Change in the rules for registration and licensing by the government hinted to be imminent

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The third edition of the International Superyacht Summit in Dubai opened today with a high number of delegates packing the iconic Queen Elizabeth 2 venue moored in Dubai’s Port Rashid. A change in the rules for registration and licensing by the government are hinted to be imminent.

The International Superyacht Summit (ISS) got off to a flying start in Dubai today with the event oversubscribed, including over 200 registered delegates with 70% from the Gulf region and 30% from further afield including many from Europe.

The summit was organised by Dubai-based Fabulous Yachts under the patronage of P&O Marinas. The organisers were thrilled with the response to this year’s event after the postponement of the original 2020 dates.

The focus of this year’s event introduced new themes; Firstly, how superyacht marina developments empower lifestyle and tourism and the role of the industry in tourist destinations. Secondly, how builders can accommodate the needs of a younger generation of owners and charterers and the growing interest in the environment and sustainability.

The moderator of the summit, Martin Redmayne, set the scene highlighting that there are some 4,500 superyachts in the world capable of cruising to the Gulf region with another 1,200 forecast to be built by 2030. Redmayne added: “There are an estimated 150,000 High Net Worth Individuals in the world with the capacity to purchase a 40m-plus superyacht, not all of these new yachts will go to the Mediterranean, this is the opportunity we have.”

Adel Kalantar, director of registration and licensing at Dubai Maritime City Authority, was a key speaker in the first session on building a superyacht destination. Kalantar indicated: “There are imminent changes coming to the rules in Dubai for licensing, registration and chartering issues for yachts and boats which will improve the market for locally based and visiting yachts.”

Local experts Abeer Alshaali, Captain Rado Antolovic, Gunther Alvarado, Captain Saif Al Mheiri and Hamza Mustafa provided comments for the first morning sessions on the 2030 vision for the Gulf’s superyacht lifestyle. A key issue, highlighted in the discussion by Hamza Mustafa the CEO of P&O Marinas, is to improve the infrastructure for visiting yachts. He said: “We must make the practical experience of bringing a Superyacht to our region more seamless, we need issues of clearance, cruising permits, Immigration, Insurance and registration to be addressed as a priority.”

The final session of the day focused on how to build the perfect superyacht destination with a panel of industry experts including Paris Baloumis from Oceanco, Paolo Casani from Camper & Nicholsons, Jonathan Hind from Burgess, and Jorrit Pilaar from Damen. The summary of the discussions revealed the breadth of new cruising destinations available within the GCC region and the Indian Ocean. It was also clear that there is strong interest by owners in cruising to more remote and largely unexplored areas, especially in the Covid era where isolation and freedom has become important in many wealthy owners’ minds.

Fabiana Maccarini from the organising team spoke with IBI at the summit. “We are very happy and proud with the results of the summit, especially with the number of delegates who are keen to attend an event and meet colleagues physically rather than virtually. We are fortunate in Dubai as the government measures to reduce Covid infections have been very effective, mandatory mask wearing and extensive testing procedures have made Dubai and the UAE a very safe venue for tourists and events and this encouraged many of our delegates from overseas to attend.”