Middle East Boating Conference


With 2015 hailed as the year of innovation for the UAE, new waterfront developments, creative design solutions, and investment in waterside living and tourism are going to shape the nation’s leisure marine industry, according to industry experts.

Focussing on marina development and intelligent yacht design, the 2015 Middle East Boating Conference, as part of Dubai International Boat Show 2015, will offer the perfect platform for global experts and industry authorities, as well as boating enthusiasts, to address the latest trends, technologies, plans and regulations affecting the marine leisure sector in Dubai and beyond.

The conference is being held on 2 March 2015 at the Westin Mina Seyahi Hotel and addresses topics including Waterfront Developments, Innovation through Design and Intelligence, Law and Best Practice in Yachting Purchases, the Importance of the Middle East for Superyacht Builders. Leading speakers and eminent group leaders who be providing key industry insights include Amer Ali, Executive Director of Dubai Maritime City Authority, Matthew Chatt-Collins, Head of Yacht Design at UK firm Andrew Winch Design, expert in marina design and architecture in the region Emmanuel Delarue, CEO of NDA Group in China, and a panel session moderated by Nabil Farhat from World of Yachts and Boats.

Boasting year round sunshine and luxurious lifestyles - with some of the world’s highest concentration of millionaires - the region is well positioned as a preferred yachting destination. Growing investment in waterfront developments and world class marina facilities will continue to drive demand for a leisure marine lifestyle especially in the small to mid-size boat market, industry experts say.

Nawfal Al Jourani, Director of Communications at the Dubai Maritime City Authority said, “With waterfront attractions coming to fruition, yacht sales expected to boom over the next five years, and as the region begins to rival existing boating destinations worldwide, we are likely to witness a boost in sales of small to medium water crafts as more people take up a boating lifestyle” Mr Al Jourani will be speaking about ‘Dubai Strategic Maritime Directions’ at the Middle East Yachting Conference.

Work on several developments in the UAE are already underway including, the expansion of marinas, waterfront facilities and yachting support services - providing ample opportunity for growth in the leisure marine market.

The three kilometre Dubai Canal project which is expected to be completed in the next two years will run through the heart of Dubai, connecting the already extended creek at Business Bay with the Arabian Gulf at Jumeirah beach. Adding an extra six kilometres to Dubai’s existing waterfront, the canal is expected to attract 20 – 22 million visitors per year as its banks will be lined with over 450 new restaurants, public spaces, world class hotels, and number of jetties for yachts on either side of the water.


Further defining Dubai as a waterside living and tourist destination, the Deira Island project at the Palm Deira will create 40km of additional waterfront, including a creek marina for large yachts and additional marina facilities directly outside residences.

Recognized expert in marina design and architecture, Emmanuel Delarue, CEO of NDA Group, agreed that there is tremendous opportunity for the leisure marine lifestyle to continue to grow as more waterfront developments and marina projects are completed.

“Dubai has a long standing boating tradition and the region is really embracing its passion for yachting and watersports. With millions of people flocking to enjoy the UAE’s waterfront lifestyle, and a high number of high net worth individuals looking to spend millions on superyachts, by investing in marinas with real lifestyle and expanding existing waterways, the region will continue to develop as one of the world’s most desirable destinations for tourism and outdoor living.” Delarue said.

Delarue will deliver a presentation on ‘Realising the true potential of marinas: lifestyle and value at their best’ at the Middle East Yachting Conference, which focuses on waterfront developments in the GCC.

The recently announced UAE Yacht Code is also set to play a key role in boosting the country’s global recognition in the international maritime industry. A global first, the new code identifies the requirements that yacht builders and owners must meet when designing, producing and operating superyachts 24 meters or more in length, intended for private use.

With larger yachts increasingly being custom built based on individual designs, current codes and regulations for the larger yachts are based on conventional steel ship technology which impose strong limitations on the innovative yachting industry.

Demonstrating the importance on innovative and flexible design, Head of Yacht Design and Director at Andrew Winch Designs, Matthew Chatt-Collins said, “With innovative design always at the forefront of every project, we create unique designs for individual clients by taking their dreams and turning them into a reality.” An expert in exclusive yacht building and Winner of the World of Superyacht Award for Best Yacht of the Year Over 82m with Equanimity, Chatt-Collins, will be speaking about Innovation through Design and Intelligence at the Middle East Yachting Conference.

The new UAE Yacht Code is free of restrictions in terms of number of passengers on board and allows yachts to be made of any construction material, e.g. steel, aluminum, composites or wood. Manufactures are also given greater flexibility in the formation of the yacht’s hull using a single or a multi-structure hull, and the regulations do not govern a maximum length for the yacht with using sails and engines of different kinds. The required level of safety remains the same as legislated in current international regulations.

“As the UAE continues to embrace innovation, this will drive development in so many areas, including the yachting industry. With first-rate waterfront projects and yachting facilities, and now less restrictive superyacht manufacturing regulations, we are likely to see more international shipbuilders entering the UAE market which will be decisive in securing the region as a global manufacturing hub and yachting destination,” said Nabil Farhat, Publisher of World of Yachts and Boat. Farhat will be moderating the panel discussion about ‘Why is the Middle East important for Superyacht builders’ at the conference.

“The Middle East Yachting Conference has always been a key networking event during the Dubai International Boat Show, combining topics of regional interest with international relevance and bringing active discussion for both international and locally-based delegates. With attendees and presenters including industry professionals, exhibitors and local maritime authorities, the conference brings all stakeholders together under one banner and offering unparalleled insights into the market and industry,” said Trixie LohMirhmand, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the show.

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.