The Middle East is beginning to develop as a charter base, thanks in part to the twenty year old Dubai International Boat Show.
Many countries in the Middle East have begun to develop marinas and charter bases, especially in Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Host of the annual Dubai International Boat Show, what many people think of as a dusty outpost now brings the boating industry to a major cosmopolitan center, combining a modern airline hub with impressive marketing prowess and purchasing power.
Dubai aspires to be the Hong Kong of the mid-east, and the International Boat Show—with 46 participating countries, 700 represented companies and more than 300 attending boats—has industry leaders from Asia to Miami re-thinking the local marine market.
Hopes of establishing the region as a cruising destination still have some major hurdles—like piracy. For those boating close to shore or in the nearby reaches of the Arabian Sea, security is not so much of an issue as it is offshore, but check with the locals before leaving the charter base.
Editor's Note: Photos courtesy Neil Rabinowitz