25 Sep 2014
Marinas are key industry driver says Qatari investor
SuperyachtNews.com sat down exclusively with the chief operating officer of Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, Naaman Atallah to discuss why the superyacht industry has proved an attractive investment to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund.
Atallah's vehicle, which has a global portfolio that spans every facet of the tourism sector, purchased Port Tarraco in Tarragona, Spain two years ago and has spent the time since transforming the facility into a gigayacht marina.
"We acquired it because of the potential of the yachting sector in the Med", he explained. "It's one of a kind, especially in the winter", a fact evidenced by the inhabitants of behemoth Katara. Port Tarraco has concentrated its amenities on catering for the biggest of the big and much money has been spent on vast voltage outputs and substantial crew dwellings. This was verified in conversation with Katara's captain, Allan Skanderup Nielsen who said that a request for six 112-amp outlets was acted on almost immediately, as part of a culture of responding to client requests immediately.
Atallah says that, although unique in its ability to accommodate very large yachts, Port Tarraco is actually part of a broader plan for the Qatari Diar empire. Atallah told us that there are two more marinas under negotiation, and their acquisition will comprise the next step in a grand plan to create a network of synergised destinations.
"We are not thinking in terms of one marina, but a world of marinas", he explained. "Yes, we are competing for business but we see our rivals as complementary. Marinas are a powerful tool to encourage people to buy boats, as they offer a destination, and the more marinas there are, the more options owners have." He added by way of clarification, that it's this key cause and effect principle that has made marinas an attractive investment proposition for Qatari Diar.
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