Erwin Bamps
SuperYacht World|November - December 2017

The enigmatic CEO of one of the industry’s most perpetually interesting players Alexandra Groom.

Alexandra Groom

Gulf Craft is a company that wants everyone to know it’s doing things differently, and not just for the sake of it either. Established in Dubai in 1982, the shipyard is now one of the world’s most prolific, building around 400 yachts a year, and the only major builder that builds across such a wide range, from 30 feet to 200 feet. The company’s CEO is Erwin Bamps, a Belgian by birth, who has now spent 15 years at the company and has overseen turning the brand into the global name of today.

“I think that we are entering into an established market but with an original way of thinking, and we’re entering emerging markets faster than others. We’re thinking outside the box: it’s not only about growing the company, but growing it in a different direction,” says Bamps.

The company, for example, is keen to expand into Australia. “At the moment the largest we have delivered there is a Majesty 130. It’s an area that’s growing for everyone, not just us, but we do better than most because it’s a highly regulated market, if not over regulated, and there are a lot of requirements,” says Bamps. “Many are not venturing into the markets like that or where the demand is small, but we’ve always dealt in thin markets, such as Vietnam and Indonesia. We have been able to go into markets where others did not, and we have been selling in Malaysia for 22 years. That doesn’t make us market leaders, but it means that we have such a boat park out there that it’s recognisable, and we have dealerships that are 10 and 15 years standing, which have grown with us.”

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