By David Robinson

To keep pace with rising demand for berths, Mourjan Marinas is now planning Phase 2 of the huge Lusail City development in Doha, Qatar’s capital. With occupancy rates in the high nineties, there is a clear need for additional berths plus the 42 extra ones for 8m-40m (26ft-131ft) announced recently, taking the Phase 1 total to 142.

“Phase 2, with 91 berths of 12m-40m (39ft-311ft), is on the drawing board and the adjacent upland is currently under construction, which will provide a quality hotel and shopping mall, expected to be completed in approximately three years,” Wayne Shepherd, general manager of Mourjan, told SB.

This first of three marinas planned for the Lusail City project is called the Southern Marina and, when completed, it will have around 400 berths up to 40m.

“In addition to the existing berths, a new fuel station has been installed on Mourjan Marinas-Lusail City and is in the final approval stages before commencing operations to respond to the immediate needs of the development,” Shepherd added.

The other two marinas in the total development are the Western Marina, which will also cater for yachts in the 8m-40m range and have around 650 berths, and the Island (superyacht) Marina. The latter is proposed to have about 250 berths from 12m-80m (39ft-263ft). This will give the completed project a total of 1,300 berths when all three marinas are operating.

Shepherd commented: “The marina projects will be developed through a strategic phased development process to meet the market needs. Mourjan Marinas expects Phase 1 of the Western Marina to be developed around 2016-2017, while Phase 1 of the Island Marina will follow approximately two years later. This schedule will see all three marinas operational prior to the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar.”

The development will also include a number of yacht clubs. The first of these will be built in the Western marina with construction anticipated to start this next year. To provide appropriate depths, a dredging programme has been carried out.

Shepherd told SB: “The immediate seabed around the marina and the channel to the marina basin has been dredged to a depth of -4.5m QNHD (-3.6m LAT). Dredging works are continuing to encompass another marina’s basin located adjacent to the Mourjan Marinas-Lusail City facility. As part of the dredging works to increase the water depth, dredging works will also include channel widening and lowering in various sections of the Lusail City development.”

Mourjan also manages the Four Seasons Hotel marina in Doha. This is 100% occupied and very popular due to its direct access from Doha Bay and the Gulf. Shepherd says: “Being part of the Four Seasons hotel makes this a very exclusive and sought after facility.”

Commenting on the Qatar market and the recent Qatar International Boat Show, Shepherd comments: “QIBS has grown exponentially since its inaugural show hosted at the marina in 2013. Mourjan Marinas has been delighted to be a supporter of the show, which has proven itself to be a great step for the marina and boating community in Qatar. We believe that the show will continue to play a pivotal role in the growth of the country’s industry and boating culture for many years to come.

“The total number of boat registrations within Qatar,” he adds, “is around 14,000 (mainly boats on trailers), while Mourjan Marinas witnesses an annual growth of approximately 120-150 boats taking up marina berthing in Doha. Mourjan Marinas estimates that this growth is made up of approximately 50/50 new and pre-owned boats.”