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Abu Dhabi Yacht Show Superyachts create international waves

by Celine Fenet on 15 Mar 2011
The Superyacht Forum was held on the first day of the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show. MIAA
Abu Dhabi Yacht Show - Two of the largest superyachts built in the UAE have made this year’s list of the world’s top 100 largest superyachts, according to Superyachts.com, the online resource for the international superyacht community.

Abu Dhabi’s ADM Shipyards’ Swift 141 landed in sixth place, taking the newly built vessel straight onto the prestigious list, while the 162-meter luxury vessel ‘Dubai’ has retained its ranking as the world’s second largest superyacht. The UAE is one of only two countries, besides traditional yacht building powerhouse Germany, to have multiple mentions in the annual listing’s Top Ten.

'The report is a confirmation of the UAE’s growing prominence as a builder and exporter of premium luxury superyachts. That positioning is strengthened by this month’s staging of the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show which will further propel UAE shipyards into the international industry spotlight,' said Andy Treadwell, Managing Director of Informa Yacht Group (IYG), organizers of the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show (ADYS).

'The UAE, in particular Abu Dhabi, possesses huge potential to become a yachting and marine powerhouse in the near future. Though relatively a much younger market, the UAE is already punching above its weight with some of the largest superyachts in construction being built by these locally based shipyards. They are already proving that ‘Made in UAE’ superyachts can take their place alongside their more established counterparts.'

ADM Shipyards’ Swift 141 is due to be completed this year at the company’s shipyard in the UAE capital. The 141-meter yacht comprises the largest composite yacht superstructure ever built and when launched, will be one of the world’s fastest superyachts with a top speed of 26 knots. Its striking exterior styling and interior design are the work of Paris-based Pierrejean Design Studio.

The Abu Dhabi MAR Group also recently launched in London its new project, Panache, a new 65-meter luxury vessel, through its subsidiary CMN Yachts. A model of the superyacht will be showcased in the Middle East for the very first time at ADYS. 'We’re bringing Panache to Abu Dhabi because we’re confident it will appeal very strongly to yachting enthusiasts from the region. We have other surprises that will be unveiled during the show on Abu Dhabi MAR Group's stand,' said Cyril Le Sourd, Sales and Marketing Manager, CMN Yachts.

Treadwell likewise noted the success of another UAE homegrown yacht builder, Gulf Craft, whose flagship superyacht concept, Majesty 135 was sold at the Monaco Yacht Show, another IYG event, last year. Ordered by a Middle Eastern client for US $17 million (AED 62.4 million), the superyacht is being built in the Emirates and is expected to be completed this year.

'The Middle East has always been a key market in terms of superyacht buyers. With some of the largest and most impressive vessels now being built in the UAE, the industry is coming to the clients. It’s an exciting time for UAE shipyards,' he added.

According to Erwin Bamps, COO, Gulf Craft, the total number of yachts – from small boats to the larger and more luxurious superyachts - manufactured by the company last year reached 500. The figure is expected to grow in 2011, fueled by an increase in demand for new-builds.

'We are going to be very cautiously optimistic this year. Having said that, we still see demand growing for new yachts by at least fifteen percent,' added Bamps, whose company registered a forty percent increase in sales in 2010, boosted by a recovering luxury sector which saw clients who had pre-crisis plans to buy yachts returning to the market. Bamps also observed that Abu Dhabi has increasingly become an attractive proposition as a regional hub in the yachting industry, continuing to draw international names and buyers.

ADYS is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and is sponsored by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), with the iconic Yas Hotel – the only one in the world straddling an F1™ race track - as the official hospitality partner.

This year’s ADYS, running 24 – 26 March 2011 at Yas Marina, will be co-located and jointly promoted with the season opener of the FIA GT1 World Championship 2011 – one of the most glamorous events on the motor racing calendar.

'This year is one in which Abu Dhabi celebrates its rich maritime heritage in a thoroughly modern context through the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show and the year-end hosting of the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race,' said Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager, ADTA. 'With fantastic marina infrastructure now coming on line we are ready to chart a course as an international marine destination whether for powered or sailing Abu Dhabi Yacht Show
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