Dubai International Boat Show showcases thriving global appeal of local marine industry

The Dubai International Boat Show 2023 was a resounding success with over 30,000 visitors and global industry players converging at Dubai Harbour for five days of marine displays, seminars, workshops and launches.

Dubai’s boat industry sails to success as the global boat-building market is predicted to surpass $47 billion by 2027, fueled by MENA’s increasing demand for recreational boats. The latest innovations and designs were on display during the event.

Throughout the five-day event, notable exhibitors with an emphasis on implementing sustainable solutions included Al Rubban Marine, IMG Boats, Invincible Boats, Ocean Boats, Gulf Craft, and Victory Yachts. Yacht owners and clients are becoming more interested in cutting-edge technologies that can build a greener yacht as the worldwide push towards environmental sustainability continues to transform the maritime industry and the future of yacht construction.

Manufacturers such as Gulf Craft are responding to this demand by integrating sustainable solutions into their builds. Abeer Al Shaali, Deputy Managing Director of Gulf Craft, said: “At Gulf Craft, we understand that clients prioritise sustainability and durability, and we are committed to supporting the path towards a sustainable future. We are committed to making our yachts more efficient, lightweight, and practical, always with the user’s perspective in mind. Our latest yacht, the Majesty 111, showcases the latest trends in boat building, bringing the outside inside and creating a natural flow from exterior to interior. We believe that by incorporating nature and light into our designs, we are creating a truly unique and luxurious experience for our clients.”

With brands from 60 countries featured at the show, local manufacturers and distributors exhibiting reported increased business from a diverse range of international markets. Paurush Farouk.H, Sales Manager, IMG Boats commented that there is a strong market for Middle Eastern products outside the region; “In previous years, we primarily had interest from across the region, but this year we are receiving more serious leads from international markets, particularly Eastern Europe, and Australia,” he said.

Brands also reported that customisation and personalisation are high on the list of customer demands this year, as buyers are keen to reflect their personality through their purchases. Shahid Ahmed Jiwrak, Sales Manager, Ocean Boats, said: “We observed that visitors were very impressed by the options for customisation that Ocean Boats offer. This is very important because customers today want highly personalised products. These can range from walk-around cabins, forward or backwards-facing seats, centre consoles, a roof on the top of the steering wheel, and even bathrooms on board the vessel. As designers, we listen to all these preferences and incorporate them in the final boat design in the most innovative way possible, so that the customer gets a boat that suits their specific needs.”

The UAE’s fish and seafood Market, which has historically played an important part in the country’s nautical industry, has seen tremendous expansion and development in recent years. Local fishing equipment companies brought the latest advancements in rods, lures, tackle, and other fishing gear to the show.

Taha Darwish, Sales & Marketing Manager, Helal Trading, wholesale distributor of Okuma throughout the Middle East, said that they noticed a lot of interest from regional and international retailers for next-generation reels and drags that can handle larger fish. “New equipment is lighter than before, making it easier to catch big fish like tuna which can go up to 100kg. It was our first time exhibiting at the Dubai International Boat Show, and we had many requests for these and other equipment,” he commented.

The event was crucial in giving a platform for the industry to showcase its brilliance to the global market for local boat manufacturers and equipment suppliers who participated in the Dubai International Boat Show 2023. According to Abdullah AlMeraikhi, Owner & Founder of Ultra Marine, a distributor of Invincible Boats, “its nearly 30-year legacy can be credited with luring yacht firms to relocate their headquarters to the UAE or have permanent operations here.”

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