On Sunday night, the Dubai World Trade Centre took the extraordinary step of postponing the Dubai International Boat Show that was scheduled to be held this month from March 10-14 at the new Dubai Harbour in light of the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak.
The show will now take place from November 24-28 this year, instead of March.
The event was expected to feature more than 800 companies and brands from 44 countries.
One of the key reasons cited was the travel restrictions being placed on residents of countries around the world who were scheduled to attend the show.
A statement on the event’s official website read: “In light of the evolving global developments around the COVID-19 virus, Dubai World Trade Centre has been closely monitoring the situation, particularly as it pertains to our key stakeholders and participating delegations from around the world across all our upcoming shows. Whilst the UAE remains completely safe for travel, and has deployed the strictest medical and hygiene protocols, we fully recognise that for some specific shows, we have a high majority of key participants significant to the event’s programme that are unable to travel due to restrictions in their home country.
“Bearing this context, the Dubai International Boat Show, the MENA’s largest leisure boating event…is being postponed.”
The decision appears to have been well received from industry leaders and participants.
Michael Bremen, the sales director of Lurssen which built a 106.1-metre superyacht AMADEA that was scheduled to make an appearance at the boat show – the largest yacht ever to be displayed at the show – said, “I’m pleased the organiser has consulted its clients on the new date for Dubai Boat Show. November is a wonderful time for our global yachting business and the simultaneous organization of Expo Dubai 2020 and Dubai Boat Show will co-create new opportunities and heighten interest in the region’s leisure yachting lifestyle appeal.”
The decision to cancel the event comes days after the UAE Tour, one of the region’s most prestigious cycling competitions, was cancelled last week after two technicians who were a part of the competition tested positive for coronavirus in the UAE.
The total number of coronavirus cases in the UAE now stands at 21.