Around 26,000 people visited this year’s event

The second edition of the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show (ADIBS) attracted considerable visitor numbers despite a difficult market. According to the organisers, ADIBS, which concluded on October 19, attracted 26,000 visitors and 284 exhibiting companies from 27 countries. The show was organised by and held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) marina.

Commenting on the event’s success, Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Group CEO of ADNEC, said: “We are proud of the unprecedented turnout of visitors and exhibitors at the second edition of ADIBS 2019. We thank all those who participated and contributed to the high-level organisation of the event. ADIBS 2019 provided an ideal platform for exhibitors to conduct business and transact deals smoothly. In addition to enabling visitors and trade experts to explore the latest boats and equipment, the show offered a unique experience for visitors to learn about the rich marine heritage of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”

The IBI team attended the show and spoke to trade visitors and exhibitors and found a mixed opinion on the presence of two major shows in the UAE in a current weak market – the Dubai International Boat Show in March being the second event.

The fact that the two shows are five months apart, address somewhat different markets, and are heavily backed by the respective governments is seen as a positive factor, while others feel that the two shows are a heavy drain on promotional budgets. It was noticeable that the leading UAE boatbuilder Gulf Craft did not exhibit and some major brands such as Sunseeker were also absent.

The Ferretti Yacht Group was represented by a new GCC distributor, Ocean 360 based in Dubai, which covers the UAE, Egypt and Oman for the Ferretti Yachts, Pershing and Itama brands as exclusive dealers, and also represents Custom Line in the region.

Sebastian Dumitrescu, a board member of Ocean 360, said: “We started representing the Ferretti Group brands in March of this year. Our policy is to focus on service and aftersales to our customers, as we feel that this is the way to build a strong brand in the region. We have invested US$1m in a waterside service facility in Dubai with lifting facilities and 17 staff in order to deliver our strong service ethos.”

Praveen Nair, senior sales manager of Ocean 360, said: “Italian brands have always been popular in the region because of the unique Italian style and image which is differentiated from other European and US brands. This trend started some 15 years ago and has resulted in a strong market share in the larger yacht market for Italian manufacturers. Riva has a very strong brand image locally with sales in recent years of six yachts to the UAE and Oman. We estimate that there are some 100 Ferretti group brand yachts in the region that have been delivered over the last 15 years.”

Local manufacturers exhibiting on water include Al Suwaidi Marine (ASM), a boat manufacturer from Dubai. Speaking to IBI in Dubai after the show, ASM owner Mohammed Al Suwaidi said: “We displayed two new boats – 25ft and 31ft models – as well as our existing 34ft and 42ft models and had a lot of interest. I am expecting to confirm some orders shortly. I was happy with the number of visitors and the show organisation.”

A leading exhibitor in terms of innovation at the show was UAE-based ENATA, which showed the latest pre-production version of their ‘Foiler’, which IBI’s correspondent tested on the water in Dubai after the show and will be the subject of a another news story by IBI in a few days.

In a concluding press statement, ADNEC said: “The increase in the number of visitors and participants in this year’s show provided great encouragement to prepare for a much larger and a more distinctive ADIBS next year in terms of the technology, exhibition space and creative ideas taken forward to ensure the show’s success.”