DASA (Dubai Arabian Shipping Agency), headed by Craig Reilly, has become the third OMNI member in the UAE. Although it’s a small country, it is home to many hundreds of moving companies. Craig said that OMNI membership will help DASA raise itself above the crowd. “This sets us apart from much of our competition,” he said. “We feel that OMNI membership fits the direction our company is taking.”
Craig was born in Abu Dhabi and has been in the moving business for 30 years, since he was 14 years old. His father, Philip Riley, a British merchant navy seaman, started the company in Abu Dhabi 45 years ago as ADSA (Abu Dhabi Shipping Agency). Craig’s mother also worked for the company at that time. “45 years doesn’t sound like a long time, but the UAE is only 52 years old. It was like stepping off Mayflower and starting a business in America.” DASA now employs around 40 people and operates as an asset-based company, owning its facilities and employing its own staff.
He said that over the years he had tried to develop the company to provide more of a lifestyle experience for customers. “We aim to make everything as seamless as possible.” Reflecting the origins of the company, DASA also operates as a ships’ agent and provides logistics services. DASA was the first company in the Middle East to achieve FIDI/FAIM accreditation.
Why does Craig think OMNI will be good for DASA? “I’ve worked with many of the existing members, having been in the industry for decades” he explained. “Now being in Omni we can strengthen our relationships with personal interactions and face to face discussions.” As well as having a great reputation globally, operating to the highest level and tenure within the UAE, Craig also has interests in other businesses, including a technology company. He said that companies in the past have been reticent about adopting new technology because of the high cost. “Technology of the past has always been so expensive to implement but the systems and applications that are available today are not.” he explained. He feels that this expertise may be useful to OMNI companies in the future.
Whilst relatively new to the middle east, the subject of sustainability is a growing trend and DASA is a company that takes it seriously. It has recently committed to offset 300 tonnes of CO2 to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2024 the company will plant a tree for every move it performs, with the customer receiving a certificate from the company that does the planting. DASA is also looking after the next generation with its Kids in Moving programme that will see the children of all its clients receive a teddy bear as a travelling companion. “We will be asking each child to tell their moving stories and take a picture with the bear when they arrive in their new homes. We want to build it into a library of stories to inspire other children who are moving.”
Craig will be attending the OMNI conference in Dublin this year giving him his first inside view of the organisation and the companies it represents.
Photo: Craig Reilly + various