Posted on March 08, 2019

The presence of Qatar Free Zones Authority is expected to bolster the marine industry in the country, organisers of the sixth edition of Qatar International Boat Show (QIBS) have said.

Speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of a press conference held at Mondrian Doha to announce QIBS 2019, Khalid I Al Mannai, Chairman of Al Mannai Plus Events and Organiser of the show, expressed optimism on industry outlook specially with the establishment of the Free Zones Authority.

“The industry offers huge potential. There’s a tendency for manufacturers to produce larger boats and also yachts, so they will increase their profit margin,” said Al Mannai on the industry’s prospect. The establishment of Free Zones, he said, would significantly impact the industry with its many benefits such as the provision of land suitable for manufacturing larger boats and importation of raw materials free of tax. Loay Dalis, Chief Executive Officer of Al Mannai Plus Events, was of the same view saying “I believe that with the new facilities to the investors in recently established Qatar Free Zones Authority by the government, we expect to attract local and foreign investors towards marine industry and services related to it.”

Under the auspices of the Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, this year’s QIBS is slated to be held from March 12 to 16 at 25-29 La Croisette, Porto Arabia at The Pearl Qatar. Boats of top quality and craftsmanship from different countries including Qatar, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Turkey, France, India, USA and Kuwait are taking part at the five-day event. 

An impressive collection of more than 30 motorboats and yachts will be on display on land and water to be complemented by exhibitor chalets along the marina walkway representing many of the top names in the local and international maritime industry. “There has been an increase in participation specially in the number of countries. The participants are willing to come because they see the opportunity the show can offer,” said Khalid I Al Mannai, Chairman of Al Mannai Plus Events and Organiser of the Qatar International Boat Show (QIBS).

In terms of visitors, he said they expect the number to be between 7,000 to 10,000, adding the show will be a crowd-puller not only for the boats on show but for a number of fresh features. “The show has some new features; for example some of the participants want to do a show within the show to promote their products,” he said. The sole marine exhibition of its kind in Qatar, QIBS has been attracting thousands of visitors inside and outside Qatar and encouraged private sector investment in the marine industry.

Al Mannai is optimistic the show contributes in a big way not only to the boat building industry but also the tourism and exhibitions sector of the country.