It is a subject that Dr Mohammed Al Barwani, Chairman of the Oceanco shipyard was keen to expand on when we sat down with him at the event.
“I think it’s very important to present a balanced perception of the industry”, he said. “The problem is that people when they look at the media they see the glamour side of the industry, but there is the other side that is equally important to be seen, that is the number of people which is employed in the industry.
“People who are employed in manufacturing, in services, in operations in the outer industry and I think it’s important to present it as a balance between the glamour and the practical side of it too.
In terms of Oceanco’s operations, 2014 is expected to be a particularly busy year. So what do they have planned?
“We have two beautiful boats we are delivering this year,” he said. “We’ve got a 92 metre and we’ve got a 90 metre. We’ll be delivering the 92 metre in the early part of this year, and later in the year the 90 metre. The masts are very beautiful and I’m sure they’ll be in the Top 100.”
And looking forward, where does he see the future of large yacht design moving over, say, the next five years?
“I think it will continue growing bigger,” he said, “and the number of 100 metre yachts will increase. So I expect over the next five years the TOP 100 on average will be much bigger than it is today.”
With the Hainan Rendez-Vous superyacht and luxury fair taking place in March, how does Oceanco expect to merge into the Chinese market?
“The Chinese market is going to be very important,” he said. “But it’s more for the medium term. The reason for that is because you need the other element of the yachting world to evolve, for instance marinas support maintenance, insurance.
It’s not just building a yacht and putting it somewhere. You also need places to go, you need to maintain it, you need the service industry. So it’s the ecosystem of the whole industry that needs to develop, and it is developing.
You can watch the full video interview with Dr Mohammed Al Barwani above this article.