MB92 Group's Middle Eastern strategy
Following the appointment of a business development consultant for the Middle East, we explore the wider strategy…
The MB92 Group, the superyacht refit group, recently announced the appointment of Saif Al Rahbi as business development consultant – Middle East Region to represent the group and support commercial activity in the region. Based in Oman, Al Rahbi will provide local support to existing clients and build new relationships in the region, ensuring the group continues to meet the growing demand for their refit services from across the Middle East. SuperyachtNews speaks with MB92 to better understand their strategy for the Middle East.
“We want to increase our presence in the Middle East and we felt that Saif’s appointment would benefit us for a number of reasons,” starts Henk Dreijer, MB92 Group’s chief business development officer. “Saif is the ideal person to build our business in the Middle East because we needed someone local who knows the culture and the language, as well as having a deep understanding of yachting. This is a business development strategy that has been widely employed by new build yards, but not really by the refit industry to date. This will allow us to get closer to our clients and provide them with a better service. We have worked with Saif on a number of significant projects and have seen first-hand the level of professionalism, dedication, and expertise he brings to the table. We are delighted to welcome him to our team.”
“I have had the pleasure of working closely with MB92 during the last few years and we share the same values and approach to delivering a world-class service to clients. The group has forged a strong reputation in the Middle East for nurturing their commercial relationships, dependability and for delivering results. I am proud to be representing the company and am confident that I can help bring further success,” adds Al Rahbi.
Saif Al Rahbi, MB92 Group's business development consultant – Middle East Region
That MB92 Group is now developing the global networks that we have come to expect from the most prolific new build shipyards is a strong indication of how far the refit market has come in recent years. A far cry from being seen as essential maintenance, refit is now viewed as a legitimate alternative to new build given the size and the complexity of the works that MB92 and others now complete. And, as if this point required any further proof, one needs only to look at the development of the new build yards’ refit offerings to see how prevalent this sector has become.
“It shows that we’re getting more professional. We may not have existed as long as some of the Northern European new build yards, 30 years in comparison to 100 plus years, but this is an important step in our development,” continues Dreijer. “The new role will allow us to maintain our network and grow it, interface, increase awareness and be present. From a commercial perspective, Saif’s knowledge of the language and culture will assist us further with our commercial relationships.”
In recent years, much has been made of the need for the superyacht market to adjust its commercial and marketing language to suit the nuances of a variety of different cultures globally. MB92 Group’s recent appointment is another clear indication that the market is increasingly respecting the needs of different regions and cultures.
“The Middle Eastern market is active at the moment and we are seeing it grow. If we only consider the yachts above 90m, around 20% per cent of them are owned by Middle Eastern clients and this percentage is growing,” explains Dreijer. “Therefore, it is important to us to stay in touch with this market and show that we have the facilities and expertise to deal with large projects in either La Ciotat or Barcelona.”
With Middle Eastern clients representing a significant part of the 90m-plus superyacht market, it is of vital importance, given the limited refit infrastructure available to such vessels, that businesses like MB92 Group maintain a close working relationship with said clients in order to ensure that the ownership lifecycle is supported effectively.
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