Boating will rebound
There are few economic barometers cooler than yacht sales. After a busy Dubai International Boat Show, Erwin Bamps, COO of Gulf Craft, writes that the industry is all set to make a comeback.
March 9, 2011 12:11 by shafeer
We can now confidently report reinvigorated sales by as much as 40 percent, boosted by a rebound in the luxury sector that was largely helped by clients who had pre-crisis plans to buy luxury goods and were revisiting those plans at the first signs of recovery. This has made us quietly confident about the short and medium future, demonstrated by the announcement of our new yacht range at the Dubai International Boat Show in March. This confidence is supported by the streamlined business structure they have refined in the past two years, reducing overhead expense without impacting on quality.
So what does the future hold for the regional industry? In the short- to mid-term the growth sector of the market will be at both the lower and higher ends of the market – the smaller cruisers and sportsboats under 40ft, and the large superyachts over 78ft. We know this because a significant number of our super yacht build slots have already been booked! But in addition to domestic demand, our hugely successful exports to Europe is remaining positive, indicating growth in foreign markets and recognising the importance that emerging countries hold in the growth of the leisure yachting industry. Quite simply, the increased availability of waterfront property around the Middle East and Asia will undoubtedly drive the interest in boat ownership. The more developers create greater opportunity for people to get out on the water, the more likely it is that they will.
Erwin Bamps is Chief Operating Officer for Gulf Craft.
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