International boat show offers first glimpse of new Dubai Harbour

The five-day marine exhibition opens on March 10 in Mina Seyahi

Rendering of Dubai Harbour. Mohammed Bin Rashid Launches "Dubai Harbor" largest yacht marina in the Middle East and North Africa (WAM)

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After years of construction, the first glimpse of the much-anticipated new Dubai Harbour is now just weeks away as the marina prepares to host the 2020 international boat show.

The Mina Seyahi area of Dubai will become the region’s largest cruise liner terminal once the three-year project is completed in September.

Until then, a section of the harbour will be publicly open for the marine exhibition from March 10 to 14.

“It is an exciting moment for us as we will soon be receiving our first boats and opening the doors for the first time,” said Selcuk Balci, managing director of D-Marin Dubai, which manages the marina within Dubai Harbour.

“Last year we showed the harbour and marina model at the show, this year people will be able to see the real thing.”

The current Dubai Harbour development is understood to have been significantly redesigned since the original plans were first unveiled in 2017.

The initial idea for the Middle East’s largest marina included capacity for up to 1,400 vessels as well as a 135 metre-high lighthouse and luxury hotel.

Next month, boat show visitors will be able to view a 360 degree virtual map of how the remodelled development will look.

The five-day event will include many of the world’s latest yacht designs as well as hover bikes, electric surfboards and personal submarines.

The super yacht industry is expected to be worth up to $30 billion (Dh110bn) by 2022, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia two of the world’s largest markets.

More than 150 vessels of more than 40 metres in length are berthed in the Middle East, 12.6 per cent of the world’s biggest vessels.

Once complete, the new cruise terminal is expected to transform Dubai into a hub for ocean liners, bringing thousands more tourists into the country each year.

“The expansive, modern berth mix available to yacht, superyacht owners and the wider recreational boat market, along with cutting-edge facilities, make it one of our most outstanding marinas under our portfolio,” said Mr Balci.