Boat sales bounce back
|20, June, 2011|
The boat business is back on course with lovers of good times on the Gulf waterways buying vessels, grabbing the sunscreen and shades and partying offshore again as they did before they
were rudely interrupted by the credit crunch. Sales are well up and the buying season is only
just starting. For an idea of how the industry is rebounding deluxe
turned to the experts from leading leisure craft firm Luxury Sea Boats has bucked the trend in the Middle East by initiating major expansion, opening a new showroom and adding one of the world’s elite brands to its stable. The company opened its new Dubai showroom at the Curve Building, Sheikh Zayed Road,
last month and the first boat was sold from there inside a week. Luxury Sea Boats represents
top brands Glastron, Campion, Sessa, Sanlorenzo and is adding the giant Bavaria at the time of
going to press.
“The market has definitely picked up, particularly among expatriates who are spending again,” says Dovran Dzhumaev - Sales Manager. “The market has gone up again and continues to do so.
Most of the sales are to expats. Locals tend to be more loyal to their local brands. Our highest
selling units are the smaller ones.
“We are growing as a company so it was time for some expansion and our customers indicated we needed a showroom. We are responding to market needs. We had to have an exclusive showroom.”
At Luxury Sea Boats you can get small boats through to megayachts. Prices start at 80,000
dirhams through to 24.5 million euros. There are sports boats, fishing boats, sports cruisers,
mini yachts and mega yachts. At the time of going to press the first Bavaria vessels were
expected to come under the Luxury Sea Boats’ umbrella in the UAE.
Germany-based Bavaria’s operation comprises 30 per cent motor boats and 70 per cent
sailing vessels. It is the biggest boat manufacturer in the world, delivering 3,500 units a year. Bavaria
builds eight boats a day. “It is the first time in the region for Bavaria. Their boats are hugely popular
and successful around the world so we’re expecting big things here,” says Dzhumaev.
Stephen Macedo - Sales Manager adds that the next few months should see Luxury Sea Boats home on a full sail. “There is always sound business from October through to the Dubai boat show in March. We are confident that 2011 will be a good year for us.
The signs are very good. And having Bavaria now is tremendous.” Despite tough times for the industry
throughout the region, Luxury Sea Boats sold four boats via the Dubai show and 15 have been sold so far this year.
“This is very good when you take into account of what the industry has been through,” says Macedo. “In one month we sold five boats, four in Dubai and one in Bahrain. In 2005 through to 2007 and 2008 the industry was booming. We are not anywhere near that level but the market is healthy again. This is all very encouraging.” This month’s Saudi Arabia boats show, the coming Abu Dhabi Super Yachts Show and of course the annual Dubai boat gala are expected to boost sales even more.
The Bowriders are the most popular among customers, according to the Luxury Sea Boats executives. They are excellent boats anyway, but obtaining finance is relatively easy.The Luxury Sea Boats say that
while they are fortunate to have such prestigious brands, customers are less brand conscious of the names than they once were. “Money is the number one priority,”says Dzhumaev.“We don’t give discounts but in terms of affordability our products are very affordable,” adds Macedo.Will the increased sales continue?Yes, according to Dzhumaev.“You can see there is greater interest. There are more and more
boats going out all the time. It’s a wide range of people – the families, the wake boarders, the skiers. The averagenumber of boats you see heading out has picked up and that’s a great sign.”