Story and select photos by DinaRella / Professional images from Dubai Boat Show, DIMC & Gulf Craft

Part One
Dubai aka “the City of Superlatives,” is the epicenter of HIGH. High-rise structures hypnotize. High-society citizens charge down mega-lane highways in high-performance supercars – even the police hold keys to a high-speed Bugatti Veyron and pair of Ferraris. The futuristic desert utopia engulfs with the unthinkable – when the clock strikes midnight, the world’s largest mall is still full of fashionistas funneling in funds, while another caters to skiers and snowboarders at its indoor resort; mandatory minimum spends dictate how much MUST be dropped at restaurants and rooftop venues; and you can book on your phone an UberChopper helicopter taxi from your home – and the list goes on.

1 Dubai Marina highrises.jpg

2 Dubai Marina promenade.jpg

3 Dubai Harbor Pacha.JPG
4 Dubai Harbor.jpg

6 Dubai The Royal Atlantis.JPG
7 Dubai The Palm Jumeirah.jpg
8 Dubai The Palm Atlantis.jpg

There is no escape to the much-hyped high life, which discernibly extends to the sea. Seeing that, the largest man-made marina in the world built along two miles of Arabian Gulf Coast shoreline is saturated with superyachts… ahead of entering the 2023 Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS), a pre-game tour looking for performance players on the outlying docks went from an exploratory chore to an easy score.

Initial attention getters included a triple bolster, quad 400-hp powered MTI, an Emirates 63 SF with a six pack of 450s strapped to the back, and another attractive tri-tone green machine. But weirdly enough, it was the emirate’s obsession with autos – even represented on the water – that was causing double takes. Slotted in the shuffle with the outboard sea chariots were rentable Corvette and Ferrari water cars.

Mimicking mini convertibles, the internal mechanisms are actually fashioned similar to jet skis with fiberglass vehicle-shaped bodies and wheels built into the shells. Originally designed by Egyptian Karim Amin and a couple of his buddies, the amphibious mobiles come equipped with surround-sound stereos and GPS tracking capabilities. Rear engines rocket the $700-per hour radical rentals over the waves to the tune of 60 mph, according to their marketing materials.

9 Aerial Dubai Harbor.JPG
10 MTI triple row bolsters.JPG
11 DIMC center console.JPG
12 Emirates 63 SF.JPG
13 Dubai water cars.JPG
14 Rentable water car.JPG
15 Water sports car.JPG

A Double Victory… and Then Some

The show itself – which didn’t open its gates until 3 p.m. all five days due to Dubai’s desert climate – was stocked with plenty of ogle-worthy eye candy, well beyond the unveiling of the Mercury Racing V10 400s that RDP reported on at length over the last months, culminating with this story“middle-east”-ground.1079/.

On the hunt for high-octane thrills, I scored a double victory when walking head on into Victory powerboat territory, even managing to get detained by the Dubai Police, AS IN stopping to check out the 2021 UIM XCAT World Champion canopied Dubai Police Victory, sponsored by the highly respected department and commanded by racing partners Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi.

Raising the high-speed stakes further, apart from its armada of green and white super cars and supporting an offshore race team – the militia also manage the throttles of an open cockpit 31’ Victory, gifted to the force in 2014 from the Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan. Propelled by twin four-stroke 350-hp powerplants and tapping triple digits with weaponized focus, the cat attends to waterway drama and trauma shatteringly quick.

Next up, exhibiting with the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) was the famed Victory Team competing across continents in: UIM F1 H20, Class One, Aquabike and XCAT. Victory’s full display of fast crafts showed the world the team is back in the game to claim more podium accolades, following the multi-year halt to the marine sports scene inflicted by the Convid plandemic. The DIMC is a 291-berth marina based in the heart of the Mina Seyahi (meaning Port of Travelers) harbor where the boat show is located and functions as an organizational base for offshore powerboat racing.

16 2023 Dubai Boat Show.JPG
17 DIBS dock entrance.jpg
18 Victory Dubai Police team.JPG
19 Victory Dubai Police.JPG
5 Dubai Police Bugatti Veyron.jpg
20 DIMC Victory cat.JPG
21 DIBS Victory inboard.jpg
22 Victory team F1.JPG

At this event, the twin hulls were just teasers compared to the superior-in-size superyachts shining on the main pier and beyond. Gulf Craft stole the spotlight with its premiere of the Majesty 111, garnering added applause for its advanced technology, innovative energy-saving systems and optimized hull design, enabling top performance cruising speeds with the least amount of fuel consumption. Soaring from German shipyard Abeking and Rasmussen checked in to give the Gulf Craft some solid competition – measuring 223 feet and moving $95 million from your crypto wallet – it was the largest watercraft in both length and price!

What’s more, the DIMC was also responsible for organizing Friday evening’s stimulating sundown Hydrofly and Freestyle show along the seafront entertaining spectators before the entire aquatic affair seamlessly morphed into an extravagant nighttime celebration stretching from the on-site art gallery and auto pavilion to the Nikki Beach floating bar full of flowing adult beverages (alcohol is prohibited in the UAE outside of hotels).

23  Gulf Craft Majesty credit GC.jpg
24 Majesty 111 credit GC.jpg
25 Freesty show credit DIMC.jpg
26 Sunset freestyle show credit DIMC.jpg
27 Dubai boat show car display.JPG
28 Nikki Beach bar.JPG
29 Dubai Harbor.JPG
30 Dubai Marina by night.jpg

Traveling 25 miles south from the chic Mina Seyahi precinct takes you to the old Dubai Creek. For part two, we take a peek at the time-honored port district and original home of the 19th century tribe settlements which ultimately led to establishing the Dubai waterway as a commercial trading route. Nowadays, humble traditions marry with modern twists as witnessed from the stunning Al Seef Marina and posh waterfront promenade having since popped up in the heart of the creek!
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