Saudi boat show 'big success'
Jeddah, November 2, 2009
The inaugural Saudi International Boat Show, which featured diving demonstrations, a fishing competition, marine equipment displays and a vast array of yachts and boats, registered than 37,000 visitors, exceeding all expectations.
The boat show was held from October 14 to 17 at the Al Furusya Marine and Yacht Club in Jeddah.
“The Saudi International Boat Show offered a rich agenda filled with activities and presented an ideal platform for international companies to conduct face-to-face meetings with international customers in the Kingdom,” said a delighted Prince Abdullah bin Saud bin Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, chairman of Al Ahlam Marine Tourism Group.
“The response to the Saudi International Boat Show has been very encouraging and we are looking forward to making this an established event in Jeddah’s events calendar,” he added.
Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO of the Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the show, said: “The events attendance and participation has surpassed all of our original targets and we hope this heralds the making of an international event that will be synonymous with Saudi Arabia.”
“There is clearly great potential in Saudi Arabia’s leisure and marine tourism industry and we are delighted that the show has provided our international suppliers a first-hand experience of this.”
As well as the many features and social elements of the show, a great deal of business was conducted amongst some of the world’s leading manufacturers, VIP’s and affluent buyers.
Exhibitors also expressed their delight at the high quality of visitors and the access to one of the most important markets in the world.
“We are overwhelmed by the excellent turnout,” said Ehab Mina, CEO, Sea Rocket Boats. “Visitors are curious, which is a great thing. They learn about boats, ships and yachts as they go along. This is essential to raising awareness and interest among the people across the country.”
“There is a lot of potential in Saudi Arabia,” said Paul Manting, international sales and marketing manager from Icon Yachts. “We received some very serious leads as a result of the show, and we will certainly be returning in 2010 in a larger capacity, hopefully bringing a newly built yacht.”
“I was very happy to see that people are very open and welcoming,” said Thunayan F Al-Ghanim, president of Alghanim Marine. “It’s an excellent effort. I’ve been to many inaugural exhibitions and in comparison to the one’s I’ve seen this is the best in terms of the set up.”
“Jeddah is different from most cities in the Middle East. A lot of our target audience lives here. We are very happy and we are going to come back next year. We are planning on bringing our sub-dealers with us.” said Francesco Pitae, general manager of Sunseeker Middle East.
“Within just two days of the Saudi International Boat Show we had met three quarters of our business objectives. We really hope to come back next year,” said Basil Al Safadi, the commercial manager of Blue Limits.
Feedback from visitors to the exhibition was also extremely positive, with many people returning for more than one day of the show.
The Saudi International Boat Show will return in October next year, a statement said. – TradeArabia News Service