BEIRUT: Lebanon’s biggest boat and yacht show is making a return this spring at the Port of Beirut’s Pier 1 in Downtown after a hiatus in 2013.
Beirut Boat 2014 will be the ninth installment of the expo, which brings together owners, buyers and dealers along with others specializing in luxury lifestyle products every evening from May 14-18.
The annual boat show, previously held at Dbayyeh’s marina, is organized by locally based event planners International Fairs and Promotions along with German trade fair organizers Messe Dusseldorf. The 2013 show was canceled due to security problems, a spokeswoman for IFP told The Daily Star.
On display this in mid-May at the Port of Beirut will be aquatic vessels ranging from sailboats to super and mega luxury yachts to inflatable boats and accessories. On land, the expo will host stands for boat repair and maintenance services and equipment shops.
In addition to nautical novelties, the show will see a number of other events catering to a luxury market. Car collections from the country’s high-end dealers will be on display alongside designer fashion, jewelry, furniture and watches.
That luxury market brings in massive sales for the mere five-day event. The postshow report in 2012 said participating companies made millions of dollars in sales.
Based on the turn out in 2012, organizers are predicting almost 30,000 attendants over the course of expo, with around 130 exhibitors participating from around Europe and the Middle East. This year’s international exhibitors will come from neighboring Cyprus and Turkey, the Gulf countries, Egypt, Germany, Italy and the U.K. The show will highlight 60 different boats docked at the port, according to a news release.
The show’s growth over the past decade reflects an expanding interest regionally in boating, particularly in Gulf countries like Dubai. Six percent of the boats on display will come from GCC countries.
Throughout the region, there are approximately 100 marinas and 5,000 docking sites planned or already under construction. Among the largest superyachts in the world, 28 of them are owned by residents of the Middle East.
The show also taps in to local nostalgia, as the country is a historic hub for seafarers. Today, there are around 15 marinas along the Lebanese coast, which attract hundreds of international maritime travelers to Lebanese waters each summer.
“The Beirut Boat reflects horizons of growth for the future of the maritime industry and its luxury segment in the Middle East,” said Albert Aoun, IFP’s CEO, in a news release. “This event’s resounding success substantiates its vital role as a comprehensive platform that promotes business and investment opportunities and brings them together to Beirut celebrated boat and yacht construction companies from around the world.”