By Nada Ali
For the last four decades, Riviera has maintained a trusted reputation in the market, with locally made boats that adhere to strict international standards. Previously known for their GRP boats, the company has expanded into the luxury yacht industry and has, since then, strengthened its status in the region. Marasi News Magazine has exclusively interviewed Mr. Ghiyath Nabulsi, General Manager, to talk about the company’s journey and their most recent achievements.
Tell us about the company’s journey?
Riviera was founded in 1976 and has ever since been producing high quality GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) boats. The company started building GRP fiberglass in 1980 and it was the first traditional boat made from fiberglass. We upgraded to commercial boats with different sizes and applications, and expanded to yachts and pleasure-crafts in 2004. Since then, the company has seen outstanding progress, building high-quality boats of international standards.
What are your main products, and what makes them unique in the market?
Riviera’s exceptional quality helps the brand stand out in the market. The company builds and outfits boats with international standards and under the supervision of classification societies. We have manufactured over 2000 boats of various sizes and applications including commercial boats, pilot boats, survey boats, patrol boats, passenger boats, and fishing boats and trawlers. Our product range also includes military boats such as border guards and coastguards used to protect the marine areas of different countries. When it comes to yachts, we have the Integrity brand representing a signature series of yachts from 55ft and above; moreover, the company is soon to launch the Sea Star series, which is an affordable smaller range starting at 33ft.
What kind of support do you provide to your clients?
Without customer care, people will lose trust in our products. This is why we offer after-sales services, both locally and regionally, to support our clients. The company has recognized maintenance centers in the gulf area that look after our clients’ boats without delays. Riviera is ready to mobilize its own team to take over and provide the clients with any technical support whenever required, and our team ready for anything that requires our intervention.
When it comes to expansion plans, how has the company deal with market challenges?
The company has many different production levels and categories in market. The luxury market has suffered a lot since 2008, which caused our luxury production to decrease as we switched our focus to other markets such as commercial boats production. The company’s strategy for dealing with one market’s crisis is to increase production for others by releasing more affordable products to attract more customers.
How do you guarantee high safety standards? What are the company’s recent achievements?
When it comes to safety standards, we implement occupational health and safety regulations, making sure that environment and safety always take priority. Riviera has accomplished so much in all our vertical markets throughout the last few years, especially with our yachts.
The Integrity 93 was the biggest high-quality boat in integrity series and this masterpiece was sold here in the UAE. In addition to our success in the luxury yachts industry, we have also released the commercial part of the catamaran series, which are 13-16m long boats. Riviera has also recently released a new generation of coastguard boats.
When it comes to government clients, who are your main local customers?
The company deals with almost all of the UAE port Authorities including Abu Dhabi , Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al-Khaimah ports . In the rest of the gulf region, almost all of the Saudi ports are operating our pilot boats, the Omani Port of Salalah, the Yemeni ports of Aden and Mukallah, the Jordanian Maritime authority are as well operating various commercial vessels including the recently launched Survey Catamarans. In addition we are proud to have the Gulf countries border guards in our customers list.