The inaugural Saudi International Boat Show welcomed more than 37,000 visitors during the action-packed show, exceeding all expectations.
The Boat Show closed its doors at the Al Furusya Marina & Yacht Club after four days of exciting diving demonstrations, a fishing competition, marine equipment displays and a vast array of yachts and boats with exhibitors and visitors hailing the show an incredible success.
His Highness Prince Abdullah bin Saud bin Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of Al Ahlam Marine Tourism Group expressed his delight with the public’s interest in the show: “The Saudi International Boat Show offered a rich agenda filled with activities and presented an ideal platform for international companies to conduct face-to-face meetings with international customers in the Kingdom. The generous patronage and support of His Royal Highness Prince Khaled Al Faisal Bin Abdulaziz, the Prince of Mecca Region and the visit by His Royal Highness Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, raised the show’s status and increased its significance and role in developing the local tourism industry in the Kingdom.”
“The response to the Saudi International Boat Show has been very encouraging and we are looking forward to making this an established event in Jeddah’s events calendar,” His Highness added.
Organised by Dubai World Trade Centre, the Saudi International Boat Show partnered with venue manager Al Ahlam Marine Tourism Group, with the endorsement of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, and the support of the Islamic Ports of Jeddah, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, Jeddah Civil Defense, Jeddah Coast Guard, Jeddah Municipality, Jeddah Police, Jeddah Port Customs Authority and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its inaugural presentation.
“The events attendance and participation has surpassed all of our original targets and we hope this heralds the making of an international event that will be synonymous with Saudi Arabia,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO of the Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the show. “There is clearly great potential in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s leisure and marine tourism industry and we are delighted that the show has provided our international suppliers a first-hand experience of this.”
As well as the many features and social elements of the show, a great deal of business was conducted amongst some of the world’s leading manufacturers, VIP’s and affluent buyers. Exhibitors also expressed their delight at the high quality of visitors and the access to one of the most important markets in the world.
“We are overwhelmed by the excellent turnout,” said Ehab Mina, CEO, Sea Rocket Boats. “Visitors are curious, which is a great thing. They learn about boats, ships and yachts as they go along. This is essential to raising awareness and interest among the people across the country.”
“There is a lot of potential in Saudi Arabia,” said Paul Manting, International Sales and Marketing Manager from Icon Yachts. “We received some very serious leads as a result of the show, and we will certainly be returning in 2010 in a larger capacity, hopefully bringing a newly built yacht.”
“I was very happy to see that people are very open and welcoming,” said Thunayan F. Al-Ghanim, President of Alghanim Marine & Co. “It’s an excellent effort. I’ve been to many inaugural exhibitions and in comparison to the one’s I’ve seen this is the best in terms of the set up.”
“Jeddah is different from most cities in the Middle East. A lot of our target audience lives here. We are very happy and we are going to come back next year. We are planning on bringing our sub-dealers with us.” said Francesco Pitae, General Manager of Sunseeker Middle East.
“Within just two days of the Saudi International Boat Show we had met three quarters of our business objectives. We really hope to come back next year,” said Basil Al Safadi, The Commercial Manager of Blue Limits.
Feedback from visitors to the exhibition was also extremely positive, with many people returning for more than one day of the show.
Turki Al Otaibi, a student at King Abdulaziz University said: "This is my second visit to the show and I liked the high level of organisation. I have had a great marine-style weekend at Al Furusya Marina & Yacht Club and I am looking forward to next year's show, which I am quite sure will include more interesting events."
Nabhan Kamal, a Marketing Manager, said: "In Jeddah we enjoy many events, but we miss this type of exhibition. The collection of boats was so beautiful and we don't usually see this unique level of service at an outdoor event."
Following such positive feedback of the first Saudi International Boat Show, the event will return in October next year.
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