x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Super-yacht hotel put on hold

According to the original plans, the 170 metre vessel would have been permanently moored at London's Docklands.

Plans for the world's largest luxury yacht hotel, which was due to open in London in time for the 2012 Olympics, have been put on hold as a result of the global economic crisis, the Dubai-based company behind the project said on Sunday. According to the original plans, the 170 metre super-yacht would have been permanently moored at London's Docklands, with 158 rooms and suites, an on-board ballroom, a spa, gym, pool, and a celebrity chef restaurant and bar.

"Everything is on hold at this point," said Steve Tight, the chief executive of Aquiva, which was set up with a focus on luxury water-based resorts and residential developments. "We're going to wait until the global economy improves a bit before we go forward." Aquiva had also been working on launching superyacht villas in the Middle East, and had already identified a number of sites in the region to house its first resort and residential project. Aquiva said the conceptual masterplan included a 230 metre luxury megayacht hotel as the centrepiece of the development, moored against a island with 52 exclusive beach villas, 16 superyacht villas in secluded coves, a private beach club, signature spa, restaurants and private marina.

Mr Tight said that all of these plans had been put on hold too. "I wish we had a crystal ball to know when the liquidity crisis will start to ease and there will be construction financing available," he said. The company also planned to expand internationally to locations "that will ultimately benefit from a network of megayachts and the economies and lifestyle experiences these provide", according to Aquiva's website.

The primary investors in Aquiva include Khalid Al Ghurair, chairman of Khalid Al Ghurair Enterprises, Jorgen Philip-Sorensen, chairman of Sorven Holdings and founder of Group 4 Securicor, one of the world's largest security companies. rbundhun@thenational.ae