Published: Wednesday, 09 March 2016

Exhibitors at Dubai International Boat Show (Mar 1-5) are reporting strong on-going sales, with many companies pointing to a high proportion of serious buyers attending the show, leading to contracts signed either during the show, or expected in the coming weeks.

Dubai Intl Boat Show 1

UK-based manufacturer Princess Yachts named this year as its most successful appearance at the Dubai show.

“I think this is one of the best Dubai International Boat Show editions,” says Princess Yachts International Sales Manager Simon Colebrooke. “We’ve seen a lot more serious customers than in previous years. Regionally it’s the go-to show, and we’re seeing customers from all over the region and further afield.”

Princess brought five new 2016 models, mostly mid-sized yachts to the marina display, ranging from about 12-metres to just over 26-metres in length: the Princess 88 Motor Yacht and Princess 68 Flybridge, both making their first appearance at the show; Princess 56 Flybridge, 52 Flybridge, and 43 Flybridge; and the Princess V39.

At the start of the final day, the company had around AED 10 million (approx US$2.7M) in firm sales, with AED 20 million (approx US$5.4M) in follow-up from the event. Two contracts have been signed and three are in negotiation, with a sea trial booked for the following week.

Dubai Intl Boat Show

(Gulf Craft display)

UAE-based boat builder Gulf Craft, with the biggest display in the marina, had a successful showing selling AED 80 million (USD 22 million) worth of luxury yachts and leisure boats across its range.

"This has been another spectacular year for Gulf Craft at the Dubai International Boat Show,” says Gulf Craft Chairman Mohammed Hussein Al Shaali. "We were expecting there would be some hesitation among buyers, but the market is showing a great deal of resilience. Gulf Craft is in a strong position, with brands that serve the diverse requirements of our customers, enabling us to seamlessly adapt to shifts in the market. Medium-to-large sized craft that offer added comfort and space have seen considerable interest this year, with a great deal of attention for our Nomad Yachts long-range series."

Gulf Craft’s global premieres at DIBS included the youngest tri-deck Majesty 110, the opulent Majesty 90, and the oceangoing Nomad 55. The Oryx 43 fly-bridge was also debuted for the first time in the country.

Dubai Intl Boat Show 2

Attention to detail – in manufacturing, design, and the standard of service for local customers – were cited as pivotal to success in the Middle East, with the most successful brands benefitting from a long-term commitment to the region.

“What the customer is asking for today is quality,” says Roberto Zambrini, Co-Owner of Mondomarine, which chose Dubai for the regional launch of its new SF40. “If you don’t attend to quality you don’t sell the boat.”

Along with quality, Gregor Stinner, Art Marine CEO, the regional distributor for Ferretti Group yachts, adds innovation.

Dubai Intl Boat Show 3

“We are seeing a good number of potential sales here, but the customers are looking for something that will set them apart. They want quality in terms of construction, and they also want quality in the design and aesthetics. They want something unique.”

Among the exhibitors selling small to medium sized boats, most are reporting sales consistent with previous years.

The value of new product lines could also be seen at the MTM Group stand, which says it has taken a large number of bookings to test the latest versions of Bombardier Recreational Products’ Sea-Doo line of jet skis.