The Middle East Yachting Conference on the regional growing market

MiddleEastYachtConf_logoThe 10th Middle East Yachting Conference, held last Monday before the Dubai International Boat Show, saw many leaders of the yacht industry talk about their expectations for growth in the Middle East market.
The Middle East Yachting Conference annually brings together global experts and industry authorities to present and discuss the latest trends, technologies, and regulations involving the marine leisure sector.
The theme for the 2016 edition was ‘Investing for the future, defining future strategies’, including topics such as the region’s waterfront projects, maritime legislation, and navigation at local and regional levels.
Among the speakers at the conference, Robert van Tol, director of operations at the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss), and Roberto Zambrini, chief executive officer of Mondomarine, gave an insight and previsions of the regional superyacht market. A presentation by Udo Kleinitz, secretary general of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMA) also discussed the importance of the Middle East within the global context.
“The 55 per cent ‘propensity to buy’ for the Middle East is the highest of all the regions,” said Robert van Tol. “This percentage is based on historic ownership of superyachts versus the number of UHNWIs (ultra high net worth individuals) at that time, but it also means that if there is an increase in the number of UHNWIs in the Middle East, then 55 per cent of them are likely to buy a superyacht. Therefore this region will always remain very important.”
“Yachting has become an integral part of the luxury lifestyle in the Middle East, and it touches on many areas: manufacturing, sales, design, and has also had a significant influence on how cities in the region have grown, with so many large-scale sea front development projects planned,” said Nabeel Farhat, editor-in-chief of ‘Word of Yachts & Boats’ magazine, who moderated the discussion on superyachts.
Conference sessions included presentations in important regional issues, including from DCMA on the first-of-its-kind Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy, and from TASNEEF on marine classification systems in the UAE. The Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy guides the city’s growth as a leading global maritime centre, with the sector estimated to provide 4.6 percent of the city’s GDP and 3.3 per cent of its employment.
“The maritime sector plays a pivotal role in Dubai’s sustainable economic development,” said Mohammed Al Bastaki, director of DMCA’s Maritime Operations, speaking on growth, sustainability and innovation.