Study recommends ‘water taxis’ for marine passenger transit in Kuwait

Kuwait faces a shortage of berths for yacht owners, resulting in long waiting lists due to a high percentage of yacht owners compared to the population, especially when compared to other countries.

  • By 2035, Kuwait needs 39,537 boat storage parking spaces, compared to 23,172 in 2017, 25,698 in 2022, and a projected 32,150 by 2030.

  • In 2017, Kuwait had 3,867 floating anchors, a number that grew to 6,425 by 2022, and is projected to increase to 10,717 by 2030, reaching 13,179 by 2035

In Kuwait, wealthy individuals with financial means face challenges beyond affording a yacht or boat. One major hurdle is the scarcity of adequate berths or parking spaces, especially for luxury yachts.

An official statistic, obtained by Al-Rai newspaper, reveals that Kuwait lacks sufficient berths to accommodate yacht owners. This shortage has led to a lengthy waiting list for berths, with a high percentage of yacht owners relative to the country’s population compared to other nations.

Sources pointed out the high fees imposed on yacht owners, noting that a large number of boats are currently stored randomly in front of homes and along the coast. This situation necessitates the provision of official sites with facilities that meet all the needs of yachtsmen for boat storage.

Sources stated that the higher the population growth rate, the greater the demand for boat ownership.

The sources indicated that the total number required for floating berths in Kuwait was 3,867 in 2017. Within five years, specifically by 2022, it jumped to 6,425. It is expected to reach 10,717 in 2030 and then 13,179 in 2035. They pointed out that the total number required for boat storage positions in Kuwait in 2017 was 23,172. By 2022, it reached 25,698 and is expected to reach 32,150 in 2030 and 39,537 in 2035.

Urgent need

The study emphasized the urgent need to provide marinas for yachts and boats, indicating that this necessity arises from the ongoing high demand for this service.

This importance is further heightened by the increasing growth in the global market for yachts and recreational boats. Yacht navigation has become a significant aspect of contemporary upscale lifestyles in the region and Kuwait, impacting various sectors such as manufacturing, sales, and design.

Sources emphasized that alongside providing berths for yachts and boats, there must be dry storage berths equipped with a rail system to enhance the storage process. They also highlighted the importance of marine transportation options for passengers like ‘water taxis.’ Implementing a waterfront development project not only boosts the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) but also enhances non-oil economic sectors.

Moreover, improving services in terms of recreational, cultural, and educational offerings to citizens, while catering to various marine activities and services for owners of yachts and boats of diverse types and sizes, is essential.

Sources explained that implementing such projects also ensures support for human and social development, leading to the creation of a better living environment for the population. This, in turn, allows for the benefit from growth and prosperity opportunities within this vital sector locally, in the Gulf, and regionally. Moreover, targeted development in this sector activates the role of government agencies in developing state facilities and providing places of attraction for citizens and tourists.

The sea area surrounded by a private dock for small boats and yachts, whether housed or separated inside the harbor, is called the “marina.” Internationally, marinas can be affiliated with private or public institutions, and yacht owners can utilize their own marina for a specific fee.

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