Puerto Al-Thani plans suffer setback

Port plan requires changed before approval is given
Port plan requires changed before approval is given

The plans submitted to the ayuntamiento (town hall) for the redevelopment of Puerto de la Bajadilla have suffered a setback.

Part of the plan included a 200 room, 5 star hotel, with a footprint of 20,000m2, to be situated in the port but the department respoinsible for the sustainability of the coast and ports refused to approve the building as current legislation does not allow this type of construction at a marina and because it could hinder “access to the marina”.

The decision to refuse the application was based on a restrictive interpretation of the Coastal Act of 1988, which is still in force. Article 25 prohibits within the easement area “buildings for a home or rooms.”

However, there are precedents in other port areas where the possibility of building hotels was allowed through its inclusion in special programs.

One possible solution that came from discussions was the possibility of reserving the plot of land for “future development” pending any future legislative changes. If this was allowed the rest of the development could go ahead.

The issue of access to the marina is easily remedied. “They are negotiating a number of defects, corrections and clarifications, as a prerequisite for approval,” a spokesman said.

The decisions from the Department of Sustainability of the Coast and the Sea, which imply a negative rating for the ports infrastructure, has not yet been officially announced and the parties involved are yet to be officially notified. However, according to sources, a verbal warning has been given to the Public Ports Agency of Andalusia, which officially denies any knowledge of the matter.

A solution to this is a prerequisite for approval of the main redevelopment plans.

Preparations for La Bajadilla expansion

Puerto de la Bajadilla
Puerto de la Bajadilla

The Junta de Andalucía announced plans yesterday to accept bids for the dredging of the entrance to Marbella’s port, La Bajadilla, in preparation for the planned expansion of the marina by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasir Al Thani, chairman of Malaga football club.

The project, put out to tender and expected to cost around 411,000 euros, will ensure the safety of vessels accessing the marina. To do this, according to experts, there must be a minimum depth of 4.5 meters at the mouth of the harbor. The operation will require the removal of approximately 30,000 cubic meters of sand from the seabed.

“The drag caused by temporary land and sea currents can hinder access to the port,” said a spokesman for the regional government. The extracted sand will be used to regenerate some local beaches such as La Fontanilla or San Pedro district.

Companies wishing to bid for the project may do so until Jan. 16. Once the project is awarded the successful company will have three months to complete the works.

Port expansion contract to be signed today

Puerto de la Bajadilla
Construction is expected to take 2 years

In Malaga today the Minister of Public Works and Housing from the Junta de Andalucía, Josefina Cruz Villalon, will sign the contract approving the plans for the expansion of Marbella’s Puerto de la Bajadilla, allowing the project to progress.

The agreement will also be signed by representatives of the joint venture company (UTE) created by the Qatari Sheikh to manage the project. The UTE includes Nasir Bin Abdullah & Sons, Puerto Deportivo and Marbella Town Hall.

Marbella Mayor Ángeles Muñoz will also attend the signing, which will take place at 18:00 this evening (Thursday) in the Delegation of Government of the city of Málaga.

The UTE will then have a period of six months in which to complete a final plan for the development. This will then require approval from the  Junta de Andalucía.

Marbella City Council have optimistically stated that if all goes to plan construction could begin in the summer of 2012.

This huge project includes an initial investment of 84 million euros and an approximate construction time of two years. The public-private partnership will include a concession for a period of forty years.

The project plans to expand the port with the construction of a circular outer dock of 911m which will encircle the area where the current port stands and also create a new area of sheltered water. Plans also include the creation of 541 new berths, giving a total of 803 berths for smaller vessels. A berth for cruise ships is also in the plans. This would be a first for the area as the port does not currently provide berths large enough to accommodate cruise liners.

Puerto Al-Thani objections rejected

The process to begin construction of the new port at Puerto de la Bajadilla, Marbella, has been given the go ahead. The Andalucia High Court has unblocked the procedures and rejected the objections that had been lodged.

The administrative courts of Malaga took the decision last Wednesday, November 9th, but this will not be officially announced until tomorrow (Tuesday). Appeals had been lodged on the basis that the development would cause irreversible damage to Marbella and the judge rejected this.

The companies which have lost the possibility of building the project claim that The Abdullah consortium (UTE) did not respect the conditions that were required for the project.

The tribunal decision will allow the signing of the contract between the Ports of Andalucia, the Marbella town hall and the UTE, which was initially planned for mid October but was postponed pending hearing the objections.

There had been concerns that the appeal process could take up to ten years and the money invested would have been frozen pending the outcome.

This decision has been welcomed by The Nasir Bin Abdullah & Sons Consortium.

The decision was based on the fact that this is a project of general interest, affecting and benefiting the entire town of Marbella. The court decided that the development of the marina was of immense importance to the continuing popularity of the area.


International Business School for Marbella

An international business school will be created in Marbella, says the town hall.

Marbella Mayor, Angeles Muñoz, said an agreement was reached, during a meeting in Qatar, to create a business school with Nest Investments Ltd.

World Trade Center company in Qatar are reportedly interested in building a business centre in Marbella.

Muñoz, along with Marbella’s Councillor for Tourism, is currently on an institutional tour of the Persian Gulf  in an attempt to attract investment in Marbella. They will also visit Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait.

The objective of the trip is to make the most of the development potential afforded by the new General Plan (PGOU), especially in the Guadaiza and Holanducia areas.

Muñoz will also meet with the Royal Families of each country she visits. Further meetings with representatives of the Al-Thani Group will progress the plans for the redevelopment of Marbella’s Puerto de la Bajadillo. The group, managed by Malaga Football Club owner, Sheikh Abdullah Bin-Nasser Al-Thani, were awarded the contract earlier this year.

Port re-development in Marbella delayed

Four months after the contract was won work on La Bajadilla Port in Marbella has not yet begun, because the contract has not been signed.

The project, which was due to complete in 2015 is currently on hold as three appeals have been made against Sheikh Abdullah Ben Nasser Al-Thani’s project.

The Marbella Marina International Consortium has lodged one of the appeals. The Sheikh’s proposal for the port and marina was chosen over theirs, but they believe that the decision was “unfair”.

The consortium did not ask for the project to be stopped but by bringing a case against the decision the temporary hold on the project is automatic. Regions such as Andalucia must have a tribunal to regulate relationships between public administrations and contracted companies. However, the Junta de Andalucia does not have one so in this case the Andalucian Supreme Court of Justice will rule. A judge will decide if the work can proceed.

Al Thani’s project includes a circular port with berths for 1,221 yachts and space for a cruise ship, as well as a 45,000m2 commercial and leisure area with a five-star hotel. It is thought the plan would create around 3,000 jobs.

With the project on hold and three appeals to hear it appears the contract will not be signed this year.

Puerto Al-Thani, Marbella

I keep trying to find information about the planned reformation of Marbella’s Puerto de la Bajadilla but it seems to be scarce, or more likely the plans are a closely guarded secret.

Everything I do find I will post here as well as on www.puerto-althani.com – here you can enter your details (just your email address is fine) and you will be updated as the development progresses.

There are some videos that I found on there too – one of the new planned layout which has been posted here before and one of the current marina, for comparison.

If anyone has any further information on the plans, time-scales etc please let me know.

Marbella – Puerto Al Thani

The Nasir Bin Abdullah & Sons Consortium has won the tender to transform Marbella’s fishing port. Marbella officials have announced that the owner of Málaga Football Club, Abdullah Ben Nasser Al-Thani, will turn the current port into an ambitious marina, breathing new life into Marbella.

The project is said to cost in the region of €400 million. The plan includes a circular wall and exterior dyke with a 200 metre quay for cruise liners, plans for a five-star hotel, as well as bars, restaurants, shops and supermarkets which will revamp the eastern area of the city, bringing La Bajadilla in line with the famous Puerto Banus.

The project could be one of the most important urban developments in Marbella’s history.  The luxury trade has not been overlooked and an exclusive pier inside the marina is to be set aside for 26 boats. A 200-metre pier in the outer part of the marina, connecting directly with the inner harbour, will allow liners to dock and offload passengers – increasing revenue for the town – in Marbella.  Puerto Banus is currently the most iconic part of the Marbella coast. Marbellas new port could rival that fame.