The wealthy, including locals and tourists, are living large on the Kenyan coast, spending millions of shillings on the culture and emerging trends.
Among the trends are yacht rides, which cost approximately Ksh 35,000 per hour during the day and Ksh 20,000 per night when a guest books it as lodging. The luxurious boats are reported to be a perfect vacation for the billionaires club.
"A yacht's facilities are different from a boat's. It has nice bedrooms, washrooms, and kitchens.A yacht docked at a port in MombasaFile
"One can take a nap in one of the lounges to enjoy the breeze or can also book one for parties," a local sailor disclosed.
The sailors take one on a stroll along the Kenyan coastal waters, checking out sweeping ocean vistas, mansions and learning the history of coastal towns by cruising up to Fort Jesus.
Exotic and expensive drinks are also offered aboard the yachts, with bands allowed to perform for guests. Some also offer wedding and birthday events at negotiable prices.
Most of the luxury boats are reportedly owned by tycoons who employ the local youth as sailors, waitresses and bartenders.
Other private yachts also dock at the coast as tycoons ship their own luxury boats prior to enjoying holidays. In 2013, The Tatoosh owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen was spotted at the old port of Mombasa.
In 2016, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the English Point Marina, one of the few private projects granted the Vision 2030 Private Sector Flagship status.
The Ksh 5 billion project consisted of 96 apartments, eight penthouses and a 26-room hotel, with a harbour for leisure yachts and small boats. However, the plan later stalled as luxury home sales slowed down and the marina business hardly took off.The Ksh 5 billion English Point Marina at the CoastFile
Another trend that was noted at the Coast was floating restaurants. Mombasa investors are turning old dhows into floating hotels to give local and foreign tourists a new experience in the hospitality industry.
They were remodelled to suit the business classes, which contain bars and lounges, kitchens, dining and resting areas.
The Ministry of Tourism, under CS Najib Balala, stated that the industry was one of the most affected during the Covid-19 pandemic owing to travel restrictions imposed across the world. Hotels were shut down leading to loss of jobs too. However, the reopening of the country and relaxation of curfews has led to the influx of tourists.Customers enjoy meals and music at a floating restaurant aboard a dhow in Mombasa, KenyaFile
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