Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Dubai invests in Balkan Marina

Published on June 20, 2016 by   ·   No Comments


Ever since the launch champagne corks were popped the best part of a decade ago, it has been nothing but success followed by expansion, more success followed by more expansion, for Porto Montenegro.  It therefore comes as little surprise that a takeover bid has been pitched, and accepted, from a prestigious third party.  The new owner of this Adriatic superyacht marina and waterfront development is none other than the main investment arm of the Government of Dubai – the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD).

In an announcement made last month, on May 6, the ICD confirmed that it was to buy the landmark marina from Montport Capital.  Montport’s majority shareholder (at 52%) is 88-year-old Peter Munk, the Canadian mining mogul who conceived Porto Montenegro and was famously quoted as saying “I absolutely flipped.  I dropped my knickers.  I’d never seen anywhere as beautiful in my life,” when he flew over the Bay of Kotor in a Government helicopter back in 2003.

Porto Montenegro is ICD’s first investment into the small Balkan country as well as its first into the yacht marina sector, but it expects strong growth for both over the coming years.  The acquisition aligns perfectly with ICD’s strategy to add high-quality internationally-focused assets in fast-growing markets to its more-than-substantial and highly-diverse portfolio which already includes Emirates Airlines, the Burj Khalifa, Dubai World Trade Centre, the Atlantis Resort on the Palm and the W Hotel in Washington DC.


No official disclosure has been made on the value of the deal, although ICD is thought to have parted with around 200 million euros to include a nearby shipyard.

His Excellency Mohammed Al Shaibani, Executive Director and CEO of ICD, said, “The internationally renowned Porto Montenegro presents an opportunity for ICD to access a successful business with significant potential for development expansion, both in the marina and landside.  It also represents a strategic fit with our expansion plans into international luxury real estate and hospitality sectors whilst providing exposure to a new geography.

Located within the Bay of Kotor, a World Heritage site on the Adriatic Sea, Porto Montenegro was developed by Peter Munk with the help of a group of investors led by Lord Rothschild.  The derelict naval base was transformed into an award-winning (Superyacht Marina of the Year 2015) prime yachting destination in less than a decade.  Set against a magnificent Montenegrin mountain backdrop, it has enjoyed the support of the Government of Montenegro from the outset who has allowed a favourable tax and duty environment to encourage both visiting and home-porting superyachts.

Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said, “The Government of Montenegro has recognised from the very beginning and has supported the idea to position Montenegro as a leading superyacht destination on the Mediterranean, which has been fully realized by Mr Peter Munk and his team of experts through the development of Porto Montenegro Project.  The Government shall continue with the new investors the cooperation in implementation of a clear nautical tourism development strategy in Tivat and Boka Bay, and will continue to work together on further positioning of Montenegro as a high-end tourist destination.”


Peter Munk himself said, perhaps with a view to taking his foot slightly off the gas at the tender age of 88, “I’m enormously proud of what has been accomplished at Porto Montenegro.  It has helped transform the perception of Montenegro throughout the world, has sharply increased the country’s tourism revenue, and has created thousands of direct and indirect jobs.  The Investment Corporation of Dubai is the ideal party to take the resort to the next level, and to maximise its virtually unlimited potential.  With this transaction, I am confident that I am leaving Porto Montenegro in very safe hands.”

With 228 sold-out luxury apartments, 55 occupied retail units, and 450 berths already built and fully booked, plus necessary approvals in hand to build another 400 berths, the resort has the potential to double in size and become the leading luxury yacht port on the Mediterranean.  Waterfront five-star Hotel Regent Porto Montenegro opened in August 2014 and a supersized 250 metre berth was added in 2015, positioning the marina to accommodate superyachts that don’t even exist – the world’s largest is currently Azzam, at 180 metres.

“Looking ahead, our aim is to realise Porto Montenegro Marina and Resort’s full long term potential,” added His Excellency Mohammed Al Shaibani.  “Our priority at ICD is to support management in the fulfilment of its ambitious plans, and to further establish Montenegro as a prime European yachting destination.”

Readers Comments (0)


FAR COLUMN: Add Widgets