The Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS), scheduled to take place March 10 to 14, has been postponed until November 24 to 28 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19 virus). The Dubai World Trade Centre, which organizes the show, said in a statement that while the United Arab Emirates remains “completely safe for travel,” many international participants are unable to leave their home countries. “We have been working closely to assure that our clients’ needs are most effectively addressed, and the delivery of strong international participation considered, in these extraordinary times,” said the statement.
The organizers have viewed this year as a milestone event because of its move to the new Dubai Harbour. The 1,100-slip marina, the largest in the Middle East, can accommodate superyachts up to 550 feet in length. Located near Bluewaters, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and the Burj Al Arab, the facility has a heliport, refit facility and multiple fueling docks.
DIBS will run during the Dubai Expo 2020, which organizers hope will boost attendance at the boat show. Several exhibitors praised the decision to postpone the show.
“November is a wonderful time for our global yachting business and the simultaneous organization of Expo Dubai 2020 and Dubai Boat Show will co-create new opportunities and heighten interest in the region’s leisure yachting lifestyle appeal,” said Michael Bremen, sales director of the German superyacht builder Lürssen.
DIBS is considered the most important boat show in the Middle East, with boats on display valued at over $700 million. Exhibitors include regional yacht builders like Gulf Craft, along with international brands, such as Azimut-Benetti, Feadship, Dominator, Ferretti Group, Westport, Triton and others.
Superyachts like the the 348-ft. Amadea, the largest boat ever to be displayed at the show, will also be showcased along with the Pershing 8X, Majesty 120 and Princess Y85.
Other boat shows in Asia have also been waylaid by the coronavirus outbreak. The Japan International Boat Show was canceled and other shows in Singapore and Taiwan have been rescheduled to later dates.