Rafael Nadal’s Favorite Catamaran Builder Is Opening a New Yard in the UAE

Sunreef is not just growing in popularity, but in square footage, too.

The Polish outfit—which has crafted catamarans for tennis star Rafael Nadal and Formula 1 champions Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg, no less—just announced it is opening a new manufacturing facility in the United Arab Emirates as part of a broader global expansion strategy.

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Founded in 2002 by French businessman Francis Lapp, Sunreef currently comprises two shipyards in Gdansk, Poland that collectively cover more than 30 acres. Shifting from West to East, the new outpost will be located in the city of Ras Al Khaimah.

Sunreef Ras Al Khaimah Shipyard
The facility will take a 360-degree approach to yacht manufacturing.

Positioned on 16 acres, the high-tech facility will feature the latest technologies in luxury yacht building, according to Sunreef. It will also be designed to meet the highest standards of sustainability. (The Polish yard has positioned itself as a leader in green tech, incorporating things like electric powertrains and “solar skins” into its multihulls.)

Sunreef says the Ras Al Khaimah yard will take a 360-degree approach to yacht manufacturing, with a modern paint shop, as well as carpentry, upholstery, and steel workshops. It will also be equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and robotics. The yard will also work with the specialists at the local Dubai office, creating a yachting think tank that can anticipate trends and devise concepts. Sunreef is working with port RAK Maritime City on the development and says the first manufacturing and CNC halls already nearing completion.

Sunreef Ras Al Khaimah Shipyard
The new facility is located on 16 acres.

The UAE made the most strategic sense for Sunreef, with Ras Al Khaimah offering exceptional incentives, industry support, access to key markets, and solid transportation infrastructure. It will not only strengthen the company’s presence in the Middle East but also foster a stronger connection with Asia and Australia. As such, Sunreef will be able to introduce its range of eco-friendly multihulls to a wider global audience.

Sunreef Ras Al Khaimah Shipyard
The yard will be equipped with high-tech machinery and robotics.

“We can now further expand in an environment that merges perfect strategic location, skilled workforce, and proactive mindset,” Lapp said in a statement. “The yachts produced in Ras Al Khaimah will elevate eco-responsible yachting to a new level and showcase industry-first technology.”

The first units to be produced in Ras Al Khaimah will be the hybrid Ultima cats, as well as the power and sail yachts ranging from 50 to 70 feet.

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