Winter 2019

DIBS Makes a Splash

The Dubai International Boat Show will host 38 global and regional launches and welcome about 450 yachts and boats ranging from small leisure craft to superyachts


Marine enthusiasts – from leisure yachters and pleasure cruisers to divers and sailors – will be in full force at the Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) which welcomes about 450 yachts and boats from around the world to the Dubai Canal.

Ranging from fishing boats and small leisure-craft, to 50-metre (164 ft) superyachts complete with their own private waterfalls, sun-deck hot tubs and cigar rooms, plus a host of thrilling sea-toys, DIBS will be home to all things “chic nautique”, and will once again be the Middle East’s premier showcase of everything sea-based.

Running from February 26 to March 2, the 27th edition of the annual show will have Dh1.5 billion ($408.35 million) worth of boats for sale, thrilling live jet-ski, sailing and fishing competitions, diving displays, expert-led sea-based conversation, and a host of fun have-a-go sessions.

It will host a combined 38 global and regional launches, will welcome more than 800 different companies and brands from 50 countries, and be buzzing with live shows, land and sea fun for all the family, and unrivalled glitz and glamour.

This year’s edition of DIBS promises to be its most impressive yet. It will feature 15 exclusive global launches from boat-builders including Gulf Craft, ASIS Boats, Integrity Yachts and Victory Team. More than 23 regional firsts will be docked at the show too, brought to the Middle East for the first time by multi-award-winning industry stalwarts including Cranchi Yachts, Dominator Yachts, the Ferretti Group, Princess Yachts and IMG Boats. Prices are expected to start from Dh100,000 – less than the cost of most family cars.

Always a huge draw for both the buyers and dreamers alike, the show’s gathered assortment of superyachts will feature 17 floating mansions, including the 50-metre Heesen Rocket, the 47-metre Aquamarina, and the 38-metre Custom Line 120. Alongside that will be the show’s Superyacht Avenue – presented by the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) – where members including Amels, Baglietto, Benetti, CRN, Feadship, Fincantieri Yachts, Heesen, Lürssen, Oceanco and Sanlorenzo will all be in attendance exhibiting their most exciting on-going projects.

One of the longest-participating exhibitors at Dubai International Boat Show, Emirates-based Gulf Craft will bring a plethora of spectacular watercraft, including the 42-metre Majesty 140 and the 31.7-metre Majesty 100: two true superyacht masterpieces.

The global recreational boating market is experiencing an upswing, with growing interest in leisure activities such as fishing, sailing and watersports guiding the boating industry to a projected worth of $74.7 billion by 2022. In the UAE alone, the industry was valued at approximately $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion last year. This demand, coupled with the rising popularity of marine and coastal tourism activities, relaxed maritime regulations and a 50 per cent increase in local berths – a number which is set to grow by a further 1,400 with the 2020 opening of the new Meraas-developed Dubai Harbour – has seen a sizeable swell in the UAE’s recreational boating market.

The country is now home to more than 10,000 registered small-to-midsized boats, and has a considerable share of the Middle East’s 216 40-metre-plus superyachts. With an anticipated wealth growth of $12 trillion across Mena by 2021, spending power is on the rise – something that has been observed across all levels of boating investment.

The region as a whole is investing heavily in its maritime offering, with the UAE accounting for 35 per cent of that total investment. In conjunction with the rising tourist numbers, the country is well positioned to continue to develop into one of the world’s most sought-after luxury marine locales.

Dubai International Boat Show plays a critical role in creating and sustaining this market for superyachts and boats of all sizes and budgets across the region.

Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and Senior Advisor to the Dubai International Boat Show, said: “The show is a key driver of the expansion of the region’s recreational maritime sector. The UAE, and the wider region, has become a global must-visit location for all water enthusiasts, from leisure yachters and pleasure cruisers to divers and sailors. As we look towards an exciting future led by next year’s Expo 2020, we are excited to bring the world to Dubai to share all that this unique, vibrant and beautiful city has to offer as a maritime destination. Dubai International Boat Show is an unparalleled experience, and will once again bring the cream of the industry to our city’s shores.”



Meraas, a Dubai-based holding company, will showcase its industry-defining maritime neighbourhood – Dubai Harbour at the show.

Set to the highest international standards, Dubai Harbour will be the first yachting community hub in the Middle East.

Designed by leading architects with careful attention to detail, Dubai Harbour’s marina will offer the most spectacular cruising grounds in the world, with vantage views of Dubai’s distinct landmarks – Ain Dubai at Bluewaters and Palm Jumeirah. The highlight of the showcase at DIBS will be the three main areas of the 1,100-berth marina – Harbour Marina, Bay Marina and Palm View Marina. Meraas will invite yacht owners to reserve berths in Q3 2019, with 780 berths expected to be ready for handover in September 2020 upon completion of the first phase of development at Dubai Harbour.  

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