Dubai aims to become “global capital” for luxury yacht marinas

A new joint venture will control key government marina assets across the city



Dubai Holding and government developer Meraas have signed a joint venture agreement with D-Marin to make the city the “global capital” for luxury yacht marinas.

Under the plans, the venture will manage and operate existing and future marinas developed by Meraas and Dubai Holding including Port de la Mer, Dubai Harbour and Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

The deal is intended to make Dubai a regional centre with global standards for the renovation, service and maintenance of luxury yachts and boats similar to the MB92 refit company backed by D-Marin, which operates in Spain and France.

It also includes long-term provisions for the development of marina lifestyle destinations through investment into other sectors in the Middle East and Far East.

Meraas said it would own and operate the largest marina in the Middle east and North Africa, featuring 1,100 berths, with the completion of Dubai Harbour. The new development being built in Mina Seyahi near Dubai Marina spans 20 million square feet and also features residential towers, a cruise terminal, lighthouse landmark and shopping mall.

Read: Meraas plans to build second cruise terminal at Dubai Harbour project

“The success of the two companies in attracting a global operator such as D-Marin to invest in the luxury marinas sector is aligned to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote Dubai as a leading international tourist destination and position the UAE at the forefront of world’s most business-friendly countries,” said Meraas and Dubai Holding chairman Abdulla Al Habbai.

“This agreement will contribute to attracting new foreign investment to Dubai, which has high rates of direct investment growth in high value sectors.”

D-Marin’s role in the project will include advising on the technical and design aspects of marina projects to improve cost efficiencies.

The company, which operates the largest chain of marinas in the Eastern Mediterranean, will also establish a local base in Dubai, provide marketing and advertising support and help create a calendar of marina activities including boat races to boost Dubai’s credentials as a global hub.

“As Doğuş Group, we have been actively growing in Dubai since 2011 with our real estate and food and beverage business and are very grateful for the opportunities Dubai has offered us,” said Ferit Şahenk, chairman of D-Marin parent comapny Doğuş Group.

“Through this partnership and our regional centre in Dubai, we will invest in the long-term potential of this city and look forward to taking advantage of opportunities in the management and development of marinas in the GCC region.”

The total value of the maritime sector in the UAE is estimated at $66bn by year-end, with the recreational boat industry worth up to $1.5bn.

Around 14 luxury yacht projects with a combined length of 611m are being manufactured locally in 2018, according to the announcement.