* Dubai International Boat Show provides the platform for ground-breaking MOU signing that could revolutionise water mobility in the Emirates and wider maritime region
* MOU will see parties collaborate to assess performance of hydrogen-powered flying boats, manufacture and maintain operations in the Emirates, and retrofit existing boats
Dubai, UAE: It may look like a futuristic prop from a sci-fi movie, but visitors to Dubai International Boat Show 2022 need not adjust their sets – the UAE’s first flying boat is a reality and could soon be manufactured locally courtesy of a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed at the region’s largest and most-popular leisure marine event.
Inspired by the Emirates’ pearl-diving heritage, the sustainability-focused X-Pearl – a brainchild of innovative French firm SeaBubbles – is powered by a hybrid hydrogen-electric propulsion system and retractable foils, and available for purchase. While scaled models of both its flagship H2 and the X-Pearl were unveiled on Wednesday at Dubai Harbour, the company hopes to have the limited-edition UAE model zipping along Dubai Creek, Dubai Canal, or Abu Dhabi Corniche before next year’s COP28.
That vision moved one step closer at the 28th edition of the Dubai International Boat Show as SeaBubbles capitalised on the nautical showpiece to ink an MoU with local solutions provider Al Masaood Power Division. The agreement will see both parties collaborating to pilot and assess the performance of hydrogen-powered flying boats, manufacture and maintain operations in the Emirates, and retrofit existing boats with SeaBubbles’ sustainable powertrain system.
“The Dubai International Boat Show is iconic, so it felt like the perfect opportunity to reveal the X-Pearl to an international audience and showcase that we are moving towards this ecological transition together with Al Masaood,” said Virginie Seurat, Vice President of SeaBubbles. “The MoU agreement marks another step forward in terms of driving hydrogen mobility in the UAE. With COP28 coming to the Emirates next year, we are very excited to strengthen our local ties.”
SeaBubbles’ crafts can carry up to 12 passengers and a pilot, making them ideal for a range of water mobility solutions: electric passenger vessel, zero-emission water taxi, VIP shuttle, or even for inter-city transfers. By producing minimal wake and water disturbance, it also provides a solution for eco-tourism sightseeing tours in protected areas such as the Eastern Mangroves wetland reserves.
“This is the return of the Dubai International Boat Show after two years, so while the show starts a new cycle, we also start something new and exciting with this partnership with SeaBubbles,” said Rasso Bartenschlager, General Manager of Al Masaood Power Division. “The X-Pearl, by emitting only water, demonstrates our commitment to sustainable solutions and we are honoured to sign this ground-breaking partnership that will help drive green mobility for future generations.”
SeaBubbles’ innovative tech promises a more ecological future courtesy of its hydrogen fuel cells, which generate the electricity supply for the internal systems and propulsion pods, while a battery pack supports it during flight. This hybrid concept ensures 100 percent reliance on renewable energy sources, while its foils reduce wetted surface area and thus power usage, leading to a craft 35 percent more power-efficient than a regular boat. Both the H2 and the X-Pearl can reach speeds of up to 50kph.
Dubai International Boat Show 2022 runs from 9th-13th March at Dubai Harbour, the event’s Venue Host and VIP Registration Partner. On-site registration is not available and should be completed in advance via www.boatshowdubai.com
About Dubai International Boat Show:
Dubai International Boat Show, the most trusted and established marine industry exhibition in the Middle East, is a showcase of yachts and boats from both local and international builders, together with the latest innovations in marine equipment and accessories. The multi-award-winning show showcases the latest leisure boats, equipment, and associated services in the Middle East. Exhibitors include both local and international boat manufacturers, as well as the latest innovations in marine equipment and supplies.
About Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC):
DWTC counts 40 years’ experience delivering world-class events in the Middle East and provides local, regional, and international exhibitors with unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge. Our team organises more than 20 of the largest and most successful international and regional shows in the Middle East, providing an ideal platform for business development in the region. Our commitment to on-going innovation within the exhibition industry has supported the rapid growth and development of a wide range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer shows and delivered consistent satisfaction to exhibitors and visitors. DWTC works with the leading trade bodies and industry associations to ensure all exhibitions deliver full value and are built upon the real needs of their specific sector.