UAE luxury yacht builder Gulf Craft

UAE Luxury Yacht Builder Gulf Craft Makes Return Journey Into Lucrative Asia Markets

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Wow, one of the biggest names in the Middle East’s leisure yachting industry, UAE’s Gulf Craft is heading back to primed-for-growth South Asian markets, signing up new dealerships there. In  their words:

“We had been a bit absent from Asia after COVID, and we wanted to set that right,” said Mohammad Alshaali, Chairman of the company, which has a massive boat yard in Umm Al Quwain and also in the Maldives.

 
 

“That’s because right after COVID, our presence in Southeast Asia kind of stopped. We have signed a dealer in Indonesia and Malaysia, and renewed existing activities in Thailand. There’s Hong Kong too – these are all markets where we can be selling our boats.”

Mohammad Alshaali, Chairman of Gulf Craft Group
Mohammad Alshaali, Chairman of Gulf Craft Group

Asia has no shortage of people with ample wealth, and the sort who will not be dwelling too much on spending millions of dollars on luxury yachts and all the trappings of a lifestyle to suit that. Real estate developers too have been busy creating marinas to support any uptick in demand for such ocean plying vessels.

Monaco, Miami and more

For Gulf Craft, the last two years have been about finding its overseas moorings. First, there was the chase for visibility in the European marina and yachting circuit, including showing off its boats in Monaco. Then came carefully planned exposure in Miami and that helped with the North American presence. All this while building and selling pricey yachts to a well-heeled global clientele.

“We had another good year in 2023, and international markets did help with that,” said Alshaali. “Our boat yards in the UAE and Maldives have been busy throughout.”

 

This is why getting its presence back on board in Far East markets is vital. The sheer breadth of a geographic presence has its benefits, and that’s what Gulf Craft is clearly angling for.

Creating a ‘group’

This week, the company confirmed creating a holding company structure, whereby it will be now known as ‘Gulf Craft Group’.

Again, for a next level of growth, such a move was deemed essential. “We have multiple brands, multiple markets we are in, and it was felt time was right to group all activities under a unified structure,” said the Chairman.

 

“We can better manage our network of international dealerships this way. And it does help with what we are planning to get into.”

More than making and selling boats

Creating the group is also about getting into roles that the company has not been into. “New things are part of the plan – we want to be in a position to offer long-term loans for customers,” said Alshaali. “This was something we could not do in the previous structure, where all that we focused on was building the best boats that we could put to water.

“But new ways are a must for the company, there is no getting away from that. Apart from customer financing, we will also try and get a shot at supporting chartering activities. Now, that’s an area we find there are great possibilities to be had. In the future.”

 

Clearly, Alshaali and Gulf Craft Group have set sights on how to chart a new growth journey…

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Austin Peter
Austin Peter

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