Leading UAE yacht service provider sees revenues close to AED 90 million in 2010
A leading player in the local yacht repair and maintenance sector says new marinas across the Gulf spell a more buoyant future for the development of the region’s support and service industry, which in turn boosts the region’s ability to attract more yachts to its shores.
Exhibiting at the 3rd Abu Dhabi Yacht Show along with big-name players from the local and international yachting world, Al Seer Marine is optimistic about future growth amidst long-term positive indications within the GCC’s larger yacht industry.
Abu Dhabi-based Al Seer Marine recorded revenues close to Dhs90 million last year, driven mainly by incomes from its fleet maintenance and yacht management division, as well as boat building, paint and coating divisions. “We expect a slightly modest revenue growth this year. Although if conditions in the industry as a whole turn for the better, we hope to see a little more robustness in our business,” said Holger Schulte-Hillen, Project Manager, Al Seer Marine.
With 70 percent of the world’s top 10 largest superyachts and close to 30 percent of the Top 100 already belonging to Middle Eastern owners, industry experts believe the Gulf region is poised to see a further increase in yacht population and ownership owing to several factors, among them an increase in the number of high net worth individuals and more confidence in the quality of infrastructure and after-sales support for vessel owners.
In addition, Schulte-Hillen sees new marina developments across the Gulf region as a potential boost to their company’s bottom-line. “We hope to see more vessels berthing in marinas across the region. With that come more opportunities for yacht management and maintenance services,” he added.
Schulte-Hillen announced that Al Seer Marine has ventured into marina management, having recently signed a management contract with Paragon Bay Marina and Yacht Club at the Al Reem Island development in Abu Dhabi
Sharing Schulte-Hillen’s optimism about the regional industry’s future prospects, Mourjan Marina’s Director of Operations, Matthew Bate sees a stronger demand for superyacht berths. “The current demand for large berths is strong and through our market intelligence many enquiries or pre-bookings are generated from owners with a yacht on order or from those wanting to purchase a yacht. These signs are all very positive and we believe that the Middle East will continue to grow into one of the most exciting and diverse global superyacht markets.”
The average annual maintenance and managing cost for a superyacht can easily reach up to 10 percent of the vessel’s value. Building a trusted service and support industry has the potential to be a strong revenue generator for the local maritime industry, especially if bigger boats spend more time in the region’s waters.
Schulte-Hillen said: “The maintenance budget can change given several factors, such as the frequency of usage, or repairs and modifications required by the client. But sometimes, budget can be a constriction as well. Especially in the GCC where the market is still young, owners sometimes forget to factor in annual maintenance and management costs. A well maintained vessel will be enjoyed by the owner more, with decreased maintenance cost while on operation. At the end, a properly done maintenance service is the key for saving money and the only way to keep an asset close to its original value.”
Al Seer Marine is one of the stalwarts of the growing marine business in the UAE, exhibiting at the 3rd Abu Dhabi Yacht Show along with other regional success stories such as Abu Dhabi MAR, ART Marine and Gulf Craft.
ADYS was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and is sponsored by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), with Yas Hotel as the official hospitality partner and Blancpain and HSBC Private Bank as the show’s Platinum sponsors.