The Dubai International Boat Show 2023 set a new benchmark for boating shows worldwide by showcasing remarkable consumer trends that have set new standards for the boating industry. The event featured 2.5 billion dirhams worth of boats and yachts on display, with over 1,000 companies and brands from 60 countries, attracting visitors to explore a diverse range of boats, from small dinghies to luxurious superyachts, along with the latest maritime accessories, and technologies.
The 29th edition of the show, which took place at the stunning seafront district of Dubai Harbour, saw over 50 global and regional launches at the show and revealed some exciting industry trends that reflect the changing preferences and expectations of the sector in 2023 and beyond.
No signs of slowing down
The global boat-building market is expected to reach over $47 billion in 2027. The global electric boat market is projected to reach $16.6 billion by 2031; and the global luxury yacht market is also growing, expected to reach $12.8 billion by 2031. In line with this upward pace, exhibitors at the Dubai International Boat Show 2023 unanimously reported strong lead generation and sales over the five-day event.
Fairwinds were also blowing for Italian-headquartered Sanlorenzo Yachts. Michel Torbey, Sales Representative Middle East said the brand closed three deals for a total value of 390 million dirhams. Yachts 1, the official dealer of Princess Yachts, Sanlorenzo, Cranchi, SEABOB, Al Dhaen, and Williams Jet Tenders, converted five deals valued at 78 million dirhams, said Nader Dara, Sales and Operations Manager at Yachts 1.
Exhibiting at Dubai International Boat Show boosted sales for GCC dealer SF Yachts. CEO Francesco Pitea said the brand achieved 30 million dirhams in sales. According to John Bush, co-founder of Bush and Noble – the exclusive dealers for Sunseeker Gulf across the GCC – the brand yielded four deals for a total of 39 million dirhams. “We’ve had constant visitors, great quality clients. Every day, we had 12 potential buyers on the stand. We couldn’t be happier,” Bush said.
Sustainability is a priority
Dubai International Boat Show highlighted innovations and features that promote sustainable yachting. The increasing demand for eco-friendly yachts is evident, as more than half of the visitors to Sunreef Yachts’ stand expressed interest in such yachts. According to Marta Sledziewska, Head of Marketing and PR at Sunreef Yachts, customers are mindful of the impact of their lifestyle on the environment and are looking for a different type of yacht that offers complete silence on the water.
Lena Dobschall, Head of Marketing and Sales at SAY Yachts Dubai, said that their boats featured carbon fiber technology, which made for sustainable boating as they were 50% lighter, 50% more efficient, and used 50% less fuel. SAY Yachts is launching the SAY 52, which will feature a hybrid engine, reflecting the growing demand for electric engines in the yachting industry.
Innovation was another trend that dominated the Dubai International Boat Show 2023. Companies showcased their latest advancements in technology, such as advanced navigation systems that can withstand strenuous conditions as well as help clients deliver improvements in efficiency, safety, and smaller carbon footprint and cutting-edge propulsion systems like the end-to-end hybrid MTU Yacht Propulsion Solution distributed by Al Masaood, The show also featured electric and hybrid boats from companies including Trident Marine Services and Silent Yachts, highlighting a move towards alternative energy sources in the boating industry.
Luxury and customization
Added features and personalized touches were another trends that caught visitors’ attention, with SF Yachts’ Francesco Pitea saying that they had sold several boats on display, including the Riviera 77, an enclosed flybridge sports fisher built by Australia’s most awarded luxury yacht builder for which SF Yachts managed the custom design. “People don’t really think of luxury when they hear the words fishing boat, but people that have seen our boats all end up saying that they don’t see it as fishing boats. Riviera 77, for example, taps into the growing demand for sports fishers with long range, high speeds, and elegant superyacht design,” he said.
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