Families are flocking to Dubai International Boat Show this year in greater numbers and will make up a large part of the new boating community according to many exhibitors. Smaller boats ranging from AED 140,000 to AED 200,000 have received major interest in the first three days of the show, as many models become more affordable – in some cases, the same price as a mid range family car.
Although Middle East residents own a third of the world’s largest superyachts, boating is no longer exclusive to the high net worth individuals and middle income families are taking to the seas.
Erwin Bamps, Chief Operating Officer of Gulf Craft, one of the show’s largest exhibitors says the boatbuilders and brokers realize there is an increasing demand for the mid size and smaller boats and are seizing the opportunity to widen their portfolio.
“Even with the larger boats, people are expecting much more added value and they are getting that in the form of extra fittings, furnishings and so on. But the market is also becoming much more affordable and accessible to people who have regarded it before as very much a luxury leisure pursuit that would always be out of their price range. There are a lot more opportunities for excellent value boats for fishing trips and days out and people are taking advantage of the chance to purchase a boat, in many cases for the first time,” said Bamps.
Aquaspeed has been exhibiting at the show for the past seven years and says that footfall is up, the geographical split is wider and again, the family interest has increased. Eng. Mahmoud Nouri, President of Aquamarine said: “It’s been a great show for us already. The number of visitors has increased by around 30%. It’s excellent to see so many families seriously looking into buying boats for the first time, and we have already made two sales.”
Regan Gibson, General Manager, Al Marsa Musandam said: “The number of visitors has definitely increased and we have seen a lot of families making serious enquiries. I’m totally confident that they will provide us with plenty of new business by the end of the show.”
More than 750 companies and brands, including 200 first timers are attending the DIBS 2011, being held at the Dubai International Marine Club – Mina Seyahi, from March 1-5.
"It is truly inspiring to see the level of interest across all ranges, sizes and prices at the show," said Trixee Loh, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre. "The market has become far more accessible and the increased number of first time buyers the exhibitors are reporting is excellent news. The Dubai International Boat Show is recognised as a driver for new business and the exhibitors here are really showing that they have the adaptability to diversify in order to meet market demands. It is great news for the companies as well as the customers."
The Dubai International Boat Show runs from March 1 – 5, 2011, at the Dubai International Marine Club – Mina Seyahi and is now open to trade visitors and the general public from 3pm to 9:30pm daily.
Dubai International Boat Show, the most trusted and established marine industry exhibition in the Middle East, is a showcase of yachts and boats from both local and international builders together with the latest innovations in marine equipment and accessories.