Marine companies set sail for UAE
Written on the 5 March 2009
SUPERIOR Jetties, Ausrunner Cruisers and The Sanctuary Cove Boat Show will set sail for the Dubai International Boat Show from March 3-7.
This year’s Dubai International Boat Show has 29 Australian companies exhibiting in conjunction with AIMEX (Australian International Marine Exporters Association).
AIMEX approached each of the state governments to see what assistance could be provided for companies exhibiting at this very important international boat show.
The NSW State Government provided financial assistance for 12 NSW companies, the Victorian Government coughed up for the two Victorian companies, but the Queensland government declined any form of assistance packages for Queensland companies.
The Gold Coast, which in 2008 produced 65 per cent of all boats sold in Australia and exported more than $230 million last year, has eight companies in total attending: Superior Jetties, Fixtech, Aqualuma, Go Marine, Southern Stainless, Patriot Marine, Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and Riviera Marine.
Last year, Queensland’s leisure marine industry contributed $2.6 billion to the state’s economy and employed 11,000 people. In the last three months the industry has contracted by around 15 per cent and predictions are that it will contract by a further 6 per cent over the next six months. The Gold Coast’s marine industry work force has decreased from more 4000 in September 2008 to around current numbers of 2600.
Industry experts attest that the leisure marine market in the Middle East has reached a new period of maturity. As testament, the myriad marina projects completed, underway and on the drawing board from companies such as Limitless, Nakheel and Dubai Maritime City in Dubai, plus Sorouh, Aldar and TDIC in Abu Dhabi.
“It’s no longer an ‘emerging market’,” explains Australian marina consultant Joe Goddard, who operates his company GoMarine in the Gulf and oversees projects located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Goddard has worked consistently in the UAE for the past decade. He managed the marina portfolio of Emaar Properties, including the Dubai Marina and Yacht Club and its five marinas boasting 550 berths. Goddard has also worked on a number of marinas for Emaar Properties including Umm Al Quwain Marina and King Abdullah City Marina, Saudi Arabia.
He is now involved with large scale marine projects in Tunisia on the Mediterranean Sea and The Philippines and is currently in Dubai to work on the Arabian Canal Project - an US$11 billion project which, once completed in 10 to 15 years, will be of the magnitude of the Suez Canal.
GoMarine was recently appointed consultant for the Dubai’s newest ship yard, Yachtmaster which will feature UAE’s first dry stack racking system for boats to eight metres long.