by Jeni Bone
The second Kuwait Boat Show International, organised by Knotika Holding took place at the Fahaheel Waterfront, Al Kout, from 29 April to 3 May 2008 and attracted a record breaking 12,000 visitors, achieving more than US$50 million of sales.
KBSI 2008 - Fountain Marina - Day Shot.JPG
Show exhibitors and visitors reported this was the best event of its kind ever to be held in Kuwait and reinforced the country’s reputation as the largest market in the Arab world for the maritime industry.
Visitor numbers were up 20 per cent on last year, despite being affected by severe weather and a forced closure on one day. The majority of visitors were Kuwait based though a number of keen power boat enthusiasts from neighbouring Gulf countries made the trip especially because of the breadth and value of exhibits on offer including a significant number of high net worth individuals who flew in especially for the Show.
'We were delighted with the results of this year’s event and the extremely positive feedback we received from the general public and our international exhibitors' said Wael Juju, KBSI owner and organiser and CEO of Knotika Holding.
'The US$ 50 million of business transactions that were made during the show represent a significant increase of over 40% over last year’s results and is a strong indication of Kuwait’s strength and expertise in this market coupled with the very encouraging 12,000 visitors to the event.'
Peter Jenkins, Sales/Marketing Manager at Maritimo, said the show was successful for the brand. 'Maritimo will exhibit again in 2009. Our dealer believes that Kuwait is a better selling show than Dubai.'
AIMEX has a presence at the Dubai International Boat Show, March each year. The Abu Dhabi Boat Show, scheduled for 25 to 29 November 2008, is another option for exhibitors and Australian exporters, but is so far, not on the AIMEX list. AIMEX is considering attending the Moscow show next year in April 2009, and Mumbai, also in 2009. Plans are under way for the Korea Boat Show in June this year.
From powerful speed boats to luxurious yachts, innovative boat storage solutions to ancillary marine equipment, the show had something for everyone. This sentiment was echoed by many first time visitors who were impressed at the size and professionalism of the event.
And for those visitors who were not necessarily in the market for a new boat, the event provided excellent entertainment for friends and family to simply enjoy the unique outdoor experience amidst the glitter of the floodlights and the occasional roar of a power boat engine.
The Knotika Boat Show team is already planning the next major marine event in the region, the Emirates Boat Show International in Abu Dhabi – 25 to 29 November 2008.
More at www.boatshowkuwait.com and www.knotika.com