In a report by renowned consultancy Knight Frank, Dubai anticipates a staggering 39 per cent surge in its ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI) by 2026. Asserting its status as a premier destination for UHNWI and global tourists, Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS), the region’s largest marine lifestyle exhibition, stands as a testament to the city's popularity. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the global marine industry will descend on Dubai Harbour from 28 February to 3 March 2024, offering a spectacular backdrop for yachts up to 160 metres LOA and emphasising themes of marine sustainability and cutting-edge technologies.
What’s on at Dubai International Boat Show 2024?
Organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), DIBS 2024 promises a dynamic showcase on both land and water, featuring hundreds of luxury yachts for visitors and investors alike. As a pivotal event in Dubai's yachting sector and annual calendar, DIBS offers valuable networking opportunities and a glimpse into the future of marine technology and design.
Over 1,000 brands are set to converge at this five-day extravaganza, with 200 boats expected on display, including premier shipyards such as Azimut, Cranchi, Gulf Craft, Ferretti, Princess, Sanlorenzo, Sunreef and Sunseeker. The international exhibition serves as a comprehensive platform for unveiling innovations, introducing new launches and fostering business prospects with global leaders and pioneers from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The 30th edition will once again host DIVE MENA, an exclusive show for the UAE and GCC diving community, along with a networking evening for captains and a celebration of local talent through the Proudly UAE initiative, honouring the country’s rich maritime heritage.
Supercar Avenue will showcase an exclusive lineup of the world’s most coveted cars, while the Marine Art Gallery will present a unique collection of sea-inspired pieces crafted by internationally renowned artists.
“VIP guests have the chance to go behind the scenes of the region's best-loved boat show for a bespoke AAA tour of the most premium selection of luxurious yachts, this platform redefines expectations,” says Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice president of the Dubai World Trade Centre. “Complementing this prestigious showcase, there is also an exclusive VIP lounge, where A-listers and industry experts meet and mingle in a luxurious lounge environment.”
The annual Middle East Yachting Conference (MEYC) is set to kick off the festivities on 27 February, providing a platform for yachting professionals and enthusiasts to delve into the industry’s most pressing topics and unify the entire sector.
Unmatched business opportunities
DIBS annually encapsulates the MENA region’s enviable position as one of the richest yachting landscapes globally, boasting the second-highest fleet-to-billionaire ratio. Currently home to 12.6 per cent of the world’s superyacht fleet, forecasts predict substantial expansion, with the luxury yacht market projected to grow from US$306 million in 2022 to an estimated US$481 million by 2028.
Dubai's allure extends beyond the yachting industry, with global investors and entrepreneurs increasingly choosing the city for their growing businesses and projects. The emirate’s attractive ecosystem for start-ups and entrepreneurs, long-term residency scheme, impeccable infrastructure and dynamic calendar of events contribute to its worldwide appeal.
“Exhibitors at Dubai International Boat Show 2023 unanimously reported strong lead generation and sales over the five-day event,” explains LohMirmand. “The Italian-headquartered Sanlorenzo Yachts closed three deals for a total value of AED 390 million (EUR 100 million), while Yachts 1, the official dealer of Princess Yachts, Sanlorenzo, Cranchi, SEABOB, Al Dhaen and Williams Jet Tenders, converted five deals valued at AED 78 million (EUR 20 million).
Shaping the future of yachting
Dubai’s global significance as an aspirational destination and power hub was reinforced when it hosted the UN Climate Change Conference, COP28, in late 2023. The conference concluded with a historic agreement to move away from fossil fuels across all sectors, including the marine industry.
“With the increased awareness of global sustainability challenges, there is a growing demand for sustainable investment as it not only contributes to positive global outcomes but also offers investors the potential for financial returns, risk mitigation and alignment with personal values,” says LohMirmand. “Key exhibitors such as Sunreef Yachts have confirmed they will bring all-electric yachts to the show to push the electric transition forward with Francis Lapp, the founder and president of Sunreef Yachts, highlighting that DIBS is a wonderful opportunity to promote a cleaner boating experience. Visitors can witness how luxury and sustainability can be combined.”
Events like COP28 and DIBS have contributed to significant growth in the UAE's tourism sector, with hotel revenues reaching AED 32.2 billion up until September 2023, reflecting a growth rate of 27 per cent compared to the same period in 2022.
“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,” LohMirmand adds. “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.”
To witness the world’s most coveted yachts, engage with industry experts and explore the future of yacht design, secure your tickets now for Dubai International Boat Show 2024.
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