Gulf Craft’s Um al-Quwain shipyard is located on the Eastern Al Humrah coastline, a mere hour’s drive from YACHTS HQ in Dubai. It’s always a pleasant visit. Life is a lot more relaxed in Um al-Quwain, with the Emirate’s laid back approach to life making a refreshing change from the skyscrapers and eight-lane freeways of Dubai. You’ll always get a toothy smile and a wave from one of Um al-Quwain 72,000 inhabitants; everyone has time for you here and this positive attitude goes some way to explaining the care and detailing put into every vessel produced at the Gulf Craft shipyard.
Almost everything is created and built on site, with the in-house design team improving with every yacht, but with the Majesty 140, the studio has created a sleek, sporty shape – quite possibly the most European-styled Gulf Craft to date. In many ways it makes complete sense, as Majesty’s rivals now hail from Italy and the UK, with the shipyard’s upcoming steel and aluminium megayachts aiming squarely for the Dutch and German builders.
The tri-deck Majesty 140 is the successor of the Majesty 135 and takes a number of its stylistic traits, the main one being the ‘arrow’ that runs through the superstructure. On the 135, this was a soft, rounded and subtle arrowhead, but for the 140, it’s been sharpened, splitting the superstructure lines and adding a sense of movement. A sharp bow leads to a forward-raked windshield with the flow of lines creating the lounge glazing areas before sweeping down to the cockpit. Style comes down to personal taste, but we can’t help thinking that this is one of the most handsome Majesty’s to date.
Launched at the Dubai International Boat Show, the Majesty 140 was understandably one of the stars, and so busy was her viewing schedule (Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum visited her on the Saturday) that the YACHTS team decided to visit her at the shipyard with Gulf Craft’s Mahmoud Itani, in order to spend some quality time on board.
Berthed stern-to on the shipyard dock, we step on board straight onto the 140’s broad swim platform/ transformer, where Mahmoud points out that the swim platform and beach club are on the same level – no step down here. Sheltered from the Middle East sun, the beach club is cool and relaxed, with loose furniture supplied by Fiore Rosso by Skyline Design’s luxury outdoor furniture collection. These are one of the few items not produced at the factory, but Gulf Craft still manages to keep the build local, as despite the racy Italian name, Fiore Rosso is actually based in Dubai.
Heading back out from under the transom door with its integrated rain-showerhead, we hop up the starboard side stairs where Mahmoud stops and opens a hidden flap that reveals the aft control station. It’s just one of the many captain-friendly systems on board – more of that later.
The aft deck lounge is understandably spacious, with a large C-shaped sofa surrounding a split table – perfect for accessing the middle of the sofa, as anyone who’s shuffled around for lunch will tell you. A custom built plant pot sits behind the diners, one of many fitted throughout the Majesty 140 at the request of the Owner.
Before moving in to the main salon, Mahmoud reveals the aft deck’s pièce de résistance, namely, the drop down balconies on each side. A press of a button opens out the cockpit space, making socializing on the aft deck even more desirable. Balconies are no longer anything new, but placing them here, on arguably the superyacht’s busiest area is a work of simple genius. ”Great for fishing, too!” adds Mahmoud, quoting a visitor from the boat show.
This 43 metre Majesty was built on spec by the shipyard, with the Owner joining the project at the perfect time – just before the interior designers got on board. This allowed him to work closely with the team, choosing the materials and furnishings, while finalising the overall ambience, which is very much relaxed and friendly.
Two rather inviting, electrically adjustable armchairs greet you at the entrance, with two tables and a pair of sofas forward. This lounge area sits on a very touchy-feely carpet, and here again we have another innovation. The starboard side is devoid of any sort of furniture. This not only adds a metre of extra space, but allows so much natural light in through the huge windows, that it almost feels like an outdoor area. Again, simple genius.
Forward we find the 10-seater dining table, which as well as numerous plant pots, has a chandelier shaped like a boat hull. This slatted look can be seen throughout the Majesty 140’s cabins and lounges, adding a subtle continuity to each deck.
Heading back to the lobby, we forego the stairs and catch the elevator down to the lower deck. While many yachts have rather a simple elevator, the Majesty 140’s can best be described as professional, as it comes complete with a digital readout and a satisfying audible ‘ding’ announcing our arrival.
There are four staterooms for guests to choose from: two twins (with Pullmans) forward and two double aft. Each cabin benefits from a quality en suite, as well as some serious glazing. Staring out through the windows we notice the proximity of the sea, which according to Mahmoud is only 50cms away. That’s close enough to be able to look any fish right in the eye. Another nice touch are the hidden sockets. These are never pretty, so they’ve been move into the bed’s structure, leaving the USB ports as the only visible sockets.
Colourful works of art line the main deck lobby walls, with a staircase and elevator located to port and a day head to starboard which courtesy of a large window, boasts an extremely scenic view.
Forward is the Owner’s Stateroom, with the traditional layout of lobby, bedroom and en suite. The lobby features seating and storage with high railings perfectly suited for hanging kandoras and abayas. The soft carpet of the main salon leads you into the bedroom, with its subtle blue tones and light and airy ambience courtesy of the large windows, but it is the Owner’s balcony, which is set at a forward facing angle, that really catches the eye. It’s only a quick hop from the bed, with the two chairs ideal for taking breakfast in the sun, but at a touch of a button, the balcony extends down in one swift movement. Unlike many balconies which have to be set by hand, the 140’s railings lift and retract automatically in less than a second. It’s yet another ingenious system that sets the 140 apart from her European peers.
We’re back in the elevator for the short accent to the bridge deck. Here, as we head forward to the wheelhouse we pass by the server, with its numerous flashing lights and cables, highlighting just how technically advanced the Majesty 140 is – the entire superyacht can be controlled by the touch screens found in every lounge and cabin.
We find the captain at his helm, and before him an array of digital Furno screens and tech alongside a brace of analogue gauges which monitor the big MTUs. Also in front of us is one of the Majesty’s most distinctive styling characteristics, the reverse rake windscreen. Not only is it a strong design element, but the screen’s shape naturally covers the bridge from the sun.
Unlike many European yachts, the Majesty’s wheelhouse is there for everyone to enjoy, with a viewing sofa and table behind the captain’s chair and even a fold down bed to port for guests to take a nap on. It’s a sociable place and a great way to get the kids interested in yachting.
Heading out through the pantograph doors we find two external docking stations to port and starboard with the foredeck lounge housed in front of the reverse rake windshield. Here, a central table is surrounded by a C-shaped sofa, with two L-shaped sofas facing aft. Despite its open and relaxed feel, the foredeck lounge is one of the most secretive areas on board, especially so when docked stern-to, as we are today. Here, there’s nothing surrounding us apart from sun, sea and Umm al-Quwain’s mangroves.
Back through the lobby we pass a day head with a slightly less scenic view as the one below on the main deck and then we’re into the cigar lounge. Here, the bar features real tobacco leaves in its structure and is surrounded by some rather cool stools. The décor here is relaxed, with cream and brown being the dominant colourway.
Stepping through the push-button sliding doors, we arrive at the aircraft carrier-sized upper deck lounge. Even filled with loose poufs, bean bags and various chairs, there’s still more than enough standing space and if you need to sit down, there are sofas and table to port and starboard.
As we head up the starboard staircase to the flybridge, Mahmoud points out the extra width of the stairwell, as more often that not, the crew are carrying everything from drinks trays to loose furniture up them. It’s a very fair point, as a lot of yacht stairwells are only slightly wider than shoulder width. While holding that thought we step on to the sun deck.
Standing here on the Majesty 140’s top deck, you’re instantly reminded that this is a 43-metre superyacht with an 8-metre beam. This huge area is split into three zones and ticks all the lifestyle boxes. Aft is for sun worshippers, with loose beds surrounding a spacious Jaquzzi. Here, a waterfall cascades down from an opening in the sun deck roof – a detail we first saw on the flagship Majesty 155. When relaxing in the sun gets a bit much, then its time to head to the central lounge. Here, guests can choose between chilling at the bar, or flopping down in the C-shaped sofa. Ahead is another Majesty feature we first saw in the 155 and that’s the forward lounge. This can be seen as a more formal area favoured by Middle East owners and perfect for entertaining or doing business. One sun deck feature we really like is the twin sunroofs that cover the forward and middle lounges. Whereas most sunroofs are single, these can be opened individually, meaning its possible to dine or do business in the sun, if you so wish.
Gulf Craft is gaining momentum with every new yacht it launches, with the Majesty Yachts range now mixing the best of European style with the charm and grace of the Middle East. Looks wise, with its sportster silhouette, reverse rake windscreen and superstructure ‘arrow’ the 140 is arguably more stylish than most 43-metre yachts coming out of the European shipyards. The 140’s interior is just as innovative, with the ‘one-touch’ drop down balconies in the aft deck lounge and Owner’s stateroom being particular stand-out features. At 17 million dollars, the 140 is also extremely well priced compared to her competitors, something which hasn’t gone unnoticed as two 140s have already been sold off-plan. Often (as you don’t actually need one) a superycht is bought only with the heart: with the Majesty 140, you can safely buy her with your head too.