The recent Dubai International Boat Show was a great success, but not for sailing. Despite being put together and run by the same organisation that will host the Louis Vuitton Trophy later in the year, only two masts were visible in the marina.
[cleeng_content id=”523776587″ description=”99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. ” price=”0.99″]Multi Million dollar sales were recorded at this year’s show, with a number of superyachts, including the AED 72 million Sunseeker 38 metre Special Edition, being purchased on-site as consumer confidence returns to the market.
While the official programme contained several stories about yacht racing including the America’s Cup, Extreme Asia Sailing Series and rumours about Abu Dhabi being a stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race, the sailing industry was invisible.
Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre said:
“The outstanding business that was done at this year’s Dubai International Boat Show is a clear indication that the leisure marine market in the Middle East is on the road to recovery. Consumer confidence is back and the Dubai International Boat Show has played an important role in stimulating demand and reinvigorating the leisure marine industry as highlighted by the impressive number of deals conducted at this year’s show.”
The Dubai International Boat Show, which was visited by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler Of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, took place at the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) from 9 – 13 March 2010.
“This is our best ever result at the Dubai International Boat Show,” said Francesco Pitea, General Manager, Sunseeker Middle East LLC. “It was a great start to sell the Sunseeker 38 metre Special Edition on the very first day and we have confirmed further sales across the course of the week. There are many buyers across the GCC looking to purchase the best quality from the best brands. The Dubai International Boat Show has played an integral part in returning the industry to a strong position.”
Sales at the show were not restricted to the superyacht section of the show. Exhibitors from all sectors reported buoyant sales – but sailing was absent. There are websites and conferences dedicated to steering the business of yacht racing, but who is responsible for promoting it’s growth?
With the Puma Moth World Championships being held up the road, the boat show would be a great platform to promote all kinds of sailing activity. Companies from within the DMEX (Dive Middle East Exhibition) also closed the show having enjoyed outstanding business opportunities, but sailing missed out.
Riding high on the remarkable sales transacted at this year’s show, many of the companies are already making their participation commitment to return for next year’s event. Dubai International Boat Show once again looks set to become the biggest highlight of 2011 in the region.
Will sailing be there?[/cleeng_content]