Qatari Money Behind Bid to Buy Porto Cervo

Developed from barren wasteland into a millionaires playground by the Aga Khan the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia has, at its heart, Porto Cervo, a cluster of yacht berths surrounding the Costa Smeralda Yacht club, a resort hotel and a multitude of upmarket shops.

It is this, the jewel in the crown, that has attracted Qatar Holdings the investment arm of the Qatari Royal family to bid to take over Smeralda Holdings a company currently owned by the US property magnate Tom Barrack who purchased the 700+ berth marina, four, five-star hotels and a world class golf course through his Colony Capital fund during 2003 for a reported €290m.

But perhaps that’s not the real reason the marina is so high on the Qataris shopping list!

Porto Cervo and the nearby bays have the capability of accomadating Al Mirqab which at 133 metres is the largest of several superyachts owned by important Qatari families, among which is the Emirs own superyacht, the 124 metre Katara.