Middle Eastern shipyard Gulf Craft announced their intentions to enter the 50+ metre superyacht market in September. The announcement came with the unveiling of two new superyacht concepts, the Majesty 175 and the Majesty 200, ready to be constructed with the backing of a passionate superyacht client. Here we talk with Gulf Craft’s CEO, Erwin Bamps, about Gulf Craft’s decision to build bigger.
Gulf Craft has recently announced its intentions to enter the 50+ metre market. Tell us more about this decision to build bigger boats?
Since Gulf Craft’s inception, the company has always had strong and far-reaching ambitions. Within a short span of time, the shipyard has witnessed tremendous growth – both in production capacity and in product size. In just 25 years, Gulf Craft’s humble beginnings of building family and fishing boats in the desert expanded to include a diverse portfolio of sport yachts and cruisers, and luxurious superyachts. Today our award-winning Majesty Yachts series has established us as one of the world’s top-ranking superyacht manufacturers.
This has not been an easy feat – as a builder competing with globally recognised brands, it means you must stay ahead of the curve when it comes research, development, technology, and innovation. It also means you must always have your ears on the ground, listening closely to your clients, understanding their needs, recognising how their requirements continue to change over time, and then using that insight to create timeless masterpieces that transform client dreams into real experiences.
When you look at Gulf Craft’s history and track record, this venture into the world of megayachts is rather a natural next step. Around the world, we are seeing that yachting and boating is witnessing a perceptual transformation – from one that is functional – a means to an end, to one of lifestyle, where the journey becomes the destination. Gulf Craft’s decision to start building megayachts was inspired by this global paradigm shift in how and why people sail, marking the company’s evolution from a yacht and boat builder, to a ship builder.
With the announcement came the revealing of two superyacht concepts: the Majesty 200 and the Majesty 175. Can you explain a little more about the development of these projects?
The Majesty 200 and the Majesty 175 are our first two megayacht design concepts, both recently announced at the Monaco Yacht Show. Aside from being our first megayacht concepts, these two innovations will also signify a number of other important milestones for Gulf Craft – in both engineering and design.
The Majesty 200 will be our first hybrid steel and advanced composite craft, using state-of-the-art technology to merge the durability of steel with the agility of fiberglass. Meanwhile, the Majesty 175 will be completely produced using advanced composites, expanding the possibilities of fiberglass production to sizes once thought never possible.
Both the designs of both the Majesty 200 and Majesty 175 include an abundant list of remarkable features, including retractable helipads, opulent interiors, beach clubs, and extensive lounging and entertainment areas. It is estimated that each project will take approximately three-four years to complete upon order.
You’re a UAE shipyard based in Ajman - how is the market for bigger superyachts in the region? Do you expect the concepts will appeal to UAE superyacht owners?
Industry data has shown that the Middle East UHNWI market has the highest propensity to buy a superyacht. This, combined with the region’s natural affinity with the sea, ongoing waterfront developments in the Gulf, and a strong passion for travel and exploration, makes both the UAE and the wider region an ideal market for megayachts.
Today, superyacht owners are looking to experience the same lavish lifestyle they enjoy at home, on water. This growing desire for the home-away-from-home experience is creating a demand for larger, more luxurious yachts. And ambitious waterfront projects, such as the Dubai Canal, are dotting the Gulf coast with stunning lifestyle destinations, meaning that owners can venture as far, or as close, as they like to enjoy their craft.
How have the concepts been received? Do you have any tangible interest from a prospective client as yet?
Both concepts have been received exceptionally well and with strong interest – we are currently in discussion with several prospective owners, and we have received many queries about how we see the layouts and exciting new features of these new innovations coming together.
However, the interest generated from our recent announcement is not limited to our planned megayacht production, but also includes queries about our overall vision and direction as a company. The news has reawakened excitement and created a sense of intrigue within the market about everything we do, and across our entire range of craft. And the news that we will be producing our first hybrid steel and advanced composite yacht has also opened up a whole new world of opportunities.
Prospective owners, regardless of the size of yacht they are looking to buy, want a shipyard that stands out from the crowd and continuously thinks outside the box, and I believe our plans to enter the world of megayachts has demonstrated our commitment to innovation.
Should we expect to see the Gulf Craft brand enter into even larger markets in the future?
We are already a global company with expanding international reach, but we definitely want to build on our globalisation by strengthening our presence in major markets, such as Australia and Europe, as well as boosting our reach in emerging markets, such as South East Asia. As we enhance our global presence, we hope to see greater international contribution to our total revenue.
Our plans to start producing megayachts are in alignment with this globalisation strategy, and are part of our mission as a company to continue helping people realise their seafaring aspirations -- no matter how ambitious they may seem.
To hear more about Gulf Craft and their plans for the future, contact the team at the details below.
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street
P. O. Box 666, Ajman
United Arab Emirates
T: +971 674 060 60
E: [email protected]