When Erwin Bamps joined Gulf Craft as CEO in 2002, his main task was to scale up the business. At the time, the company was building smaller vessels, but its intention was clear. It first wanted to build yachts, then superyachts, and get a global presence.
With headquarters in Ajman, United Arab Emirates, Gulf Craft originally began targeting potential Middle East customers who were right on its doorstep. The increase in wealth in the Emirates, and later Southeast Asia, helped the company grow, and now it has three shipyards in the Gulf, and a further one in the Maldives, employing just over 1,500 people across all locations.
Although Gulf Craft is growing, Bamps believes that, for the industry to grow further, we need to look more towards shared ownership.
He explains that the globalisation of the super wealthy means that they are less likely to split their time between home and a vacation spot. Owners do not want to be tied to a specific location or area, and the cost of moving the yacht between locations is prohibitive, even for the super rich.
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