The first edition of the Oman International Boat Show will now take place in December

The first edition of the Oman International Boat Show will take place from December 5-8 this year at the Marina Bander Al Rowdha in Muscat. IBI spoke with Mohammed Abdul Hameed, marketing director for event organiser Vision Expo, based in Muscat, Oman.

“With our recent local government partnerships, the show dates have changed to December this year from our original October dates as this will give us perfect weather conditions for the show with temperatures in the mid 20s centigrade.

“We are targeting 100 exhibitor companies at the show and we already have bookings for 75% of this. Our on-water target is for 40 boats. Key boat exhibitors confirmed so far include Art Marine, the Ferretti distributors for the region, local boat manufacturer Sapphire Marine, and Seas & Deserts, which represents Azimut. Watersports, engine and equipment companies include Asis Boats, Al Suwaidi Marine, Empire Marine, Al Boom Marine, Empire Marine, Suzuki and Yamaha. We are expecting 7,000 visitors to the four-day event.”

This year’s show is supported by several of the Sultanate of Oman government departments, including the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Ministry of Transport & Communication, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, and the Ministry of Heritage & Culture. There will be two types of exhibition areas within the show – outdoor display areas (booths and tents) and on-water berths.

One of five Gulf Co-operative Countries (GCC), Oman has been the subject of several market reports by IBI in the past. Situated at the eastern end of the Arabian Gulf, and with a long coastline fronting the Arabian Sea, Oman is a beautiful country with deep fjords on the coastline rather than flat desert.

Tourism has been identified by the government as a developing industry and recognised as one of the main target sectors for investment and growth. The Omani model for tourism is conservative and driven by nature and heritage; leisure boating and marine tourism fits well into this.

The government has gone to considerable lengths to ensure that Oman’s infrastructure and real estate developments match the natural surroundings. The lack of high-rise developments is the most obvious sign of this to the visitor.

For leisure boating, sea conditions are more demanding in the Arabian Sea than in the more sheltered Gulf waters. There is now a network of seven marinas in the country, with three more projects under construction or planned.