The Middle East is officially home to the world’s biggest superyachts, with the average locally-owned private vessel now measuring 63 meters in length. The data were collected in collaboration with the Dubai International Boat Show, whose 27th edition will be held from 26 February to 2 March in Dubai Canal Jumeirah. The event plays a key role in creating and sustaining the demand for superyachts and boats of all sizes and budgets throughout the region.
The superyachts – found docked across the UAE’s 5,000+ berths, a number which is set to grow by 1,400 with the 2020 opening of the new Dubai Harbour, and sailing internationally – tend to not only be longer in length but greater in volume too, averaging 1,618 in gross tonnage.
The percentage of superyachts owned by local buyers has also climbed. The Middle East is now home to 12.6% of all 40m+ superyachts – 216 mega-vessels.
The growth of registered small and medium-sized pleasure boats, which is seeing an increase of about 10,000 new vessels, has led the UAE to rank as the fourth most performing and logistically advanced harbor in the world.
Asked if 2019 will be another year of big regional spending, Theo Hooning, Secretary General of SYBAss, said: “We certainly hope so. The number of ultra-high net worth individuals is continuing to grow, so we know the target audience is there – and in increasing numbers. If we look at the ratio of ‘fleet to billionaire’, the MENA region had the highest fleet to billionaire ratio in 2010 at 163%, meaning an ultra-high net worth individuals with less than one billion dollars also owned yachts that measured over 40 meters. It may also have meant that multiple billionaires owned more than one 40m+ yacht. This ratio increased to 188% in 2018 and is the second-highest fleet to billionaire ratio found anywhere in the world.
“The average length of yachts of owners from this region, however,” continues Hooning “is the highest in the world, at 63 meters. Projected wealth development coupled with a historic uptake of superyachts, positions the Middle East and North African as a region that is expected to continue to be an essential and stable market for the industry.”
Gulf Craft, the leading manufacturer of luxury yachts and fiberglass boats in the United Arab Emirates, is responsible for the 14 superyachts currently under construction in the United Arab Emirates. As one of the biggest exhibitors at the Dubai International Boat Show, the company will bring to the fair a selection of its luxury yachts, including Majesty 140 and Majesty 100, both designed and built in the United Arab Emirates.
At the show, there will be international builders such as Amels, Baglietto, Benetti, CRN, Feadship, Fincantieri Yachts, Heesen, Lürssen, Oceanco and Sanlorenzo.
The Dubai Harbour, currently under construction at the north end of Dubai Marina, will boost the emirate’s marine offering. Due for completion in 2020, the harbor will also be the new home of the Dubai International Boat Show.
Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President of Dubai World Trade Centre and one of the organisers of the Dubai International Boat Show, commented: “With nearly 15% of the superyacht show, launches and presentations from the world’s leading superyacht builders, the Dubai International Boat Show remains the most fascinating marine lifestyle event in the Middle East. Access to Middle Eastern super-affluent buyers through the Dubai International Boat Show to cultivate, build and increase long-term customer relationships with yachting stakeholders across the region is therefore critical to the development of global growth in this exclusive segment.”