At the berth

Camper & Nicholsons is widely recognised to be one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious yachting business names, with origins dating back to 1782 when boat building began at Gosport, in the south of England. We are lucky to be joined today by Cedric Le Rest, GM of Yas Marina. Cedric writes about yachting, racing, changes in his industry and the near-future prospects of this luxurious sector.

First look

For relaxation, entertainment and a lifestyle that no other location in the region can provide, Yas Marina and its recently updated shore-side destination is not only the place to be and be seen, but also the natural choice for the yachting enthusiast who is looking to derive maximum enjoyment from their yacht. The marina now features 7 licensed restaurants and lounges, a children’s playground, charter options and much more! The marina also offers 222 berths catering for yachts from 8 metres to 150 metres.

I would describe my work here by the three key words – innovation, activation and hospitality.  In everything we do, we are constantly striving to develop the marina into a world-class five-star international yachting and leisure facility.

As General Manager, I’m responsible for the overall management and operations of the Marina, playing a key role in the development of the destination and providing strategic direction on the food and beverage options and community events Yas Marina has to offer.


We now offer so much more to berth holders than just a place to berth their boat. Yas Marina has become a true entertainment hub for the community where berth holders, residents and tourists alike can enjoy the F&B, fitness and lifestyle facilities available.

Featuring seven restaurants offering large terraces with panoramic views of the Marina, a pedestrian promenade, an interactive musical fountain and a children’s playground, plus charter operators, water sports and fitness facilities, Yas Marina provides something for everyone; ensuring a place for the community to enjoy their free time all year round.

Our Cruising Clubs are another initiative which have really taken off in recent times; encouraging berth holders as well as their friends to get out on the water and experience cruising around and exploring Abu Dhabi.

I look forward to see more venues where impressive high-end racing could be enjoyed from yachts.

The industry

Recreational boating has certainly increased in popularity in Abu Dhabi in the last 3 years. New marinas offer international standards and the waterways are exceptional for the 6 to 15m yachts, which is really encouraging people to get out on the water. We also have very large yachts coming to the UAE to spend the winter with us and I must say the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race week is certainly a good way to spend the winter season in UAE!

The work

If you are engaged and proactive in your line of work, it’s possible to remain creative and innovative. For example, our market reacted really positively to our 2013 enhancement project which saw us compliment the growth of Yas Island as the leading tourist destination of the GCC by transforming the marina into a vibrant dining and entertainment precinct. We added a variety of licensed food and beverage outlets, each featuring large terraces with panoramic marina views and surrounded by a pedestrian-friendly promenade, interactive fountains, and children’s play areas.

The marina is also complimented by our ever-growing and diverse calendar of sporting, lifestyle and cultural events as well as our ongoing activities such as our classic outdoor movie night to our Saturday markets. We are always trying to ensure the best possible experience for our visitors.

Formula 1

Many people talk about perfecting Formula 1 both as a racing sport and a business industry, but I am not so sure that it needs THAT MUCH improvement. This exhilarating sector has close bonds with many industries, for instance, yachting and racing people collaborate on a regular basis for a long time. When you look at the races like Monaco and Abu Dhabi, it is clear that the relation is seamless. I look forward to see more venues where impressive high-end racing could be enjoyed from yachts.

As I’ve mentioned before, Formula 1 truly is a well-oiled machine, but I believe we will soon see new rules that will make the Grands Prix even more exciting!

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