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2017 Nov Dec Marina World

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COMPOSITE DECKING & BUMPERS MORE THAN 100.000m 2 INSTALLED ! Soprefa, S.A. - Portugal Tel:. +351 256 880 470 * Oxidative Induction Time LIFTING EQUIPMENT INTEGRAL MANUFACTURER FOR DRY MARINAS AND SHIPYARDS “The Gold Anchor Scheme involved a reassuringly rigorous assessment process, one that scrutinized every aspect of our operation and left no stone unturned...” Tony Browne, Marina Director, Porto Montenegro: Gold Anchor rating: 5 Platinum.

MARKET FOCUS: CENTRAL ASIA The only large marina in Kazakhstan, Briz Yacht Club has 200 berths. Slow build-up for Caspian marinas The northern part of the Caspian Sea has never been a popular yachting destination neither in Soviet times nor after the Caucasus countries gained independence. On the one hand, it doesn’t have a gateway to an international ocean and on the other, it is located too close to the Black Sea, which has better opportunities for boating and more attractive conditions for investors who are willing to put money into new marinas. However, after two decades of stagnation, the first marinas have been built in the Northern Caspian, promising impetus to the development of yachting in the region, and ultimately leading to the construction of additional new marinas. Vladislav Vorotnikov reports The Northern Caspian region comprises the splinters of the Soviet Union, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, plus Russia’s Republic of Dagestan. It is important to note that the Caspian Sea is not as popular with yachtsmen as the Black Sea because of its harsh weather; stiff winds, strong storms and high waves. It is thus much harder to find the right place to build a safe marina. Back in the 1990s, people believed that yachting and the resulting marina industry in the region would be primarily developed in Azerbaijan - the richest country in the Caucasus, thanks to its enormous oil resources. At the time, officials even used to say that they were going to build “a second Dubai” in the country’s capital Baku with integrated infrastructure for yachting. However, for a mix of reasons associated with environmental problems and bureaucracy in Azerbaijan, it turns out that the marina industry today is mostly developed in Turkmenistan. This is surprising as this country has been considered one of the less wealthy parts of post-Soviet territory. New niche for Turkmenistan The first marina opened in Turkmenistan in 2013 within the Ýelken Yacht Club. The Club was the first facility of its kind in the country and its opening ceremony was attended by none other than the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Ýelken is located in the most fashionable part of Turkmenistan, 25km (15.5mi) away from Turkmenbashi and 20km (12mi) away from the international airport, in the tourist zone named Avaza. The investor, a Turkish company, built the yacht club, marina and a community of 44 extremely large luxurious villas. As the average monthly wage in Turkmenistan is around US0, it is hard to imagine how ordinary citizens could afford to take advantage of the new infrastructure. Ýelken was, therefore, designed to attract foreigners. This approach proved viable and, in 2016, a second yacht club named Tolkun, with fairly similar offerings, opened within the Avaza resort. Yelken Yacht Club in Turkmenistan opened to much fanfare in 2013. It has been designed to attract foreign yachts. - November/December 2017 55

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