By Andy Sambidge
More than 5,000 VIPs and key buyers set to attend Dubai International Boat Show in March
Dubai International Boat Show has revealed that it will showcase the largest ever collection of luxury vessels at its 22nd edition in March as the UAE seeks to become one of the world's premier boat manufacturing hubs.
As the luxury leisure marine market surges ahead amid rising regional consumer confidence, show organisers have confirmed that 30 luxury boats exceeding 21 metres will feature.
They added that 19 superyachts - including the largest boat in the history of the show - will be on display among more than 430 boats on land and water.
The 22nd Dubai International Boat Show, the MENA's leading luxury yacht platform, runs from March 4-8 at Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi and will feature 840 exhibiting companies and brands, a 12 percent increase over 2013.
According to the McKinsey Global Private Banking Survey 2013, the total high net worth wealth in the Middle East is predicted to increase by $3.3 trillion by 2014, positively impacting regional buying power and stimulating further growth across the sector.
The show is also expected to draw more than 26,000 visitors from over 70 different countries, including 5,000 VIPs and key buyers.
Regional royalty and top buyers from Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the UAE will join the thousands of visitors from Africa, Asia and China while strong visitor footfall from Europe and America is also expected.
The US-based ShowBoats International Global Order Book 2014 recently revealed that UAE luxury yacht builders plan to build 18 superyachts.
The definitive guide to the world's luxury superyacht industry also ranked the UAE ninth among the most productive manufacturers of superyachts.
Erwin Bamps, COO of Gulf Craft, the UAE-based manufacturer of boats and yachts, said: "There is a vision for the UAE's superyacht building industry that it will, slowly but surely, increase its output until it is one of the very top manufacturing bases for luxury yachts anywhere in the world.
"At this point, the UAE's shipbuilding growth appears really unstoppable."
More than 50 countries will be represented by Dubai International Boat Show exhibitors this year, as well as four dedicated country pavilions from Australia, Italy, USA and Turkey, with the US confirming a 35 percent increase in companies.
Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), organiser of Dubai International Boat Show, said: "The show continues to be the region's largest and most preferred platform for sales, knowledge exchange, networking and trade.
"The GCC leisure boating market is well and truly back on track in the wake of the global recession, thanks to the region having established itself as a boat manufacturing hub, increasing leisure marine tourism and growing interest from key buyers in the GCC as well as emerging markets such as Africa, China and India while new exhibitors and trade visitors continue to flock to Dubai."
One of the world's 50 largest superyachts will top this year's attractions and is the biggest boat to appear at Dubai International Boat Show in the history of the event.
Other boats on display include Gulf Craft's 41-metre Majesty 135, Sunseeker's 24-metre sport yacht, a regional first, as well as the FARR-designed powerboat known as P38, being launched by Premier Composite Technologies.