Dubai: A new marina is set to open at Mina Rashid port, which will eventually be capable of harbouring 20,000 yachts, its operator said on Monday.
It is expected to be a new tourist maritime and entertainment attraction, stretching over 13 square kilometres, featuring a number of facilities, including an integrated entertainment city, called Marina Cube.
On Monday, Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated the new Mina Rashid Marina project, simply named Marinas.
The project, owned by P&O, is currently being developed. P&O is now a part of DP World, alongside third parties who specialise and “have experience in selling these kinds of products,” said Mohammad Al Mannaei, CEO of P&O Marinas.
“All kinds of entertainment will be available, all the kinds of requirements of boat users will be available inside the marina,” Al Mannaei said.
The company says that is has planned cafés, restaurants, retail shops and walking paths as part of the Marina Cubes project. The project will also include residential units and an area to receive small seaplanes.
According to Al Mannaei, the residential area for boat crews will also be located within the marina.
Shaikh Mansour toured the location accompanied by Sultan Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO, and Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC).
P&O is restructuring the Mina Rashid commercial port in an attempt to attract tourists. It has segregated the port in to three parts: A cruise terminal, a ferry terminal and the marinas.
The company hopes that the marinas will harbour a sizeable share of Dubai’s growing fleet of megayachts. The first phase of the marina’s development will cover yachts of up to 10 metres, and the second phase will seek to accommodate yachts of up to 160 metres.
“I believe there is a shortage of parking for boats in Dubai, and this is the information we’ve received from the factories and boat owners,” Al Mannaei said, adding that the demand is “too high” in Dubai.
Marinas, once fully operational, will include 19 designated docks from A to U, plus 646 berths that can accommodate more than 5,000 boats.
In a separate statement, Bin Sulayem said: “Cruise tourists coming to Dubai will have the best entertainment facilities wait for them”.
Dubai welcomed over 625,000 cruise tourists via a total of 157 ship calls during the last cruise season, compared to 133 ship calls in the 2015 to 2016 season, reflecting an increase of 15 per cent.
The government says that it expects to receive more than a million cruise tourists by 2020, and an equal number from inside the UAE.
Cruise tourism continues to grow in the UAE as the government develops the required infrastructure and promotes the country as a cruise destination. The main driver of the industry’s growth in the UAE is the government’s effort to develop this lucrative segment, especially in terms of infrastructure and continuous promotion internationally of the UAE as a destination.