The Middle East’s Key Role And Investment In The Marine Industry

The marine industry plays an important role in economic growth across the globe, and the Middle East is no exception. The maritime sector drives economic development in the region through job creation and supporting several industries, including marine vessel building and maintenance, offshore exploration, logistics, and various other coastal construction projects and development opportunities.

The marine industry contributes a staggering US$24.5 billion to the GDP of the UAE (US$415 billion, which means the industry makes up nearly 6% of the total figure). In this perspective article, we unpack why the Middle East has become a popular investment destination and how the maritime industry contributes to its growth and development.

The Lucrative Investment Potential Of The Middle East’s Maritime Sector

The region has vast coastal areas, access to highly strategic shipping routes, and an abundance of natural resources like oil and valuable minerals. All of these factors contribute to making the Middle East a bustling maritime hub and has allowed it to emerge as a prominent figure in the industry. Each sector below contributes to economic growth, making the region more lucrative for potential investors.

  • Natural resources
    The region is rich in natural resources such as petrochemicals (oil and natural gas), metals (copper), and minerals (phosphates, gypsum, and silica). These resources have a wide variety of applications and represent a prosperous industry unto themselves. Tapping into these resources requires significant domestic and foreign investment, which can help establish the Middle East as a commodity hub.
  • Logistics
    The shipping and transportation of goods is a major pillar of the industry, as it supports every other aspect of the marine economy. The region has strategic access to major shipping routes and serves as a connecting point between East and West. Capturing a share of the Middle Eastern logistics market can thus be a highly profitable venture.
  • Tourism
    The region attracts millions of tourists annually (8.08 million for UAE and 4.88 million for Saudi Arabia alone), all of whom are eager to spend their money on new and authentic experiences. Boating and yachting make up the most popular recreational activities, but diving and watersports are not far behind. The yachting industry in the Middle East alone will be worth more than US$1.2 billion by the year 2025. The right kind of investments will only serve to accelerate growth in this market.
  • Infrastructure Development
    Dependable infrastructure is necessary for the survival of the entire industry. While new construction developments can help expand the industry by utilising the vast undeveloped areas along the coastline, it is also important to invest in the maintenance and upgrading of existing infrastructure to enhance its usability and to help meet the demands of the rapidly expanding industry. An example of this is the US$1.1 billion expansion of the Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi, which will allow the port to accommodate much higher sea traffic volumes, which in turn will support all the industries mentioned above and Dubai International Boat Show’s new home of Dubai Harbour, the largest superyacht marina in the Middle East.

An Industry That Continues To Thrive

Most countries and governments in the Middle East have launched major reinvestment initiatives and infrastructure expansions to take advantage of the marine industry’s vast potential. Countries like UAE, Bahrain, and Oman have also committed to easing legislation around maritime permits and to streamline application processes. The removal of bureaucratic red tape and the complete digitisation and automation of the industry is ensuring faster turnaround times, which will ensure the longevity of the region’s economic success.

Superyachts are in high demand in the region, with exhibitors at the Dubai International Boat Show reporting that the five-day event is attracting buyers worldwide.

New launches and exciting concepts evidenced this growth period, as more than 44 global and regional launches are expected to take place throughout the week, while more than 1,000 of the biggest names and brands in the marine industry are showcasing their latest innovations.Visit the Dubai International Boat Show, the premier marine show in the Middle East, to witness the latest and greatest in the industry and seize the chance to find lucrative investment opportunities.

Insights From A Luxury Yacht Operator’s Experience As An Exhibitor At DIBS 2023

The 2023 iteration of the Dubai International Boat Show saw thousands of visitors flock to the five-day event to discover their world around the ocean at the region’s largest and most exciting marine and lifestyle show. Hundreds of diverse and dynamic exhibitors from the marine industry were also in attendance at the Dubai Harbour to showcase products, innovations, and experiences from more than 1,000 brands and network with other industry professionals at a range of conferences and events. One such participant was Swiss Yachts, which exhibited at DIBS for the first time this year. In the article below we will explore how Swiss Yachts managed to leverage DIBS to grow their brand.

More About Swiss Yachts

Swiss Yachts is a luxury yacht rental and charter business that specialises in high-end yachting and boating experiences. The company was founded in 2021 as a collaborative enterprise between its Swiss and German founders with a primary goal was to elevate the standard of luxury yachting in the United Arab Emirates and to establish themselves as a leading provider of luxury boating experiences in the region.

According to Ahmad Nazieh, a Sales Manager at Swiss Yachts, clients can expect an affluent adventure with an experienced captain and crew on board to take care of their every need. Trips last an average of four hours (depending on time booked) and can include a range of activities, such as sightseeing, sunset trips, and family events. Clients can also customise their nautical trip for an additional fee, from adding crystal clear sparkling beverages and fresh fruit platters to more adventurous optional activities like jet skiing, diving, or fishing.The global yacht charter market size reached US$7.9 Billion in 2022 alone. According to IMARC Group, this figure will grow to US$12.9 Billion in 2028, with an average growth rate (CAGR) of 8% expected between 2023 and 2028. Growth in the marine tourism sector and a rising demand for authentic luxury travel experiences have boosted the yacht chartering industry, with new companies like Swiss Yachts emerging to seize the exponentially increasing opportunities in the sector and to standardise a new model of renting and chartering that meets the needs of a new client generation.

How Swiss Yachts Leveraged DIBS

As a first-time exhibitor at the Dubai International Boat Show, Swiss Yachts wanted to showcase its first-class fleet of Ferretti Yachts, Pershing Yachts, and Galeon Yachts, as well as network with other professionals in the maritime sector. Not only were they able to achieve these goals, but they were also able to engage with potential clients and gain significant market exposure and insight into their target market.

As a company that prides itself in consistently updating its fleet with the latest technology, Swiss Yachts was also able to gain a lot of valuable insights from networking with other exhibitors who were showcasing new advancements in maritime technologies and cutting-edge innovations.

DIBS 2024: The Ultimate Opportunity To Showcase Your Brand

Regarding their debut at DIBS 2023 as being a resounding success, Swiss Yachts has vowed to attend the 2024 event edition of the Dubai International Boat Show. It will be an opportunity for them (and other exhibitors like them) to expand their reach, gain valuable industry insights, and network with other professionals to potentially grow and increase their market presence.We look forward to welcoming Swiss Yachts and other valued new and returning exhibitors at the 2024 edition of DIBS. Follow our home page and social media for the latest updates on the next edition, whether you are a potential client looking to book a stand or a visitor interested in visiting the region’s largest and most spectacular boat show.