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Boat builders urged to prioritise sustainable manufacturing

Luxury yacht builders and makers of high-end marine crafts should continue to prioritise their eco-credentials if they’re to ride the wave of a US$13 billion market.

That’s the message from organisers of the Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference whose speakers agree that boatyards which prioritise sustainable manufacturing into yachts that are better for the environment will align with the values of the new-age eco-conscious yacht owner or even first-time buyer.

“The modern yacht owner, often younger, seeks global exploration and adventure in remote places,” said Eric Althaus, managing partner and senior broker of Althaus Yachts, a broker of high-end yachts, who adds that eco yachts are the perfect foil for today’s owners eager to reduce their environmental footprint.

He will sit on a panel about innovative marketing strategies in luxury yachting at the Dubai Boat Show Leisure Yachting Conference, taking place on 27 February at the Westin Mina Seyahi.

Advanced features

“To align with these values, eco yachts are equipped with advanced features such as hybrid electric propulsion, sustainable materials, dynamic positioning, solar panels, and cutting-edge wastewater recovery systems, emphasising a commitment to environmental care during cruises,” he says.

The conference will take place at the start of the Dubai International Boat Show and will bring together more than 250 key industry leaders to discuss topics including innovation, regulation, sustainability, and the future of the sector.

It will take place as yacht-brokerage firms reported record sales of superyachts in 2023, with market researcher Fortune Business Insights, expecting the global luxury yacht market to nearly double in size over the next eight years, with annual revenues reaching US$13.6 billion by 2030.

Transforming

Dr Mariem Nasraoui, R&D director at ChromaMe Air & Surface Nano Tech, is another speaker on a panel exploring tech’s role in transforming the luxury yachting sector.

Dr. Nasraoui says tech is critical in advancing luxury yachting’s sustainability agenda.

“Innovations such as eco-friendly propulsion systems, lightweight materials, and energy-efficient technologies will help reduce the environmental footprint of yachting activities while maintaining high standards of luxury and performance,” she said.

“In the coming years, we can expect to see further integration of technology into luxury yachting, including advancements in areas such as autonomous navigation, renewable energy integration, and augmented reality experiences for passengers. These innovations will continue to enhance the overall yachting experience while addressing sustainability challenges and driving industry growth.”

The Dubai International Boat Show takes place from 28 February – 3 March at the Dubai Harbour and will feature more than 1,000 brands from 55 countries, 200-plus boats – including nearly 50 regional and global boat launches.

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