This past weekend of March 9-13 saw out the Dive Middle East Exhibition held in conjunction with the Dubai International Boat Show at the Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi. More than 300 exhibitors set up shop which was a marine-related extravaganza to a much quieter crowd than previous years. Exhibitors provided an opportunity for enthusiasts to learn about the latest in diving equipment, services, supplies and industry innovations, with live diving demonstrations, presentations on the latest diving gear and interactive training programmes on offer.
There was the usual presence of the more prominent dive gear suppliers and manufacturers; Beuchat, Cressi, Al Masaood, Scuba Dubai, Al Boom Marine, Gulf Marine Sports and also Al Boom Dive Centre. The Emirates Diving Association was there in full support of members and the local diving community, and they hosted the diving demonstrations throughout the duration of the show.
This year’s event attracted the highest ever number of superyachts from around the world to Dubai. With 26 boats in excess of 21 metres. In spite of the apparent decrease in number of visitors the DMIC say that there is a 36 percent increase over last year for this key sector, highlighting the confidence in the Dubai International Boat Show for business opportunities in the region. World class companies such as ART Marine, Emirates Boats, Gulf Craft, Al Hareb Marine, Sunseeker Middle East and Al Yousuf Motors presented themselves to the region’s most affluent buyers.
Comments from exhibitors were generally indicated that the economic decline was evident as the show was filled with onlookers as opposed to actual interested buyers.
Some fancy gimmicks were on display for the person who does not have to ask the price of any item, including the Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer, the U-boat Worx C-Quester 2, and no less than a Bentley Continental Supersports which one could leave at the dock while sailing away in a new “green and clean” Wallyship. Such dreams and notions are held by just a few.
The boats on show included 26 superyachts, including the sleek-lined 73 metre Silver Zwei, which is the world’s fastest conventionally-powered motor yacht. Showcased by BehneMar, the maritime arm of Behne Middle East Investment Holding, the lithe aluminium mega-yacht delivers exceptional design, comfort, reliability and fuel efficiency, and can reach a top speed of up to 27 knots.
Splayed out on the grass next to the marina was a shiny array of sleek Mercedes Benz cars sponsored by the UAE dealer Gargash Enterprises. The new 2011 Mercedes E class Convertible was on display along with an exclusive viewing of the limited edition Maybach Landaulet.
With around 15,000 berths realised or under development in the GCC, and half of those in the UAE, due to be completed by the end of next year, it is thought that the region is well set to support a buoyant leisure marine industry. The UAE currently has the largest density of realised and planned marina developments.