Leading figures within the yacht manufacturing industry will outline their predictions for growth in the Middle East market at the 10th Middle East Yachting Conference. The event is being held today ahead of Dubai International Boat Show.

Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) Director of Operations, Robert van Tol, and Roberto Zambrini, CEO of Italian yacht-builder Mondo Marine will provide an overview and forecast of the regional superyacht market, as part of a panel discussion during the conference.

A separate presentation by Udo Kleinitz, secretary general of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMA) will also discuss the importance of the Middle East within the global context.

“The 55% ‘propensity to buy’ for the Middle East is the highest of all the regions,” says 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% of them are likely to buy a superyacht. Therefore this region will always remain very important.”

The annual Middle East Yachting Conference brings together global experts and industry authorities, as well as boating enthusiasts, to address the latest trends, technologies, plans and regulations affecting the marine leisure sector in Dubai and beyond.

The theme for 2016 will be ‘Investing for the future, defining future strategies’. Topics for discussion include the region’s waterfront projects, maritime legislation and laws, the maritime community’s aspirations, and navigation at local and regional levels.

Conference sessions will include 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% of the city’s GDP and 3.3% of its employment.