It's that time of the year again, when scores of luxury boats remain berthed in marinas around Qatar for annual maintenance.
According to industry sources, a vast majority of boat owners utilise the peak summer period - which begins at the end of June and continues for 45-50 days - to carry out different kinds of maintenance work on their vessels.
There has been a steady rise in the number of luxury boats and yachts in Qatar over the past decade, especially as dedicated marinas have come up at a number of places. These include West Bay, Lusail, The Pearl-Qatar and the area near Doha Port.
There are some 450-500 private luxury boats in the country apart from several dhows, according to the sources.
Most maintenance works are carried out in the local marinas nowadays, it is learnt. The situation was quite different about a decade ago when boats had to be taken to yards in the UAE for repairs and servicing. Now, boats are taken there mainly for painting jobs and critical engine repairs, the sources point out.
As many of these boats cost a fortune and involve highly advanced technology, their owners are very particular about the maintenance works. "Everything should be perfectly done during this period," said a source familiar with the industry.
Another source said all maintenance work can now be done in Qatar and there is no need to take the yachts anywhere.
Francis, who has been driving boats for years, said: "A number of boats have qualified technicians to handle repair and annual maintenance works here in Qatar itself. There is no need to go anywhere."
In fact, he noted, boats have started coming to Qatar from other countries in the region for their annual maintenance.
As many boats remain out of action for most of the summer, especially in July and August, their owners feel it is the right time for carrying out annual maintenance works.
"There is usually a fall in boating activity during July and August due to adverse weather conditions across the region. But this is also the busiest period for technicians as they carry out essential repairing and maintenance works during this period," said an industry source.
With marinas coming up in Lusail, The Pearl-Qatar and along the West Bay coast, there has been a significant rise in the number of dedicated berths in the country.
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