A new marina project was inaugurated by Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum in Dubai last week as part of a restructuring of the Mina Rashid commercial port to attract tourists.

The project involves dividing the port into three parts – a cruise terminal, a ferry terminal and several marina areas. It is owned by P&O, which is part of the Dubai Ports World.

Mohammad Al Mannaei, CEO of P&O Marinas, says: “I believe that there is a shortage of berthing for boats in Dubai, information that has been confirmed to me by boat manufacturers and boat owners. The demand is too high in Dubai.”

Once fully operational, Marinas will include 19 designated docking areas accommodating 646 berths. The first stage, now open, has berths for yachts up to 40m. The marina’s next stage is planned to house a substantial share of Dubai’s growing fleet of megayachts where yachts of up to 160m can be berthed.

The complex will also house a new maritime and entertainment attraction for tourists, stretching over 13sq km and including a new integrated entertainment city called ‘Marina Cube’.

According to Al Mannaei: “All kinds of entertainment will be available alongside the normal marina services for boat owners. We have planned cafes, restaurants and retail shops as part of Marina Cube, as well as residential units and docking to receive small seaplanes.”

Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft, said: “The Mina Rashid Marina development boosts Dubai’s status as a premier yachting and boating destination. It is the only dedicated superyacht marina with direct access to the sea that is not obstructed by a bridge.

"With its 646 berths, Mina Rashid Marina is an example of the kind of facility that opens up the market to newcomers, gives yacht owners additional outlets, and enables tourists to cruise around, explore, and enjoy Dubai from the water. Its inauguration is further proof that the Emirates is becoming a superyacht hub, and we at Gulf Craft look forward to its completion early in 2018.”