In only its second year, the Middle East Workboats 2009 exhibition and conference concluded with a 70% increase in the number of exhibitors and a 60% increase in exhibition space compared with the previous event.
“The offshore marine support industry is upbeat about the future in this region and there can be no more powerful sign of the continuing development of the sector than the participation in this show of so many regional and international players,” said Christopher Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade, organizers of Middle East Workboats, which was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
The organizers reported 2,676 high level participants – a 28% increase on last year - with visitors including government ministers, municipality officials and top management from a wide range of industries including the oil and gas sector.
Ma Guohua, Vice Mayor Zhoushan Municipality, People’s Republic of China, headed a large Chinese delegation of executives from the shipbuilding region to Middle East Workboats this year who were also seeking a share of the expanding market in the region. “We are exploring the international market and this region is very strong in the offshore supply support sector and that is why Middle East Workboats comes into the picture for us,” he said.
The opportunity for industry networking was a particular benefit, several exhibitors said. “We came to meet the owners and operators and have met the right people who are the right decision makers,” said Arthur Boogaard, Business Manager, Wartsila, Netherlands. “It is very important for us to be at Workboats in Abu Dhabi and will come back in 2011."
The third Middle East Workboats will be held at ADNEC from 26 – 28 September 2011 and the organizers have reserved an additional hall at ADNEC for further expansion. “We said last year that the 2009 Middle East Workboats would be 50% bigger but the event exceeded our own expectations,” said Hayman. “This event has quickly established itself as the premier regional show for the industry and we look forward to breaking new records next year.”
Principal sponsors of Middle East Workboats 2009 were DNV; Esnaad; and Irshad. Other sponsors are ABS; DVB; Khalid Faraj Shipping; Lamnalco; Svitzer; Topaz Energy & Marine; Wartsila; ZMI; and Zhoushan Municipal People’s Government, China. Supporting organisations were the International Marine Contractors Association and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects.