OneOcean Port Vell on Superyacht Growth in Barcelona

By Ben Roberts

The sale of the 160-metre berth in OneOcean Port Vell cemented both a new era for luxury yachting in Spain and a rise in demand for cutting-edge facilities in Barcelona. We spoke to Nizar Taji - newly appointed Sales Director of OneOcean Port Vell - to find out more about the factors behind the Spanish revolution.

How does the recent berth sale prove Barcelona as a superyacht hub?
"The sale of the 160-metre berth signifies that OneOcean Port Vell is one of the premier marinas in the Mediterranean and possibly the world. Since we announced the news of this berth sale, we have had a large increase in superyacht berth enquiries.

There are limited berthing opportunities for gigayachts in the Mediterranean and OneOcean Port Vell can cater for the largest yachts. With the MYBA Charter Show next month, and set to be larger than ever, this also shows that Barcelona and OneOcean Port Vell is on everyone’s radar.”

What are the factors behind superyacht growth in Spain?
"Since the changes to matriculation tax in 2015 allowing superyachts to charter in Spanish waters, there has been a notable increase in demand in Spain encouraging a steady growth of marinas for superyachts and facilities.

Last year, we had an 85% increase in the 80m category and 742% rise in yachts over 100m+. Our neighbour MB’92, the refit shipyard, is a prime example of expansion and upgrade works in Barcelona."

What makes Barcelona the heart of that growth?
"Barcelona is probably the most exciting city in Europe and it is no surprise that it was visited last year by 32 million people. It is a diverse city attracting lovers of art, cuisine, architecture, sport, theatre and music.

It has fantastic international connections - you can fly to almost anywhere in the world from Barcelona and this is a very important factor for the owners and the crew. The marina really is in an unrivalled location - in the heart of the city, a stone’s through from El Born and Las Ramblas. From a charter perspective, the proximity of the Balearics is a huge draw, and the coastline to the north of Barcelona is something not to be missed.

From a homeport perspective, it is becoming a transient marina for the yachts sailing to and from the Caribbean. We are one of the few marinas to have the TPA tax-free permit allowing non-EU flagged yachts to conduct minor repairs and improvements whilst in the marina and be exempt of VAT. This allows for large savings to be made when yachts undergo winter works."

How are you bringing something new to the team at OneOcean Port Vell?
"I always say that there is no magic wand to selling berths, instead, there are dedicated and passionate teams. I am delighted to be part of this team at OneOcean Port Vell.

The team is committed to offer a high quality service to yacht owners, captains, crew, yacht agents and all other yachting industry actors. I am bringing +25 years experience in the industry and have a worldwide network from diverse places such as Monaco, France, Italy, Montenegro and Hong Kong."

What's next for the team and the development as a whole?
"We will continue with the exceptional work that the team has achieved until now and focus on delivering exceptional service to the yachts in the marina as well as responding to the surge in recent requests. We will become the number one marina in the Mediterranean as both a charter destination and homeport."

With the arrival of superyachts such as Dilbar and Eclipse recently, the new berth sale and appointment of Nizar Taji hints at the exciting activity for both the marina and the city on the horizon. We look forward to bringing you more from OneOcean Port Vell on the run up to the MYBA Charter Show (24-26 April). 

By Ben Roberts