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 & rental apartments.
If approved, the dream of long-term berthing in a tax-efficient environment will become reality.
Business & Development Manager for Ocean Village, Karen Houston, says, “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.”
Altogether in 2014, £2.4 billion was spent on superyachts. Estimates suggest that the current fleet of 5,000 will grow by 60% within the next 20 years to around 11,000.
Unsurprisingly, according to the annual Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census published last month, the typical buyer of a superyacht is a billionaire. The world now has 2,325 of these individuals worth a collective US$7.3 trillion, but this will rise to an estimated 3,800 billionaires by 2020 – plenty of potential new owners, and customers for Gibraltar.
Of course, when the billionaire buys his/her boat, a ‘home’ berth needs to be sourced. Choose Spain and around 21% VAT would be payable, some 42 million euros on a 200-million-euro boat, in Italy this would rise to 22% VAT and a bill of 44 million euros (plus duty). Gibraltar has zero VAT, zero duty and duty-free fuel – the savings are both self-evident and substantial.
The Marina Bay masterplan 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, significantly 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 local need for short-stay and rental accommodation (particularly the high net worth individuals using 15,160m² World Trade Center 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 from pools to play areas. Eco-friendly cross-laminated timber is being considered as the construction material to reduce build time and minimise disruption.
Karen finishes, “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.”
For further information on this proposed scheme contact [email protected] or view www.superyachtsandshortstayapts.com