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Boat building industry

Luxury dhows for Qatar

Rajeev KR, Qatar blockade takes the wind out of Beypore's sails, June 14, 2017: The Times of India

Kerala Boat Firms Thrived Under Royal Patronage

They are thousands of miles apart, but the storm brewing in distant Qatar has sunk hopes in Beypore. Since 2011, the sleepy coastal town has supplied as many as 10 customised luxury dhows (locally called uru) to Qatari royalty , but with the recent blockade imposed on the country by its Arab neighbours the future of the traditional boat builders here seems uncertain.

Two huge luxury dhows commissioned by the Qatar royal family are currently under construction at 52year old master craftsman and dhow builder Sathyan Edathody's boatyard facing the Chaliyar river. As per current plans, the 120 feet long vessels are to sail to Dubai for interior works by mid-2018 before they are taken to their final destination in Doha.

Ever since news came in of the Gulf crisis, Edathody has been in constant touch with his major clients in Qatar on a daily basis. Edathody said he will have to rework plans to do the interior work, cabins, luxury furnishing and air conditioning at Qatar itself or elsewhere if the naval blockade on Qatari vessels in Dubai is not withdrawn by then.

“I have been in touch with my Qatari boss Yousuf Ahmed Al Ammari who commissioned the dhow projects on behalf of the Qatar royal family after the recent development. He told us not to panic and that the current issues in the Gulf are temporary and would get resolved.It has been the patronage from Qatar royal family which helped revive the ancient boat industry here which had almost gone defunct,“ Edathody said.

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