China’s newest – and one of its most sophisticated – marinas, the Qingdao Wanda Yacht Club, is due to open this weekend.
The new 230-berth marina is the first dedicated facility developed by the Dalian Wanda Group, the private Chinese conglomerate that holds a 94% stake in Sunseeker International, one of the UK’s leading yacht and superyacht builders. The marina can accommodate yachts in the 12m-50m (40ft-164ft) range.
In an exclusive comment to IBI, Sunseeker said: “We are delighted that Wanda is opening the Qingdao Wanda Yacht Club. It is a spectacular facility in an amazing location and is precisely the type of premium infrastructure needed by the boating industry in China.
“Since its inception, we have assisted with advice and recommendations for the club and we are of course thrilled that the one of the very first resident craft will be a Sunseeker 95 Yacht, which will be the centrepiece at the launch.”
The marina and yacht club is part of the $8bn Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis complex, which is the largest entertainment infrastructure project ever undertaken. The project spreads across 476ha with a total floor space of 5.4 million square metres. It features four- and five-star hotels, seaside resorts, apartments, international hospitals, shopping malls, a yacht club and marina, an indoor ice rink, museums, schools, retail outlets, a strip of waterfront bars and restaurants, and more.
IBI understands that there are plans being considered to revive the Qingdao International Boat Show and use the new marina as the venue for it. As far as can be ascertained, the show was last held in 2015 with the 13th edition.
On a historical note, marinas and the £320m purchase of Sunseeker by Dalian Wanda in 2013 are linked. As far as IBI understands, this is because Dalian Wanda, going back some years, had plans to build three marinas – one in Qingdao, one near Shanghai and another in Sanya. Part of this plan was to have 10 Sunseekers at each marina for chartering, but talks between the two parties instead led to the purchase of the yacht builder.