Several of the world’s most renowned superyacht builders descended on the UAE on Tuesday for the official opening of the annual Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS), providing an opportunity to witness some of the world’s finest luxury yachts.
Held at the Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi, the boat show is the Middle East’s biggest and longest running leisure marine event, now in its 21st year.
This year the show expects to welcome no less than 11 Super Yacht Experience members – the world’s leading builders of large yachts, which falls under the Superyacht Builders Association umbrella – including two new names.
The Middle East has long been associated with the world’s most luxurious superyachts, with Dubai alone being home to several high-end marinas.
A recent forecast by nautical site superyacht.com found that Middle Eastern residents own 60 per cent of the top 100 superyachts in the world, while 55 per cent of the world’s top 20 superyachts are owned in the region.
Trixee Loh, senior vice president of Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the boat show, said: “The Dubai International Boat Show is synonymous with luxury yachting, and is the perfect opportunity for superyacht builders to market their high-end products to a burgeoning audience.
“The development of the Super Yacht Experience pavilion supports the growing demand for superyachts in this lucrative market from regional buyers. The lure of seeing these multi-million dollar superyachts at close range appeals to a range of leisure boating enthusiasts, whether they are a high-end prospective buyer or a first-time visitor.”
While the two newcomers, Mondo Marine and Palmer Johnson, will be hoping to cause a stir, it will be the seasoned names taking part – AMELS, Benetti, CRN, Fincantieri, Heesen, Lürssen, Oceanco, Sanlorenzo and Trinity – that will draw the most attention.
“The Dubai International Boat Show provides an ideal platform to tap into the Middle East luxury boating market and build relationships with potential buyers,” said Jimmy Rivers, vice president of Trinity Yachts.
“We have gained recognition as one of the world’s elite builders of custom superyachts of high quality craftsmanship, state-of-the-art construction and engineering techniques…we anticipate a strong response from potential buyers in the region this year.”
World-renowned superyacht manufacturer, Lürssen, will be eagerly anticipated given its penchant for making some of the world’s biggest yachts, including the 155 metre-long ‘Al Said’ – owned by Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman.
“Dubai International Boat Show is among the best platforms to showcase our latest models, and inform visitors about the recent developments and innovations in shipbuilding,” said Michael Breman, sales director at Lürssen.
“The event allows us to meet the demand for our luxury superyachts within the Middle East region.”
DIBS is expected to host more than 750 exhibiting companies from 49 countries over the five-day event, with notable segments including the Superyacht Boulevard – a reserved area of mooring for yachts of 25 metres and above.
The Marina Display Area will comprise the largest on-water display in the Middle East while there will also be service houses on dry land, displaying luxury fixtures and fittings to befit a luxurious yacht.
Not all the attention will be on the water though. The glitzy ‘Supercar Promenade’ returns to the show for a third year – a catwalk of limited edition cars capable of matching their floating peers’ collective rarity, if not their price tags.
Marcel Onkenhout, chief executive officer of superyacht builder Oceanco, said: “Dubai International Boat Show’s exclusive location, select set-up and high profile visitors afford us the opportunity to promote our yachts and reach local and worldwide potential buyers.”
The 21st Dubai International Boat Show takes place at the Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi, from March 5-9, 2013, and will be open to trade visitors and the general public from 3pm-9.30pm daily.