The first Abu Dhabi International Boat Show will take place Oct. 17-20 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center. The inaugural show will target a region with more established events, such as the Dubai International Boat Show, but the Abu Dhabi show organizers plan to gain a foothold in what they estimate is a $60 billion market.
The show will be organized and hosted by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Co., with assistance from British Marine Boat Shows.
“ADIBS will promote Abu Dhabi as a global leisure marine industry hub, in line with ADNEC’s mission to increase business tourism to the emirate by attracting a series of world-class events and exhibitions,” Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, group CEO of ADNEC, said in a statement.
Organizers expect exhibitors to range from paddleboard manufacturers to yards that build superyachts. An earlier release noted several dozen boatbuilders had signed on as exhibitors, including such U.S. brands as Bayliner, Sea Ray, Westport and Boston Whaler, as well as many European brands and brands from Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
A recent report by industry specialist Mike Derret Marine noted that there are 46,000 recreational boats in the GCC with a value of $4 billion to $5 billion. The United Arab Emirates has about 100 boatbuilders that produce 600 to 800 boats a year. The region also plans to develop megayacht marinas and deep-water harbors. Abu Dhabi has about 200 islands in its territorial waters.