This is a typical case of passion turning into profession and finally a success story for many others to emulate. For any other people nine years may pass like day and night, some entertainment, some woes and some worries, but for Yousef al Shanfari, owner of Around the Ocean, it was only hard work and struggle that made him an icon of success that left space for many others to emulate and be successful.
A seafarer and diver Yusuf might have chosen any other job to make his both ends meet, but he decided to be patient and do something which is close to his heart. His interest lay in marine activities and he decided to experiment something which was not available in Salalah.
He started dolphin watching service with one boat in 2011 from Raysut Fishing Port with the help of some friends. He did not have any proper office to engage with his clients, but his service for Salalah was so unique that it picked up with word of mouth and people started contacting him.
“Today this Salalah based company specialises in recreational water-based activities and excursions. Established in 2011 with one boat, the Around the Ocean has expanded to its current fleet of eight… we operate Southern Oman’s only recreational dhow with our 77 feet fiberglass vessel ‘Sindbad’ as well as three speedboats in the specifications of 35 feet and 38 feet Royal Craft and 52 feet Sea Master, a catamaran and a 20 feet water sport boat,” said Yousuf.
He gives full credit to hard work and clarity of vision while choosing his career and becoming successful. “I suggest entrepreneurs to come out with their own plans and not a copy paste of any other plan thinking ‘that plan is successful with him and it will be successful with me also’. Too many projects of same nature have limited scope of becoming successful simply because there are many competitors for the same cake.”
“I suggest young entrepreneurs to judge market requirements, do some research, make plan, see some expert and then execute.” When asked why he chose to operate from Salalah and not from the Sultanate’s capital city Muscat, Yousuf said: “Because I am born in Salalah and love to be in Salalah. Being here I feel comfortable and relaxed and I never get tired when it comes to fishing. I get maximum satisfaction while taking the tourists for fishing and assisting them in game fishing.”
Yousuf never gets tired while fishing because he has been fishing from his childhood and he has special attraction for sea and sea related activities. From no office in 2011, Yousuf has two offices at prime locations — one at Al Baleed Resort Salalah and another at Hawana Salalah.
“From our base in Juweira Marina we offer dolphin watching, dhow cruises and sport and leisure fishing. We also offer private charter, with all of our vessels available for private, tailor-made tours. Furthermore, our dhow offers a unique function space to host events. During the khareef (monsoon) season our dhow operates as a floating restaurant, anchored in the Juweira lagoon,” said Yousuf and added that from Around the Ocean’s a satellite office at Al Baleed Resort we offer scuba diving and water sports. Yousuf keeps on motivating young entrepreneurs and takes active part in events that demands promotion of Salalah tourism as an icon of successful entrepreneur.