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KHALEEJ TIMES, Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 | Muharram 30,1440

Abu Dhabi to host int'l boat show

Emirates: The inaugural Abu Dhabi International Boat Show (ADIBS) from October 17 to 20 will help build some momentum in the boating industry, industry experts said.

ADIBS 2018 is organised by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company and will see 270 exhibiting companies from 25 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Australia, Italy, France, Switzerland, Japan, Canada and New Zealand along with local companies involved in luxury boats, yachts, water sports and fishing equipment industries - making up to 48 per cent of the participants.

ADNEC group CEO Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri said the event aims to position Abu Dhabi as the region's capital for business tourism by organising new events and attracting international exhibitions and conferences.

"We decided to organise the boat show after an extensive study of the local market, focusing on sectors identified in the Abu Dhabi Plan and Emirate's Vision 2030, where leisure and tourism sectors are recognised as the main pillars of economic growth and diversification, along with other sectors."

In four days of the event, some 90 boats are set to attract 20,000 visitors to the ADNEC Marina and there will be some 23 product launches, including luxury yachts, boats, specialised water sports and fishing equipment.

Abu Dhabi Ports' executive vice president of corporate support Abdullah Humaid Al Hamli said the maritime sector has been growing steadily in Abu Dhabi and will be further boosted by such events.

"ADIBS will act as catalyst for the luxury yacht and boat industry which has grown in the last 10 years and has started to attract industry leaders from the region and the rest of the world," he said.

'Slow now but will grow'
Al Suwaidi Marine's president Mohammed Al Suwaidi said the event was a great platform for local manufacturers to showcase their products to international companies.

"The event will open up a world of opportunity for luxury yachts, boats, watersports and fishing equipment industry in the UAE. This will be an ideal platform for them to connect with leading international companies in this field."

He said the industry was seeing a slowdown and such events help connect with new players.

"In terms of manufacturing, there are good companies in the UAE but boating industry worldwide is going through recession because of the economic slowdown. The condition is up and down. When things are slow, companies take time in developing, improving products and quality. We expect more products will be developed in coming years," Al Suwaidi said and added there will be a new boat launched and three unique ones on display at the event.

"There is lot of effort from ADNEC to push this event as the event for boating in the Middle East," he added.

ADIBS show director Alex Nicholl said the event will see a perfect mix of business, culture, heritage and history, thereby promoting business tourism. He added there will be lots of family-centric events.

"There will cultural events, entertainment, food and beverage, music, art and craft - these are the ideas that attract families to the event, people who don't yet know that they love boating. Abu Dhabi is a perfect boating location," he said and added there will be lots of activities to make people love boating.

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