Marina Bay at Ocean Village has a month-long wait while Gibraltar’s Development & Planning Commission makes a decision on its proposed superyacht berths and short-stay and rental apartments. If approved, the dream of long-term berthing in a tax-efficient environment will become reality.
Karen Houston, business and development manager for Ocean Village said, “According to the 2015 Superyacht Intelligence Annual Report, 70% of superyachts are connected to the Mediterranean with the majority doing the traditional Med-Caribbean ‘milk run’. This ritual forces them to pass through the Strait of Gibraltar at least twice a year but, while they have the opportunity to fill up on cut-price fuel, the existing infrastructure is unable to support their long-term berthing.
“Amongst other improvements, we plan to significantly increase power supply and waste water disposal capacity to meet standards typically found in tailor-made superyacht marinas. These world-class facilities will attract a lucrative market that has so far been denied to Gibraltar.”
The Marina Bay master plan outlines ten stern-to superyacht berths with secure access, a modern pier office to include executive crew lounges with sophisticated data networks (similar to those available to business class airline passengers), pump-out facilities, improved electricity supplies, spa-style facilities, as well as storage, workshop and laundry services. The promenade will be enhanced with landscaping and a ‘mirador’ open to the public, while CCTV will be in place to ensure peace of mind for the high-value superyachts’ owners, guests and crew.
101 waterside apartments complement the scheme and address a reported local need for short-stay and rental accommodation (particularly the high net worth individuals using 15,160m² World Trade Centre Gibraltar scheduled for completion early 2016) and make the provision of superyacht berthing more economically viable. It is anticipated many crew members will use this housing. Arranged across three-storey units, with waterways flowing between, the apartments will enjoy rooftop leisure facilities including pools and play areas.
Karen finished, “If we want to take advantage of a growing superyacht industry and compete with other first-rate marina resorts in the Mediterranean and beyond, we have to adapt and improve - or miss out. Gibraltar has already abolished import duty for all vessels over 18m, so this project will inevitably have a positive impact for the local economy. Superyachts cost approximately 10% of their initial value to run each year, from berths to maintenance, crew salaries to insurance, and everyone from chandlers and supermarkets to quayside bars and restaurants will feel the benefit of increased visitor numbers.”