Super Marinas: Porto Montenegro’s rise as a yachting destination
In recent quarters, a myriad of marinas have gone through deep restructuring to strengthen their offering and compete for superyachts’ attention. At the core of this pivotal moment for yachting infrastructure, however, stood Porto Montenegro, one of the first, purpose-built superyacht hubs.
The project started when Peter Munk, a Hungarian-born, Canadian businessman purchased a site in Montenegro for €23 million in 2007 with the purpose of building a superyacht marina that would rival mainstream destinations. With backing from LVMH Chairman, Bernard Arnault, Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska and Lord Jacob Rothschild, the Barrick Gold founder set out to develop the largest private-sector investment in the country.
Located near the coastal city of Tivat, Porto Montenegro’s ambition was to become a homeport for some of the world’s largest yachts by providing their crew and visiting owners with high end facilities. The development also included the construction of a strong ecosystem around the marina with condos, restaurants and a five star hotel.
By 2014, Munk was quoted saying that the combined value of the yachts in the marina were bigger than the GDP of Montenegro. Amongst its top members were yachts from the Golden Fleet
, a series of vessels owned by the son of the late Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia with its 123-meter flagship Golden Odyssey.
When initially acquired by Munk and his partners, the site was a former military base with long, concealed concrete piers that had been used by the Serbian Navy for its submarines. Now featuring over 450 berths, with the possibility to welcome yachts of up to 250 meters in theory, the marina benefits from exemptions on fuel tax and excise charges that considerably drop down the costs of yacht maintenance.
The location for the MYBA Pop Up Superyacht show, Porto Montenegro saw the opening of its latest Pool Club Residences last summer with over 62 residences built directly overlooking the marina. These are serviced by the five star Regent Hotel.
Over its several years of development, Porto Montenegro caught the eye of new investors and in May 2016 it was confirmed that the development was acquired the Investment Corporation of Dubai, the city-state’s investment arm. “The internationally renowned Porto Montenegro presents an opportunity for ICD to access a successful business with significant potential for expansion both in the marina and landside” His Excellency Mohammed Al Shaibani, Executive Director of ICD said at the time of the sale.
The change in ownership brings an even stronger backing to the thriving marina as ICD has already developed a set of hotel rooms directly opposite the Atlantis hotel on the Palm in Dubai and is a shareholder in New York’s Mandarin Oriental as well as Washington D.C.’s W Hotel and Cape Town’s One&Only.
Source: Yacht Harbour