The conference aims to facilitate vital dialogue to spur the growth of the global recreational boating sector

4th October 2021: ICOMIA World Marinas Conference (IWMC) aims to advance its mission of facilitating the growth of the leisure marine industry with its much-awaited debut conference in Dubai and the Middle East. The primary goal of the conference is to unite industry players in a secure environment, stimulating the UAE’s post-pandemic economic success. The event that is scheduled to be held between the 12th and 14th of October, 2021, will be hosted by Leisure Marine Association MENA (LMA) and is supported by key players including P&O Marinas as the lead sponsor and Dubai Tourism and D-Marin Dubai Harbour Marinas as main sponsors. Other leading organisations supporting the conference include Exalto Emirates, Nakheel, Navi Safe Engineering Services L.L.C., Gulf Craft, Plus Marine, Alemco, ATM and Torqeedo.

Facilitating industry progress

With its stellar line-up of industry experts, the conference will be moderated by Shirley Robertson, a successful British sailor and a Double Olympic gold medalist. Robertson is now considered one of the sport’s most successful broadcasters and an accomplished presenter across multiple channels. Her knack to enthral the audience with her engaging public speaking skills and her knowledge about a variety of topics within sailing will give attendees access to insight-rich sessions.

The conference will open with a keynote speech by Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Tourism. Other speakers include global industry experts such as Abeer Alshaali, Deputy Managing Director, Gulf Craft; Alessandra Priante, Regional Director for Europe, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Hamza Mustafa, COO, P&O Marinas; Dean Smith, CCO, D-Marin; Andrew Pindar, Chairman, Pindar Yacht Management; Idan Cohen, Founder of Pick a Pier and COO of Tel Aviv-based Atarim; Captain Gary Groenewold, Vice President of US-based Westrec Marinas and Krešimir Žic, an accomplished Croatian marina professional, among others.

Hamza Mustafa, COO of P&O Marinas said: “P&O Marinas’ vision and passion to boost the overall marine industry, has led us to become one of the leading marinas operators in the UAE. Our assemblage of marinas is one of the most comprehensive in the Middle East with 1200 wet berths, 600 dry berths and the capability to accommodate 60 superyachts with no limit in size, in our flagship Mina Rashid Marina, an outstanding example of conversion of commercial port into a yachting destination and maritime hub. It is our aim to bring together both national and international elites to work hand-in-hand to ensure the growth of the local and global maritime industry and boating and yachting sector. Events like IWMC are integral to the region. Attracting industry experts and tourists from across the globe directly translates into creating more opportunities in the sector. The forthcoming Expo 2020 stands to also draw attention to the growing marine industry with hordes of people travelling to the UAE in the coming months. We are proud to be a Lead Sponsor for IWMC’s first edition in Dubai and the region. Our association aims to showcase P&O Marinas’ and the UAE’s strengths and competencies, while also empowering the underlying potential the recreational marine industry holds via tools such as networking and exchange of knowledge.”

Selcuk Balci, Managing Director of D-Marin Dubai said, “With the city’s attractive comparative advantages and long-standing maritime heritage, our aim as D-Marin Dubai is to work towards strengthening the position of Dubai as a major maritime destination. Our latest addition to the group are the marinas at Dubai Harbour, offering 700 berths for yachts up to 160 meters in length and world-class facilities that will attract both international and local yachts to further enhance the region as a leading maritime lifestyle destination. Through our collaboration with events like IWMC, we are looking forward to powering the success of marinas in the region."

Udo Kleinitz, Secretary, General ICOMIA added: “IWMC is a unique platform that intends to strengthen the global marine industry, addressing some of the pressing issues the industry is facing today. We hope the event acts as a gateway to unrivalled networking opportunities that not only bring multi-directional synergies together but also lead to meaningful connections that lead to B2B and B2C business prospects.”

Securing the future of the sector

One of the priority areas for the organisers of IWMC is the well-being of attendants. To ensure a safe environment, the event will adhere to all COVID-19 protocols by the Dubai Government.

John W.R. Paul, Chairman of Leisure Marine Association MENA said: “As IWMC opens its doors to visitors soon, we would like to assure all our patrons that your health, safety and comfort have always been our top priority. We hope all our partners and stakeholders support us by observing physical distance and following the safety guidelines. Despite the pandemic, we see the industry growing by leaps and bounds and we would like to capitalise on this progress. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global yacht market is expected to reach USD 12.16 billion by 2028. We are certain that through IWMC, we can help the industry achieve consistent growth figures and are fully dedicated to facilitating business amid an enriching yet safe environment.”

The three-day event will feature key speakers who will highlight the industry challenges and opportunities, help professionals and organisations in the sector to make informed business decisions, setting the stage for a successful future. Talks and panel discussions will focus on subjects such as the future of the leisure boating industry, social and economic trends, and their impact on marinas, the role of marinas for a sustainable and resilient coastal and maritime tourism, business opportunities in the marina industry, state of the global cruise sector, use of concrete for sustainable coastal construction, environmental sustainability of nautical tourism and infrastructures, circular economy, interconnection of marinas through digital transformation, and the use of electric systems and solar energy in the sector.

For more information and to register visit www.worldmarinasconference.com