The Arrival sat down with Chairman of Gulf Craft Mohmed Hussain Alshaali ,The Man behind of "Master of the Sea ". in this interview we highlighted about Maldives Marine industry " there's an immediate need for uplifting and building advanced marinas that can cater to bigger yachts visiting the country. Essentially, the focus should be on world class infrastructure for luxury yachts of 25-meters and above. On a larger outlook, Maldives must host proper marine events. Ironically, at the moment, the country which boasts over a thousand islands hosts its boat show on land. This scenario must change..
TA:What type of innovations in the marine industry do you foresee as having the most impact in the coming years?
MH:The world has seen a big push towards more eco-friendly yacht building and cruising. The marine industry is under increasing pressure to go ‘green’. At Gulf Craft we have already started adopting hybrid technologies to reduce emissions, make our yachts and boats more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. The most recent example is the introduction of a solar-powered Nomad 65 SUV. Corporate ownership is set to revolutionise the future of our industry. Having a corporate ownership allows owners to enjoy the benefits of a luxury yacht without the spiralling costs. There will be a major shift to reduce the cost of individual ownerships by increasing the number of owners per boat.
People increasingly want boats that can go to untapped territories by having specially designed low draft boats. For example, our range of Nomad Yachts feature hulls that are round bilge, which can handle shallow areas better, as the weight of the boat is spread across evenly meaning it floats and sits more comfortably on water.
TA: What are the headwinds and tailwinds that you foresee in the Maldives for 2019?
MH:Gulf Craft has been active in the Maldives for the last 16 years, constantly involved in developing the sea transportation methods. We have helped the tourism industry assisting the tourists with safer travel options between the airports, hotels and islands. We continue to support the police and health department's ambulance services in their transportation too. Apart from environmental challenges, stability is a critical issue in the Maldives. The haven that the country offers is one of the best in Asia which will also increase demands from the tourism industry. There's an immediate need to develop long-term awareness campaigns that will educate people about boating and the safety systems for transportation.
TA: What changes do you think are needed in the industry as a whole?
MH:The Maldives is a magical destination in the world of luxury travel. Therefore, there's an immediate need for uplifting and building advanced marinas that can cater to bigger yachts visiting the country. Essentially, the focus should be on world class infrastructure for luxury yachts of 25-meters and above. On a larger outlook, Maldives must host proper marine events. Ironically, at the moment, the country which boasts over a thousand islands hosts its boat show on land. This scenario must change. In the recent years, there have been rapid technological developments in the marine industry. Unfortunately, only very little has been invested in boat building. But at Gulf Craft, we have taken care to adopt a lot these technological advancements in our boats, be it remote controlling the yacht, night vision cameras for navigation or zero-speed stabilizers, to mention a few. Moreover, our new vessels in the SUV Collection of Nomad Yachts have been built using lighter, stronger and rigid advanced composites like Kevlar and carbon fibre. By doing so, we were able to reduce the yacht's weight, increase stability and fuel-efficiency which are some of the most critical aspects in the yachting world today.
TA: What kind of changes do you believe are necessary for Gulf Craft's next stage?
MH:The portfolio of Gulf Craft caters to owners who want to spend nights at the sea or just cruise for a day. Majesty Yachts, Nomad Yachts, Silvercraft and Oryx all meet different requirements. We will be developing further our luxury brands like Majesty Yachts and Nomad Yachts in the country.
TA: Gulf Craft's Majesty 155 was named 2017’s “Best Asian-Built Yacht” by Asia Boating Awards. Tell us more about this beauty.
MH:The Majesty 155 when launched was Gulf Craft's flagship superyacht. She was developed as a high-end superyacht finished completely in GRP fibreglass, which for a boat of that size is ground breaking.. Additionaly, the space inside is of a much larger superyacht - although only 47 meters, the volume inside feels like a 55-meter yacht. Built to different classifications, we have delivered two Majesty 155 superyachts since the model was introduced in 2016 Currently cruising the European and Arabian waters. The Majesty 155 can accommodate up to 16 guests in 6 staterooms and up to 10 crew members, a total accommodation for 26 people, which is far larger than any superyacht of that size.
TA:You have built many magnificent yachts. Do you have a favourite?
MH:All the yachts and boats we have built are like my children. They are all the same to me.
TA:What is the next big thing we should be expecting from Gulf Craft?
MH:Expect anything from Gulf Craft. We have a lot of plans in the pipeline in the coming months.
This year we will be launching at least 1 new model in every brand we have. Currently, Gulf Craft has four major brands - the Majesty Yachts, Nomad Yachts, Oryx and Silvercraft. Majesty Yachts will witness the launch of Majesty 175 - the largest commercial megayacht in the world to be built in fibreglass.
We have launched 3 new Nomad Yachts - the Nomad 95 SUV, the Nomad 75 SUV and the Nomad 65 SUV at the recently concluded Dubai International Boat Show. There was also the world premiere of the much-anticipated Oryx 379 sport cruiser and the launch of the new breed of SilverCat 34 catamarans.
TA: What do you think about boating in the Maldives? And what does Gulf Craft have planned further for this island archipelago?
MH:I am an avid traveller to Maldives where I use my boat extensively. I visit our factory which builds more than a 100 boats per year. I love the turquoise waters and navy-blue oceans around this country. I like the country as a cruising destination. Most importantly it gives me an "at home" feeling. We are planning to increase Gulf Craft's manufacturing and production capabilities in Maldives to meet the increasing demand and improve its servicing capabilities. We plan to introduce new boats to the market in Maldives following the requests we have received from the market. At the moment, we service our own motor boats up to 30 meters as well as other boat types. In the future, we will be welcoming much larger yachts for servicing.
TA:Gulf Craft is currently the key player influencing the leisure boats market in the Middle East. What makes the company stand out from the fierce competition?
MH:Gulf Craft was founded in the UAE in 1982. Its brand slogan back in the day was "The Company that knows about its waters". Based on our rich maritime history in the region, Gulf Craft understands the requirements of the GCC better than any other brand. Be it the unfavourable weather conditions or the harsh climate where it's hot most of the year.
Even the material or the equipment used in our boats is chosen based on the needs of the GCC. For example, our boats, compared to European boats, come with extra AC units and highly spec’d generators. The materials used inside the boats are not just marine grade, but tougher and more durable to handle the harsh climatic conditions.
Here in the GCC when owners want to go on a boat they don't just travel alone, they go with a large group of family and friends. Moreover a family in the GCC does not comprise of husband, wife and two children. There's always the extended family, the nannies and cooks. So, Gulf Craft caters to all those requirements. Gulf Craft offers yachts and boats from 27 feet up to 175 feet, catering to every type of boat owner.
TA: Recently Gulf Craft participated in boot Düsseldorf 2019. What does this presence signify for the company?
MH:Gulf Craft has been a long-term participant in Dusseldorf Boat Show, also known as boot Düsseldorf.. In 2018, we had the largest non-European yacht in the show - the Majesty 100. boot Düsseldorf is a major show in Europe where a lot of our European clients come to see us. We participate in three major shows in Europe - Cannes Yachting Festival, Monaco Yacht Show and boot Düsseldorf.
boot Düsseldorf takes place in the middle of winter during January in Germany. The show allows us as a manufacturer to meet our clients and share their boating plans for the season. Moreover, we have multiple dealers from around the world who visit us during the show.
About Gulf Craft
As the Emirate’s pioneering shipyard set up in 1982, Gulf Craft continues to enthral the world with the finest "Made in UAE" luxury yachts and leisure boats. The growing portfolio features the ultra luxury series of Majesty Yachts, the oceangoing Nomad Yachts, Silvercraft fishing boats and family cruisers, Oryx sport yachts and cruisers, and the Utility Series of Touring Passenger and multipurpose transportation vessels.
With great emphasis on advanced technology, naval engineering, research and development, Gulf Craft builds ocean-going crafts ranging from 27 feet to 175 feet in length at its state-of-the-art shipyards in the UAE.
A work ethos of 'innovation with passion' has been influential in making Gulf Craft one of the top seven shipyards in the world, backed by a strong global network spanning Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
Gulf Craft's envisages success not as the reward for its innovation, but as a motivation to set out on a path of difference, with dedication and commitment, while creating ocean-going masterpieces that truly belong to the waters of the world.
Take a virtual tour of our innovations at www.gulfcraftinc.com