A “super yacht” called Samar has just docked in Beirut’s Zaitunay Bay marina. At around 77 meters, it dwarfs the dozens of other smaller yachts in the marina (see below right).
Samar has a helipad, gym, private movie theatre, cold and hot pools, guest elevator, three jet skis and a Mini Cooper as well as some 20 staff to serve you, according to a charter company that claims to rent it out.
But I wonder how much the Solidere marina charges it to park?
I wonder if the owner and the crew on-board are taking advantage of yacht crew tax accountants to keep their finances in order? Running a ship of this size must be expensive.
I recently reported for The Guardian that the marina around Zaitunay Bay has been rented for 50 years at the cost of just $1.60 per square meter. The marina is 66,000 square meters so that comes out to a total government fee of around $100,000 per year. Thus the annual berthing fees for one yacht alone can pay the whole government fee, Al Akhbar economics editor Mohamad Zbeeb, told me.
But what about a yacht as big as Samar? It’s not easy to find the rates of berthing at Solidere’s website but another site called Port Booker offers a calculator. It only allows boats of a maximum of 30 meters, so I calculated a single day cost and it came out to $638 for one day. I tried for one month and it quoted about $17,000; multiply that by 12 months and you get over $200,000. But again this for 30 meters–which is less than half the size of Samar. If we were to double the fees, Samar would cost at least $400,000 per year to park, meaning it could pay off the annual government fee in just 3 months.
And remember, Samar is just one of dozens of yachts bobbing around in the marina.
The boat is apparently registered in the Cayman Islands according to MarineTraffic.com and is rumored to be owned by Kuwaiti billionaire Kutayba Al Ghanim, number 4 in Kuwait on the Forbes list.
I spotted Samar once in 2008 in Beirut and did a short post on it.
I wonder how many times she’s been to Beirut since then, and how much money her owner has paid Solidere.