This summer witnessed an increasing demand for luxury boats as many families opted to spend the season in the marine environment as they could not travel abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We had a very good summer because people couldn’t travel … many of the clients are newcomers,” Gulf Yachts Qatar executive director Edward Chacra told *Gulf Times on the sidelines of the seventh edition of Qatar International Boat Show (Qawarib 2020) yesterday.
The event, held under the patronage of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani, and organised since 2013 by Al Mannai Plus Events, concluded yesterday at Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar.
It showcased world-class yachts and accessories, as well as the latest in marine technology.
Chacra noted that there had always been a demand for yachts in the region due to the peoples’ innate love of the sea and their passion for boats.
“It is a getaway from the daily routine. The sea in Qatar is very nice, the waters are rarely rough for boats … it’s fun when you take your family out,” he said. “It is a safe activity during the pandemic, and now it is the fishing season.”
Chacra noted that Qataris also have a deep understanding of luxury boats, which vary in sizes and prices, among other features that suit their preference.
“Many of our customers were first timers starting out with smaller boats,” he said. “You will not jump into a 50 or 60-footer in the beginning, you will start with 30 and 40, or 50 maximum, and once you start yachting, it will continue, you won’t get out (of the hobby) easily … you will upgrade, get a bigger boat,” he said.
Apart from Qataris’ deep connection with boats, which reflect the country’s culture and heritage, Chacra added that every second Qatari home probably has a boat. “If it is not in the marina, it’s in front of their house.”
Gulf Yachts Qatar, a 100% Qatari company established in 2013 and a representative of the world’s most famous and best boat brands, showcased a wide variety of yachts big and small at Qawarib 2020.
About the event, Chacra said: “To have a boat show during a pandemic … it is something hard to achieve. We saw many people coming, there is a lot of interest in the sea.”