27 February – 3 March 2018, Dubai Canal, Jumeirah
Since its inception in 2008, Dubai International Boat Show has not stopped evolving, just as the landscape and skyline around it has been transformed. Dubai has recovered from the economic downturn to expand further through the desert and the International Boat Show pulls in more punters than ever.
The yachting industry can only be described as booming: According to recent reports 20 per cent of the ultra-high net worth individuals in the Middle East have bought a superyacht in the past 15 years; 205 superyachts over 40 metres in length are registered in the region; the UAE ranks 9th in terms of superyacht new builds, with 14 projects currently underway.
This year, DIBS's has moved to the Dubai Canal in the beautiful Jumeirah neighbourhood. Here, fishermen and pearl divers used to set sail when the nearby Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall were only a figment of the imagination. Nowadays, the 3.2 km Dubai Canal is the heart of the city, connecting business and finance districts with the high-end residential neighbourhoods of Downtown Dubai and Jumeirah.
The show organisers are taking advantage of the location to connect the yacht harbour on the canal with a private beach on the other side of the promontory. Watersport demonstrations will happen on the beach side, which will surely be a focal point for social gatherings and a hit with families.
The opening hours of 3pm – 11pm are timed to avoid the midday heat and encourage a relaxed, sociable atmosphere, allowing guests to enjoy the famed nightlife.
A veritable extravaganza, Dubai International Boat Show is generous in scale and scope, with attractions and exhibitors to please all tastes and requirements. International brands who are exhibiting this year include Benetti, Azimut, Princess, Gulf Craft, Sunseeker, Pirelli and many more.
The yachts are the main event and more than 450 will be on display, but they are accompanied by many other captivating attractions including the Super Car promenade, live displays of sailing and watersports, and interactive taster sessions.
New areas include the 'Future of Yachting' where innovative materials, technologies and up-and-coming superyacht designers will be showcased, and the self explanatory Luxury Boulevard which is certain to be popular with the clientele.
The enthusiasm with which DIBS is organised speaks to a concerted effort by organisers Dubai World Trade Centre and the Maritime Authority to cement Dubai's position as a centre of nautical industry. Indeed, the annual show can be proud of the results its promotion of yachting has had in the Arab region. Buying power in the Middle East continues to grow, and the Dubai International Boat Show fosters interest and understanding about yachting as well as providing crucial opportunities for exhibitors and buyers.
In 2020, Dubai Harbour will become the show's permanent home when construction is completed on the 1400 berth marina complex. This facility will strengthen Dubai's position as the maritime centre of the Middle East and responds to the ever-growing demand for high quality slips in the region.
Dubai International Boat Show is not trying to compete with the likes of Monaco, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, rather it is a crucial and exciting complement. The number of international brands and stakeholders exhibiting and attending this year suggests that the rest of the world agrees.
Photo credit: All Dubai International Boat Show