For the close-knit yachting community, the Boat Show (March 9-13) is a much-awaited event. No less than 50 superyachts are on display this year, at the event’s new permanent location, the port of Dubai. In addition to this, hundreds of boats, yachts, catamarans and other craft, in addition to fishing and water sports equipment are also on display this year in the beautiful new port. The 28th edition of the event is organized by the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The word yacht comes from the Dutch ‘jacht’, which means ‘hunting’. The “jachts” of old were used to hunt pirates on the high seas. English use of the word appears to have begun in the 17th century, when King Charles II returned from exile, part of which he spent in the Netherlands. Low. There, he had developed a love for yachting.
But what makes a yacht a yacht? It turns out that there is no particular definition. But most boaters agree that a yacht is a boat used purely for recreational purposes and usually has one bedroom, one bathroom and a big engine (unless it’s is a sailboat, which is mainly propelled by the wind and the sails). Yachts are classified into different categories, depending on their size, engine power and amenities on board.
These include cabin cruisers, for cruising and entertaining; luxury yachts, which are lavish and incorporate modern performance technology; sport yachts, mainly used for fishing, and catamarans, often used in shallow waters and equipped with two hulls (pontoons) usually made of fiberglass.
This year’s edition saw a few international debuts, including Sunreef’s 80 Eco catamaran and Princess Y85, as well as a regional premiere for Sanlorenzo’s SX88. The 54 meter alloy sailboat Tiara and Benetti’s 40 meter Free Day are on display. We also had the chance to board Van der Valk’s new Alvali.
The United Arab Emirates shipyard Gulf Craft, which is one of the main exhibitors at the Dubai International Boat Show, has added to its Majesty range, with the superyacht Majesty 111. The company has become one of the first seven shipyards ships in the world. Gulf Craft Chairman Mohammed Alshaali said: “In 40 years we have faced challenges, but we have continued – we have put the UAE on the global boat building map.”
Gulf Craft has sold over 11,000 boats and 600 yachts. “No matter where you are in the world, you will see Gulf Craft yachts. The boat building industry has flourished in Dubai and the Gulf,” Alshaali said at a press conference on Wednesday. Speaking of the superyacht Majesty 111, he said: “It took us four and a half years to build it.”