ZMI diversifies market with versatile assets and project management expertise


Managing Director, Ali El Ali, details landmark milestone including QMS Gladiator, strongly advocates ADIPEC, and offers insight on market landscape moving forward

By Dushane Solomon

A service provider for offshore marine construction companies and the offshore oil and gas industry, Zakher Marine International (ZMI) was established in 1984. Since 2000, the Abu Dhabi based company has expanded with offices in Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. ZMI’s offshore support services range through four divisions being fleet (vessel charters), rigs (jack up accommodation), projects (management and execution), and subsea.

Particularly during the last decade, ZMI has swiftly grown and they currently own upwards of 70 vessels. The company’s fleet consists of 17 innovatively designed self-propelled jack up barges, with a full range of platform supply vessels, anchor handling tug supply vessels, diving support vessels, construction support vessels, utility, crew boats and flat top barges. Over the years, the company has demonstrated a commitment to sustaining safe and environmentally friendly operations for both employees and client personnel. Ensuring their adherence to high client standards and industry regulations, is multiple ISO certifications including, ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, and OHSAS 18001:2007.

Company’s landmark milestones

ZMI recently unveiled the latest addition to an already extensive fleet of self-propelled, self-elevating jack up barges named “QMS Gladiator” which is utilized by its offshore oil and gas and wind farm clients. Naming and opening ceremony for the vessel took place last month at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC). Regarding its stature, Managing Director, Ali El Ali stated, “The QMS Gladiator is the largest of its kind and the most advanced in the Middle East region.”

As part of a USD$125 million financing deal, the first of its kind with Chinese export credit agency (ECA) Sinosure, the QMS Gladiator along with sister vessel QMS Sentinel were acquired from Wuhan Machinery Plant in Wuhan, China. The ECA guaranteed ZMI’s deal and with a contract already fixed, the QMS Gladiator departed only a few days after the exhibition ended to begin operations in Saudi Arabia. El Ali elaborated, “We thought ADIPEC was the ideal platform to showcase it to both the UAE and international market as it is a global asset which offers great value beyond its sheer size and market capabilities.”

While the company continues to strengthen their fleet, they also aspire to diversify the assets they can offer to the market. “We are working closely with financing partners, internal operation teams and the market knowledge of clients, to plan the next stages of development and determine how to grow forward,” said El Ali. Other milestone achievements of ZMI include securing financing for the QMS Achiever earlier in the year, and a more recent Joint Venture agreement with subsea partner, DCN. This allows ZMI to expand subsea development and be project based with a focus on being turnkey solution providers rather that just an asset provider.

Outlook on the future market landscape

El Ali emphasized an overall positive sentiment regarding his view of the industry going forward. He clarified, “You can see there is a shifting paradigm in the outlook for the industry. The increase of exhibitors and visitors at ADIPEC in the last few years is a visible demonstration of this.” With oil majors such as ADNOC, ARAMCO and so forth implementing a variety of initiatives, this has undeniably helped boost the positive sentiment surrounding the overall oil and gas economy.

 “I can safely say that the sentiment for 2019, whether it’s the beginning, or closer towards the second half is definitely positive. Our target will to be less of a marine asset provider and more of a project manager in the hopes of securing higher value projects with clients.” El Ali further added, “Beyond 2019, we will evolve within a new cycle and a boom in the market. ZMI has been progressed as we have positioned ourselves strategically to cope with the market dynamics and meet our clients’ expectations.”