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Gulf Craft advances on comprehensive management restructure

Abeer Alshaali appointed as interim CEO for the shipyard
Abeer Alshaali, acting CEO, Gulf Craft
Abeer Alshaali, acting CEO, Gulf Craft

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Emirates superyacht builder Gulf Craft progresses on management re-structure that sets the company on a course towards continued growth as outlined by chairman Mohammed H. Alshaali. In a significant move for the Emirates-based business, Abeer Alshaali takes the helm as acting chief executive officer (CEO). Other appointments in the executive management see Nizar Tagi appointed as chief commercial officer (CCO) and Paul Gray as Chief Operating Officer (COO). As part of the restructuring, which comes in the wake of Gregory Yeakle’s role as CEO being absorbed by the chairman mid-2019, Notis Menelaou has also stepped down as vice president of Sales. Menelaou has been working with Gulf Craft for almost two decades.

Chairman Mohammed Alshaali has been leading these structural changes and more as part of future planning and preparing the shipyard for further expansion into other markets. “The shipyard has to grow efficiently” he stated. “Following our debut in the US market late 2019 and our aggressive development plan, we are empowering the shipyard through a team of experts who are able to solidify the new wave of yachting.”

Abeer Alshaali, acting CEO, Gulf Craft
Abeer Alshaali takes the CEO role after holding the position of executive management officer for almost six years.
Raised and educated in the US, she completed her Bachelor’s degree at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She joined Gulf Craft in the Executive Office handling company management alongside her father. In her role, she implemented new processes to improve company structure and efficiency

Alshaali is also a board member of the Ajman Media City Free Zone and served as a mentor in the Shaikh Abdulaziz Bin Humaid Leadership Program.

“It’s a huge honour for me to take such an important job in a company that has been an integral part of my life since I was young. My objective is to maintain the progress made in recent years and capitalise on substantial growth opportunities in the industry,” she said.

Paul Gray, chief operating officer, Gulf Craft
Paul J. Gray will be leading the operational side of the business acting as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Paul brings with him a wealth of experience from other leading shipyards, in which he has set-up efficient processes and significant business models.

Paul started in the industry building the yachts for acclaimed British shipyard where his career developed into project management. He then moved to the US to take European production techniques to the semi-custom superyacht manufacturers building in aluminum and carbon fibre.  He then returned to the UK to join the operational segment of another British shipyard, helping them build their superyachts line before joining Gulf Craft.

“I’m privileged to have been given the opportunity of drawing on my extensive experience from other leading shipyards to ensure that Gulf Craft’s business model maximises efficiency and growth in practicality, functionality and quality of their wide product range,” he said.

Nizar Tagi, chief commercial officer, Gulf Craft
Nizar Tagi, a yachting connoisseur, directs the Sales and Marketing departments with responsibility for the commercial strategy that includes business development, strategic alliances, distribution channel optimization and product development. Before joining Gulf Craft, he was director of world's leading superyacht marina OneOcean Port Vell and the General Manager of a prominent Italian yacht builder in Hong Kong. An expert in sales and marketing, Nizar is a regular speaker in major yachting conferences and consultant to several leading yachting industry brands.

“This is an exciting time in the long history of Gulf Craft and one I am honoured to be part of it. I’m proud to be given the responsibility for driving forward sales in a competitive industry that offers huge scope for new business opportunities,” he said.

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