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Yachting Ventures returns to Abu Dhabi International Boat Show with expanded Innovation Zone

This year, the focus expands beyond CleanTech to encompass the entire innovation ecosystem within the leisure marine industry.

Yachting Ventures has announced their return to the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show (ADIBS) for the 2024 edition with the Innovation Zone, showcasing 12 startups at the forefront of leisure marine innovation. This year, the focus expands beyond CleanTech to encompass the entire innovation ecosystem within the leisure marine industry. Yachting Ventures are inviting startups & scaleups across leisure marine, cleantech and blue economy sectors to exhibit.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and scheduled from 21 - 24 November 2024 at the impressive ADNEC Centre Abu Dhabi, ADIBS, organised by Capital Events part of ADNEC Group, is now in its 6th year and has established itself as one of the premier platforms for the marine industry in the Middle East.

The show received over 34,000 visitors last year, attracting top-tier exhibitors, industry professionals and global marine enthusiasts. This year’s show is expected to attract even more visitors and will continue to build upon its reputation as a launchpad for cutting-edge technology, while showcasing the most innovative brands and businesses in the maritime industry.

Exploring startup opportunities in the UAE

In recent years, the UAE has established itself as a destination for new business and entrepreneurial endeavours. In recognition of the vital need for startups in order to build a thriving economic landscape, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has established various investment funds and programmes to cater to businesses at different stages of their growth. These initiatives offer financial assistance, venture capital and angel investments. 

There are also multiple accelerators and incubators in the UAE, which have contributed to the growth of the startup ecosystem, including Hub71, startAD and Mubadala. Further, the UAE is now considered to be the world’s second most stable economy and one of the safest cities in the world. Other benefits for young businesses include an incredibly diverse society of over 200 nationalities and ease of travel, with 80% of the world population within an 8-hour flight.

A central hub for innovation and networking

Building on the success of last year’s event, and the popularity of the Innovation Zone, this year’s exhibit will once again harbour vital discussions surrounding the future of the marine industry, promoting collaboration, education and networking, with this edition of ADIBS designating a central space for the Innovation Zone within the show.

This year, Yachting Ventures is adopting a tiered strategy to make the event more accessible and accommodate startups at various growth stages. The two tiers, Basic and Premium, offer different levels of participation. Premium members will have exhibition stands, while Basic members will have access to the lounge for meetings, as well as using the Innovation Zone as their base throughout the show.

Last year, the exhibit attracted investors, experts and innovators from all corners of the maritime world, and was viewed as a great success by the startups that exhibited there, giving emerging businesses an opportunity to enhance the visibility of their brand and explore the possibilities of reaching new markets in the Middle East. 

Leah Tennant, CEO of biotech cleaning company Washdown, was one of 16 startups that joined the area in 2023 and spoke of the connections made due to exhibiting: “We really enjoyed the show, we met a lot of strong contacts for distribution. The experience really opened the door for us in regard to the Middle East and we are now planning on being based out there next year.”

An immersive UAE experience

The Innovation Zone extends beyond the boat show, offering startups insights into the vibrant startup ecosystem in the UAE. Yachting Ventures will coordinate experiences and outings prior to the boat show, which opens its doors at 3pm in the afternoon. 

Last year’s trip involved a visit to Hub71, a global tech ecosystem located in the heart of the city where the group of 16 startups learnt about initiatives in place to support entrepreneurship in the UAE. The startups also visited the Grand Mosque and went kayaking in the mangroves. Similar excursions are also planned this year to create a cultural and immersive experience and help guide startups interested in soft-landing into the UAE.

Commenting on their return to ADIBS, Gabbi Richardson, founder of Yachting Ventures said, "We are delighted to renew our partnership with ADIBS this year as the yachting industry continues to evolve and develop in the Middle East. The Innovation Zone connects startups with customers, investors and industry experts - enabling them to showcase their ideas and initiate business relationships in the region." 

If you are a startup interested in exhibiting at the ADIBS Innovation Zone 2024, apply via this link, or email:


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