Under the guidance of new management, Port Tarraco has been restructured and redesigned to accommodate 64 superyachts from 30m-160m (98ft-525ft). And with an expected increase in demand for superyacht berths, it places the Spanish marina in a highly advantageous position.
“The Mediterranean has the highest concentration of marinas in the world, yet few have the capacity to accommodate larger yachts,” says Marc Colls, Port Tarraco’s general manager. “Our new layout and support systems have been specifically structured to meet these requirements and the marina can now provide secure berthing for craft up to 160m — that’s almost any superyacht
in the world.”
Barcelona is located about 150km south of the French border. It is a key communications hub for all routes going north from the Iberian Peninsula and west into the Mediterranean.
Port Tarraco is strategically positioned in close proximity to a large capacity airfield and is centrally located to provide immediate access to all major cruising destinations in the western Mediterranean.
The marina’s new design and deep-water basin is the result of significant inward investment from the Middle East.
Qatari Diar purchased Port Tarraco from marina operator, International Marina Tarragona SL, in July 2011, through its subsidiary Qatari Diar Marina Tarragona (QDMT). QDMT is a joint venture between Quatari Diar and Marina Barcelona 92 (MB’92), with 95 per cent representation by Quatari Diar and five per cent by MB’92.
“We are thrilled to be investing in the western Mediterranean’s marina industry, which is one of the most mature in the world,” says Mohammed bin Ali Al Hedfa, group CEO of Qatari Diar. “We expect Port Tarraco Marina to become one of the top year-round destinations for yachts in Europe and the Mediterranean.”
Providing a fresh injection of luxury marina management, MB’92 has combined the company’s efforts with Mourjan Marinas IGY, which has been commissioned to market the marina internationally.
MB’92 aims to combine the company’s signature concierge service with tailor-made marina services, which encompass the latest technology and high security levels expected by visiting superyachts.
Additionally, through MB’92 shipyard, 46nm away, Port Tarraco can offer a full range of repair, refit and maintenance services, which can be carried out in either location.
MB’92 is strategically located at the crossroads between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean — a key route and stop-off point. The marina itself offers a total surface water basin of 150,000m2 and 140m (459ft) of waiting dock.
Wholly owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company was established in 2005 to support Qatar’s growing economy, and to co-ordinate the country’s real estate development priorities. It is currently involved in over 35 projects in more than 20 countries around the world.
“The purchase of Port Tarraco Marina in north- eastern Spain through QDMT represents our company’s foray into the Mediterranean marina industry,” says Al Hedfa. “It reflects what we believe is an auspicious investment as one of the few existing marinas of its kind in the western Mediterranean to offer deep water berthing for super-, mega- and giga-yachts.
“Port Tarraco also signifies our commitment to Spain’s promising market. By initiating a project in Spain, a new region for us, we have effectively entered into a long-term commitment with the people of the region to enrich the lifestyle of local communities and contribute to the society.”
The venture with MB’92 and Mourjan Marinas IGY is a natural one as it allows Qatari Diar to bring its international experience and combine it with the expertise of MB’92 and Mourjan Marinas IGY.
As one of the Middle East’s leading real estate companies, and a major player in the global property industry, Qatari Diar is busy exploring investment opportunities around the world, and the marina portfolio remains one of its core focus areas of development.
Mourjan Marinas is an international marina developer, operator and investor based in Dubai, UAE. Founded in 2005, Island Global Yachting (IGY) focuses on acquiring, controlling and/or servicing superyacht marinas and the surrounding upland real estate properties and offices.
After an alliance between IGY and G-Marin, Mourjan Marinas IGY announced its new Arabic name and brand identity. Mourjan means ‘coral’ in Arabic and was chosen to reflect the importance of the marine environment and to signify Mourjan Marinas IGY’s primary commitment to the Middle East and North Africa.
Through Mourjan Marinas IGY’s relationship with IGY and its international network, the company can offer services in all the world’s leading marina destinations. Mourjan Marinas IGY offers the full range of expertise required to design, construct and manage world-class marina facilities.
One of the largest shipyard and refit facilities in the world, and among the first exclusively dedicated to the superyacht sector, MB’92 covers a surface area of 76,000m2.
With continuous investment in advanced shipyard technology and a highly qualified team, the facilities include a 2,000t Syncrolift, 210m dry dock, 125m paint shed, and 150t travelift.
Docking repair quays have the capacity to berth eight yachts up to 110m, and another berthing repair area accommodates six yachts up to 200m. A second 4,000t Syncrolift is scheduled to be in operation in 2013.
Key services offered by MB’92 include electricity, telephone, internet, fresh- and cooling water, waste water discharge, rubbish removal, cleaning and recycling, and connection to the fire system. Specialised services covered by subcontractors include mechanics, metal works, carpentry, electronics, hydraulics, painting, and composite work.
Marina manager Marc Colls
“The industry has shown significant recovery over the last 12 months,” he says. “Many new projects are under construction, and the average length of yachts is rising.
“The superyacht service sector needs to prepare for this, which means being able to accommodate a number of larger yachts at any one time, and providing the necessary facilities. Our deep-water basin is an additional benefit and clearly differentiates us from other marinas in the Mediterranean. Our aim is to position Port Tarraco as one of ‘the superyacht destinations’ in the Mediterranean.”
With years of experience as a yacht captain aboard three superyachts, Colls fully understands the specific needs of captains and crew.
Colls has first-hand experience of many internationally recognised marinas and is confident that Port Tarraco delivers on all desired facilities and services.
Before being appointed as general manager of Port Tarraco in 2010, he worked at MB’92. He is also an experienced project manager, having spent many years working for leading shipyards and yacht repair companies.
In addition to his experience as a yacht captain, Colls was a professional skipper at world championship level and holds the accolade of having been the youngest ever Spanish champion in catamaran sailing for two years.