DUBAI // Superyacht buyers seeking a few optional extras such as chandeliers, a gold-plated toilet bowl or even a see-through Jacuzzi should head over to the Dubai International Boat Show.
Companies exhibiting their latest dream crafts say they can meet even the most extravagant request, provided it met safety and marine design regulations.
UAE-based boatbuilder Gulf Craft is showing a 135ft Majesty superyacht that has not just a gold-plated toilet bowl but a matching bidet in the master bedroom's en suite.
The Dh63 million golden-hulled vessel has four other luxurious en suite cabins in the lower deck that can be reached by another unusual bespoke feature - a lift.
A see-through Jacuzzi was the most unusual item supplied so far by AS Marine of Ajman, which also sells 135ft superyachts. It was fitted to the rear deck of a yacht in such a way that those sitting inside could peer down through the bubbles and the bottom of the bath and see fish swimming beneath the vessel, so perhaps it should have been described as sea-through. The Jacuzzi cost the buyer an extra Dh110,000.
"The interior is pretty open, we have only structural separations that are set and the rest of it you can move around," said Erwin Bamps, chief operating officer of Gulf Craft. "So it's not just a case of changing carpet or fabric colours, it's also about rearranging the layout. You can change walls, you can change single bedrooms to doubles, depending on the use of the boat.
"Of course you are still a floating object so there are limitations. We prioritise safety and performance."
Sultan Al Shaali, chief executive of AS Marine, said: "We are specialising more and more in the customisation process. We start from the naval architecture, then we go on to the exterior design, engineering and interior design. If you want a chandelier you can have it - you just have to pay for it.
"The restriction is always the certification of the boat, so if the marine societies agree with your plans we'll go for it. If they don't we'll find a way around it. The Jacuzzi which lets you see under the water and through all the side as well was fitted to a boat for a private customer who uses it as a floating spa in the Maldives.
"We've done gold fittings and gold plating on some of the bigger yachts, and everyone wants marble now for the interiors of toilets and kitchens."
He said special lightweight materials were used that consisted of thin sheets of marble bonded to honeycomb aluminium panels. Customers who wanted to enjoy their art collections on board could specify the dimensions of display locations on the walls, or alternatively the company could work with other firms to supply them with an instant collection.
One extra that is not an option for boat users in the Gulf is beefed-up air-conditioning. Xavier Bouin, managing director of Tan Services, the Middle East distributor for French company Fountaine Pajot Catamarans, said: "You need to increase your air-conditioning system by 40 per cent, and if you don't do that you're in trouble. People here want to use their boats all year round, and when it's 50C you want it to be 22C inside."
The boat show opened yesterday at the Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi, and will continue until Saturday. More than 750 companies from 46 countries are taking part, and the event is open to the public.