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The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), organisers of the Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS), has announced the postponement of the show, which was scheduled for March 2021, until March 2022.
In a statement released today, the DWTC confirmed, “After consultation with our clients and stakeholders, DIBS shall reschedule its 2021 edition to 8th to 12th March 2022 at Dubai Harbour. The deferment is made in consideration of the evolving regulations and logistics on the movement of yachts internationally, and our continued commitment to provide the maximum diversity and choice of global brands to our regional customers. We look forward to your continued support and welcoming you to our new home at Dubai Harbour next year.”
Abeer Alshaali, the acting CEO of Gulf Craft, the UAE-based major yacht and boat builder in the Middle East, was supportive of the decision. “Diversity of choices for visitors and safety are always the key considerations for Gulf Craft so we fully support the decision to postpone DIBS,” she said. “While we were looking forward to taking part in this leading industry event, we respect and value the focus of the authorities in ensuring the wellbeing of all participants, visitors and staff.”
Michael Breman, sales director of Germany-based superyacht builder Lürssen Yachts, also confirmed, “We are delighted that the organisers of DIBS consulted us. It is certainly the best decision for yacht builders globally for the event to take place at a more opportune time.”
Ahmad Musaed Al Ameeri, CEO of Seas & Deserts, which handles the Azimut range in Kuwait and the UAE, said, “We fully endorse DIBS’ latest decision resultant of the continued challenges in boat movements regionally. We will continue our support to the show for the next edition in 2022.”
Bogdan Borascu, marketing director of Ocean 360, dealers for the Ferretti Group, was also supportive of the move. “Ocean 360 supports the decision of DIBS and we’re looking forward to welcoming the yachting industry and enthusiasts to Dubai for the March 2022 edition,” he said.
Despite the cancellation of this year’s event, the outlook for the leisure marine industry in the Gulf region is optimistic with buoyant boat sales through 2020 with international borders closed as locals re-discovered the opportunities of marine leisure.
As reported by other media outlets, the opportunities for business in the UAE have also opened up with relationships re-established with Qatar and new trade links with Israel.
Qatar, one of the richest Gulf States, is historically a very strong boating market with the industry well connected with UAE boat builders and equipment suppliers. Business suffered when Qatar was isolated due to a diplomatic incident that began on 5th June 2017 when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic relations with Qatar and banned Qatar-registered planes and ships from utilising their airspace and sea routes, along with Saudi Arabia blocking Qatar’s only land crossing. This restriction has recently been lifted and will assist the marine industry in the UAE, together with boosting visitors for the boat shows and events.
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