Speaking with NDA at SO!Dalian about Chinese yachting sector

NDA is a French company established in China in 2001. Specialising in comprehensive design, including architecture, planning and interior design, NDA are pioneers of the China boating industry and have big plans for the future development of this sector.

SuperYacht Times’ Merijn de Waard recently talked to Laura Qiu, NDA’s Vice President and Business Director, who explained this movement, stating, “NDA is the one who provided the infrastructure planning from scratch. At the very beginning of the boating industry here, people always asked, where are the marinas where I can allow my clients to actually park and eventually sell their boats? From these comments we started the first marina in China where this was possible.

At the core of the business is everything from architectural design, to planning, to providing technical solutions of marinas and yacht clubs. In the past ten years, however, NDA have also developed other business efforts, including purchasing a marina market research company in 2009. The extensive database from such a company allows NDA to offer a comprehensive service to their clients, providing feasibility and commercial feasibility studies, as well as the ability to explain marketing positioning.

With the boating industry in China still in its relatively early days, the proposal of bigger and bigger superyachts is a very real possibility, presenting an issue to take into account when designing marinas. Qiu comments, “this is exactly why it is in our best interest to do marketing studies. The figure shows that in China, many people do not have the facilities to accommodate those larger superyachts. So that means when we see the technical possibility, we will try to convince the client to actually build a superyacht base. This way at least leave a few marinas will be open for bigger boats.

Popular boating areas in China include both Hainan and Dalian, but there are many other areas that are in a process of development, including Ningbo near Shanghai and Nantong close to Suzhou’s Taihu lake area. In addition, NDA are currently working with the Sanya government in the Hainan province to create a 20 year yachting development industry plan, as well as a similar plan with the government in the Fuzhou province.

With such plans already taking shape, it’s imperative that there be a demand for superyachts in China. Currently more and more big boats are used corporately, and people are certainly beginning to imagine different ways to utilise these impressive vessels. As Qiu told us, this includes using the boat almost as a hotel, complete with karaoke and impressive dining facilities.

Progress and development are key to DNA’s philosophy, and are determined to transform China’s boating industry. Qiu comments, “our aim is create destinations that bring happiness and interesting venues to people to live the yachting life and living the resort kind of dream. We would like to be called waterfront designers rather than marina designers. We always talk about beyond boating because boating is nothing if you don’t have destination. And the yachting feeling and the waterfront feeling are not just for the boat owners. It’s for the public, and for everyone who enjoys this kind of lifestyle.

About SO!Dalian
The first international Yachting and Lifestyle Rendezvous in the north of China, SO! DALIAN, took place in Dalian from the 3rd - 6th July at the East Port Marina, one of north China’s best yachting facilities.

Located East of Beijing on Bohai Bay, Dalian is already the destination of choice for China’s northern elite, and the event hopes to bring another level of sophistication to the area.

By Merijn de Waard



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