From the outside, the region’s boating culture may look relatively simplistic. Sail, fishing and motor cruisers rule the Arabian Gulf, but there is so much more to the yachting lifestyle than that. This year’s Abu Dhabi International Boat Show ran from the 16th to the 19th of October under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council and featured a whole range of craft to tempt the eye (and cheque books) of Abu Dhabi’s yachting enthusiasts.
Layout wise, this year’s simple marina set up was easy to navigate and showed off the on–water craft a treat. Note, we use the word craft, as there was a plethora of different styles on show at the ADNEC’s purpose built marina. I can’t think of any recent boat show where I’ve seen a floating restaurant share space with a Pershing 70; a superyacht tower over a traditional wooden fishing boat and guest on a house boat watching a aquabike stunt rider doing somersaults. It was these huge changes in size and style that added a real buzz to the marina, in a ‘not sure what to expect next’ way. The quality of boats and yachts on show was top notch, with each vessel spotlessly clean and sensibly spaced from its neighbours.
Arguably the most impressive display was that of the houseboats of Alkous Marine. These super-stylish floating villas towered over the show, with the superstructure ‘X’ lighting up at night. The Abu Dhabi boat builder has gone from building straightforward houseboats, to superyacht style luxury homes, with the flagship now featuring a Jacuzzi in the cockpit with a staircase leading down to the ocean.
We are proud of the unprecedented turnout of visitors and exhibitors at the second edition of ADIBS 2019. We thank all those who participated and contributed to the high-level organisation of the event.
Also standing-out quality wise were the new models from Al Shaali Marina. Bringing in a new, younger style to the Ajman shipyard’s range, the AS 40’s Downeast style complimented the AS 47’s sportiness.
ASM brought its entire range of sport fishers to the show, and thanks to its pontoon lounge, it was the only location where you could take pictures of the boats with the Capital Gate (Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi) in the background.
The quality of boat on show out of the water was just as impressive, with a selection of local manufacturers making it a very tough decision job for potential buyers. We genuinely couldn’t pick a winner (or a loser) here, highlighting the speed that local boat builders are evolving at.
One of the most intriguing boats on display was the latest Foiler. For its 2020 model, Enata has switched from a hybrid to a more robust hydraulic propulsion system, mated to a pair of turbo diesels. That’s not all though, as the 2020 also features two seats in the foredeck area and a joystick control, allowing for a unique driving experience above the water.
Thursday is always a good indicator of a local show’s popularity. The start of the weekend should be busy and the steady flow of visitors crossing from the parking area over the walkway to the show was encouraging. According to the organisers, 26,000 visitors walked down the very cool, blue entrance tunnel, with 284 companies form 24 countries showing off their boats and boat accessories.
Commenting on the event’s success, Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Group CEO, ADNEC, said: “We are proud of the unprecedented turnout of visitors and exhibitors at the second edition of ADIBS 2019. We thank all those who participated and contributed to the high-level organisation of the event.
“ADIBS 2019 provided an ideal platform for exhibitors to conduct business and transact deals smoothly. In addition to enabling specialists and experts to explore the latest innovations in luxury boat manufacturing, as well as in water sports and fishing equipment, the show lent a unique experience for visitors to learn about the rich marine heritage of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and to participate in various edutainment programs presented at the show.
All these factors combined to contribute to the success of the second edition of ADIBS. ADIBS 2019 has become a valuable addition to ADNEC’s growing portfolio of premier events that go to confirm the status of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as the business tourism capital of the region.”
All in all, this was a small but absolutely solid event. It really felt like a boat show this year, and the bar has now been raised for the organisers. New events always take at least years to gain momentum, but the organisers of ADIBS have put on a hugely professional, visually pleasing and above all, fun boat show. We’re looking forward to seeing what they can do for 2020.
Al Dhaheri expressed his appreciation at the efforts put in by Team ADNEC to ensure the availability of the diverse facilities at the ADNEC Marina that significantly contributed not only to the success of ADIBS 2019 but went a long way to fortify Abu Dhabi’s position as a premier marine tourism destination. He also thanked the public and private sector companies which enthusiastically participated and contributed to the various events and activities that were laid out over the four days.
Al Dhaheri said that the increase in the number of visitors and participants in this year’s show provided great encouragement to prepare for a much larger and a more distinctive ADIBS next year, in terms of the technology, exhibition space and creative ideas taken forward to ensure the show’s success.
We are proud of the success achieved during the four days of ADIBS 2019. The immense success of the show has brought new challenges upon the show organisers to augment their efforts to establish Abu Dhabi’s reputation in the luxury marine and water sports industries.
Saeed Al Mansoori, CEO of IDEX, said: “We are proud of the success achieved during the four days of ADIBS 2019. The immense success of the show has brought new challenges upon the show organisers to augment their efforts to establish Abu Dhabi’s reputation in the luxury marine and water sports industries.”
Al Mansouri praised Team ADNEC for brilliantly catering to the entertainment needs of visitors while at the same time meeting all the varied requirements of the exhibitors with professionalism and accuracy.
Al Mansouri said: “We are delighted with the high demand received from the exhibitors to reserve a place for them at ADIBS 2020.”
Al Mansouri specially thanked the show sponsors, who worked alongside the ADIBS organizing committee to make ADIBS 2019 a great success.
Over the course of the four days, the show visitors had the opportunity to see a range of sophisticated flying yachts, electric skate-boards, house-boats, speed-boats and various other versatile boats as well as the chance to experience exciting water sports activities.
The on-water stunt performances, live music events and food stalls were great attractions that brought in families. Visitors were given the option of enjoying a traditional canoe tour or to take part in sailing lessons or to learn the principles of fishing from maritime experts.