Abu Dhabi is becoming a must-see superyacht destination, experts say

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Abu Dhabi, UAE – With 5,325 superyachts currently registered on the world’s waterways, split between 4,492 motor yachts and 833 sailing yachts, Abu Dhabi is poised to become a major destination for the global superyacht industry.

According to a report titled “New Winter Oasis for Maritime Luxury Experience – Abu Dhabi’s Quest to Become a Global Superyacht Destination”, published by Abu Dhabi Maritime (AD Maritime), guardian of the emirate’s waterways and member of AD Ports Group, the he emirate has reached a number of important milestones that superyacht owners consider when selecting their destinations. The white paper was launched at the Monaco Yacht Show, the annual international exhibition dedicated to the world of superyachts which took place from September 28 to October 1, 2022.

After extensive consultation with industry experts, the report identified four key criteria that give Abu Dhabi significant comparative advantages, including: favorable seasonal weather and sea conditions; advanced maritime infrastructure and related services; established legal and regulatory environment; and world-class attractions incorporating social, cultural and entertainment elements.

Representing the pinnacle of maritime leisure craft design and luxury lifestyle, superyachts are vessels over 30 meters in length residing primarily in less than a dozen countries around the world. Although designs may vary in size and sheen, superyachts all tend to have similar characteristics: wealthy owners, charter companies, high maintenance operational requirements and high demand for scenic cruising opportunities.

With over 150 new superyachts expected to be completed in 2022, representing a total fleet value of over €4 billion, Abu Dhabi’s entry into this exclusive industry sector could bring significant economic benefits to the emirate and the nation.

Captain Ammar Al Shaiba, Acting CEO of Maritime Cluster, AD Ports Groupsaid: “We have developed this white paper to showcase the significant progress Abu Dhabi has made in recent years in developing its unique offering to superyacht owners, and to identify areas where more work is still needed to realize our vision. The results demonstrate that the emirate is becoming a destination of choice among the superyacht elite, with a wide range of services, attractions and climate advantages. Several agencies and organizations are working together under our able leadership to achieve this goal.

Captain Saif Al Mheiri, Managing Director, Abu Dhabi Maritime, AD Ports Groupsaid: “The superyachting sector is a growing cornerstone of the UAE’s marine leisure economy which takes advantage of our country’s strategic location, attractive coastline, favorable seasonal weather conditions, advanced infrastructure and a friendly regulatory environment to welcome major industry players and visitors from around the world to our shores.

“As our latest research indicates, our team at AD Maritime is working closely with our wider maritime community to develop Abu Dhabi’s value proposition, and we look forward to welcoming the global yachting community to our coasts and unlock the full potential of what our emirate has to offer.”

Developed from a series of qualitative interviews with international experts conducted in 2021 and 2022, the report examines the factors driving homeowners to venture beyond traditional destinations such as Mediterranean Sea ports like Marbella , Capri, Saint-Tropez, Antibes and Monaco, and the Caribbean Sea. ports like Antigua, Saint Lucia, the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.

Experts interviewed suggested that the increase in the number of superyacht owners over the past decade, supported by changing nationality profiles of owners, particularly those based in Asia and the Middle East, has encouraged individuals and businesses to look beyond these typical destinations. Additionally, Abu Dhabi’s geo-strategic location, coupled with its natural abundance of waterways and pristine islands, has helped to increase its awareness among these new owners.

The sea conditions in the Persian Gulf, with their low winds and calm waters all year round, as well as moderate temperatures in the low season, mean that ships do not need to be lifted from the water and stored at great expense, thus increasing the attractiveness of Abu Dhabi.

The report also highlighted Abu Dhabi’s extensive leisure and entertainment offerings for the global superyacht community, including the unspoiled beauty of the coastal desert with marine protected areas and a collection of scenic islands, beaches and anchorage destinations. The emirate also hosts a number of annual world-class sporting events including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula 1 race, the Mubadala Tennis Championship and the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship Golf Tournament, as well as renowned cultural destinations such as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum. , Guggenheim, among many others.

One of the areas where the emirate has made significant progress, according to the white paper, is developing the legal and regulatory framework to support superyacht owners and their crews, many of whom are not full-time residents. in the country. The recent launch of comprehensive and fully digitized safety maps of all waterways in the emirate, identifying anchorage areas, areas for motorized and non-motorized craft and speed limits, was cited as a key improvement. The maps, drawn up by the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) and AD Maritime, are available on the latter’s digital portal, www.admaritime.aeand via a dedicated interactive navigation application, Al Nalia, available on App Store and Google Play.

Additionally, Abu Dhabi has made significant progress in developing advanced marine infrastructure and related services for superyachts. There are currently around 100 superyacht refit yards around the world, and Abu Dhabi offers a number of market-leading facilities in this area. Additionally, the emirate is home to two full-service superyacht marinas that can accommodate yachts of all sizes and are backed by a comprehensive suite of premium accommodation, services and amenities.

A superyacht owner interviewed for the report, who chose to remain anonymous, concluded: “Abu Dhabi is fast becoming a must-visit superyacht destination; it’s a place where you want to spend more time. It already ticks many boxes, and the authorities always make things faster, easier and better for the owners and our captains who choose to spend time there.

AD Ports Group’s latest white paper, “New Winter Oasis for Maritime Luxury Experience”, can be accessed here: https://www.admaritime.ae/superyacht-destination-whitepaper/.

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For more information please contact:
Elizabeth Stagg
Senior External Communications Specialist
elizabeth.stagg@adports.ae
AD Ports Group Media Office
email: media@adports.ae

About AD port group:

Established in 2006, AD Ports Group is today the region’s premier facilitator of logistics, industry and trade, as well as a bridge connecting Abu Dhabi to the world. Listed on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX: ADPORTS), AD Ports Group’s vertically integrated business approach has proven instrumental in the emirate’s economic development over the past decade.

Operating multiple clusters spanning ports, economic cities and free zones, maritime, logistics and digital, AD Ports Group’s portfolio includes 10 ports and terminals, and over 550 square kilometers of economic zones within the group KEZAD, the largest integrated trade, logistics and industrial business cluster in the Middle East.

AD Ports Group is rated A+ by S&P and A+’ Outlook Stable by Fitch.

For more information, visit: adportsgroup.com
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