Covid restrictions couldn’t stop the region’s boat owners and enthusiasts from heading to the ADNEC marina for the 2021 Abu Dhabi International Boat Show.


Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable & Humanitarian Foundation and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show headed back to its Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre home for the third edition.

Held from the 13th to the 16th of October, ADIBS 2020 set a new benchmark for the capital’s boat show with over 350 exhibitors and brands from 28 countries from around the world participating in the event held at the ADNEC Marina.

The quality of the boats, yachts, accessories and stalls at the show was worldclass, with Gulf Craft’s vast, floating stand being notably impressive.

Footfall was decent with a large amount of VVIPs present during the event.

From what the Yachts team could see, this was the most popular ADIBS to date – impressive, seeing the quite strict entry policy. Fully vaccinated attendees were required to show a negative PCR test result on the AlHosn app with 48 hours validity to gain entry. For the capital’s residents, this may not have been an issue, as Abu Dhabi has enforced strict entry requirements for all of its public events. But for those travelling from other emirates, going through the uncomfortable PCR procedure alone would’ve kept a fair few visitors away. Not the Yachts team though, as we were very much looking forward to enjoying the relaxed ambience only a boat show can create.


The actual entry to the show this year was much improved. Unlike the previous show’s long opening corridor and complex regimented layout (great for stand footfall, not so much for relaxed browsing) this year it was straight into the accessory hall, which you could explore at your leisure. Here, in the air-conditioned cool, there was a vast array of boat and yacht accessories on display, from fishing tackle to outboard motors. There was also a ‘big’ surprise from Mercury outside, as the new V12 Verado outboard made its Middle East debut. Seeing this towering 7.6 litre, 600 horsepower monster was an unexpected treat and had us excited for the rest of the show.

One of the bonuses of opening the event in the late afternoon is the perfect lighting conditions created by the setting sun. Photographers call it ‘the golden hour’ and as evening set in, it made for some glorious pictures while adding to the feel-good factor. The hard standing area paid homage to local boat manufacturers, with Hayaari Marine, Ocean Boats, ASM, Al Falasi Marine, and G Marine showing off some substantial sport fishers

At the other end of the scale, Polycraft had a number of tiny tenders and fishing skiffs on the show and Fishski UAE’s PWC accessories added another dimension to the aqua bike. Exalto Emirates had an OXE diesel on display with MTU and Volvo Penta covered by Al Masaood Power Division.

Sports for all: A large number of multi-outboard sports fishers on display reflected the capital’s love for the fast, entertaining craft.


Yachts enjoyed a sea trial with the Foiler just before the sun finally set. For anyone who hasn’t experienced ‘flying’ 1.5 metres above the water, the feeling is similar to driving a rally car over a tarmac stage; the Foiler rides over waves and wakes while cornering flat and fast, so much so, that it really needs bucket seats. Amazing machine.

Back in the marina and it was quality all the way. Gulf Craft had a mighty stand and business was good with the premieres of the Majesty 49 flybridge yacht and the Silvercraft 47, leisure/fishing boat. Also on show was the Majesty 62 M (designed for the Maldives), the Oryx 379, Silvercat 40 Lux and the Nomad 95.

We were very much looking forward to enjoying the relaxed ambiance only a boat show can create.

Size-wise, Al-Kous Marine’s trimarans are getting larger and larger, with the Mussaffah shipyard displaying three of its floating penthouses – impressive for a local brand that began in 2013 with two workers building houseboats on the seashore.

As far as boat show’s go, ADIBS has a friendly, laid back feel. This year’s open-plan layout allowed visitors to explore freely and there was plenty to see and do for all the family. Considering the current event restrictions, ADIBS ran smoothly, and we look forward to a (hopefully) unrestricted show next year.