Gulf Craft to double production capacity
Gulf Craft is developing a new Maldivian facility, dedicated to the manufacturing of vessels for use in the Indian Ocean, which will see its national operations and production capacity double within 16 months.
The UAE-based boatbuilder announced the news while marking its 20th year of operations in the Maldives, which the company says has “played a pivotal role in developing the marine transportation network of the island nation.”
Gulf Craft has an established presence in the Maldives, and says it currently provides almost 80 per cent of the country’s water transportation services, which includes public transport, coast guard, emergency and ambulance services, resorts, and leisure boats.
The company has a 100,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, which currently produces pleasure boats and rapid transport vessels. Gulf Craft says it is now focusing on further expansion of its operations in the Maldives to support the government’s strategy to strengthen the tourism sector. This will be driven by doubling its production capacity in the country and creating a new training facility for captains and crew.
In early 2021, the shipyard was awarded a government contract, through the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), to manufacture a fleet of speed boats for use across the Integrated National Public Ferry Network.
Gulf Craft says the new speed boats will offer a “convenient and efficient transportation system to all administrative islands of the Maldives”, with capabilities to transport up to 53 passengers at a time, connecting the capital city Malé to nearby islands.
Gulf Craft’s Chairman, Mohammed Hussein Alshaali, says: “The Government of the Maldives and its people have constantly been a beacon of support since the establishment of our operations, without whom this remarkable feat would not be possible. We are grateful to the Maldives for entrusting Gulf Craft with projects that have played a part in the growth of the nation over these 20 years.
“The Maldives is our first international destination, where we have built in-country competencies by leveraging the opportunities that the country provides for the marine and tourism sector. With the doubling of our production capacity and the new training facility we hope to serve the local community even better through the creation of new job opportunities and in further boosting tourism.”
Last year, Gulf Craft announced that it will invest in a strategic development in the Maldives named ‘Gulf Lagoon’. The project will feature a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, a marina for seafarers and live-aboards, a maritime school offering captain/crew training for young Maldivians, and a resort, among others.
Founded in the United Arab Emirates in 1982, Gulf Craft has over 1000 employees across its three facilities in the UAE and the Maldives and has a manufacturing capacity of 200 boats per year. The company has built more than 10,000 boats already, serving clients around the world.
In September, the company added eight new distributor partners across 12 European countries to meet increasing demand, including key markets such as Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal.