Dubai International Boat Show adds Sailing section to reflect sport’s rising popularity in region
Dubai Offshore Sailing Club Reporting Strong Waiting Lists, Participation at All Levels From Novice Through to Olympic Standard Sailors;
Interactive Features at Event Include Chance to Participate in Match Race
As sailing’s popularity continues to soar in the region, the 23rd edition of the Dubai International Boat Show will feature a dedicated sailing section to help newcomers learn more about the activity and for enthusiasts to meet and interact with exhibitors and other fans and see the latest and best sailing boats on the market.
While sailing has formed part of traditional life in the United Arab Emirates and the wider region, as Gulf states have increasingly developed planned communities around an active, on-water lifestyle, demand and interest in the activity has skyrocketed in the past few years. Abu Dhabi’s recent hosting of a stage in the Volvo Ocean Race drew thousands of visitors.
“We are definitely seeing increased interest in sailing here in Dubai, with our waiting list to join being very long – from young children through to adults,” said James Shuttleworth, Chief Instructor Sailing Department, Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. “The conditions here in Dubai are ideal for sailing, with year-round sunny weather, favourable wind conditions and water being such a big part of Dubai life. For many people in the expat community, they may also have the time and money to try out things that they wouldn’t have been able to do in their own countries.”
The DIBS Sailing section, which will be a part of the Outdoor Display area of the show, is designed as an interactive zone, where enthusiasts – from experienced sailors to first-timers – can see boats, brands, equipment and suppliers from across the globe in a relaxed environment. Visitors will be able to get specialist technical advice from experts and see the latest technologies and products.
First time exhibitor, and participant in DIBS Sailing, Pelican Marine Equipment Trading will be bringing six sailing brands to the show, including boats from Laser Performance, the world’s largest producer of small sailboats.
“Even before we visited the show for the first time in 2014 we had noticed a huge demand in people wanting to get out onto the water and sail. Where only a few years ago it was much more of a niche activity, the Middle East is now a very up and coming market for sailing, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring the best and most popular sailing products to the region’s growing enthusiasts,” said Jayne Gilmour, General Manager, Pelican Marine Equipment Trading.
To enhance the sailing experience, DIBS Sailing will offer members of the public the chance to enjoy the pleasures of sailing, with visitors invited to take the helm, trim the sails or simply sit back and enjoy the ride as they soak up the atmosphere of Dubai Marina with the unique opportunity to participate as crew on a Match Race.
The races, which will be held on 6 and 7 March, will feature an experienced skipper on each boat, who will provide a safety and sailing brief for the crew, and are being promoted by DUBOATS, a long-time exhibitor at Dubai International Boat Show.
“We have been participating in the show every year since 2004; it’s important to be there to support the GCC’s maritime industry. By attending we get the opportunity to meet with our clients and other people in the industry,” said Miguel Contreras, General Manager, DUBOATS. “We really feel we are in the market not just to sell sailing and power boats but to promote and push for more sailing in the Gulf.”
“The Dubai International Boat Show has continued to grow year on year because every year we make sure that we are responding to the needs of the industry and helping to drive demand in growth areas,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President of DWTC. “By listening to what our exhibitors and visitors tell us, we keep refreshing the event every time.”
“Here at the club, we have a good mix of experience levels across the board, with complete beginners through to people who have competed at Olympic level,” said Dubai Offshore Sailing Club’s Shuttleworth. “The future looks very good for sailing here in Dubai, with the growth and development of marinas and facilities that we are currently seeing there is only going to be more growth in sailing.”
The 23rd Dubai International Boat Show at Dubai International Marine Club – Mina Seyahi is open to trade visitors and the general public from 3pm – 9.30pm daily from 3-7 March 2015.