First Yacht-component making plant in UAE

DUBAI — The UAE'S Gulf Craft Inc has joined forces with Opacmare SpA, the prominent Italian supplier of marine components and accessories, to set up a manufacturing unit in the UAE.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 16 Mar 2006, 9:47 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 3:34 PM

The $1 million joint venture was announced at a media briefing at the Dubai International Boat Show attended by Erwin Bamps, executive manager of Gulf Craft, Sacco Pietro, president of Opacmare, and Sandrine Thibaud, marketing and sales manager.

The new factory, Opacmare Middle East., will produce stainless steel components for the regional and international yacht-building industry.

The partners are currently assessing potential sites in the Northern Emirates where a pilot factory of 500 square metres employing about 20 people will be operational by the middle of this year.

Rapid expansion will take the premises to 5,000 square metres and a staff of 50 by the end of 2006, producing doors, hatches, window frames, pulleys, cranes, gangways, and allied yacht fittings in 316L grade stainless steel, the premium marine standard.

Italian craftsmen will relocate to the UAE and train local recruits in the specialised techniques and machinery used to produce the components.

Initially, the company will supply Gulf Craft's own requirements and those of other regional yacht builders, with export sales to follow when capacity permits.

Until now, yacht manufacturers had no alternative but to import components from overseas suppliers.

"The benefits flowing from this venture will extend to the region's entire yachting industry and not just exclusively to Gulf Craft," says executive manager Erwin Bamps. "It will reduce our reliance on foreign suppliers and enable us to be even more competitive in international markets."

Opacmare has been growing steadily in production capacity and global reach, with its order book quickly filling from customers and boat-builders worldwide.

"The extra production capacity we are creating in the UAE will help us to enlarge our market share in the Middle East, and also enhance our capacity to cater to customers internationally," says Opacmare's Sandrine Thibaud.

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