By Justin Mays:
Not just for leisure, Antalya is home to one of Turkey’s 21 free zones. Established in 1987 and operated by ASBAS Company, it is the world’s third-largest free zone for luxury yacht and shipbuilding. With its port operations, yacht management, and building, the total revenues to date for luxury yacht building in the Antalya Free Zone has exceeded a whopping $1.4 billion Dollars.
In 2021, 30 new yachts were completed bringing in $125 million in revenues. To date, 510 super luxury vessels have been built in the zone to be distributed around the world to countries like the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Senegal, South Africa, and the United States. Yacht maintenance also brought in revenue with $49 million brought in from upkeeping 142 ships, and 127 have been completed. Zeki Gürses, the general manager of the Antalya Free Zone Inc. (ASBAŞ) shared with the local paper “Hurriyet” that the yacht building industry started to develop in the 2000s in the zone and there are currently about 50 companies operating in this growing sector. After Antalya, Istanbul’s Tuzla district and Bodrum are also important local yacht building centers.
In addition to luxury yachts, the ARES Shipyard in the free zone is one of Turkey’s fastest-growing companies and its largest exporter of military and commercial vessels. The shipyard has delivered more than 100 military and commercial vessels to date. The free zone has multiple companies working on port operation, yacht management, and building vessels.
The Antalya Free Zone is next to Antalya Port close to the Kemer district. Antalya is a top coastal destination for tourists from around the globe and Turkey has built up a reputation for its classic blue cruise along its aptly nicknamed turquoise coast.