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2020 July August Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry


PRODUCTS, SERVICES & PEOPLE Getty Images Fish friendly credit for first UAE marina Dubai Marina Yacht Club has been accredited as the first Fish Friendly marina in the UAE by the Marina Industries Association (MIA). It has also been reaccredited under the International Clean Marina programme. Fish Friendly accreditation assesses advanced elements of environmental planning and management, such as identifying opportunities to incorporate fish friendly structures into the marina to encourage marine life and the education of marina visitors on local fish species. Dubai Marina is situated in the vibrant residential and leisure area of New Dubai. It comprises five individual marinas along a 3.5km (2.1mi) canal offering over 550 sheltered berthing spaces for yachts up to 30m (98ft). All the marinas offer immediate access to the vibrant retail and leisure precinct along the canal. Ahmed Mohamed Abdelhalim, senior marine operation manager at Dubai Marina Yacht Club, said: “It is a great honour for Dubai Marina Yacht Club to be the first accredited Fish Friendly marina in the UAE. Dubai Marina Yacht Club has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and the health of the waterway in the canal is a major priority. The Fish Friendly and Clean Marina accreditations are a demonstration of our commitment.” According to MIA CEO, Colin Bransgrove, the MIA now has Fish Friendly accredited marinas in Australia, Asia and the UAE. “These marinas are setting the benchmark for environmental leadership,” he commented. “Since this accreditation commenced in 2016, there has been a 14% annual growth in the take up. This indicates a growing awareness by the industry of the environmental leadership role the marina operators can play within their local communities.” Set sail with SeaBookings SeaBookings is a new online platform helping to bridge the gap between tourists seeking sea experiences and marinas and tour operators offering boat charters, sunset cruises, surfing and scuba diving. The platform has proven to be a great success in helping to promote very small businesses that don’t have the budget or skills to invest in a website or social media. It also aids marinas seeking to grow the experiences they offer and attract more visitors. SeaBookings was set up by two sealoving sisters, Bo and Femke Irik, who had been spending their summers selling tickets for boat tours on ticket stands in Lagos, Portugal. Teaming up with their chief technology officer, Fábio Neves, they decided to sell these experiences online, allowing the end user to book ahead from the comfort of their home, while helping local tour operators gain exposure and increase sales online. The platform started in Portugal but has since expanded to Spain, Greece, Croatia, Dubai and Cape Verde, offering 810 experiences from 270 tour operators. Co-founder Bo says their goal is to expand in more tourist destinations that offer world-class sea experiences worldwide. It allows the end user to compare experiences at a glance in each destination and book at any time, anywhere, online. In the current climate, using SeaBookings has the additional advantage of allowing the user to fully comply with social distancing by paying online and checking in with their phone, avoiding unnecessary contact with people, cash and physical tickets. - July/August 2020 47

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