The Middle East’s largest yacht builder Gulf Craft, based in the UAE, will complete the detailed planning for phase one of its new $100m, 900,000ft2 facility at Dubai Maritime City (DMC).

“We are working on the detailed planning which we expect to be completed within the next few weeks,” Gulf Craft CEO Erwin Bamps told SB. “This will include deciding on which yacht sizes we will be building and also how much space will be devoted to the service centre that we will include on the huge site. This will be a phased development and it is likely that the $100m will be spent evenly over the anticipated five year development period.”

Bamps emphasises that the $100m will be generated through caseflow. “We will be reconfiguring all the work being done across our shipyards and this is what we will be working out for the new DMC facility. So far this year we have recruited over 400 people and we now have a workforce of over 2,000. We are all changing our whole culture so that the workforce performs smarter and we are investing in new computerised cutting equipment and digitising projects.”

“We are currently investing in all out shipyards improving the systems and equipment. This includes our service facility in the Maldives which is being renovated,” Bamps commented. “As to building larger superyachts about which we are talking with a number of potential clients, we are not sure whether or when we will build in steel and aluminium. We are working on how large we can build in FRP.”

At the Qatar International Boat Show (QIBS) being held at Lusail Marina November 11-15, 2014, Gulf Craft is showcasing its largest-ever fleet of superyachts including the biggest yacht in the event.  Gulf Craft has 11 yachts on display including six Majesty brand yachts between 14.6m (48ft) and 30.8m (101ft). In addition there are five Oryx  and Silvercraft brands.

Denis Bochkarev, sales manager of Aurora Yachts & Boats Trading LLC, the exclusive Gulf Craft dealer for Qatar, told SB: “Qatar is one of the two countries in the GCC buying yachts at the moment; the other is Kuwait. We sell about four or five yachts a year over 30.5m (100ft) in Qatar and about 15 a year of all sizes.”