MENA region expected to continue to be an essential and stable market for the superyacht industry

The UAE has firmly established itself at the centre of the global superyacht stage in recent years, ranking 9th in the world in terms of length of yacht projects in build this year with 14 projects underway. The total length of projects in the UAE is an impressive 611 metres.

As the leading maritime event in the Middle East, Dubai International Boat Show, held this year from Feb 27 to March 3 at a new location on the shores of the Dubai Canal, Jumeirah (next to Dubai Ladies Club) played a critical role in creating and sustaining this demand for superyachts in the region.

Gulf Craft boats are lined up at 2018 DubaiBoatShow

Gulf Craft boats are lined up at 2018 Dubai Boat Show; image source:

Entering its 26th year, Dubai International Boat Show brought together some of the biggest yacht-builders and designers as well as experts in the global supply and manufacturing chain.

SYBAss members (Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) unites and represents the builders of large yachts around the world) taking part in this year’s show in the specially created Superyacht Avenue included, Baglietto, Benetti, CRN, Fincantieri Yachts, Lürssen, Feadship, Oceanco, Sanlorenzo and Heesen.

The largest superyacht project in the Emirates is the much-anticipated Majesty 175 by local builder Gulf Craft. One of the biggest exhibitors at Dubai International Boat Show, the UAE-based manufacturer of luxury boats and yachts will bring a selection of its breathtaking vessels to Dubai International Boat Show 2018.

Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft, said: “The market for superyachts has been sustained by events such as the Dubai International Boat Show, which has helped to introduce buyers with manufacturers.“The market has continued to perform well because of events such as this, where companies such as Gulf Craft can showcase their products to prospective customers.”

In addition to the 2017 ranking of Dubai as one of the top ten maritime cities in the world in terms of commercial activities, and the 5th maritime capital in the world in terms of competitiveness and attractiveness, the marine tourism industry has also seen positive developments, and the MENA region remains a key market for the superyacht industry.

Highlights shared from the 2017 SYBAss annual economic report, inform that the Middle East and Africa is home to 205 high-end leisure craft. This represents a seven per cent growth in the size of the world’s superyacht fleet over the past three years and reflects the region’s continued importance to the global maritime industry.

Theo Hooning, Secretary General of SYBAss said: “The Middle East is a key marketplace for superyachts, with 205 high-end vessels over 40 metres in length registered in the region.

“This figure, which accounts for 13 percent of the total global fleet of 40+ metre-long yachts, is expectedto grow in the future, reflecting the region’s highest propensity to buy yachts worldwide.

“With the projected development of wealth in the Middle East and Africa and the historic uptake ofsuperyachts, MENA is expected to continue to be an essential and stable market for the industry.”By attracting superyacht makers from across the globe, the Dubai International Boat Show plays an integral part in developing demand and maintaining interest.

Dubai Harbour renferings

Dubai Harbour Project; image:


Plans for new mega marinas and harbours in the UAE are designed to further increase this demand by creating thousands of new luxury berths in stunning locations, which appeal to the owners of both superyachts and medium size leisure craft.

Currently under construction at the north end of Dubai Marina, the Dubai Harbour project will boost the emirate’s marine offering. Due for completion in 2020, the Dubai Harbour will also be the new home of the Dubai International Boat Show.

Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions and Events Management of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), said: “The latest industry figures paint a very positive outlook for the superyacht and medium sized vessel market both regionally and globally.