12° Nicosia,
16 June, 2024

The ripple effect of Houthi attacks on Cyprus' maritime industry

From luxury yachts to commercial shipping, the unrest in the Red Sea stretches far beyond Yemen's borders, challenging Cyprus' burgeoning marina sector

Pavlos Neophytos

The commercial shipping industry, along with the emerging yacht and marina sector in Cyprus, has been facing challenges over the last three months due to drone and missile attacks by the pro-Iranian Houthi rebels in Yemen. Notably, Limassol Marina, which accommodates super yachts from Arab countries, has seen a significant decrease in these vessels making stops in Cyprus during their journeys from the Arabian Peninsula through the Suez Canal to Mediterranean destinations. This reduction is attributed to the heightened tensions in the Red Sea, posing a risk not only to commercial ships but to private yachts as well. According to a reliable source to "K," none of the super yachts that previously stopped over in Cyprus en route to events like the Monaco Grand Prix are scheduled to do so this year. Many are altering their plans due to the situation, avoiding the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, which last year facilitated 12% to 15% of global trade.

The need to circumnavigate Africa via the Cape of Good Hope, mirroring the route once taken by Vasco de Gama, introduces significant additional costs and delays, impacting the average consumer and depriving Cyprus's marinas and economy of valuable revenue sources. However, shipping officials are optimistic that the normalization of the situation in the Red Sea could occur within months if the naval forces of the US and Europe become fully active. This improvement also hinges on the reduction of tensions in Gaza, with efforts currently aimed at securing a temporary ceasefire.

The broader implications of these disruptions emphasize the global interconnectedness of economies and the need for a unified approach to address these challenges. Analysts are advocating for a global agreement to prevent a downturn in international trade, highlighting the current European difficulties compounded by the conflict in Ukraine. They also stress the importance of a long-term agreement between the Western world and the emerging bloc of states, including China, India, and Iran, which seeks a fair share in the management of global wealth amidst shifting geopolitical dynamics.

[This article was translated from its Greek original and edited for brevity and clarity]

Cyprus  |  business  |  marinas  |  yachting

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