PRIVATISATION YACHT MARINAS
The privatisation of the yacht marinas consisted of a number of projects extending over a long term period. In the late 1980’s the Government decided to develop marina facilities commensurate with international standards. By 1989, the first tenders for floating pontoons were issued and awarded for the Msida marina, which were immediately taken up. By 1991, a second phase in the yachting centres’ development was completed with pontoons being floated at the Ta’ Xbiex marina. Further pontoons were placed at Mgarr Harbour in Gozo, establishing a Gozo yachting centre.
For a number of years the facilities run by the Malta Maritime Authority (MMA) including those a Gzira Gardens, Lazzaretto Quay in Manoel Island and Vittoriosa, constituted the entire yacht marina sector in Malta. Part of the MMA facilities at Manoel Island was transferred to the MIDI consortium, which is now operating the Manoel Island Marina.
The Yachting Centre regulations identify the following port areas as yachting centres: Gzira Yachting Centre; Ta’ Xbiex Yachting Centre; Msida Yachting Centre; Sliema Yachting Centre, Mgarr Yachting Centre, and Vittoriosa Yachting Centre.
The Lazzaretto Quay at the Gzira Yachting Centre forms part of the MIDI development, however, the rest of the area is still under MMA’s jurisdiction. The Sliema Yachting Centre, the area opposite the Fortina Hotel is not strictly a marina, while the Vittoriosa Yachting Centre was transferred by way of emphyteutical concession to the Grand Harbour Marina.
Hence, the yacht marinas operated by MMA and which were offered for privatisation in 2009 consisted of the Ta’ Xbiex Yachting Centre, Msida Yachting Centre, and Mgarr Yachting Centre in Gozo. The privatisation of the yachting centres was a result of a substantial increase in the registration of pleasure yachts under the Maltese flag. This has tended to create pressure on the local authorities to increase the berthing capacities for yachts within the Maltese islands and to have them managed on a professional basis.
The privatisation of the yachting centres which was issued in 2009 consisted of an open call for a Request for Proposals for a concession of the operations and management of yacht marinas in Malta at Ta’ Xbiex, Msida and Mgarr in Gozo. The Ta’ Xbiex and Msida Yachting Centres concessions were awarded to Creek Developments Plc. in 2010; whilst the Mgarr Yachting Centre in Gozo was awarded to Harbour Management Limited in 2010.