Gibraltar "Rock on a roll"

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Infrastructure GIBRALTAR

Rock on a roll It’s time to stop thinking of Gibraltar as a convenient superyacht service station. Bold government-backed infrastructure initiatives have encouraged foreign investors to provide more than £1 billion for a new dedicated superyacht marina complex DENNIS O’NEILL REPORTS

Blue Water Marina will be part of a £1.1bn development in Catalan Bay on the east side of Gibraltar

GIBRALTAR’S SUPERYACHT VISIT credentials have been evident for a very long time – excellent location, great climate, first-class Category 1 Red Ensign registry, within the European Union but with no VAT regime, duty-free shopping, English as an official language, and skilled and experienced superyacht services. Unsurprising then that superyacht business in Gibraltar continues on an upward trend. The British overseas territory, located on the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula and measuring just three miles by less than one mile, recorded 299 superyacht visits last

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year, mostly for bunkers. By the middle of this year it had already attracted more than 200 superyacht visits. Yet despite this clear success, Gibraltarians are refusing to rest on their laurels and have now decided to invest boldly in new superyacht infrastructure. A new marina on the west side, in the harbour, is being built with superyacht accommodation in mind, while another close by is being extended to increase its superyacht capacity. But it is a third project, on the east side, that really tells the story of the current evolution in Gibraltar.

WWW.SUPERYACHTBUSINESS.NET  |  NOVEMBER 2015

East side story When it is completed in 2018, the Blue Water Gibraltar property complex will include a dedicated superyacht marina with up to 75 berths. Investment in the project is a staggering £1.1bn (€1.5bn), making it the biggest ever inward investment in Gibraltar. The bid to deliver the venture was won by a Gibraltar-registered company, Camoren Holdings. “Blue Water Gibraltar is an entirely private venture which is fully costed,” explains Camoren Holdings’ managing director, Michael Crisell, although he declines to say exactly who is behind the funding.

“The £1.1bn figure is the total investment for the entire development, which will include luxury apartments and commercial buildings. Twentyfive per cent of that amount will be invested directly into the superyacht marina. “Construction begins later this year when we will start building a new sea wall. Once that’s completed we’ll be able to start work on the marina itself. The development as a whole will provide up to 1,000 construction jobs, with about 100 of those jobs focused on constructing the marina. “The great advantage we have building on the east


 Infrastructure

side of Gibraltar is that we will have deep-water access with depths of at least 10m (32ft). “Most of the planned 70 to 75 berths will be 50m (164ft) in length, but they will range from 40m (131ft) up to 185m (606ft). The marina will be open in 2018, and the rest of the complex will be finally completed in 2020,” he adds. The Blue Water complex is being developed on a 38-hectare brownfield site reclaimed 10 years ago and sold by the Gibraltar government. In a change of mind, they

High net worth individuals coming here will find great comfort in the fact that Gibraltar’s legal system is based on English law

Blue Water will also have a dedicated aviation facility at Gibraltar International Airport, which will provide parking for executive jets. A helicopter drop-off facility will be available within the marina. Berths in the marina will be sold on a 10 to 30 year lease, with short-term lettings provided when the owner’s berth is not occupied. The Blue Water complex will also offer apartments and suites for purchase, which will be fully serviced by a five-star rated hotel chain. The current Queensway Quay Marina in Gibraltar. The government is investing in the development of superyacht berths nearby

Gibraltar attracts approximately 300 visits a year from superyachts, and the new planned infrastructure will help to increase this figure

repurchased it in October 2013 for £28m (€38m). The government will now receive £83m (€113m) for the site from Camoren Holdings. The company will also pay £4.75m (€6.5m) for the rubble from the reclamation, which will be used to build the new sea wall. Each superyacht berth will be totally private with monitored security and fire control. They will also be fully serviced and provided with full electrical power, water and suction drainage. A safe dedicated area will be included for underwater inspections, while an agreement has been reached to use the dry dock facilities of local refit yard, Gibdock, for repairs, servicing and maintenance. Gibdock’s dry dock can be covered for additional privacy and security if required.

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Superyachts in the harbour Another important new superyacht infrastructure project is being built within Gibraltar Harbour. CEO and captain of the port, Commodore Bob Sanguinetti, who is responsible for Gibraltar Harbour and the movement of all vessels within three miles of the territory, has a unique overview of Gibraltar’s superyacht potential. “All the superyacht captains I speak to have a special affinity with Gibraltar,” he says. “They like it because it’s within half an hour’s steaming of some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and it has a rich maritime heritage. It’s also very easy to fly into and out of from the UK. “We continuously review the way we do our business to ensure that we retain our competitive edge over neighbouring ports.

WWW.SUPERYACHTBUSINESS.NET  |  NOVEMBER 2015

“Our competitive pricing on fuel means we are very attractive for superyachts, especially at the start and end of the season. But we want to encourage them to stay over for several days at a time and make use of the full range of marine services we offer – including provisions, spares, repairs, maintenance, crew changes and training. “The challenge has always been our limited space. We’ve always had deep water in the harbour, but no superyacht berths. So we’re delighted our government is investing several million pounds in a new 700-boat marina within the harbour close to Queensway Quay marina that will have, on the outside, 680m (2,230ft) of mooring for superyachts in a secure environment. “There are also plans to speed up transport from the airport to superyachts using helicopters, cars or taxis. Superyacht owners who fly in on their private executive jets will be able to step aboard their vessels within 10 minutes of leaving the airport.” Sanguinetti’s team have just moved into a new, purpose-built office development perched on a prominent position to the southern end of the Rock, with commanding views over the Strait of Gibraltar. It’s a move

that will give his team improved coverage of the eastern side – important for the increased number of movements in and out of Blue Water.

Kite surfing and skiing The affinity superyacht captains have for Gibraltar is confirmed by Dion Danino, a relief captain and chief engineer who has worked on some of the world’s most prestigious vessels. “Gibraltar has always been ideal for bunkering,” he says, “but because of limited accommodation superyachts tended to just move on. “It’s important to remember that there are lots of destinations that are wonderful for owners but less attractive for crew because they tend to be very expensive. Gibraltar on the other hand is somewhere superyacht crew love coming to because it’s basically a little England in the sun. “And from a technical aspect it is really easy to do business with all the superyacht services and get parts flown in quickly from the UK. “During their downtime crew can enjoy the Costas of Spain and get to Morocco in just 30 minutes by ferry. They can even go skiing in the Sierra Nevada mountains which are just a couple of hours away. There are also lots of British shops,


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British banks, and some of the best kite surfing in the world. “The Blue Water project is going to be very exciting. Because the marina will be exclusive to superyachts, it will create a large superyacht community on the east side of Gibraltar with a lot of people who share the same interests and outlook, all living and working together. “There is no doubt that eventually more and more superyachts will realise that Gibraltar is a great place to stay, not just for a week but for months when winterising or when refits are required.”

Ocean Village Marina The final government-backed initiative is a £10m project to develop 10 new stern-to superyacht berths at Ocean Village Marina, as part of a

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development of 102 shortstay and rental apartments. The marina hopes that the berths of up to 60m (197ft) will help to establish it as a superyacht homeport. They are even planning to include a network of waterways within the development that will flow between the apartment blocks.

Bunkering and fuel Gibraltar’s success up to now has been based on the fact that it is the largest bunkering port in the Mediterranean, with numerous major bunker suppliers ensuring healthy price competition. Yet, despite this, the government is keen to further enhance Gibraltar’s position as a leading port for the supply of tax-free fuel to yachts and superyachts by investing in a new project to improve fuelling facilities at specific berths.

WWW.SUPERYACHTBUSINESS.NET  |  NOVEMBER 2015

Kishinev ours that can help owners with Budapest AUSTRIA S W Iin T Z all, E R L Athe N D latest All straightforward yacht registration, Odessa H U N G A RY developments spell good news the setting up of companies SLOVENIA ROMANIA for Gibraltar’s superyacht C Rand O AT I Atrusts, and helping out with Bucharest services sector, especially its and brokerage. B Oinsurance SNIAHERZEGOVINA Loano B Red Ensign registry. “Superyacht clients bring a Belgrade Marseille Until recently aI T vessel specific way of life with them, A L Y of B U L G A R I A Y U G O S L AV I A Corsica any size could be registered so it’s important thatSofiya the airport Rome on Gibraltar’s yacht register, accommodates private jets Istanbul Tirane provided it was a recreational and VIP transits. They will also Sardinia A L B A N I A to the property craft. If it was commercially be attracted T operated and more than 24m investments here that are on a (78ft) it had to enterSicily the steady rise, as well as Gibraltar’s Izmir commercial ship register. attractive residency schemes. Gibraltar has now modified “High net worth individuals the rules to allow these vessels coming here will also find to enter the yacht register. great comfort in the fact that “We currently Gibraltar’s legal system is based Myachts A LTA CY TUNISIAhave 790 on our register, of which 61 on English law. It can give great Crete are over 24m,” explains Diana confidence to know that is a very Tripoli Soussi, Gibraltar’s Registrar tried and tested legal system.” Benghazi of Yachts. She continues, Gulf of Alexandria “We hope that in five years Logistics opportunities Sir te time another 70 or 80 large And it’s not just wealth Cair yachts will have signed onto management that is our registry. But to be honest, benefitting. Many ancillary we are more interested in the services are looking forward to EGYPT L I B longer Y Asuperyacht visits. quality of the yachts we have rather than the number.” “We are certainly expecting an increase in Wealth management turnover,” predicts Danny Gibraltar’s superyacht Gabay, managing director of investment is also being logistics specialist Redwood welcomed by the territory’s International, a company that many successful wealth works with local agencies management companies. to ensure smooth-flowing “The new initiatives are very problem-solving for superyacht popular with all Gibraltarians, owners and crew – work that and are very good news for can include anything from financial businesses like ours,” flying-in and storing specialist says Ian Le Breton, managing equipment to helping out with director of Sovereign Trust supermarket shopping. Gibraltar, a company that “It’s great that the provides a range of wealth government here is backing the management services to high superyacht sector so well. Up net worth individuals. until now, because of limited “Gibraltar runs a budget space, some superyachts surplus, so it can certainly have only been allowed to afford these important bunker offshore. But we are investments. However, it is, certainly seeing more and more historically, a fortress and a superyachts returning to stay in great deal can still be done to Gibraltar. Recent regular visitors make it even more attractive to have included Lady Moura superyacht owners. (105m/344ft), A (119m/390ft), “We all know that the crews Octopus (126m/414ft), and enjoy the great pubs, bars and Azzam (180m/590ft). nightclubs, but a different set “The new infrastructure of attractions is required if we will help increase the number are to encourage owners to and length of superyacht stay longer-term. visits, and therefore will “There are lots of highly increase the spend generated experienced local companies like in turn.”

Flying theBern flag

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