Global boat builders urged to prioritise sustainable manufacturing to ride wave of a US13$ billion luxury yacht market

DUBAI: The world’s mega-rich and well-heeled luxury consumers are taking to the ocean like never before, but luxury yacht builders and makers of high-end marine crafts should continue to prioritise their eco-credentials if they’re to ride the wave of a US$13 billion market.

Speakers at this week’s Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference agree that boatyards which prioritise sustainable manufacturing into yachts that are better for the environment will align with the values of the new-age eco-conscious yacht owner or even first-time buyer.

If they do so, expect to see plenty of e-boats and hybrid electric propulsion vessels in the coming years cruising beautiful marine tourism hotspots, including the Dubai Reef, launched in 2023, one of the world’s largest reef development projects, which will span 600sqm of pristine Dubai coastline.

Eric Althaus, Managing Partner and Senior Broker of Althaus Yachts, a broker of high-end yachts, said eco yachts are the perfect foil for today’s owners eager to reduce the
ir environmental footprint: ‘The modern yacht owner, often younger, seeks global exploration and adventure in remote places,’ said Althaus, who will sit on a panel about innovative marketing strategies in luxury yachting at the Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference, taking place on 27th February at the Westin Mina Seyahi.

‘To align with these values, eco yachts are equipped with advanced features such as hybrid electric propulsion, sustainable materials, dynamic positioning, solar panels, and cutting-edge wastewater recovery systems, emphasising a commitment to environmental care during cruises.’

The annual Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference will act as the official curtain raiser for the Dubai International Boat Show, bringing more than 250 key industry leaders from across the globe to deep dive into topics including innovation, regulation, sustainability, and the future of the sector.

It arrives as yacht-brokerage firms reported record sales of super yachts in 2023, with Fortune Business I
nsights, a market researcher, expecting the global luxury yacht market to nearly double in size over the next eight years, with annual revenues reaching US$13.6 billion by 2030.

Dr. Mariem Nasraoui, R and D Director at ChromaMe Air and Surface Nano Tech, is another speaker on a panel exploring tech’s role in transforming the luxury yachting sector. Dr. Nasraoui said tech is critical in advancing luxury yachting’s sustainability agenda.

‘Innovations such as eco-friendly propulsion systems, lightweight materials, and energy-efficient technologies will help reduce the environmental footprint of yachting activities while maintaining high standards of luxury and performance,’ said Dr. Nasraoui.

‘In the coming years, we can expect to see further integration of technology into luxury yachting, including advancements in areas such as autonomous navigation, renewable energy integration, and augmented reality experiences for passengers. These innovations will continue to enhance the overall yachting experience whi
le addressing sustainability challenges and driving industry growth.’

An amazing orchestra of collaboration

Figen Ayan, Chief Port Officer of Galataport Istanbul and MedCruise – the largest port association globally representing over 150 ports from 22 countries – will sit on a panel of the Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference examining the Gulf region’s steep ascent as a capital of the yachting world.

This rising status is amplified by sustainable government initiatives propelling the region into a global marine paradise, accentuated by the Arabian peninsula’s crown jewel, the Dubai Reef, the world’s largest artificial reef and a beacon of sustainability, attracting yachters and divers alike with a promise of eco-friendly cruising.

Ayan said the Dubai Reef is the result of an ‘amazing orchestra of collaboration’ that invites visitors to dive into local culture and discover all aspects of a destination: ‘Especially post-pandemic, we clearly see in the marine tourism industry that travellers and Z ge
nerations are more eco-conscious, sustainable, and look for holistic experiences,’ said Ayan.

‘The investments in ports, marinas or waterfronts are clearly following this trend and we see that the line between ports, berths and the hinterland is no longer separated and clear cut. Cities and communities are fully integrated, and the vision is fully inclusive where tourists, yacht owners and locals are brought together in a harmonious, inclusive space in a socially sustainable manner.’

Other speakers at the Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference include Abeer AlShaali, Deputy Managing Director of UAE boat manufacturer, Gulf Craft; Guillermo Canellas Vears, Head of Asset Management at NEOM; and Yousuf Lootah, Acting CEO of Corporate Strategy and Performance at the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.

The one-day conference precedes the 30th Dubai International Boat Show, gathering the marine leisure and tourism industry’s leading minds and protagonists of its future development to scrutinise the most
critical topics steering sustainable sector growth.

Something for everyone – more than a boat show

The Dubai International Boat Show takes place from 28th February to 3rd March at the Dubai Harbour, featuring more than 1,000 brands from 55 countries, 200-plus boats – including nearly 50 regional and global boat launches – along with a raft of exciting watersports activities, kids’ areas, a fishing competition, F and B, and live entertainment for the entire marine community and families to enjoy.

The five-day showpiece event is organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre, and is one of the world’s most prestigious marine lifestyle shows, connecting people and the ocean while showcasing the best of what Dubai offers to live, work, play, and visit.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Al Zeyoudi honours graduates of UAE’s Global Future Trade Leaders Programme

ABU DHABI: In the presence of Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), today honoured the first 30 graduates of the Global Future Trade Leaders Programme – a course designed to develop the Emirati trade negotiators of the future.

The three-month training course, which was launched by the Ministry of Economy in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) last November, has been designed to equip participants with the skills necessary to drive forward the nation’s foreign trade agenda.

The Graduation ceremony was also attended by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organisation, and Rashid Al Balushi, Under-Secretary of the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi.

The graduation comes on the eve of the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13), the World Trade Organisation’s topmost decision-making body that is taking place in Abu Dhabi between
26th-29th February. Preparations for the event, which gathers global ministers and government officials from 164 Member States to review, refine and update the rules governing global trade, was part of the Global Future Trade Leaders Programme’s curriculum.

During the graduation ceremony, Dr. Al Zeyoudi, who is also MC13 Chair, highlighted the central role of foreign trade in the UAE’s national vision, which seeks to develop an agile, adaptable and diversified economy built on knowledge and innovation. Additionally, he emphasised the importance of the nation’s next generation in expanding the UAE’s status as a trade hub and champion of open, rules-based trade as a driver of long-term growth and development.

He said, ‘The UAE is a compelling example of trade’s power to elevate economies and provide a pathway to long-term, sustainable prosperity. In a rapidly evolving world, the ability of the global trading system to keep delivering growth and opportunity will depend on the next generation of trade professio
nals. Their talent, leadership and commitment to open, rules-based trade will ensure every nation around the world will continue to benefit from the free flow of goods, services and ideas.’

‘The Global Future Trade Leaders Programme is designed to equip our young trade strategists with the skills and knowledge necessary to cultivate a modern, inclusive and sustainable global trading system, offering them hands-on, real-world experience of global trade issues. I offer my utmost congratulations on their successful completion of the programme and look forward to their continued contribution to our national vision.’

The Chairman of ADDED said, ‘The graduation of the 1st cohort of the Global Future Trade Leaders Programme is a milestone in our journey to equip our talents with the skills to enhance UAE’s status as a leading trade hub, and accelerate our transition to a smart, diversified, and sustainable economy.’

‘Trade is an integral part of UAE’s development. The free flow of goods, services, and people has
shaped our history and continues to drive our progress as we are forging ahead with efforts to cement the UAE’s position as a leading global hub for trade, business, and investments,’ Al Zaabi added. ‘To this end, we believe the right talents and skills are paramount. The graduates of this programme will enable UAE representatives to reach innovative solutions to global trade challenges at the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi.’

Supported by the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA), the UAE’s official Education Partner as host of MC13, the Global Future Trade Leaders Programme saw candidates participate in a series of masterclass sessions led by experts from international and national entities including the WTO, World Economic Forum, UNCTAD, OECD and AGDA. Subjects covered a range of trade-related topics from trade policy and financing to digital and sustainable trade.

The launch of the programme aligns with the increasing importance of foreign trade in the UAE’s strategic agenda, serving
as a key contributor to doubling the national economy and achieving objectives linked to economic diversification, accelerating GDP growth, stimulating non-oil exports, supporting innovation, and preparing the next generation of talents, competencies, and creative ideas.

Source: Emirates News Agency

WTO Chief Economist hails UAE’s commitment to trade liberalisation

ABU DHABI: Ralph Ossa, Chief Economist at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has praised the UAE’s commitment to trade liberalisation, including development of green and digital trade globally, citing the country’s focus on low tariffs, export diversification, and active participation in the multilateral trading system, and joint statement initiatives.

In statements to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Ossa said that the UAE is a natural fit for hosting the ministerial conference, noting the country’s focus on low tariffs, export diversification, and active participation in the multilateral trading system, and joint statement initiatives.

He lauded the success of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva, MC12, affirming the organisation’s plans ‘to build on this momentum here in Abu Dhabi’.

‘There are many important items on the agenda where we are hoping to make significant progress. Agenda items include, for example, the reform of our dispute settlement system, constraints on subsidies that lead to harmfu
l overfishing and also e-commerce.”

The WTO chief economist highlighted the great importance of green and digital trade and service, describing these sectors as ‘the future of trade’, especially in light of the current boom in digital trade and the promising growth of green trade globally.

The WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) will take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi. Ministers from across the world will attend to review the functioning of the multilateral trading system and to take action on the future work of the WTO.

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE allocates $5 million to WTO’s Women Exporters In Digital Economy Fund

DUBAI: Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Chair of the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference 2024, today announced that the United Arab Emirates has allocated $5 million to a $50 million fund launched Sunday ahead of the conference to help female entrepreneurs in developing countries to export more using the opportunities offered by the digital economy.

‘The WTO’s Women Exporters In Digital Economy Fund allows us to celebrate the invaluable contribution of women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses around the world and to recognise the critical role they play in driving economic growth,’ the minister said.

Ahead of the WTO’s 13th ministerial conference starting tomorrow in the UAE, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala today unveiled a groundbreaking $50 million initiative to empower female entrepreneurs in developing countries.

The new fund aims to unlock the power of the digital economy, helping women exporters overcome financing hurdles and capture untapped opportunities.

“This initiative embodies our collective commitment to empowering women,” Okonjo-Iweala declared. “It’s a crucial step towards addressing the financing gap faced by women entrepreneurs, who are key drivers of economic growth and development.”

It’s noteworthy that H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, yesterday announced that the UAE will provide a US$10 million grant to support a number of key initiatives of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), whose 13th Ministerial Conference is being hosted and chaired by the UAE in Abu Dhabi from 26th-29th February.

Sheikh Abdullah said that the grant to be provided by the UAE will be allocated to the Fisheries Funding Mechanism, the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), and the Women Exporters in the Digital Economy (WEIDE) Fund that will be launched during MC13.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed expressed his pride that the UAE is hosting the WTO’s MC13, the organisation’s highest decision-making body, and welcomed all leaders, ministers and re
presentatives of the 166 Member States to Abu Dhabi for crucial negotiations on key trade issues and discussions on how to enhance and modernize the rules of the global trading system.

Source: Emirates News Agency

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup UAE 2024: Brazil reign supreme again

DUBAI: Brazil reign supreme again! The Samba Boys secured their record-breaking sixth FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup title at UAE 2024, defeating Italy 6-4 in a thrilling final at the Dubai Design District.

Dominating the second half after a close 2-2 draw in the first, the world’s number one team showcased their mastery on the sand.

Led by the dazzling Rodrigo, the 2023 best player in the world, Brazil shone with three goals from his foot. Teammates Bruno Xavier and Brendo added their names to the scoresheet, while an own goal from Italy’s Genao sealed their fate.

This historic victory marks Brazil’s unwavering dominance in beach soccer, solidifying their position as the most decorated team in the sport’s history.

Source: Emirates News Agency