Vietnam’s Building a Luxury Yacht Marina for Its Super-Rich

Vietnam’s Building a Luxury Yacht Marina for Its Super-Rich

A fascination with pleasure craft is just further evidence of Vietnam’s arrival onto the conspicuous-consumption stage.

“People in Saigon have yachts but the dilemma is Saigon isn’t near the sea,” said Dang Hieu, Ana Marina’s chief executive officer, referring to Ho Chi Minh City by its previous name. “It’s on a river and I regret when boats are moored on boring water. People are also looking for a safe place to keep them.”

 

Ana Marina is anything but boring. Once it’s completed later this year, the facility, about twice the size of New York’s Grand Central Station on land and water, will boast a clubhouse, conference center, fine dining restaurants and villas. Dang even took a trip to Monaco to see how a world-class yacht club is operated.

Inquiries are coming from as far afield as Japan and South Korea. “People want to send their yachts to Vietnam to avoid undesirable weather conditions,” Dang said.

Vietnam’s socialist government has been supportive of promoting yachting, at least for tourism purposes. That’s in contrast to China, where such ostentatious displays of wealth are frowned upon, limiting the market for superyachts.

In Vietnam, a special consumption tax of 30% on luxury items can be waived when a company plans to use the craft to entertain tourists or for charter hire. It also takes less time to import a yacht because there’s implicit government support for opportunities that bring value to the country.

That prompted Doan Viet Dai Tu, chairman of Vietnamese investment firm Openasia Group, to buy in.

“I’ve been watching the yachting industry for many years and waiting for the right time,” Doan Viet said. Openasia also owns Tam Son, a luxury distributor that represents brands including Hermes, Kenzo and Bottega Veneta. It got into the boat business with another partner in 2017 to launch Tam Son Yachting, now Vietnam’s official importer of Beneteau.

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Central Park Marina sits adjacent to Landmark 81, the tallest building in Vietnam.

Source: Tam Son Yachting

Openasia has also invested in yachting infrastructure. It’s behind a service center for yacht maintenance and a marina along the Saigon River called Central Park Marina. It sits adjacent to another project emblematic of Vietnam’s ascension -- a 44 hectare development by Vinhomes JSC that takes its inspiration from New York’s leafy heart. It’s home to luxury condos and villas, the country’s tallest skyscraper and a riverside promenade. Residents with boats will soon be able to berth them nearby.

While yachting culture is still in its infancy, Doan Viet says the potential is huge. “We want to bring yachting as entertainment, something that’s affordable not only for very wealthy people but for the upper-middle class as well.”

To that end, Tam Son Yachting sold a 60-foot Beneteau Monte Carlo 6 to Reverie Saigon, the city’s first six-star hotel, to use for private charters. The boat, which was delivered last year, can accommodate around 10 guests for cruising and the hotel offers outings with a private butler and champagne picnic.

“I have to say, this is very promising,” said Doan Viet. “We’re going to be very busy in the yachting industry for the next 10 or 20 years.”