Thirty-five luxury yachts were produced in Turkey’s Antalya Free Zone and delivered in 2021, with the free trade zone cementing its reputation as an important base in the production of high-end vessels.
A total of 88 companies, 30 of which have foreign capital, currently operate in the zone in several sectors from electronics to the medical field, textiles and agriculture. However, the yacht industry comes to the fore, exhibiting vast potential.
In the Antalya Free Zone, luxury yachts ranging from 10 meters (32 feet) to 90 meters in length that have been designed by Turkish engineers are produced by local workers, with a large proportion of the yachts then sold abroad.
Zeki Gürses, general manager of Antalya Free Zone, told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Monday that they increased their investments in 2021 despite the pandemic.
Investing in a ship lift capable of carrying 2,000 tons and a crane with a payload capacity of 560 tons, which went into service last year, increased the region’s attractiveness, Gürses explained, emphasizing that they embarked on an important mission in the Mediterranean basin.
Stating that they have become an international brand in luxury yacht production, he noted that companies in the zone have received orders from dozens of countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“The yachts produced by 48 companies in our region are sold all over the world. We even receive orders from countries such as Italy and the Netherlands, which have come to the forefront in the yachting industry,”he said.
Gürses noted that there was a significant uptick in order sizes after the towing services were put into service last June.
“Now, we will be able to serve yachts up to 90 meters and 2,000 tons in our region. This is a great power,” he said.
Highlighting that they delivered 35 luxury yachts with a sales value of around $200 million (TL 2.68 billion) last year, Gürses stated that since production began in 2000, 514 yachts worth approximately $1.5 billion have been delivered to their owners.
Yacht production will continue to increase this year, Gürses said, adding: “Our companies have started to take orders for all kinds of yachts, no matter how small or big. The yachts we manufacture are exhibited all over the world. Most of the shipyards are full, they started taking orders for the next years. They can’t keep up with the demand right now,” he said.
Luxury yachts that come to the region for maintenance and repairs also provide a significant influx of foreign capital, Gürses said, noting that an area of approximately 25,000 square meters (269,000 square feet) is allocated for maintenance and repair, providing companies a serious advantage.
The zone has received heightened international interest, especially in the last two months, Gürses stated, with the Middle East, Germany and Italy showing particular interest, however, there is currently no space.
There are tentative plans to add another 20,000-square-meters to the zone, which, if allocated, will boost the trade volume and employment in the region even more.
Gürses also noted that they have started to serve as a port capable of catering to ships up to 190 meters in length.