS Education and Principal of GEMS Legacy School says the institution is “delighted to have contributed to this year’s Dubai International Boat Show and to have had the opportunity to help put sustainability and the preservation of our precious oceans and marine life front and centre during such a prominent event. GEMS is proud of everyone’s contribution and we thank the Boat Show for their partnership and support.”

By bringing together industry leaders and innovators, the Dubai International Boat Show continues to offer a vital stage for the maritime industry to showcase its efforts towards accelerating sustainability and adapting to the evolving needs of customers. With a focus on showcasing the latest advancements in sustainable materials and eco-friendly practices, the show is a testament to the industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

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