WALKING along the Paseo del Muelle Uno on Malaga’s popular port area it is not an uncommon sight to see some of the world’s most exclusive superyachts moored up. 

From tech billionaires to Arab oil moguls, the world’s elite often use the Costa del Sol as a base for their European travels.

As they sample Meditterranean culture, it gives ‘mere mortals’ a chance to see what billions of euros of ocean going technology and luxury looks like.

This year however, visitors to Malaga and neighbouring Marbella may have noticed a reduction in the number of super yacht visitors compared to recent years.

Research done by US media outlet Bloomberg reveals that 2020 has seen a marked drop in high end yachts visiting Spain.

According to maritime records consulted by IHS Bloomberg, 108 super yachts visited Spain in August last year, compared to just 84 this year.

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MASSIVE: The 590-foot Azzam superyacht in Cadiz last month

Whilst these findings may be obvious thanks to the recent pandemic, what isn’t is that many of the costas’ regular visitors are now choosing other European countries such as Croatia, Greece and also further afield to Turkey. 

Spain’s loss has been other destinations gain as many of these countries are showing three-year highs in the number of mega-rich arrivals.

Once the go-to destination for Russian dignitaries, Turkey has now become a COVID-19 ‘safe-haven’ during the pandemic, with more relaxed regulations and fewer travel restrictions compared to Spain.

Andalucia did however welcome the second largest superyacht in existence into the port of Cadiz last month.

The 590-foot Azzam vessel was getting a refit at the Cadiz shipyard before sailing off back to its UAE base. 

Owned by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the German built Goliath is estimated to be worth €509 million. 

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