Gulf Exporters

Gulf Craft buoyant about exports

Gulf Craft’s Majesty 122 yacht

Gulf Craft, one of the top 10 builders of superyachts in the world, is keen on intensifying its presence in the Gulf markets and beyond and capitalising on its fame as a major supplier of leisure vessels.

It showcased one of its latest superyachts, the Majesty 122, at the Kuwait Yacht Show last month, hoping to woo wealthy lovers of luxury boat cruising.

“Kuwait has a strong historical and cultural connection with the seafaring lifestyle, making the Kuwait Yacht Show a natural choice for Gulf Craft to first present our latest superyacht, the Majesty 122,” said chairman and founder of Gulf Craft Mohammed Hussein Al Shaali.

The Majesty 122 was the largest superyacht to ever enter the Kuwait market. The state is home to one-fifth of the GCC’s boats with fishing and leisure cruising popular pastimes.

“The Majesty 122 incorporates alluring features such as an extended balcony and unrivalled on-deck lounging and entertaining areas, which will truly appeal to our Kuwaiti customers,” said Al Shaali.

It features ample outdoor and indoor space including a flowing fly-bridge that is directly connected to the front bow areas as well as the largest garage in the Majesty collection with capacity to store two three-seater watercraft.

Gulf Craft is also well known for its Oryx Sport Cruisers and Silvercraft leisure boats.

Established over three decades ago, Gulf Craft now has four shipyards (three in the UAE and one in the Maldives) with the fifth due to be set up at Dubai Maritime City at an investment of $100 million. The company builds annually around 400 craft in sizes ranging from 27 feet to 155 feet with its more luxurious offerings being quoted in the tens of millions of US dollars. Some 7,000 of its boats have been delivered to Gulf markets over the years while sales outside the region are also growing.

“We have truly made our mark on the global superyacht scene through our innovative approach to design and manufacturing, which allows us to offer a unique standard of product and services to our global customers,” said the company’s chief executive Erwin Bamps. Many of the company’s Majesty yachts are present in the European marinas of France, Spain and Italy and in Australian and other markets.

Every yacht is personalised, taking into consideration the needs and requirements of each client. From intricate interior design, including paint, gold-leaf, and hand-crafted wood paneling, to overall layout, Gulf Craft offers premium quality in every aspect of the vessel structure and design, said a company statement.

“What we do is more than build boats and yachts; it is essentially designing and developing works of art.” Most items of the vessel are created in the factory and clients can customise their yacht according to their requirements,” Bamps said. The company announced it will display its latest Majesty yachts at three international events, the last one taking place in late April in Singapore. The Kuwait show was one of the events listed with the Dubai International Boats show scheduled for the first week of this month.

“By displaying the Majesty yachts at three major industry events in three different countries, Gulf Craft is again extending its geographic reach and helping to promote and strengthen the reputation of the UAE in the luxury yacht market,” said Bamps.


Al Shaali: achieving the vision

Al Shaali: achieving the vision

The official has recommended that a centre of excellence for yachts be set up in Dubai. “This UAE-based centre of excellence would be a network of businesses that provide a wide variety of products and services that are integral to the manufacturing and servicing of yachts, from supplying the material that forms the base of the yacht, to furniture production, painting, electronics, and mechanical engineering support services,” he said.

A number of factors are contributing to the need for a centre of excellence, according to Bamps. First is the growing interest in yacht-ownership in the UAE and the entire GCC. With the number of yacht owners on the rise, there is a demand for businesses that provide related products and services.

Second, a growing general appreciation for quality products produced and supported locally, and third, a significant opportunity to export these products worldwide, further cementing the UAE’s manufacturing position and reputation globally, he added.

Bamps made the remarks during his speech at the Dubai Mare Forum 2015, which brought policy makers and chief executives from the industry under one roof to engage in decisive dialogue and debate.

“We have an excellent opportunity to put the UAE on the map as a maritime industry hub – not only in terms of shipping and freight transport, but also as a world-class producer and service centre for yachts,” Bamps said.

“A clear focus on quality production plays a significant role in setting industry trends, but we also see a number of challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us, mainly in the challenge to foster a closer cross-pollination in all UAE-based businesses related to the manufacturing and servicing of yachts.”