Yachting on Luxurious Waters: A Unique Trend

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Middle East Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals corner the market for worldwide superyacht purchases

Superyacht Builders Association: nearly half of Middle East’s UHNWIs likely to own a superyacht with ‘propensity to buy’ at 48%

Dubai International Boat Show offers lucrative platform for superyacht builders as Middle East is firmly established as a leading global superyacht destination

Dubai International Boat Show 1

The Middle East has anchored itself among the most important superyacht markets with the highest growth as owners of luxury superyachts in the region continues to increase swiftly, according to leading trade organisation the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss).

The SYBAss Pavilion at the Dubai International Boat Show 2014 reinforces the UAE’s status as a hub for superyachts as yacht enthusiasts conduct business with the world’s leading superyacht builders. The 22nd edition of Dubai International Boat Show organised by Dubai World Trade Centre, runs from 4-8 March 2014 at Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi, and will capitalise on the Middle East’s position as one of the world’s leading luxury superyacht destinations with superyacht ownership continuing to rise.

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Robert van Tol, Operational Director, Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss), said: “While traditionally, Western Europe and North America are the major markets for superyachts of 40 metres and above in numbers, due to the many ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) in these regions, the penetration percentage of each area – the number of UHNWIs versus number of superyacht owners – provides a much more interesting insight into the markets.”

“The 2013 SYBAss Economic Report, developed in cooperation with Boston Consulting Group, reveals that the Middle East has the highest ‘propensity to buy’ a superyacht, at 48%. This means that nearly half of the UHNWIs in the Middle East are likely to own or buy a superyacht – higher than anywhere else in the world,” he added.

The largest yacht in the world Azzam and around a third of the other 200 largest yachts globally are owned by the residents and nationals of the Middle East, according to a 2013 market analysis conducted by Boat International.

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These figures are further validated as the superyacht industry plows full speed ahead, with 2014 slated to be the first year for an increase in superyacht builds since 2009, according to the 2014 ShowBoats International Global Order Book.

The Dubai International Boat Show will host 19 superyachts on water this year, including the largest boat to be displayed in the history of the show, which is built by Oceanco.

Key buyers and visitors will have the chance to network with some of the world’s most celebrated superyacht builders at the SYBAss Pavilion including Azimut-Benetti, CRN, Fincantieri, Heesen, Mondo Marine, San Lorenzo and Trinity.

With the Dubai International Boat Show slated to attract more than 26,000 visitors, including 5,000 High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), SYBAss Pavilion exhibitors are eager to tap into the market. Luxury yachts were recently named the most popular luxury acquisition for billionaires, according to research organisation Wealth-X, which provides intelligence on ultra-high net worth individuals.

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The recent World Ultra Wealth Report, based on findings in the  Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013, states that the Middle East’s billionaires – with a combined net worth of USD354 billion – hold a higher percentage of total wealth than in any other region in the world. Forty percent of the Middle East’s Ultra High Net Worth wealth is held by the region’s 157 billionaires, compared to 28% in Europe, 22% in North America and 18% in Asia, according to the report.

Property consultant Knight Frank predicts that the number of US dollar billionaires in the Middle East will grow by 45% over the next decade with the HNWI population (individuals having net assets over USD30 million) in the region growing by 58% in 2022. The report also forecasts that the UAE HNWI population will grow by 53% in 2022.

“The Dubai International Boat Show has anchored the UAE as the key market for companies to showcase their dynamic superyacht products and services to leisure marine enthusiasts and HNWIs in the Middle East who value high standards of craftsmanship in their luxury purchases. Featuring the most advanced yachting design and technology from exhibitors and companies around the world, the SYBAss Pavilion is set to achieve new standards and inspire yacht enthusiasts of all backgrounds,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President of Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of Dubai International Boat Show.

Demonstrating the far-reaching demand for superyachts as well as leisure marine craft and services, the Dubai International Boat Show is expected to draw visitors from more than 70 countries, and will host 840 exhibitors and brands from 50 countries, with an expected 35% growth in US companies confirming floor space this year.

World-renowned superyacht manufacturer Lurssen returns to the show for the 10th year and is among the makers of the world’s largest yachts, including the 180-metre yacht Azzam, which was delivered in October 2013.

In addition to being the largest yacht in the world, with a length of 180 metres, and with a top speed of 30 knots, Azzam adds another record in terms of building time: less than three years from steel cutting following one year of engineering.

“Dubai International Boat Show is among the best platforms to showcase our latest models and inform visitors about the recent developments and innovations in shipbuilding. We have a strong track record of delivering yachts to our customers in the Middle East, where we will deliver three yachts between 66 and 104 metres long in 2014. The exhibition allows us to meet the demand for our luxury superyachts within the Middle East region, with a key focus on the rapidly-growing GCC market,” said Michael Breman, Sales Director, Lurssen.

Rob Luijendijk, CEO of AMELS is pleased with the ‘superyacht life culture’ of HNWIs in the region and beyond and revealed plans for the Dutch master shipbuilders at the show: “The Middle East has always been very important for us – some of the largest superyachts are owned by ultra-high net worth individuals from this region. We’ve experienced a significant increase in enquiries this year, and at the moment our yard is busier than ever with nine new construction projects and two refits.”

“The Dubai International Boat Show is the ideal platform to reveal our scale model of the new AMELS 272 to the region, the largest Amels ever with an impressive exterior design from Tim Heywood,” Luijendijk added.

Beyond the SYBAss Pavilion, Dubai International Boat Show visitors can attend this year’s show sectors: Marina Display, Outdoor Display, Luxury Supplies and Services, Equipment Supplies and Services, Dive Middle East Exhibition (DMEX), and the Supercar Promenade.

Key returning partners include Italian luxury watch brand Officine Panerai as Supporting Partner, Mercedes-Benz as Official Car Partner, and ART MARINE as Marina Display Partner. Bombardier, the world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains, is the exclusive sponsor of the LSS indoor pavilion.

The 22nd Dubai International Boat Show at Dubai International Marine Club – Mina Seyahi is open to trade visitors and the general public from3pm – 9.30pm daily from 4-8 March 2014.

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