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George Varghese is General Manager of the Cruise Division of the Rais Hassan Saadi Group, headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. His responsibility encompasses the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea ports. This translates on an average to over 100 calls during the 5 month plus Cruise season.
George is also a qualified lawyer from the University of Madras, India and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute to Logistics and Transport –UK .
With a career span over 35 years, George has been involved in all facets of Commercial shipping, including Port agency services, Stevedoring, Forwarding and Chartering. During the early part of his career in India, he supported numerous shipping lines including P&O, Bank line, Ellermans and Lloyd Triestino.
In 1977, George was part of a P&O sponsored project team studying the introduction of Container ships to the Indian sub-continent. In 1982, he set up the Sealand Agency office in Madras. There, he developed Sealand's container service network up to Visakpatnam port and pioneered rail links to Container Freight stations in Bangalore, Guntur, Hyderabad and New Delhi.
While in Madras, George got his first exposure to the Cruise line business, supporting calls by Cunard, P&O, and Hapag Lloyd's Cruise vessels. Relocating to Dubai in 1989, George was key member of the Dubai team, tasked with developing Cruise Ship calls to the city and the region. In 2006, the all-round efforts, saw George pioneering the "home porting " concept that has grown today to a very successful seasonal activity for the region. He managed to persuade many boutique and expedition type vessels to dock or anchor at unique ports and anchorages in the region including Kish Island and Bandar Abbas in Iran, Khasab, Sur and Masirah Island in Oman, Kuwait, Sir Baniyas Island and RAK Khor in UAE and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
Throughout his career, George used his practical field experience & his legal background, to ensure that the interpretation of charter party or local regulations, at no time worked against his associates, be it a Cruise line or a port trying to build on the Cruise business in his region.