Dubai International Boat Show brings together brands and companies from 41 countries Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

The Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) promises enough of fun and thrills for leisure maritime industry professionals and water sport and marine lifestyle fans during the duration of the five-day event. Celebrating its 27th edition this year, DIBS features offerings from 845 brands and companies from 41 countries, with more than 71 first-time exhibitors at the show. Excerpts from an interview with Riju George, Show Director of the Dubai International Boat Show.

What are the highlights this year?

This edition will be our most exciting yet, hosting more than 450 vessels worth a combined Dh1.5 billion, ranging from fishing boats and small leisure craft to 50-metre (164ft) superyachts. We will have 38 global and regional launches, our biggest range of sea-faring equipment yet, and live competitions across sailing, fishing, jet-skiing and fly-boarding. Presented by the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss), our 2019 Superyacht Avenue will feature latest projects from leading global brands.

Our aim is to present a 360 degree marine lifestyle experience. This year’s theme, Let’s all live a little celebrates this lifestyle, showcasing the many ways one can take to the seas – from luxury yachts to affordable mid-size and small boats, as well as marine equipment, water sport and hobby equipment. Furthermore, an exciting lineup of entertainment makes this a perfect day out for family.

- Riju George, Show Director of the Dubai International Boat Show

Scuba is big this year at DIBS with the Dive MENA Expo, formerly DMEX, and organised in partnership with the Emirates Diving Association (EDA). The event will bring thousands of divers, experts and hopefuls together to learn, network and discover the latest kit.

Our aim is to present a 360 degree marine lifestyle experience. This year’s theme, Let’s all live a little celebrates this lifestyle, showcasing the many ways one can take to the seas – from luxury yachts to affordable mid-size and small boats, as well as marine equipment, water sport and hobby equipment. Furthermore, an exciting lineup of entertainment makes this a perfect day out for family.

What’s new at the show?

There are some incredible new offerings including our new Watersports Village where visitors can explore an array of fun sea-toys. There’s also live sailing, fishing and jet-ski competitions, and a huge showcase of the latest in recreational sea craft and equipment.

Among our hosted competitions will be the eagerly anticipated annual Dubai to Muscat Sailing Race organised by the UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation, and the UAE International Aquabike Championship & Fishing Competition, organised by the Dubai International Marine Club.

For trade visitors, Dubai International Boat Show offers a series of industry nights including a Skipper’s Night and a Captain’s Night, allowing participants to meet and network.

In an event first, the 2019 Dubai International Boat Show will also play host to the Middle East’s debut VriThink’s Night Out, an open social platform that allows leaders from different disciplines to share their innovation, insight, knowledge and understanding with hundreds of people, all working to further enhance yachting and boating.

What are the entertainment options at DIBS?

This is a lifestyle event first and foremost and provides fun for the family. Beyond the towering superyachts in the Marina Display, visitors will be kept on edge with live demonstrations of the latest in high-performance sea toys, including the fastest underwater sea sled in the world from SEABOB. They will also be encouraged to really throw themselves into all a life by the sea can offer by enjoying the show’s out-at-sea sailing experiences and water sports taster sessions at the new Watersports Village.

For a more land-based buzz, the Super Car Promenade will present the fastest, flashiest and most exclusive cars to hit the tarmac.

Our entertainment area is back again this year, with an incredible lineup of family-friendly activities, live musical acts and on-water entertainment, plus a host of mouthwatering food-trucks.

For a bit of retail therapy, head to the DIBS Retail Village with lifestyle accessories and kit to keep visitors decked out on land and at sea.

The Nikki Beach Lounge will be ready to help you take the edge off with its famed chilled-out ambiance, where guests can enjoy stylish bites and signature beverages from the uber-trendy beach club.

Finally, the Marine Art Gallery returns, featuring exquisite art, sculptures and installations from the likes of Andreas von Zadora-Gerlof (USA), Marmor Hotavlje (Slovenia), Vlastimil Beranek (Czech Republic), Jan Frydrych (Czech Republic) and a wealth of global visionaries.