Montenegrin Government Adjusts Porto Montenegro to Arabs

By , 27 Jun 2018, 12:58 PM Business

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June 27, 2018 - The valid state location study "Arsenal", by which the elite residential-tourist complex and the marina for the mega yachts, Porto Montenegro in Tivat, is being constructed, will be revised and amended according to the wishes and needs of the current owner of the complex, ICD State Investment Fund from Dubai, decided the Montenegrin Government.

The original plan document was agreed by the government in 2008, according to the wishes of the former Porto Montenegro owner, recently deceased - Canadian billionaire Peter Munk, and then amended and revised in 2013. Then it was argued that the otherwise controversial planning solutions for the construction of apartments at the seafront, aiming for high tourism, is changed "to achieve a more favorable and more flexible spatial and investment solution in terms of faster dynamics of future development of the subject area." The Government now acknowledges that since 2008, when the first draft document for the construction of Porto Montenegro complex was adopted, only 6 hectares out of 29.42 hectares of urban plots were built, as well as 34.64 acres of 72.5 hectares of maritime zone, covered by DSL.

In addition to the direct benefits that are reflected in the project implementation so far, the existing achievement of Porto Montenegro has been crucial to the promotion of Montenegro as a first class nautical and tourist destination, as a "city-resort", and to opening new markets that are not characterized as seasonal; and encouraging, at the same time, private investment and the development of the public and civil sector. The investment attitudes of the existing owners are based on the constant challenges so that the success of Porto Montenegro progressively adjusts and improves depending on the changes in visitor’s expectations, demographics and changes in the visitor profile in the increasingly competitive environment of Boka Bay, thus creating new tourist and development projects," said the Government's explanation of the decision to change the DSL which otherwise should have been valid by 2020.

In this way, DSL Arsenal "remains alive" until the adoption of the General Regulatory Plan of Montenegro, which is expected to be completed in the next three to four years. Otherwise, the "demographic changes in the visitor profile" of Porto Montenegro, which the Government mentions in the decision to change the DSL, are expressed in a drastic increase in the number of tourists from the Middle East and Arab countries who overwhelmingly prevailed the Russians and Westerners during Munk's time who then bought apartments and stayed for vacations in this complex in the heart of Tivat.

"While catering and nautical tourism are the keystones for the most fundamental target section of growth in the region, the new investment strategy foresees the ability of Porto Montenegro to be self-functioning and maintain its activity during the off-season period with the aim of ultimately being a destination that is active and secures jobs throughout the year. Amendments to the State Location Study Arsenal - Tivat aim to harmonize planning and development intentions, through a structured redistribution of zoning, area purposes, and gross building areas, stated the Government's decision.

In the program task that will be processed, the government allows for the "reorganization of urban plots, with the proposed alteration of spatial parameters" within the DSL, and requires that the "conceptual plan is based on the creation of "thematic units, out of which each will have an adequate content and determined goal within the overall project."


PHOTO: Porto Montenegro

"With planned measures to create the ambience of the settlement that will include facilities for residential business and service activities and to represent a harmonious architectural environment, based on aspects of sustainable development; to maintain the exclusivity, quality and uniqueness of the space that has been built up to now and further develop it; to provide a dynamic, inclusive, attractive space for all age groups of different economic status and incomes; design an active space that will be dynamic during the off-season and throughout the whole year attracting global, regional and local visitors/users," it is written in the programming task.

The government also asks to provide catering facilities with a category of 4 and 5 in the DSL area, significantly increasing the existing offer of catering facilities within the complex, redefining the routes and the purpose of the road within Porto Montenegro, and "significantly increasing spatial opportunities for activities in the entertainment and leisure sector, which will lead to more organized and developed access to land and water sports" and to "pay special attention to preserving the historical aspect of the former Arsenal military shipyard". DSL Arsenal's amendment and annex will be financed by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism with a 10,000-euro from its budget, and will also make a strategic environmental impact assessment. The deadline for drafting amendments to DSL is six months from the day of the processor's election.

Markovic and Djukanovic supported the Arabs, low taxes to remain

The upcoming and future development of Porto Montenegro, after talks with leaders of Adriatic Marinas managing the complex, were publicly supported by DPS leaders, Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic and the Prime Minister Duško Markovic. After visiting this complex, Djukanovic had been supporting the ICD intentions as a new owner during his electoral campaign for the president and stressed that almost half a billion euros have been invested in the development of this complex. Markovic said that the government would not give up on the many fiscal benefits provided by Porto Montenegro and would not increase the rate of the VAT that for yachting amounts to 0 or 7%, i.e. it will not introduce the payment of excise taxes and fuel taxes and expensive alcoholic beverages supplied here by the yacht.

Montenegrins, for example, pay VAT at a rate of 21 percent and buy one of the most expensive fuels in Europe, primarily because of large government interceptions on excise and gas and diesel taxes, while the liter of euro diesel fuel for yachts with ultra-rich owners in Porto Montenegro costs less than 60 cents. 

"It's part of a designed development policy and strategy and I believe you understand ... I have no dilemma that the government will remain in such a position and it will benefit both citizens and the state," Prime Minister Markovic said last year after his visit to Porto Montenegro, while President Djukanovic once again criticized the Tivat local government due to the fact that Porto has not yet been written off the debt of 5.6 million euros on behalf of the utilities for the luxury apartments constructed in this complex. 

"There is no forgiveness here, but it is a very fair and customary arrangement whereby a new investor is released of the communal services that are supposedly paid or should have been paid for those structures that previously existed on that site. I do not see anything to be forgiven, and if you allow, even if it is forgiven, and is not, I will be happy to forgive 5 million to everyone if it invests 550 million and opens this many job vacancies," Djukanovic said on April 5th.

Text by Sinisa Lukovic, on June 26th, 2018, read more at Vijesti

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