Strong stream of boats at Dubai show as owners look to sell

There were 85 boats on display with a combined value of Dh75 million at the opening day of Dubai's pre-owned boat show.
The pre-owned boat show in Dubai had 85 vessels on display worth Dh75 million. Jaime Puebla / The National
The pre-owned boat show in Dubai had 85 vessels on display worth Dh75 million. Jaime Puebla / The National

Anyone who has ever spent any time on the water will tell you there are only two good days to be a boat owner - the day you buy it and the day you sell it.

If numbers of expected vendors at this year's Dubai pre-owned boat show are anything to go by, the ranks of the latter category are swelling like the tide in a tempest.

There were 85 boats on display with a combined value of Dh75 million (US$20.4m) at Dubai Creek Marina yesterday for the opening day, with more expected to join over the next couple of days.

"This year we have increased the amount of participants, there are new companies coming in, with a different selection of boats. We have tried to find the boats that are suitable for the market," said Abdulla Ali Al Noon, marina operations manager at the marina.

"Realistically we are looking at over 7,000 visitors this year. In the first show in 2010 we had about 4,500 people and last year there were 6,500."

Last year, there were 25 participating retailers and 60 boats on display with a combined value of Dh55m. This year the marina retail area has been expanded by 20 per cent to make space for the extra retailers and exhibitors and a new jet ski zone.

Mr Al Noon expects to sell 30 boats during the show this year, up from the 22 boats that were sold last year for a combined price of Dh26 million.

"There is a lot more demand [in the Middle East] for second-hand boats than new boats. The market has been growing, we have a lot of people from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain who come to Dubai to buy a boat," said Mr Al Noon.

On show were boats ranging from 25ft to 165ft worth some Dh30,000 to Dh25m for customers with more than a little spare change. The most expensive vessel on display this year is the Sunseeker Predator 84, worth about $10m.

This is the second time the retailer Al Marakeb Boat Manufacturing has participated in the show, showcasing its Spartan 25 and Dino 31.

"The show has a generally friendly and laid-back atmosphere and it attracts people that are serious about buying a boat," said Nour Al Sayyed, an architect at Al Marakeb. "Relative to other shows, Al Marakeb closes more sales at the Creek Show. The crowd at the show are people who already know they're buying a boat, it's just a matter of picking one."

One visitor, Mohammed Salih from Abu Dhabi, had come especially early to get a glimpse of the boats on display. "The Sunseeker Predator is too expensive for me, but I am here to buy a small boat for my family so we can use it for little breaks," he said.

According to a report from the American consultancy Booz & Company, demand for marina moorings in the region is expected to double by 2015 to 82,000 berths.

thamid@thenational.ae

Published: November 9, 2012 04:00 AM

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