A NEW PORT OF CALL
“Our vision is to create an all-encompassing maritime destination for people who own superyachts and lead a luxury lifestyle,” explains Luc Khaldoun, Senior Director of Maritime Projects at Meraas. Meraas is developing Dubai Harbour Marina, the first of its kind in the region, and it already looks set to be on par with the world-famous marinas of Antibes on the French Riviera and Port Hercule in Monaco.
“Winter destinations have become increasingly limited for those who visit the Mediterranean during the summer months,” says Luc. Here then was a golden opportunity to create an exclusive marina that offered wintertime solutions in a geographically convenient location, with access to a thriving modern city unlike anywhere else in the world.
The marina will officially open for business in October 2020, with a soft launch from April 2020, and is part of a wider strategy to develop the yachting industry in Dubai. The United Arab Emirates has a long maritime history, and this development might be best understood as a modern twist on this centuries-old tradition.
“We’ve rewritten the rules a bit with Dubai Harbour Marina by bringing three distinct areas with three distinct berthing opportunities to market,” says Luc. “Within the Harbour Marina, we’ve created an area designed for the local community that can cater for yachts up to 35 metres in length. This is close to the Harbour Master building and creates a real sense of community for its residents. Our Bay Marina is what I refer to as the ‘big boys’’ marina, where superyachts of up to 160 metres can be housed. When these spots are occupied by these immense vessels, the atmosphere of the marina will be incredible.”
There’s also Palm View Marina – a smaller, 37-berth marina that caters for medium-sized yachts up to 70 metres in length. This area offers a great mix of berths and will have a more intimate, luxurious feel to it. The overall result promises to be a spectacular, one-of-a-kind marina offering stunning vistas in an outstanding location, an exclusive lifestyle, residential and hospitality offerings, and a sense of community.
“There is also no marina in the world that offers the variety in berth mix Dubai Harbour Marina has planned,” says Luc. “At a maximum capacity of 1,100 berths we do not plan to be the biggest marina in the world – nor do we intend to have the largest berthing spots in the world – but there is nowhere else that offers such a variety of berthing options, and that is something quite unique.”
A sense of community is integral to these plans for Dubai Harbour Marina, which will include an iconic boardwalk promenade and a number of high-end retail, dining and residential offerings. “It will be a place where everybody knows your name,” says Luc. “A friendly, close-knit community where the bakers and patisseries know your usual breakfast order, and where families and friends feel welcome.”
Dubai Harbour Marina promises to redefine luxury maritime living and seriously raise the bar, as the first yachting community hub in the Middle East with the most varied berth mix in the world and an unparalleled cruise tourism capacity.
“Not to mention Dubai’s unrivalled location and year-round sunshine,” says Luc, with a smile. “Nothing will compare to that.”