Next year’s event will be held in June

Since it started in 2014, the annually-held Maldives Marine Expo (MME) has made consistent progress each year and this is planned to continue for the 6th edition in 2020 when it is hoped to find a new location that will allow the on-water show and the exhibitor stands to all be at one site. The show’s growth reflects the development of the local marine leisure sector.

The 5th edition of MME was held from October 23-25, 2019, for which it was a case of third time lucky as plans to hold it in March 2019 and then September 2019 were disrupted by weather conditions and other issues. MME is held in the Maldivian capital of Male at Dharubaaruge.

A spokesman for the organisers, the National Boating Association of the Maldives (NBAM), told IBI: “Next year were are planning to hold MME in June and we will have one site for both the on-water show and the exhibitor stands. This year we had over 11,000 visitors and there were 11 craft in the on-water show including Gulf Craft models.”

The number of visitors has grown significantly, as in 2017 the number of trade visitors was 2,647.

Each year MME has a focus and for 2019 this was Marine Technology. This was addressed through a series of seminars with expert speakers and specialists. These explored new developments in the maritime sector and looked at the impact they have had and might have in the future in terms of improving operations in the local marine market.

MME stared as the official exhibition of the Liveaboard Association of the Maldives (LAM), which subsequently transformed into the National Boating Association of the Maldives. The liveaboard sector is a key nautical tourism activity throughout the Maldives and members of the NBAM operate some 40 such vessels.

MME 2019 had Gulf Craft as its leading sponsor but in total there were nearly 30 sponsors and partners for the event. At MME 2019, Gulf Craft Maldives showcased its multiple award-winning boats such as the Touring 48, Touring 38 and Majesty 63. Gulf Craft has had a base in the Maldives for several years. In a statement the company said: “The expo served as a platform to showcase our products to both local and international visitors and to support the marine industry in Maldives.”

The event was organised in collaboration with Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology, and Male City Council.