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Mumbai to have its own international boat show

Primarily for those interested in buying boats, the event hopes to put Mumbai on the global map.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2006 22:35 IST

Come February and lovers of the opulent life will have the opportunity of exploring a three-day boat bazaar in the city at the Mumbai International Boat Show.

The first such event in Mumbai will be held between February 22 to 25, 2007 and will be an annual feature. With the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) acting as a nodal agency, the show will be run by the Mumbai Boat Show Private Limited - a company established for the purpose of handling this event in partnership with the British Marine Federation.

"In the last one and a half years, nearly 100 powerboats were sold in Mumbai," said Sujay Chohan, Mumbai Boat Show Private Limited. "Boats are getting expensive in the international market so India is being looked at as a boat manufacturing hub." According to Chohan, low labour and manufacturing costs make India a feasible destination for building boats. Aluminium boats are already being built in India, he said.

The idea of the show was conceptualised by Chohan and Malav Shroff - champion sailor and founder of the Indian Marine Federation.

The main event will be held at the Bandra-Kurla Complex while the marina display will be at Apollo Bunder in south Mumbai.

The show, strictly for the super-rich, hopes to attract people with the highest purchasing powers in the country and enable them to interact with local and global boat-builders. Thirty foreign and a dozen Indian manufacturers have signed up as participants. "The top boat makers may want to explore manufacturing opportunities in India especially with economic zones coming up," Chohan added.

On its part, the MTDC hopes the boat show will also boost tourism. "We have a 720-km coastline but we lack facilities required to explore it fully," said Bhushan Gagrani, managing director, MTDC and the state's tourism secretary. "Our next step will be to build a marina of international standards for tourists."
Gagrani added that the boat show will also allow those wishing to start boat services between Mumbai and neighbouring jetties to examine boats and technology that can be used. However, he said it was difficult to quantify the benefits accruing to the State's coffers from the boat show. "The results will be visible in two to three years," he said.

Highlights of the 1st Mumbai International Boat Show

• The exhibition, to be held at Bandra-Kurla Complex, will feature stalls promoting small and medium-sized boats, engines, water sports equipment and luxury products like watches, cars and designer apparel
• Over 20 luxury yachts and boats will be displayed on the waters opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba. Interested buyers can head for this temporary marina to examine the range of boats up for sale
•A one-day conference on the prospects of the leisure marine industry
•The boat show will be an annual event targeting India's top net-worth individuals

First Published: Nov 27, 2006 22:35 IST