As it prepares to return in March for its 7th edition, the Kuwait Yacht Show looks set to cement its position in the regional yacht show calendar even more firmly than ever. Bigger and better than before, and with a steadily rising profile in the global arena, in conversation with the organizers, alongside photographic memories from 2018, we take a sneak preview of what to expect when the ribbon is cut on the opening night at Marina Crescent in 2019…
This is the 7th edition of the Kuwait Yacht Show – what is new for 2019?
New models of yachts come to KYS every year, and every year we see more and more requests for larger spaces from clients for their yachts. Today, we host yachts of 70 to 90 feet – when we first launched the show it was around 50 feet. This year we’ll have more activities for family and visitors. These include daily talks on the KYS stage with marine topics and tips. We’ve got a spokesman from the Environment and Public Authority talking about fishing in Kuwait waters, as well as an expert kayaker. We’re running competitions too – one involves casting for fish and has more than 60 participants as well as an opportunity for other visitors to try their hand at it. In a special collaboration with the Kuwait Sailing Association we’re bringing two sailboats to give people a sailing experience during the show. All these, plus many new brands and new dealerships – now a staple we’ve become known for every year.
And what are the key and now traditional favourite elements of the KYS that are set to return?
The opening night is a highlight, an event not to be missed, but the in-water presentation of boats and yachts is a huge attraction annually now. For anyone who hasn’t seen it before, it’s really quite a sight! We’re known for being the first and best place to see new products. Our diving school is a perpetual favourite. And, finally, this year we’re expanding our F&B area to accommodate more people.
Which for you are the key marine brands to look out for in 2019? Any new product launches?
Almost too many to name, but it’s a mouth-watering list of the very best from leading global brands including Sunseeker, Azimut (as always), and Princess (they have a local dealer now). Ferretti are working hard to increase market share, and GulfCraft are coming from Dubai with all their new boats.
What are the key non-marine brands we can look forward to in 2019?
Zain are launching their ZainLife products for smart home functionality at KYS. And, for the first time, KYS has its own official perfume! Acqua dell’Elba will be present with their Italian fragrances inspired by the sea and the Tuscan islands.
Where will the 2019 Kuwait Yacht Show be held?
Marina Crescent, Salmiya
When will the 2019 Kuwait Yacht Show be held?
From Monday 26 to Saturday 30 March 2019
I am interested in exhibiting at KYS. What should I do?
Contact us at email@example.com
I am interested in a being a partner of KYS. What should I do?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more at www.kuwaityachtshow.com
You’ve returned to Marina Crescent in Salmiya year after year. What’s key about this venue with regard to the success of KYS?
It is ideally located in the heart of the city, making it easily accessible to all. It’s a great entertainment hub for all the family. And the staff at the marina, as well as the yacht owners who moor their boats there all year round, are familiar with us. We work hand-in-hand with them and they’ve been part of the success of the show.
In recent years the marine sector has grown hugely throughout the region, and Kuwait hasn’t been left behind. How do you feel KYS has played a role in the growth of the sector in Kuwait?
KYS has had a huge effect on the growth of the sector in Kuwait. We have raised awareness of marine brands and the marine lifestyle amongst the public. Dealers have reported this to us every year, commenting that how being present at the show has given them a window to the wider public of Kuwait. KYS has brought more international brands to Kuwait over the past 7 years than had happened during the previous 20. KYS has boosted not only yachts – but all marine companies. Crucially, we’ve always supported local startups too – we’ve tried to give them a boost by making it easy and commercially accessible to showcase their products at KYS. Many have gone on to become successful companies in their own right.
KYS is a sum of many parts. From the exhibitors right through to the visitors and everything in between. Who are the key partners that add value to the success of this year’s KYS?
Our venue partner, Marina Crescent, are prime in this respect. They’re very much involved in every aspect of the show – from planning through to implementation. Having Zain onboard as a partner this year will add great weight to the show. We view all the exhibitors who bring yachts, and all those owners who make space for us every year as key members of our team, along with the governmental entities that help us represent Kuwait in this very fine form every year.
The KYS now has Silver Membership of the IFBSO – what does this mean for the show, its exhibitors and its visitors?
It is a valuable recognition. Other members of IFBSO include many of the world’s greatest and longest established boat shows including Miami and Dusseldorf. Sitting alongside them now, we’re able to learn from them how to make ourselves even better. Recently, KYS Managing Director Nouf AlHajeri was elected a member of the IFBSO’s Executive Committee. As the first Arab on the committee, this is a great honour to both her and the Kuwait Yacht Show.
What are the sustainability credentials of KYS
This is something that is becoming uppermost in our minds – as it should for everyone. For 2019 we’re launching initiatives using the hashtag #rethinkplastic. We encourage all those who share our vision for a sustainable world to follow the tag and keep up to date with us the closer we get to the show.