The 26th Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) was officially opened today by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, in a new location with the infrastructure fully operational and completed in record time.

DIBS has relocated this year to a temporary site on the Dubai Canal in Jumeirah, moving from its original Dubai International Marine Club site, the show’s home since 2005. The new location is closer to the city and business centre at the mouth of the Dubai Canal and the sea, which posed a considerable challenge with no existing infrastructure in place.

The move at short notice required the show’s owners, the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), to act quickly to find an alternate venue and complete the site, which they did in just six weeks. This required the building of a temporary 100-berth marina to host the exhibitors with on-water yachts, which have completely filled the available berths.

“The new venue is able to accommodate 15% more boats and yachts than in previous years and we have better car park space and access to the show via the Dubai Canal using  ferry services,” says Trixie LohMirmand, DWTC’s senior vice president for events.

Around 60 boats of less than 12m in length, dinghies and personal watercraft have been accommodated on land. The considerable number of equipment, engine and service provider exhibitors are accommodated in a large, temporary air-conditioned structure.

The total number of exhibitors at the show is 450, representing 800 marine industry brands from 60 different countries. According to the organising team, there has been very strong support by exhibitors with no withdrawals due to the relocation.

Initial reports from exhibitors speaking to IBI in the first hours of the show indicate they are very pleased with the show set-up. Most major overseas manufacturers such as Azimut, Beneteau, Ferretti Group, Prestige and others are present with boats on water, while leading local manufacturer Gulf Craft is present with its flagship 140’ Majesty superyacht.

DIBS has become the main show and industry networking event for the Middle East leisure boating market since the show started in 1992 and has been in continuous ownership by the DWTC, a Dubai government entity.

IBI will be reporting from DIBS throughout the week.