Rods form circles in front of the room, right behind the glass windows. Butts on the floor while tips are in the air. The rods are huddled together by “height.” Some up to ten feet long. Each huddle categorizes the rod’s purpose: light tackle, jigging rods, popping, casting, spinning, trolling rods. In the middle of the room, a customer lingers on an item and calls out to the man behind the counter. Counter guy answered him. Customer then took the item and went to pay, chatting while he does, “You think the weather is good?” asked Mr. Customer. In fishing, the weather is a legitimate subject, not an awkward conversation. “Still good. Try going to The Palm, within branches. We caught some huge ones there the last time,” said counter guy. Mr. Customer smiled, said his goodbyes and left. For the next few minutes, the shop was empty except for me, Marvin – counter guy, Arlyn – his colleague, and shelf after shelf of fishing gears – a wide selection of rods, reels, baits, lures, jigs, rigs, and other paraphernalia. I call it a shop. Marvin and Arlyn call it the showroom, and for good reason.
Blue Waters Marine started as an e-store four years ago. You order online and they deliver the equipment to your door. They did not have a showroom then, just a crammy storehouse in Deira, Dubai. In July 2013, after a year in Deira, they finally opened the showroom in Al Qouz. But Blue Water’s e-store still exists, and their selection has become much wider. Their products now includes boating and diving equipment. And their website also serves as their online catalog.
Owner and operator is Haytham Amro, a Jordanian who came to like fishing when he was in Kuwait, “We were living about 20 meters from the sea, so we either play football or we go fishing.” When he moved to Dubai, sustaining his hobby meant ordering his equipment online because the alternative was a pain – a $10 item costs double, sometimes triple the price in UAE. He saw an opportunity so he put up the tackle shop. “The tackle business in the UAE is gaining momentum,” he said, “People are more specific, more knowledgable now. Selection of products have increased, they ask questions, they go to forums, facebook groups, ask other members.”
So what do you do when your market becomes more specific? You become more specialized as well. A glass shelf stands near the counter, slightly apart from the other shelves. Inside are Shimano Stella Reels. They look heavy duty, shiny, efficient…important. In the world of sportfishing, there are are good reels, there are great ones, and then there’s Stella. Marvin speaks higly of it. It’s something anglers drool over.
Yet the shop’s biggest asset is the team who handles the showroom. Arlyn has been with the shop since the beginning and enjoys light jigging despite her light frame. Marvin is a serious angler who had zero fishing knowledge prior to Blue Waters. They both knew nothing when they started. So as a challenge, they studied the items in the shop – they went on fishing trips, tried out the rods, figured out the best reels and bait, learned which lure to use for a specific fish or technique. Eventually, Marvin and Arlyn were also lured by fishing, going on regular fishing trips in Dubai and Fujairah. Marvin in particular has strong opinions about the fishing spots, captain’s skills, the company he shares the boat with. He goes shore jigging, taking advantage of Dubai’s breakwaters, and regularly visits Fujairah for some big game action. He dreams of giant tunas and wants to visit places like Andaman Islands and Yemen. If your cutsomers are specific, your team may better be specific. These two knows what they’re talking about. But what makes them really credible is that their faces light up whenever they talk about fishing.
You can contact Blue Waters Marine at 055-389-9995 or visit their showroom at Shop 11, The Curve Building – Sheikh Zayed Road – Dubai
Showroom is open everyday from 10:00AM to 9:00PM, you can also visit their website at www.bluewatersmarine.com