Abu Dhabi’s government is planning a 20 year expansion focusing on developing tourism, particularly the region’s marine attractions.
According to the 185 page 2030 plan, the government hopes to set up 45 marinas with enough space to cater to 10,000 luxury yachts on top of the six that already serve up to 1,600 ships, The New York Times reported.
Booz & Co. partner Fadi Majdalani expects demand for cruising and yachting in Abu Dhabi to double by 2015 to up to 82,000 berths.
“If Middle East and North African governments take the right steps to develop the sector, this number could approximately quadruple by 2025,” he said.
“To meet this frenzied growth in marina demand, developers will have to make capital investments of $200 billion to $300 billion in the next 15 years.”
The largest development on the 2030 report was the production of Saadiyat Marina which will hold up to 1,000 berth, house up to 145,000 people and cater to another 7.9 million tourists.
The US$800 million project will be supported by surrounding restaurants, shopping centres, a Maritime Museum as well as a New York University campus.
“Marinas here are the hub of a network of relationships that include brokers, charter and rentals, chandlers that sell boat parts and supplies, and third-party service providers, like chefs and boat staff,” Yas Marina on Yas Island general manager Cedric Le Rest said.
“All these businesses rely on each other to prosper, but the marina is the foundation.”
Another Middle Eastern city looking to expand on marina tourism Qatar, which is currently in the process of building six marinas.
The largest of the marinas Porto Arabia will hold up to 785 ships and will cater to international visitors with its Four Season resort, living units and townhouses.