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Waterfront developments fuel international demand for Qatari marine leisure market

United Arab Emirates: Thursday, February 15 - 2007 @ 08:10

With 400 marina berths becoming available from March 2008 with the phased opening of the US$2.5 billion Pearl-Qatar, followed by a further 350 berths towards the end of the year, investors are booking their space in what will be one of the world’s most desirable boating destinations.

Other Qatari waterside projects such as the US$5 billion Lusail development, which includes a vast new waterfront city with two marinas, are scheduled to open in 2009 will further boost the berths available to boat owners.

In addition to property development major sporting events like the 15th Asian Games, held in Doha in 2006, have seen a dramatic rise in Qatar’s profile as a leading global business and travel destination with new residents frequently looking to buy watercraft.

At present the most popular vessels being purchased are cruiser motor yachts, between 10 and 15 metres in length, which offer all the luxuries of a superyacht but can be accessed easily and manoeuvred within a small harbour.

As the market continues its impressive growth, Qatari dealers and distributors are importing greater numbers of high performance and luxury boats to cater for the demand, as well exhibiting at important industry events like the Dubai International Boat Show, the region’s largest boat show. In turn, prospective Qatari buyers are looking to the Dubai International Boat Show to explore the market, see the latest range of boats, equipment and products.

“We are delighted to welcome several key exhibitors from Qatar to the Dubai International Boat Show. As the Show continues to draw buyers from across the region many of the exhibiting companies are recording increasing business from the event, which in turn contributes to fuelling the Gulf leisure boat market boom,”

said Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre organiser of DIBS 2007.

One of the local companies enjoying the boom is Doha-based Al Fardan Marine which has seen sales of motor yachts increase three-fold during the previous two years, with the 12 metre long Cruiser yachts 370 and the 9 metre Doral Prestancia its most popular models.

“Over a very short period of time Qatar has established itself as one of the key global centres for leisure marine sports and activities, and as a result new residents want to experience it for themselves. This demand has had a massive impact on the local marine market with new orders coming in every week,” said Mr. Fadi Al Yousefi, General Manager, Al Fardan Marine.

The international investors purchasing watercraft in Qatar come from a wealth of countries such as Britain, France, Germany and the USA, as well as new markets like Russia and India for whom DIBS is the first point of call.

“Previously there has been significant demand for leisure boats but there was no where to berth them. As the new waterfront developments reach completion Qatar will further strengthen its position as one of the most desirable boating locations in the world. In order to do this we must exhibit at the Dubai International Boat Show because it enables us to reach so many new customers from around the world,” continued Mr. Al Yousefi.

Doha-based Allied Qatari Contracting and Trading Group, the regional agents for MasterCraft boats, is a regular exhibitor at DIBS and this year will once again be showcasing a top-class range of ski, wakeboard and luxury performance powerboats.

“Demand for the Qatari leisure boat market continues to grow year-on-year with customers coming from all corners of the globe. At MasterCraft we have seen a dramatic increase in sales across our entire range of sports and power boats, with many of these sales being placed at the Dubai International Boat,”

said Amr Selim, General Manager of Allied Qatari Contracting and Trading Group.

The Dubai International Boat Show will take place from 13 – 17 March 2007 at the Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi, and is expected to generate even more multi-million dollar business orders and deals for the booming Middle East leisure marine industry.

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Thursday, February 15- 2007 @ 8:10 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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