Exhibitors report good sales at Dubai boat show

Exhibitors at Dubai International Boat Show have reported striking solid sales deals with many companies pointing to a high proportion of serious buyers attending the show, leading to contracts signed either during the show, or expected in the coming weeks.

UK-based manufacturer Princess Yachts named this year as its most successful appearance at the Dubai show.

“I think this is one of the best Dubai International Boat Show editions,” said Simon Colebrooke, its international sales manager. “We’ve seen a lot more serious customers than in previous years. Regionally it’s the go-to show, and we’re seeing customers from all over the region and further afield.”

Princess brought five new 2016 models, mostly mid-sized yachts to the Marina Display, ranging from about 12 meters to just over 26 metres in length: the Princess 88 Motor Yacht and Princess 68 Flybridge, both making their first appearance at the show; Princess 56 Flybridge, 52 Flybridge, and 43 Flybridge; and the Princess V39.

At the start of the final day, the company had around Dh10 million ($2.72 million) in firm sales, with Dh20 million in follow-up from the event. Two contracts have been signed and three are in negotiation, with a sea trial booked for the following week.

Similar sentiments were shared by other exhibitors of large yachts. UAE-based Gulf Craft, with the biggest display in the marina, was predicting strong final results compared to previous years.

“This has been another spectacular year for Gulf Craft at the Dubai International Boat Show,” said Gulf Craft’s chairman, Mohammed Hussein Al Shaali.

“We were expecting there would be some hesitation among buyers, but the market is showing a great deal of resilience. Gulf Craft is in a strong position, with brands that serve the diverse requirements of our customers, enabling us to seamlessly adapt to shifts in the market. Medium-to-large sized craft that offer added comfort and space have seen considerable interest this year, with a great deal of attention for our Nomad Yachts long-range series,” he noted.

Attention to detail – in manufacturing, design, and the standard of service for local customers – were cited as pivotal to success in the Middle East, with the most successful brands benefitting from a long-term commitment to the region.

“What the customer is asking for today is quality,” said Roberto Zambrini, co-owner of Mondomarine, which chose Dubai for the regional launch of its new SF40. “If you don’t attend to quality you don’t sell the boat.”

Along with quality, Gregor Stinner, CEO at Art Marine, the regional distributor for Ferretti Group yachts, adds innovation.
“We are seeing a good number of potential sales here, but the customers are looking for something that will set them apart. They want quality in terms of construction, and they also want quality in the design and aesthetics. They want something unique.”

Among the exhibitors selling small to medium sized boats, most are reporting sales consistent with previous years.

Wassim Zein, founder of Abu Dhabi-based Hayaari Marine, said the company had netted some good sales, taken deposits, and also secured a few solid orders.

At Delma Marine, one strong outcome was for its Boston Whaler 420 – one of the 23 regional launches at the show. “It’s sold already,” stated Waseem Ben Khadra, the general manager for Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

Having something new to offer, and giving people a reason to buy at the show, gave brands a definite advantage. “We have offered some good deals on boats and also on engines, and we have some good interest in the marine accessories. People are cautious at the moment, and business at the show has been better than we expected,” he added.

The value of new product lines could also be seen at the MTM Group stand, which says it has taken a large number of bookings to test the latest versions Bombardier Recreational Products’ Sea-Doo line of jet skis.

Instinct Marine, a new Dubai-based brand that officially launched at the boat show, is expecting solid orders for its debut model, the Instinct 360. At 36 feet long – or around 11 metres – the sport fishing boat is designed specifically with Gulf users in mind.

“We’ve had upwards of 60 people register for sea trials,” said Christos Karyofolis, the general manager. “We might expect that a large proportion of those are serious buyers, the majority being locals, but also some from around the Gulf. On Thursday we had around 15 Kuwaitis register,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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