With the winter migration well under way, Gibraltar sees a lot of visiting traffic as yachts take advantage of the duty- and tax-free fuel prices before embarking on their Atlantic crossing. But other than the competitive fuel pricing, and the opportunity to pick up some English-style bacon or fish and chips, Gibraltar could also be an undiscovered gem for yacht crew.
As a British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar enjoys a number of benefits for residents. Although only citizens of Gibraltar and British citizens are allowed to reside without any type of resident permit, all other European and non-European citizens can apply for a resident permit if they wish to register as domicile in Gibraltar. As long as foreigners are not permanently situated in another country for more than six months of the year and that they have exclusive use of a residential property in Gibraltar, they can qualify for a resident’s permit.
There are some attractive financial benefits to being domicile in Gib, residents are not subject to inheritance tax, nor are they taxed on any interest on savings or share dividends. Later in life, retirees pay zero tax on any income from pensions. In addition, the Gibraltar Government will fund the cost of further education from any UK establishment. With more and more countries clamping down on yacht crew to ensure income is being declared, Gib could offer a number of benefits to crew that are not static in any one country for too long.
It’s not just financial benefits on offer however, nearly 40% of Gibraltar is a legally protected nature reserve, the most famous inhabitants being the Barbary macaques, Europe’s only wild monkey population. At the foot of the ‘Rock’, the Alameda Gardens are eight hectares of botanical gardens first established in 1816. Open to the public, the gardens have a diverse collection of plants and trees, including a 300-year-old dragon tree and a 200-year-old stone pine.
Of course, it’s location means Gibraltar enjoys a more temperate, yachtie friendly climate than the UK, with temperatures rarely dropping below 11oC in the winter and long, hot summers. Despite Brexit, in 2016 96% of Gibraltarians voted to stay in the EU, so for now Gibraltarian residents can cross the boarder into Spain, and therefore the EU, without any restrictions. So, the delights of Spain’s Andalucía region are also on the doorstep. When it comes to returning to the boat, there are regular flights into major UK travel hubs in London and Manchester, so even long-haul connections are easily reached from Gibraltar.
Although not inside the Port of Gibraltar, Alcaidesa Marina has berths that can accommodate yachts up to 80m in length. With competitive rates year-round, Alcaidesa Marina is a perfect location to wait for that weather window for an Atlantic crossing or as a winter berth while the crew enjoy the benefits of living in Gibraltar.