What to Expect at Dubai’s Upcoming Landmark Boat Show


LUXUO speaks to Dubai World Trade Centre’s Executive Vice President Trixie LohMirmand. Since 2005 LohMirmand has been the long-time organiser of the Dubai International Boat Show and believes this year’s edition from February 28 to March 3 will reflect the emirate’s growing status.

Trixie LohMirmand, Executive VP, Dubai World Trade Centre

What are your expectations for this year compared to last year, when there were about 200 boats, 1,000 brands and companies, and 28,000 visitors?

The landmark 30th edition of the Dubai International Boat Show continues to receive full support from the industry and looks forward to welcoming new countries and brands, such as Cigarette Racing. Many repeat exhibitors including the likes of Sanlorenzo, Sunreef and Sunseeker are returning to the show with a bigger fleet.

How will the layout change compared to last year?

Once again, the show will take place in the extraordinary seafront district of Dubai Harbour, which has a strategic location in the heart of Dubai that offers direct access by water to popular destinations in the city including Bluewaters, Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah.

One of the largest and most sophisticated marinas in the MENA region, this evolving leisure marine destination has been our home for three consecutive years. This year’s show is located adjacent to the Cruise Terminal and Dubai’s newest beach resort, Be Beach.

The new layout offers all the highly anticipated showcase and hospitality experiences for our guests, like in previous years. With every edition there, we update the show’s presentation and offerings in coordination with the dynamics of the venue to deliver the best experience possible.

Last year, the 68m Soaring by Abeking & Rasmussen berthed on the other side of the road from the show’s main in-water display. Are you expecting such large yachts this year and if so, will they be in a separate area again?

We’re expecting an attractive line-up of superyachts. While some will be berthed in the main staging area, there will be select yachts berthed away from this, depending on capacity and any client requests for private access for their hosted guests. We shall also be facilitating sea trials for participating boats, while the show will also continue to present a sensational lineup of luxury cars.

Will there be any new initiatives such as for electric/hybrid boats or other growing sectors?

After last year’s launch of our sustainability initiative, SEA Mission, we will continue to build on the growing appetite for sustainability among our exhibitors and visitors this year and will host an extended programme of green initiatives.

At the end of last year, Dubai proudly hosted the UN Climate Change Conference, COP28, and we’re more keenly aware than ever of our responsibilities towards the planet at a critical time for transformative action.

How has the financial profile of UAE citizens and residents evolved in recent years?

Dubai has emerged as one of the world’s three most attractive cities for the wealthy. Its growing appeal for high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) supports the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to increase foreign direct investment inflows over the next decade to an annual average of AED60 billion (about USD 16 billion).

The number of HNWIs in Dubai has risen significantly; the population of wealthy individuals in Dubai alone increased from 54,000 in June 2021 to 67,900 in June 2022. Nearly 10,000 millionaires are projected to move to the UAE between 2022 and 2024, and this is set to increase by over 50 percent in the next 10 years.

Dubai continues to attract high-net-worth families, with the value of family offices in the market set to reach AED3.67 trillion by 2028, bolstered by a predicted 39 percent increase of HNWIs in Dubai by 2026, according to Knight Frank.

Dubai’s state-of-the-art infrastructure, unmatched lifestyle offerings, high-quality education, healthcare, and cosmopolitan culture provide HNWIs with an exceptional quality of life and an attractive calendar of experiential events in Dubai, such as the recent COP28 and annual Dubai International Boat Show, which continues to generate worldwide appeal.

Dubai provides several initiatives to be the go-to destination for HNWIs such as the golden visa initiative, a 10-year long-term residency scheme, and economic incentive initiatives offering an attractive ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs to build their business roots in Dubai.

In addition to these, Dubai’s key attractions for HNWIs include it being tax-free, global, luxurious and forward-looking, according to a survey by Knight Frank with YouGov.

Is yacht ownership increasing in the UAE and the Middle East?

The Middle East is one of the world’s leading superyacht markets, with many of the region’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) either owning or intending to buy a superyacht.

The 2023 Gulf Superyacht Market Report by SuperYacht Times states there were more than 297 superyachts owned in the GCC up to October 2023, representing 5.2 percent of the world fleet. With 136 of these yachts owned in the UAE alone, the statistics are further evidence of Dubai’s ongoing appeal for superyacht owners.

Globally, demand has risen, with superyacht projects increasing from 821 in 2021 to 1,024 in 2022 and 1,203 last year, according to the Global Order Book by Boat International.

By 2026, the value of the global yacht market is predicted to grow to more than US$15 billion, up from USD 10.8 billion in 2021, and the Dubai International Boat Show will expand accordingly, continuing to provide visitors and exhibitors with a voyage to remember.


This article was first published on yachtstyle.co

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