Dubai is undoubtedly making a mark on the maritime leisure industry in the region and worldwide. According to a report published by the World of Yachts in February, UAE is ranked 9th in the world’s superyachts in production in 2018, with 14 new builds with a combined length of 611 metres being manufactured in the country. With the global ocean industry expected to hit 3 trillion dollars by 2030, marine and coastal tourism is expected to contribute a quarter of this.
This is hardly surprising given the passion and innovation the country has put into the luxury and marine leisure industry for over two and half decades. The 26th Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) which started on February 28 to go on until March 3 is proof of the growth that the industry and the country has made.
The world’s biggest superyacht Azzam (180 metres long) is reportedly owned by Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan while another superyacht, aptly named Dubai (162 metres long), is owned by Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
It also helps that with the Dubai Canal, the marina in Port Rashid and Dubai Marina, there is so much more space and visibility to promote the business of luxury yachts. Another up and coming business booster for this field is the Dubai Harbour.
The Dubai Harbour, which is still in the development phase, is touted to become the region’s largest harbour. Spread over an area of 20 million square feet the harbour aims to become, not just a centre point for maritime leisure and business, but a tourist hotspot with technological and architectural attractions.
The Dubai International Boat Show is a great place for boat and yacht aficionados to check out the latest and the greatest of yachting progress. We got a chance to speak with Mohammed Al Zaabi, CEO and founder of Royal Yachts here in the UAE.
Established in 2011 with just one boat, Zaabi succeeded in fusing passion and business through yachts. While they started out as a chartering company, Royal Yachts has now grown to an industry recognised firm and a one-stop shop for chartering, managing and dealing in yachts and super boats.
Talking about how much people would be willing to spend on chartering yachts, he estimated that their DXB, a Benetti Classic model, would go for approximately €80000 or Dh358,122 per week. He also spoke about the interest expressed by consumers in the region for the luxury yacht experiences.