Russian businesses may invest up to US$1bn in the development of yachting infrastructure

Russian businesses may invest up to US$1bn in the development of yachting infrastructure on the Red Sea over the next several years, according to officials in the Russian government and representatives of large, local businesses. This is due to the high yachting potential of the region and the ever-growing popularity of its resorts among Russian yacht owners.

In recent years, the number of rich Russians interested in yachting in the Red Sea has significantly increased, which is reflected by a significant rise in the number of Russian-owned yachts that are calling at local seaports and marinas. One reason could be that ongoing EU sanctions against many rich Russians prevents them from entering some EU territorial waters due to the threat of arrest.

In the case of the Red Sea, yacht development to date has been prevented by a lack of necessary infrastructure. However, this could change in the coming years, thanks to recently announced large-scale investment projects from both domestic and foreign investors. One such project is expected to be implemented by a large Russian business and will be funded by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), one of Russia’s largest investment funds.

According to Kirill Dmitriev, head of the RDIF, the fund may invest “several hundred millions of dollars” in the development of tourism, including yachting, in Saudi Arabia and later in other countries on the Red Sea. Implementation of these plans will take place in cooperation with Dubai Ports World. Part of the planned funding from RDIF will be allocated to NEOM, a Saudi mega city project that will have its own yachting infrastructure.

In addition to Saudi Arabian Red Sea resorts, Russian businesses are also looking at the development of yachting in Egypt – a country that is extremely popular among Russian tourists and yacht owners.