The Annual Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference Highlights Regional Outperformance

  • Talks highlighted how Dubai and the regional landscape continues to outpace the world and the impact this is having on the boating industry
  • Nautical conference brought together more than 200 industry professionals to discuss industry shifts including smart and connected yachts
  • Sustainability a key talking point throughout the day as more heavyweights prioritise green options

The Annual Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference successfully concluded today, bringing together industry leaders and leisure yachting experts for a day of insightful discussions on the latest trends and innovations in the yachting sector.

Running under the theme ‘How to Navigate and Win in the New Yachting Economy of the Middle East’, crucial discussions were carried out on how the region as yachting destination is outpacing the world, how to navigate a path towards sustainability in an industry now looking to contribute to national net zero goals as well as targeting Ultra-High-Net-Worth-Individuals, amongst others.

Held at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, the conference commenced with opening remarks from esteemed dignitaries, including His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, and Senior Advisor to the Dubai Boat Show, and Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre. These remarks set the stage for discussions on the region’s transformation into a global yachting paradise and the impact the region’s outperformance in the sector is having on the industry, driven by government initiatives and sustainable developments including the inspiring Dubai Reef.

His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, and Senior Advisor to the Dubai Boat Show said: “The Annual Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference is an annual highlight, bringing together the best minds in the industry together to spark conversations on innovation. As we gear up to open Dubai International Boat Show 2024 in its landmark 30th edition at Dubai Harbour where we will have over 200 magnificent vessels, I can’t help but reflect on how far we have come.”

Key Insights

The conference provided valuable insights into sustainability, marketing strategies, influencer collaborations, commercial strategies, and technological advancements shaping the luxury yachting industry, underlining the powerful strategies regional shipyards and brokers are implementing.

Industry experts were upbeat in their assessment of the sector’s ability to ride the green wave and commercialise sustainability. They also delved into various topics, including innovative marketing strategies leading to the Dubai’s achievements, the influence of influencers, and how AI is transforming luxury yachting.

Abeer Al Shaali, Deputy Managing Director of Gulf Craft said: “Reflecting on the conference, it was insightful to see the maritime industry’s progression. The discussions around sustainable practices, technological advancements, and the evolving preferences of HNWIs provided valuable insights into Gulf Craft’s strategic direction. Embracing Dubai’s 2030 Vision for Sustainability, we remain dedicated to playing a pivotal role in shaping a more responsible and innovative future for yachting.”

The Green Wave

Further, panel members discussed the progress being made in harnessing advanced green technology developments to make luxury yachts more environmentally conscious and agreed that more rigorous emissions regulations would propel shipyards into producing eco-friendly yachts opening up new avenues for profitable ventures.

Visitors to the conference heard that developing sustainable opportunities would also impact the pulling power of eco-friendly travel destinations, particularly among the growing sustainability-minded youth sector, with Gulf states emerging as likely winners.

Yousuf Lootah, Acting CEO of Corporate Strategy and Performance Sector, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, commented: “As Dubai continues to grow in stature as a leading marine tourism destination and a global superyacht capital, we look forward to the continued expansion of Dubai’s marine ecosystem and infrastructure over the next 10 years. This aligns with the aspiration of our visionary leadership and the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, to further consolidate Dubai’s position as one of the top three global cities for business and leisure. Dubai Reef, one of our city’s most ambitious and inspiring projects yet, will play a vital role, as we remain committed to supporting our ESG and UAE NetZero 2050 goals and advancing the transition towards a green economy, with the aim of making Dubai the best city to visit, live and work in.”

The Future of the Gulf and Its Customer

The Gulf was earmarked as a leading yachting capital with delegates highlighting Ras Al Khaimah’s multi-billion-dollar Wynn Al Marjan Island, Saudi Arabia’s $2bn Amaala Yacht Club and NEOM’s Sindalah Island as yachting hubs which are redefining standards in the industry.

Michael Breman, Sales Director – Lurssen Yachts said: “We have seen how the customer has morphed from a ‘yachtsman’ to a ‘lifestyle-r’ who is seeing yachting as the ideal space to share with family. While many customers remain conservative and careful – it is a niche market, we are witnessing that shift which we are adapting to and has enabled further expansion.”

The Impact of Technology

The conference also heard how technology is rapidly impacting the industry’s evolutions through new vessel design as well as the effect on the buying experience, highlighting Dubai’s position as a leading destination spearheading the shift in expectation in the luxury market.

Jad Zakkak Migliorini, Head of Sales & Delivery Operations and Head of Marketing – Azimut Yachts said: “It’s important for us to use tech to make the process of buying easier – this is what buyers are looking for right now. In the post-pandemic area, buyers expect virtual services including e-lounges which can cause challenges given our business is based on experience. There are opportunities for us to continue to optimise and curate advanced experiences using technological advancements.”

Emiratis in the Spotlight

Captain Sahar Rasti reflected on her personal experiences mentioning: “As the first Emirati female ship captain, my journey to this position has been fuelled by a lifelong fascination with the sea and a determination to pave the way for women in a traditionally male-dominated field.

“My experience not only highlights the personal journey but also shines a light on the incredible support from our great country and its leaders. Their unwavering encouragement of women to pursue their dreams, especially in fields traditionally dominated by men, has been instrumental. This backing has been a cornerstone of my success, showcasing the commitment to empowering women and ensuring we can excel and contribute significantly to our society’s progress and innovation.”

Taking place from 28th February – 3rd March, the Dubai International Boat Show is set to showcase an extensive array of international marine attractions from over 1,000 different brands, including 400 new companies, from leading yachting companies.

Navigating Innovation: Top Global Brands Launch New Vessels and Display Industry Favourite Models at Dubai International Boat Show 2024 

  • Gulf Craft, Sunseeker, and Ferretti Group among those with regional and international launches this week at Dubai Harbour as part of the Dubai International Boat Show 2024
  • Finnmaster marks sale of its largest model on first day of show
  • Influx of European visitors recognised by key exhibitors

Dubai, UAE – 29 February 2024: From the world’s largest wooden superyacht to spacious luxury catamarans,some of the most prominent global yacht brands have revealed their latest vessels at the Dubai International Boat Show 2024, the region’s largest and most established marine lifestyle show.

Running until March 3 at Dubai Harbour, the maritime showcase is welcoming visitors from Europe and Middle East with exhibitors citing an increase in Turkish, Russian, British, Saudi and Spanish buyers visiting their stands.

Displaying a host yachts, innovative designs, and luxurious features, further establishing the annual boat show as a must-attend event for both yacht enthusiasts and industry professionals. From sleek and stylish yachts to stunning catamarans, luxury boats and eye-catching hydrofoils, this year’s exhibition showcases outstanding design, innovation, and craftsmanship.

Here are just a few of the noteworthy launches, displays and sales from this year’s show, which is organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre:

Finnmaster Boats
Marking a successful first day of show, Finnmaster Boats sold its largest model, the Grandezza 37CA, to Dubai Creek Marina. Citing a notable increase in trade visitors during day one, their team also highlighted an influx in Russian buyers at the show. The Grandezza 37 CA will be built to Gulf specifications offering a perfect blend of comfort and style while integrating weather resisting methodologies. Boasting two cabins, large exterior and interior lounges, and a galley, the pocket-yacht includes sustainable features that align with modern environmental standards.

Sirena Yachts
Sirena Yachts is also displaying its magnificent 26.81-metre Wish, a blend of luxury and performance that can reach speeds of up to 25 knots with space to accommodate 10 guests along with 4 crew members. Referencing a notable increase in Turkish and Spanish visitors on the show’s first day, Sirena Yachts remain optimistic about with a number of potential sales discussions had on day one.

Gulf Craft
UAE-based superyacht builder, Gulf Craft, is proudly showcasing 15 yachts, including the Nomad 101, Majesty 111, and its new Majesty 60. Making its global premiere, the stunning addition to its esteemed Majesty Yachts collection is an 18.5-metre new model incorporating cutting-edge design, state-of-the-art technology, and luxurious amenities that redefine the standards of luxury yachting.

Ferretti Yachts
Italian shipyard, Ferretti Yachts, is giving Riva 82 Diva its MENA introduction this week in Dubai, seeing a number of European visitors viewing their latest offering. The 25.3-metre flybridge yacht features a range of design advancements that enhance both aesthetics and functionality, including high gunwales with painted composite segments instead of traditional steel handrails. Aside from its well-defined living areas, which include fold-down bulwarks that increase the yacht’s six-metre beam by an additional 50 per cent, the yacht also offers space for a jet tender of up to four metres in length.

The world’s leading brand for luxury motor yachts, Sunseeker, is launching four – soon to be five – boats this week, including its 65 Sport Yacht, which measures 20.7m and can reach speeds of up to 35 knots, and its Manhattan 68 Pacific, ideal for summer distance cruising with a main deck that includes a large aft cockpit, galley, dining area, and saloon. Its Manhattan 55 meanwhile is designed to easily accommodate groups of families and friends keen to socialise, and the Sunseeker 88 Yacht, an award-winning vessel that can host eight guests with two twin cabins and a forward VIP complementing the owner’s stateroom. Sunseeker’s Superhawk 55 is also expected to be on display later this week and will be available for private viewings.

Azimut S7 by Azimut is the latest addition to the S series and is a sport yacht with a sustainability focus. Coming in at 22-metres in length, the yacht seamlessly blends luxurious style with a strong commitment to sustainability, setting a new standard in luxury yachting. Guaranteeing the lowest fuel consumption possible, the Azimut S7 is fitted with automated interceptors that optimise the trim at every speed to maintain ideal hydrodynamics for both performance and efficiency. Meanwhile triple Pod propulsion combined with optimised water lines and carbon fibre, reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by between 20 and 30 per cent in the main speed range.

Bush & Noble
Exclusively listed by Bush & Noble, the Wooden Yacht does exactly what it says on the hull: It is the world’s largest wooden superyacht and spans 50 metres. Featuring a classic wooden exterior that conjures memories of a traditional Arab dhow, the yacht’s wooden frame is complemented by its impressive interior layout and Italian furnishings, which create a relaxed, inviting, and modern environment. Sure to be one of the most popular boats on show this week, the unique project is showcased by the Bush and Noble Group, which Sunseeker Gulf is also part of.

SF Yachts
SF Yachts is similarly showcasing two stunning vessels: the Prestige M48 and the Riviera RCAT 50. The Prestige M48 is a 15m boat offering unparalleled freedom of movement and stability promising its occupants peaceful moments at sea. Designed to provide a seamless blend of comfort and performance, it boasts a cruising speed of 20 knots and ensures swift, smooth journeys. The Riviera RCAT 50 meanwhile, is a 15.4-metre luxury catamaran, is designed to maximise space and offers the roominess typically found in larger vessels. With a seating capacity for up to 10 people on the stern and a spacious balcony area at the front, it provides ample room for relaxation and entertainment.

Running until March 3, boat owners, captains, divers, and trade visitors can enjoy complimentary entry on registration, while individual tickets start from AED 60. Kids under 12 go free.

To purchase tickets for Dubai International Boat Show, please click here.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Opens 30th Anniversary Edition of Dubai International Boat Show

  • Running until March 3, the MENA region’s largest and most established marine lifestyle show will unite the global nautical industry at Dubai Harbour
  • Five-day anniversary show brings together more than 1,000 brands and 200-plus crafts from 55 countries – including major yacht launches

Dubai, UAE – 28th February 2024: His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), and Chairman of Dubai Airports today openedthe 30th anniversary edition of the Dubai International Boat Show, the largest and most established marine lifestyle show in the MENA region, which is organised by Dubai World Trade Centre.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum toured the five-day event at Dubai Harbour accompanied by numerous dignitaries, including His Excellency Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism and Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, and His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Hareb, Secretary General at Dubai Sports Council, and Senior Advisor to Dubai International Boat Show.

The Middle East’s premier marine lifestyle showpiece, which features more than 1000 brands from 55 countries, is attracting the global nautical industry in the emirate, with more than 200-plus crafts making up the water and land display. The first day of the show saw 46 launches including new yachts from Behnemar, Sunseeker and Azimut.

During the opening tour H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum visited the event’s iconic Superyacht Avenue, stopping to speak with various international sector leaders and several UAE-based boat builders, including Lürssen Yachts, Azimut and Benetti. The homegrown contingent on the VIP tour included Gulf Craft, the legacy Dubai International Boat Show partner, which is presenting 11 vessels at this year’s show.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum also stopped to engage with various local, regional and international companies specialising in marine-based equipment, supplies and services across the luxury lifestyle marine sector including Carter & White, as well as speaking with Al Yousuf Motors, the exclusive distributor of Yamaha in the UAE.

In addition to the impressive display on water and land, Dubai International Boat Show is home to an array of family-friendly activities for visitors to enjoy, including Hypercar Avenue, which is home to rare and exceptional automobiles, a Watersports zone featuring jet skis, fly boards, eFoils and more for adrenaline lovers, as well as a fishing competition and kid’s area. Visitors can also experience the dedicated Dive MENA area and ‘Proudly UAE’ zone, which spotlights manufacturers and products championing the UAE’s maritime diversity.

The world’s first ever jet suit race also took place at Dubai Harbour today, seeing competitors from eight countries, including the UAE’s Ahmed Al Shehhi race using jet engines to navigate a predetermined course.

Running from February 28 – March 3, boat owners, captains, divers, and trade visitors can enjoy complimentary entry on registration, while individual tickets start from AED 60. Kids under 12 go free.

To purchase tickets for Dubai International Boat Show, please click here.

The Leisure Marine Association Presents: Coffee Talks About Yacht Ownership And The Maritime Life

The Dubai International Boat Show 2024 stands as a pivotal event for the global maritime community, offering a unique platform for knowledge exchange and networking. A highlight of this year’s event is set to be the insightful series of talks presented by the Leisure Marine Association. These sessions, located at the “Port of Call” on February 28th and 29th, are tailored to enrich the knowledge and skills of attendees, from avid sailors to those newly introduced to the marine lifestyle. The association’s dedication to fostering education and awareness within the maritime sector is evident in the quality and diversity of the topics covered.

Highlighted Sessions:

  • Where to Take Your Boat? Explore Destinations” by Karissa Lewis unveils the allure of UAE’s hidden coastal treasures. Attendees will learn not only about scenic destinations but also how to navigate these waters safely and enjoyably, making every voyage memorable.
  • Practical Insights: Things You Need to Know After Purchasing a Boat” presented by Capt. Michael Fetton, delves into the essential know-how for new boat owners. From maintenance tips to legal requirements, this session is crucial for ensuring that your investment remains secure and sea-worthy.
  • Fishing Fanatics: The Ultimate Guide to Recreational Fishing in the UAE“, moderated by Kevin Stoop, assembles a panel of fishing experts including Khalifa Al Bahri, Callum Chase, and Rajiv Ramnath. This discussion not only covers the best fishing spots but also introduces sustainable fishing practices, ensuring the preservation of marine biodiversity.
  • Mental Health Awareness” by Bob Harvey addresses the often-overlooked aspect of seafaring—mental well-being. This presentation offers strategies for coping with isolation and stress at sea, crucial for ensuring safety and enjoyment in long voyages.
  • Sustainable Boating: Eco-Friendly Practices on the Water – Marina’s Perspective“, led by Wyndham Tops with insights from Alex Berry, John Paul Rebollini, and Katrina Poore, focuses on the implementation of green practices in marina management. This session will empower boat owners and marina operators alike with strategies for minimising their environmental impact, fostering a sustainable future for the marine industry.

Get Your Tickets!

The sessions presented by the Leisure Marine Association are poised to be a cornerstone of DIBS 2024, offering profound insights and practical advice that attendees can apply directly to their nautical endeavours. This initiative underscores a shared commitment to not only enjoy the marine environment but to do so with knowledge, responsibility, and a forward-thinking mindset. Engage with these talks to chart a course towards a more informed and sustainable maritime future.

There is still time to book your tickets! Under 12s go free with paying adults.

Beneath The Waves: Highlighting Dive MENA And The DIBS Dive Pool

The Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) is about much more than only boats and yachts. It is also the only event of its kind for the UAE and GCC diving communities. This article will provide a short overview of the diving (and related) activities at DIBS 2024, giving a clear view of what dive lovers can expect at the show.


The Dive MENA event at DIBS is a prominent gathering for diving aficionados, where the latest advancements in underwater exploration are on display. Participants can engage with professional divers, marine biologists, and underwater photographers, all sharing their experiences and knowledge. The event emphasises the importance of oceanic conservation and sustainability, presenting innovative solutions and practices that aim to protect our aquatic ecosystems. Dive MENA offers a comprehensive platform for networking, learning, and discovering the newest technologies and techniques in the world of diving.

The Dive Pool

The DIBS Dive Pool offers a family-friendly array of demonstrations and opportunities for attendees to safely immerse themselves in the world of diving. It features an engaging lineup for both diving enthusiasts and newcomers. The schedule boasts interactive sessions such as bubble making and underwater games, alongside practical demonstrations on the nuanced use of diving gear, including techniques for using gear with a single breath and exchanging equipment between divers.

Entertainment at the dive pool includes divers performing underwater, with activities such as dancing and engaging in a series of choreographed movements. These performances provide a unique backdrop for attendees, who can enjoy watching these displays while relaxing and having a coffee. A segment dedicated to exhibitors showcases diving trials for those interested in experiencing scuba diving firsthand, covering everything from initial training to the dive itself. The event rounds off with competitions in equipment assembly and underwater gear-up, highlighting speed and proficiency.

Meet The Speakers

Diving experts from around the world come together at the Dive MENA Expo to show off their knowledge and research about what’s in the deep blue sea.

Hear about marine conservation and tourism, and celebrate 20 years of sea turtle rehabilitation with the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project founder Barbara Lang-Lenton. Hear about the history and achievements of the project, which is the first of its kind in the region and running since 2004. We will also hear Fahim Sultan Al Qasimi, an advocate for ocean conservation, to discuss sustainable seafood sourcing.

Other speakers include Nico de Corato, ultra-marathon runner and heli rescue diver; and Toby Gregory, who will speak on the challenges and triumphs of navigating the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.

Get Your Tickets!

Now that you know what to expect, it’s time to dive into the event itself. DIBS promises an engaging and informative experience for all its visitors, with the Dive Pool positioned strategically within the Food & Beverage area to offer both refreshment and entertainment. The show serves as a beacon for the maritime community, drawing together enthusiasts from across the globe to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the underwater world. This year’s lineup, from the insightful Dive MENA sessions to the interactive dive pool activities, underscores DIBS’s commitment to the diving community. 

With so much to see and do, securing your tickets to DIBS becomes essential for anyone passionate about maritime adventures and underwater exploration.

Dubai International Boat Show Set To Begin Its Maritime Showcase With Raft of Exciting Activities for Visitors

  • Middle East’s largest marine lifestyle show celebrates three decades of global seafaring success at iconic Dubai Harbour 
  • His Excellency Saeed Hareb: “It has been incredible to witness the show’s growth and enduring power to unite the global maritime industry in Dubai”

Dubai, UAE – 26 February 2024: The highly anticipated 2024 Dubai International Boat Show, the region’s largest and most established marine lifestyle show, is embarking on its historic 30th edition at the Dubai Harbour, planning to bring together the entire maritime community from enthusiasts to experts and everyone in between.

Taking place from 28th February – 3rd March, the nautical show is set to display an extensive array of international marine attractions from over 1,000 different brands, including 400 new companies, from leading yachting companies including Ferretti, Azimut, Sunreef and Cranchi Yachts. With 200-plus crafts expected to be berthed at the event, Dubai International Boat Show continues to underline its commitment to supporting leading superyacht manufacturers with nine Super Yacht Builders Association Members (SYBAss) in attendance.

Global launches and unique yachts

UAE-based super yacht builder Gulf Craft is set to present more than 10 vessels, ranging from leisure boats to award-winning super yachts, including a global first reveal.  

In addition to the impressive array of launches brought by leading yacht builders, the popular annual Dubai event promises to mesmerise visitors with events and activities that will take place across the five days.

Visitors can also enjoy the Hypercar Avenue, designed for car enthusiasts and collectors to see rare and exceptional automobiles at the show. The multi-million-dirham exhibition provides a unique glimpse into automotive magnificence, blending luxury with innovative design. Some of the rarest cars in the world will come together in one location including a Bugatti Chiron, McLaren Speedtail and Pagani Huayra.

Adrenaline lovers can get their fix of thrills at the Watersports area with a variety of displays including jet skiing and fly boarding, with professionals ready to demonstrate their talents.

Dubai’s International Marine Club holds the finale of its hotly contested fishing competition at the show, while mini maritime fans can enjoy the designated Kids’ Area with fun and educational activities themed around the love of the ocean, including face painting.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the show offers numerous culinary options catering to all cravings. Taste buds can be satisfied with an array of options from food trucks available ranging from refreshing poke bowls to savoury pizzas, with a selection of vegetarian and vegan offerings, as well as premium coffee for caffeine lovers.

A welcome return for 2024

This edition will once again, welcome the Nikki Beach Resort Lounge to wow visitors with its delectable and diverse menu of ocean inspired meals, healthy salads, creative sushi rolls, appetisers, and variety of refreshing cocktails, alongside a lively atmosphere with the renowned beach club’s resident DJs.  

‘Proudly UAE’ will celebrate local boatbuilders and supply companies while Dive MENA will showcase the cutting-edge underwater technology and equipment, and discuss and innovations in diving tech. It will entail an exciting agenda of entertaining activities such as underwater games, exciting scuba diving experiences, and fun water-based competitions, offering the only event of its kind for UAE and GCC diving communities, both professional and keen amateurs alike.

Both local visitors and international tourists will find something to enjoy at the Dubai International Boat Show. From boating enthusiasts to families seeking entertainment, or those appetite for marine-related activities, Dubai International Boat Show 2024 aims to create an inclusive and engaging environment that transcends expectations.

Visitors can purchase tickets here.

Global boat builders urged to prioritise sustainable manufacturing to ride the wave of a US13$ billion luxury yacht market

  • Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference 2024 deep dives into cross-sectoral growth strategies as new-age eco-conscious consumers seek more holistic marine experiences

Dubai, UAE – 25 February 2024: The world’s mega-rich and well-heeled luxury consumers are taking to the ocean like never before, but luxury yacht builders and makers of high-end marine crafts should continue to prioritise their eco-credentials if they’re to ride the wave of a US$13 billion market.

Speakers at this week’s Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference agree that boatyards which prioritise sustainable manufacturing into yachts that are better for the environment will align with the values of the new-age eco-conscious yacht owner or even first-time buyer.

If they do so, expect to see plenty of e-boats and hybrid electric propulsion vessels in the coming years cruising beautiful marine tourism hotspots, including the Dubai Reef, launched in 2023, one of the world’s largest reef development projects, which will span 600sqm of pristine Dubai coastline.

Eric Althaus, Managing Partner and Senior Broker of Althaus Yachts, a broker of high-end yachts, said eco yachts are the perfect foil for today’s owners eager to reduce their environmental footprint: “The modern yacht owner, often younger, seeks global exploration and adventure in remote places,” said Althaus, who will sit on a panel about innovative marketing strategies in luxury yachting at the Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference, taking place on 27 February at the Westin Mina Seyahi.

“To align with these values, eco yachts are equipped with advanced features such as hybrid electric propulsion, sustainable materials, dynamic positioning, solar panels, and cutting-edge wastewater recovery systems, emphasising a commitment to environmental care during cruises.”

The annual Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference will act as the official curtain raiser for the Dubai International Boat Show, bringing more than 250 key industry leaders from across the globe to deep dive into topics including innovation, regulation, sustainability, and the future of the sector.

It arrives as yacht-brokerage firms reported record sales of superyachts in 2023, with Fortune Business Insights, a market-researcher, expecting the global luxury yacht market to nearly double in size over the next eight years, with annual revenues reaching US$13.6 billion by 2030.  

Dr. Mariem Nasraoui, R&D Director at ChromaMe Air & Surface Nano Tech, is another speaker on a panel exploring tech’s role in transforming the luxury yachting sector.  Dr. Nasraoui said tech is critical in advancing luxury yachting’s sustainability agenda.

“Innovations such as eco-friendly propulsion systems, lightweight materials, and energy-efficient technologies will help reduce the environmental footprint of yachting activities while maintaining high standards of luxury and performance,” said Dr. Nasraoui. 

“In the coming years, we can expect to see further integration of technology into luxury yachting, including advancements in areas such as autonomous navigation, renewable energy integration, and augmented reality experiences for passengers. These innovations will continue to enhance the overall yachting experience while addressing sustainability challenges and driving industry growth.”

An amazing orchestra of collaboration

Figen Ayan, Chief Port Officer of Galataport Istanbul and President of MedCruise – the largest port association globally representing over 150 ports from 22 countries – will sit on a panel of the Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference examining the Gulf region’s steep ascent as a capital of the yachting world.

This rising status is amplified by sustainable government initiatives propelling the region into global marine paradise, accentuated by the Arabian peninsula’s crown jewel, the Dubai Reef, the world’s largest artificial reef and a beacon of sustainability, attracting yachters and divers alike with a promise of eco-friendly cruising.

Ayan said the Dubai Reef is the result of an “amazing orchestra of collaboration” that invites visitors to dive into local culture and discover all aspects of a destination: “Especially post-pandemic, we clearly see in the marine tourism industry that travellers and Z generations are more eco-conscious, sustainable, and look for holistic experiences,” said Ayan. 

“The investments in ports, marinas or waterfronts are clearly following this trend and we see that the line between ports, berths and the hinterland is no longer separated and clear cut. Cities and communities are fully integrated, and the vision is fully inclusive where tourists, yacht owners and locals are brought together in a harmonious, inclusive space in a socially sustainable manner.”

Other speakers at the Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference include Abeer AlShaali, Deputy Managing Director of UAE boat manufacturer, Gulf Craft; Guillermo Canellas Vears, Head of Asset Management at NEOM; and Yousuf Lootah, Acting CEO of Corporate Strategy and Performance at the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism.

The one-day conference precedes the 30th Dubai International Boat Show, gathering the marine leisure and tourism industry’s leading minds and protagonists of its future development to scrutinise the most critical topics steering sustainable sector growth.

Something for everyone – more than a boat show

The Dubai International Boat Show takes place from 28 February – 3 March at the Dubai Harbour, featuring more than 1,000 brands from 55 countries, 200-plus boats – including nearly 50 regional and global boat launches – along with a raft of exciting watersports activities, kids’ areas, a fishing competition, F&B, and live entertainment for the entire marine community and families to enjoy.

The five-day showpiece event is organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre, and is one of the world’s most prestigious marine lifestyle shows, connecting people and the ocean while showcasing the best of what Dubai offers to live, work, play, and visit. 

Gulf Craft unveils line-up of 15 yachts & boats for Dubai International Boat Show 2024

Under the banner of “Legacy in Motion,” Gulf Craft is gearing up to captivate attendees at the 30th Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) with an extraordinary line-up of 15 yachts & boats, epitomising luxury, innovation, and craftsmanship.

Celebrating its 30th edition, the Dubai International Boat Show Solidifies Its Position as a Global Leisure Marine Event Leader

  • Bringing together maritime investors, experts, and enthusiasts, the milestone event underscores Dubai’s position as a top destination for HNWI and tourists alike
  • Set to take on the most transformative agenda yet, DIBS will this year focus on marine life sustainability and the emergence of disruptive technologies

Dubai, UAE – 01 February 2024: As Dubai is set to grow its High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) 39 per cent by 2026, Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS), the region’s largest and most established marine lifestyle show, welcomes a surging interest from international investors and enthusiasts eager to take part in the highly anticipated maritime showcase.

Celebrating its landmark 30th edition at the largest and most sophisticated marina in the region, the five-day show, which runs from February 28 to March 3 2024, promises an unparalleled showcase of maritime excellence, cutting-edge technology, and innovative displays. Organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the international show is set to welcome a new wave of investors and High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) to the emirate.

Global pioneers

Up to 1,000 brands will gather at the 30th edition, with 200 boats expected on land and water. These will include crafts from leading shipyards, including Azimut, Cranchi, Gulf Craft, Ferretti, Princess, Sanlorenzo, Sunreef and Sunseeker Yachts, the 2024 show serves as a comprehensive platform for premiering innovations, announcing new launches, and fostering fresh business prospects with both global leaders and pioneers from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Chairman of Gulf Craft, Mohamed Alshaali, said: “I am pleased to announce our participation in the 30th edition of the Dubai International Boat Show. This important industry event has been a constant in our journey, representing our commitment to the art of luxury yacht craftsmanship.

“We look forward to presenting our latest vessels, embodying innovation, and maritime excellence. The show mirrors Gulf Craft’s development, reflecting our ongoing dedication to pushing the boundaries of marine luxury.”

Meanwhile, long-term exhibitor Sunreef Yachts has confirmed it will bring a line-up to the show including all-electric catamaran 80 Sunreef Power Eco and Sunreef 80 Eco.

Francis Lapp, Founder & President of Sunreef Yachts, added: “It is extremely important for us to push the electric transition forward. We want to promote a cleaner boating experience and the DIBS is a wonderful opportunity to do so. We want all the visitors to witness how luxury and sustainability can be combined.”

DIBS annually encapsulates the MENA region’s enviable position as one of the richest maritime landscapes anywhere in the world, boasting the second-highest fleet-to-billionaire ratio globally. Acknowledging both its regional and international market potential, DIBS aligns its growth with the UAE’s rapidly expanding number of HNWIs, expected to reach more than 228,000 by 2026, a 39 per cent increase, according to a March report by Consultancy Knight Frank. The region is currently home to 12.6 per cent of the world’s superyacht fleet and recent forecasts predict a substantial expansion, with the luxury yacht market expected to grow from US$306 million in 2022 to a projected US$481m by 2028.

Across the maritime industry and beyond, global investors and entrepreneurs alike are increasingly choosing Dubai to be a home for their growing businesses and projects. The emirate’s attractive ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs, long-term residency scheme, impeccable infrastructure, and dynamic calendar of events are all elements contributing to its worldwide appeal. 

Dubai’s position as both an aspirational destination and global power hub was further reinforced when the city was selected to host the UN Climate Change Conference, COP28, which concluded in late 2023 with a historic agreement to move away from fossil fuels across all sectors, including the maritime industry.

This commitment to a greener future for the country’s maritime industry was exemplified by the recent unveiling of the Dubai Reef project, launched under the directives of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, during COP28.

Led by the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), the 400,000 cubic metre project is one of the world’s largest marine reef developments. It will contribute significantly to ensuring the sustainability emirate’s fishing industry, as well as emphasising the importance of the emirate’s rich maritime heritage and supporting the city’s credentials as a responsible tourism destination.

Tourism drive

Thanks in part to headline events such as COP28 and the 2023 edition of Dubai International Boat Show, the UAE’s tourism sector as a whole saw positive performance indicators in 2023, with hotel revenues in the country reaching AED32.2 billion up until September 2023, showing a growth rate of 27 per cent compared to the same period in 2022.

Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Events Management, at DWTC, said: “Dubai increasingly attracts international investors and yachting enthusiasts as the city continues its collective efforts in evolving the marine industry with its growing yachting amenities, offerings, and facilities, fostering a comprehensive nautical ecosystem.

“Moreover, UAE’s emphasis on sustainability including marine sustainability has drawn further interest globally aligning with the country’s vision to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 evidenced in the successful hosting of COP28.

“Dubai International Boat Show underlines this region’s passion for the maritime sector and Dubai’s ability to host events that bring the world together. Growing from humble beginnings in 1992 to the internationally renowned experience that DIBS will be again in 2024 demonstrates how the show has developed alongside the unstoppable evolution of Dubai.”

Dynamic showcase

DIBS 2024 will be marked by a dynamic showcase both on land and water, with hundreds of boats creating a captivating vista for visitors, as well as a rich landscape for investors and those seeking to answer the call of the ocean. A lynchpin in Dubai’s maritime sector and year-round events calendar, DIBS offers unmatched networking opportunities in addition to a glimpse into the future of marine technology and design, or seeking an unforgettable and luxurious lifestyle experience.

The 30th edition will once again welcome DIVE MENA, the only dedicated show for the UAE and GCC diving community; a networking evening for captains, and a celebration of local talent through the Proudly UAE initiative that honours the country’s rich maritime heritage.

Supercar Avenue will showcase a rare and exclusive line-up of the world’s most coveted cars, while the Marine Art Gallery presents a distinctive collection of sea-inspired pieces crafted by internationally renowned artists, adding an artistic touch to the immersive experience.

The annual Middle East Yachting Conference (MEYC) will act as a curtain raiser for the show on 27 February, leading the conversation for yachting professionals and enthusiasts alike to delve into the maritime industry’s most pressing topics and unify the entire sector.

With the 2024 edition of DIBS unveiling, visitors are urged to gear up for an experience that promises to be both enriching and unforgettable. It all takes place in the luxury maritime hub of Dubai Harbour, where the emirate’s first dedicated superyacht marina can house craft up to 160m in length.