Arabian Gulf’s Yacht Sector On Course for 30% Growth
With the GCC now widely recognized as one of world’s most robust emerging markets for the boating industry, an industry analyst has estimated that with the dominance of waterfront property and reclamation projects, the sector is on course for growth of up to 30 percent in the next 12 months.
“There are a number of very strong indicators for expansion in the Gulf’s yachting sector, including the billions of dollars being invested to provide berthing space on reclamation projects in the region, the increased move towards a five-day week, and the growing export of yachts from the United States and Europe into this market,” said Toby Haws, editor of Boat Owner ME magazine.
Haws cites the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as the largest markets for luxury boat ownership at present, with Kuwait reporting one boat for every 50 residents. Increasingly, European manufacturers are capitalizing on the growing demand for yachts in the region, with Italian boating exports to the UAE alone amounting to 14.3 million euros. This is a 27% growth compared to the previous year, confirming the dynamic nature of the GCC market for yachts made in Italy, according to Nautical Web .
To recognize the development taking place in this industry, the inaugural Arabian Gulf Yachting Awards 2007 will take place on 10th November and will recognize the outstanding contribution of companies to the growth of the GCC’s leisure yachting market, highlighting products and individuals that have made a difference in 2007.
“We chose to hold the Awards in November as the industry will be picking up following the summer period, and it allows those who win an award to market that achievement throughout the season,” explained Toby Haws, Editor, Boat Owner magazine, who is heading up the judging panel. “Following a massive injection of companies over the past few years, the market is now settled enough to reward those who have pioneered to create the stability of product, service and range the boating consumer is offered.”
The awards evening, conceived by Boat Owner Middle East magazine, the region’s foremost monthly yachting publication, will include 17 awards over seven categories. The independent panel of judges for the Arabian Gulf Yachting Awards 2007 includes Wael Juju, CEO Knotika Holding; Mairead Browne, Sales & Marketing Manager, Dubai Marina Yacht Club; and Helen Wynd, Project Manager, Dubai International Boat Show.
IGY, the global luxury marina developer, who designs, develops and manages marinas in the Middle East, is the headline sponsor of the inaugural Arabian Gulf Yachting Awards 2007. The organization's Marketing Director, Wayne Lowery, believes that through their sponsorship IGY will assist in raising the profile of waterfront development in the region and thereby drive the industry forward.
"IGY is proud to be associated with the Arabian Gulf Yachting Awards 2007. We see this as a way of demonstrating the growth of waterfront development and yachting in the Middle East, which is fast becoming the next warm water yachting destination of choice. With a growing number of water front developments to choose from, hi-tech marina development is following suit", says Lowery.
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