One element was largely missing from the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show this year, superyachts.
Only a handful of yachts over 30 metres in length made it to the show, which took place this weekend at Yas Marina. Last year, there were 34 of these extravagant vessels, with the most expensive valued at US$100 million (Dh367.2m).
"Piracy and regional unrest are both massive influences on the show this year," said Andy Treadwell, the managing director of Informa Yacht Group, the organiser of the show, "they can't get their boats here because insurance premiums are too high."
"On top of that you throw into the mix the political instability at the moment, the unrest in Bahrain and elsewhere in the region, and people are just worried," Mr Treadwell said, “some yachts from abroad were in Abu Dhabi in preparation for the show, but departed in the past few weeks as the unrest spread across the region.”
Still, the industry is generally optimistic about the long-term potential of the UAE and the wider region to become a yachting destination. Abu Dhabi is investing heavily in its marina infrastructure as part its tourism strategy and expects to have 45 marinas by 2030.
"There might be a bit of a lull at the moment, but that will change because there's such an interest in yachting here in the Middle East," Mr Treadwell said.