UAE boat builder Al Marakeb has announced a 45% increase in sales for 2013 against its figures for 2012. The Sharjah-based company that specialises in manufacturing ocean-going vessels reported that it experienced a 71% increase in revenue turnover for the period – a level of growth that attributes to an expansion strategy that has allowed it to better meet market needs.
“We are exceptionally pleased with our sales figures for 2013,” said Basel Shuhaiber, Founder and Managing Director, Al Marakeb. “Market demands in the power boat sales sector didn’t change appreciably in 2013 from 2012, but what did change was our manufacturing capabilities. Enhancements that we made to our production capacity, in conjunction with an initiative to employ more staff, enabled us to improve our boat supply,” he added.
Al Marakeb’s market achievements were a result of it expanding its existing factory facilities in Sharjah and taking on 25% more manpower to increase output. Such was their ability to meet demand from the power boat sector that it was able to sell 51 vessels throughout the twelve months – almost one per week – with the original target being 42. Shuhaiber admits that it was a risky venture, but was a strategy that ultimately bore fruit.
“As a young business, we were understandably cautious about expanding too rapidly,” said Shuhaiber. “However, the extensive research we conducted revealed that market conditions in the boating sector were likely to remain buoyant, so we took the plunge and increased our manufacturing capabilities and our workforce,” he added.
Al Marakeb has experienced year-on-year exponential growth since it was established in 2007. The company supplies boats to private and commercial buyers in the regional and international markets, with its current network extending into the GCC states, North Africa and Asia. A breakdown of its sales for 2013 revealed that 65% was locally generated custom, 15% regional and 20% international. The company is a significant exhibitor at the annual Dubai Pre-Owned Boat Show in November, which in particular attracts customers looking for value-for-money craft.
“Al Marakeb has tapped into the demand for mid-range ocean crafts, which are proving popular with families as they are relatively more affordable. They require minimal maintenance and are economical to operate. They also do not need quayside berthing, as they can be easily parked on a trailer outside the customer’s home,” said Shuhaiber. “This current demand shows no sign of ceasing soon. Our order books for the first quarter of 2014 are already full and we are manufacturing at full capacity right now. We are aiming for a sustained period of growth over the next twelve months,” he added. “With our full personalisation options available for every model and our new shop that retails equipment to fully kit them out, we aim to provide a complete service from manufacture to ocean-ready in one easy step,” Shuhaiber commented.
Al Marakeb’s product line-up comprises the Dino 31 entry-level model, Spartan 25, Triton 35, Habbar 25 fishing boat and Scylla 35, the company’s first cabin cruising vessel. The Scylla 35 has the same hull dimensions and motor specifications as the Triton 35, but comes with an added cabin containing living amenities, such as beds, sofas, lighting fixtures, toilet and air conditioning unit. The company increased the specifications over its standard vessel in response to demand from customers specifying that they wanted to spend extended periods camping out at sea.
Supporting Al Marakeb’s boat portfolio is a new retail outlet for customers, which sells specialist nautical and marine equipment such as navigation products from Garmin, fishing gear from Osprey and diving equipment from Seac. The store formed part of the company’s expansion plans designed to be a one-stop solution for customers.