AED 90 Billion (USD $ 24.5B) Maritime's Contribution to UAE's GDP

May 28th, 2023

The UAE's leisure marine sector sees multiple growth figures, strengthen the country's position as a global destination for luxury yacht tourism.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has implemented a series of rules and regulations to its maritime sector which resulted in a considerable uplift to the country's yachting scene. New regulations implemented by the Dubai Maritime City (DMC) such as the exemption of visiting foreign yachts from the value-added tax (VAT) and also the exemption of visiting foreign yachts that are shipped into the country from the value of custom duties amounting to 5% are some of the new initiatives. 

Additionally, the country has allowed berthing for visiting foreign yachts for a period of up to 6 months, and provide short-term berthing services for all local and visiting boats and yachts within the territorial waters of Dubai. Moreover, the Dubai Maritime City has allowed foreign visiting yachts to operate commercially (charter) upon fulfilling all the requirements. These initiatives and other touristic attractions have contributed to the increase of foreign yachts visiting Dubai!

We at IR Yachts have recorded over 54 yachts ranging from 28m (90ft) to 118m (387ft) that have visited the UAE between October 2022 and April 2023.

Economically, the maritime sector has witnessed a massive contribution to the UAE's GDP, amounting to more than AED 90 billion (USD $24.5 billion) annually.

Dubai has also recorded over 7,000 registered crafts in 2022, which amounts to a 13% increase from the previous year. As for the yachts and boats registered for commercial purposes (charter fleet), the number of registered crafts grew by a whopping 37% in 2022 compared to 2021.

As with all new developments that have been taking place in Dubai, the number of marinas in the Emirate have increased to a total of 17 with two major marinas opening in the first half of 2023-Marsa Al Arab marina and Dubai Islands marina. The new marinas have increased the number of berths to 4,433 berths in Dubai, most of which are characterized by their ability to accommodate luxury superyachts up to 180m.