Abu Dhabi Yacht Show Numbers Down

Visitor numbers to the 2nd Abu Dhabi Yacht Show fell far short of the predicted 10,000 and were below those for the events inaugural outing in 2009. This year’s show saw just over 6,000 visitors over the three-day event, which featured 30 superyachts and more than 140 exhibitors.

Undeterred by the poor turnout, the Informa Yacht Group (IYG), the shows organizers highlighted the tremendous potential of the yachting business in the Middle East and Abu Dhabi’s ambitions to become the leading global marine leisure and yachting destination.

Franck Dailles, Group Director at IYG, said: “The feedback we have received from the exhibitors, the positive interest shown by various clients and the number of serious buyers that attended, has been extremely encouraging. The yachting industry, and the number of yachting and marine related businesses in Abu Dhabi has been growing, and we the show is playing a significant role in further strengthening its claim to be a global superyacht destination for this region.” He added, “The results of negotiations initiated and deals closed at the event will emerge soon.”

Several exhibitors viewed the show as an entry point into the lucrative UAE market, and as a platform to attract buyers from the Gulf area and nearby Eastern European states. Visitor traffic from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Europe boosted the number of locally based attendees.

Not everyone was happy with many of those who had paid for stands complaining about the quality of the service provided by the organizers citing many problems there was only very poor air-conditioning in the exhibition halls.

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