The exhibition itself has drawn delegations and national pavilions from Europe, Asia, America and Africa, with companies from over 48 countries participating in the show, which runs until 15 March 2008 at the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) – Mina Seyahi.
In particular, a high number of senior industry professionals are attending the 4th Gulf Boating Conference – “Dubai as a Gateway to the Middle East Region” – which began today with the exclusive support of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), the voice of the boating industry worldwide.
Research presented at the conference demonstrated that waterside properties currently under development from one major developer – Nakheel – will provide an additional 51,000 berths for boat owners. Combined with the growing personal wealth of many residents – the number of high net worth individuals in the Middle East grew by 11.9% in 2006 – this increase in infrastructure is making the region – and Dubai in particular – into a world hotspot for leisure marine activity.
With an unprecedented growth in waterside developments being witnessed in Dubai and the rest of the Gulf, and a continuous boom in the local marine industry, boating professionals from all over the world were present at the conference. Delegates discussed the growing popularity of the region for leisure marine pursuits and debated with leading GCC speakers.
Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of DIBS 2008, said:
“With progress happening so quickly in the region’s marine industry, the Gulf Boating Conference provides a vital opportunity for experts to pool knowledge and compare development levels.”
Saeed Hareb, Managing Director of Dubai International Marine Club opened the conference and welcomed delegates followed by a series of notable introductions from Dr. Mohammed Hamdan, Chairman of the Gulf Boating Conference, and Graham Avers, President of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations.
“It is very evident that the regional marine industry is seeing a boom, which presents great opportunities for both local and international marine companies. However, there are many issues that need to be addressed to ensure that the industry continues to grow smoothly and the conference is the ideal platform for these discussions to take place and for decisions to be made by industry leaders,” said Dr Mohammed Hamdan, chairman of the 4th Gulf Boating Conference.
Keynote speaker Magdy Youssef, Planning Manager of Qatari Diar, discussed the opportunities of berth availability and advantages of waterside living focusing on the Lusail Project as well as other developments around the Middle East, North Africa, and Levant.
Youssef presented the Middle East’s wealth as one of the main factors that is shaping the regional marine industry. In Data from the World Wealth report by Merrill Lynch/Cap Gemini reveals that the number of high net worth individuals in the Middle East grew by 11.9% in 2006.
Chris Ahern, Development Manager for Island Global Yachting discussed the planning and execution of marinas for Nakheel’s Dubai developments with the announcement that Nakheels’ overall developments will provide 51,000 berths for boat owners and potential boat buyers in the region.
Elcome International’s General Manager, Dr. Rudi Joustra spoke on Dubai as a business hub and paid particular emphasis on doing business in Saudi Arabia and what the market actually offers including rules and regulations of entering the GCC market and a comparison with doing business in the GCC countries.
Guests of the conference were also given an overview of the Gulf Marine Industry and waterside developments from Mike Derrett of Mike Derrett Marine Consultancy.
The 4th Gulf Boating Conference closes tomorrow with professionals enjoying the opportunity to see all these marine developments first hand, with site visits to Palm Jumeriah’s Anchor Marine and Dubai Maritime City, Platinum Sponsor for DIBS.
The Dubai International Boat Show 2008 takes place at Dubai International Marine Club – Mina Seyahi from 11-15 March 2008. DIBS is open to trade visitors and general public, from 3pm – 9.30pm daily.
Thursday, March 13- 2008 @ 7:09 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.