x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

A lee shore

The doldrums of UAE bureaucracy are keeping boaters anchored.

Any old mariner might feel a fire in the belly at hearing the words "archaic" and "yachting" in the same sentence. Sailors invariably dream of a more romantic era on the open seas and jump at the chance to set foot on a traditional dhow or antique schooner. But when they hear that archaic is the description of the bureaucracy involved in yachting these days, their ardour will be understandably dampened.
The waters of the Gulf are perfectly suited for yachting with the myriad of islands and the good sailing conditions during most of the year. Marine authorities are well aware of the fact, with billions invested in regional marinas meant to lure sailors from across the world. But as The National reports today, the laws and bureaucracy governing private boat owners makes for anything but easy sailing. Just travelling between two ports inside the country requires a raft of permits and paperwork that would keep anyone ashore. Time to jettison some dead weight.