Growth in the Gulf
Hill Robinson representatives recently participated in the Gulf Superyacht Summit, which highlighted the region’s potential as a superyacht destination.
The Gulf represents a rapidly growing market for the superyacht industry, and the Gulf Superyacht Summit 2023 kicked off last month by highlighting the increasing number of superyachts visiting the region. Since 2017, the number of yachts transmitting AIS signals on the Gulf has almost doubled. If these numbers increase at a similar rate, it is realistic to expect around 175 yachts visiting the region in 2024.
It was timely, then, that the Summit hosted a panel of guests to discuss the refit and operation of yachts in the Middle East, which included Yan Turner, CEO of Hill Robinson Saudi Arabia. Yan acknowledged the positive developments on the Red Sea coast and called for continued industry collaboration across the entire Middle East to enhance the experience of visiting yachts.
Hill Robinson’s Director of Projects Kevin Laverty joined another panel discussion about the opportunities and challenges posed by existing vessels and ways the industry can rejuvenate them. Kevin emphasised the passion required for large-scale rebuilds and highlighted the challenges of reverse engineering without original drawings.
Overall, the event showcased the growing potential of the region as a superyacht destination. While there were unanimous calls for harmonised regulations between GCC countries, as well digitalisation of formalities, the region is showing a strong willingness to evolve and make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for visiting yachts.