Saifee has thrived as a maritime chandlery for nearly 50 years. World Cruise Industry Review talks to business development director Idris Shahpurwalla about the diversity and reliability of the equipment his company supplies to the cruise industry on a daily basis.

Could you talk us through the range of maritime store items Saifee is able to provide for clients in the cruise industry?

Idris Shahpurwalla: With the aim of providing clients across the globe with highly efficient and quality-conscious supply solutions, Saifee maintains an inventory of over 40,000 line items, specialising in the storage of provisions and technical hardware. With over 45 years' experience in the sector, we have become one of the premier ship chandlers in the UAE, and a reliable partner to the marine, offshore and cruise industry throughout the Middle East.

We're headquartered in a 350,000ft2 warehouse in Dubai, from where we conduct most of our operations. This facility is complemented by several other fully equipped warehouses across the UAE. In addition, we own and operate a fleet of over 60 refrigerated trucks and other delivery vehicles, ensuring a strong supply line that can be managed and adapted according to our clients' requirements.

What level of international certification do your products possess?

We have found that the range of requirements for stores on board a cruise vessel is quite different to that found on most other types of vessels. For example, where victuals and technical stores are concerned, the cruise industry demands a higher specification. That suits us well since our number-one priority is the quality of our supplies.

Saifee's products are ISO 9001 and OHSAS-certified, while our food safety and handling standards have successfully met the ISO 22000 and HACCP certification. We have made a continuous effort as a company to adapt to new technologies and regulations within our operational system, allowing us to reinforce our commitment in providing quality and service to all our clients. Our food-handling training is provided and certified by the UK's Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. This ensures that our provisions storage and handling is certified to the highest standards.

What do clients in the cruise industry gain in choosing your services over those of your competitors?

The cruise industry benefits a great deal from our ability to provide value-added services. The quality of our products provides long-term sustenance, which is a critical factor in addition to our strength in purchasing in bulk, holding stocks and passing the resulting cost savings on to our clients. Our victualing teams are independently certified food handlers, and fresh produce sourcing teams ensure every supply of fresh produce is checked for quality.

Furthermore, our investment in supply infrastructure, with a portfolio of up to 700,000ft2 of functional and certified Saifee Group facilities across UAE, as well as our specialisation in various areas of maritime supply and engineering, and expertise in sourcing and quality management, all bring a large set of advantages to our clients.

What advantages do you enjoy by being based in Dubai, UAE, and what lessons have you learned in becoming a supplier on a global scale?

Under the meticulous guidance and leadership of the royal families in the country, Dubai has grown exponentially over the past two decades. Tourism, logistical infrastructure and the continuous prevalence of a positive sentiment, attracts a great deal of opportunity in the country. Port Rashid, the central cruise terminal, being awarded a prestigious certification by the global regulating authority, opened up doors to further enhance global exposure to the country via tourism, which in turn helps boost the local economy.

What can we expect to see from Saifee in the future?

Our long-term focus is on expansion within the industry, and since the very beginning our focus has always been on stable growth. We expect to provide more services, and expand our reach with the industry in a sustainable and steady manner.