Oman Drydock Company – Drydock, Shipping and Beyond
ASYAD Drydock is a shining light in the Middle Eastern maritime sector, but it is setting its sights further afield.
The ASYAD Drydock, formerly known as Oman Drydock Company, is unique as one of the most prominent service providers to the marine industry in the Middle Eastern region, with clients worldwide.
“We offer ship repair, shipbuilding, rig repair, yacht repair and industrial fabrication,” says Haitham Al Taie, COO of the Oman Drydock Company. “Our principle resources include 1.2 million square metres of seafront facilities, two large docks that can take very large crude & ore carriers, our own water generation plant and environmental compliance facility.”
Haitham Al Taie has 20 years of experience in the industry, and is currently in his twelfth year in the maritime sector. He joined ASYAD Shipping in 2011, staying with the company for six years before becoming the COO of ASYAD Drydocks for the last four years, bringing with him his strong background in finance, commercial and production operations.
Al Taie points out that Oman Drydock Company’s extensive resources are backed up by unique skillsets and institutional adaptability.
“We have the ability to deal with emerging challenges while servicing the needs of the client,” Al Taie says. “We are capable of doing anything humanly possible to meet our clients’ needs. We have confidence in our abilities and where we don’t have the in- house skills, we utilize the close relationships which we have with many specialised partners.”
Asyad Drydock and Asyad Shipping traditionally have been separate entities. Asyad Management has now brought the companies together to create synergy and have something larger than the sum of its parts.
“We’re driving integration between ASYAD Drydock and ASYAD Shipping,” Al Taie explains. “The integration has benefited us in many ways. We benefit from the sharing of resources, and financially.”
However, as much as the integration has yielded practical benefits, it has also proved to be an extremely valuable change in perspective, as Al Taie points out, “It has made us evolve as we watch the ship owners and ship managers at close quarters so that we are ready to provide the services they need. You could say that we can see the business from different eyes, as a shipping owner as well as a service provider.”
Through this integration, and the hard work of Asyad Drydock’steam, the business has been building up considerable momentum over the last three years. Now, the challenge is maintaining the momentum and expand capacities.
“The turnaround the docks went through has instilled confidence in our shareholders that we can weather all challenges,” Al Taie says. “The pandemic has brought disruption to our ability to expand capacity due to lockdowns, but customers have continued to show faith in us and understand the restrictions we are under. Clients continue to support us because they believe in us.”
Of course, a company cannot maintain momentum by standing still, thus ASYAD Drydock is constantly working hard to remain at the industry’s cutting edge.
“Keeping up with the pace of technological advancement is another challenge,” Al Taie says. “We are aware that we need to adopt digital technologies. It is the only way forward. It has a huge financial impact but it needs to be done.”
ASYAD Drydock achieves this through a process of constant research, investment and communication with its clients.
“We invest in technologies that reduce the intense requirements of human capital , bring up efficiencies and meeting the targets of the clients while speeding up and reducing the amount of time ships need to be in the dock,” Al Taie explains.
Oman Drydocks Company is also achieving this by taking its skills and resources into new markets. The first of these seems like a natural extension of ASYAD’s repair work. After all, if you have built every part of a ship at one point or another, why not put all of that together?
“The skills and facilities we have, lead themselves to shipbuilding,” Al Taie says. “We’ve been repairing vessels from the ground up. We have built vessels indirectly through the repairs we have carried out. I believe with a proper joint-venture we can enter the shipbuilding market. We have the capabilities, skills, human capital and facilities, the support we’re bringing in is a sponsor or partner to work with.”
In addition to shipbuilding, Asyad Drydock is also looking into more land-based pursuits.
“We are located in Duqm where we are not far from the oil fields,” Al Taie says. “They have different requirements when it comes to steelwork-like fabrication, we believe our workshops can support those needs while catering to ship building/ ship repair requirements and other fabrication jobs in the region.”
This is all possible thanks to Asyad Drydock Company’s top-ranking team.
“We’ve been with a top-notch agency that provides us with highly skilled maritime workers. We make sure that we get people who are fully qualified and well experienced. We also have our own training institute to make sure workers enhance their skills for mutual benefits ,” says Al Taie. “We also make sure that we bring in people that can transfer their know-how to our workers. We are seeking out the right mixture of engineers and service providers who come from a background in ship owning and the maritime sector.”
The results speak for themselves.
“Our workshops and production are managed by our young, ambitious staff who have been in the maritime sector for a decade,” Al Taie tells us proudly. “They are the future of the maritime industry in Oman. If you come down to the dock you will see us managing those workshops and production. We have positioned ourselves as one of the most favoured destinations for major ship owners and more.”
Since 2011 Asyad Drydocks has delivered over 1,100 vessels and has achieved a customer satisfaction score of 4.4 out of 5. But this is only the beginning.
“We plan to increase our market share by 20% within the next 18 months,” Al Taie says. “We have just commenced shipbuilding activities and aim to build five small vessels within the next 12 months. This is our immediate future.”