A sailors’ haven in the Caribbean for Dh40 million

Seashell Beach Villa is a beachfront property with four bedrooms in the British Virgin Islands and is being marketed in Dubai by Knight Frank.

A four-bedroom villa on the water’s edge in Oil Nut Bay, British Virgin Islands, is on the market for $10,950,000. Courtesy Knight Frank
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The delightfully named Oil Nut Bay is set on Virgin Gorda, one of the biggest Caribbean islands that make up the British Virgin Islands.

The bay is on the eastern side of the island, which is 22.5 kilometres from the nearby Tortola and Beef Islands airports, accessible either by boat, private airplane or helicopter.

It has been transformed into a 121-hectare community with just 88 homes.

Its developer is the Victor International Corporation, which was founded by David Johnson, who started as a house builder in Detroit but later branched out into creating luxury Caribbean resorts.

Take a look around the property here

He has reportedly spent US$100 million on the infrastructure of Oil Nut Bay, which has a town hall, boutique shops, a beach club and a marina that can house huge yachts of up to 88 metres.

For instance, the company has developed an underwater and in-ground electric power network capable of generating two megawatts, able to keep every light and appliance in all of the homes powered at the same time.

Internet, mobile and data connections are also available, and for those who can’t be torn away from work there is an on-site business centre, a children’s club and nature centre to keep children entertained.

Oil Nut Bay has been designed as a sustainable, low-density project, with 50 per cent of the land dedicated to open space, and individual land plots range between 0.1 hectares and 7.2 hectares in size.

Solar power systems from rooftop panels generate electricity for desalination plants, air conditioning, refrigeration and hot water. And reverse osmosis turns seawater potable for drinking and use in swimming pools, while grey water from rain collection and sinks and toilets is treated for use in landscaping.

This US$10.95m home, Seashell Beach Villa, is a beachfront property with four bedrooms – two master suites with views of the ocean and a pair of guest suites. All four rooms have en suite bathrooms with outdoor showers.

The property boasts open-plan floors with a combined office and sitting room, a fitness studio, staff quarters and a chef’s kitchen.

There is also a large terrace outside overlooking a private infinity pool and a rock waterfall. It is set on a half-acre site.

The property is being marketed to Middle East investors by Knight Frank in Dubai.


Aren’t the British Virgin Islands just a tax haven?

That depends on who you talk to. The British prime minister David Cameron said the reputation of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), and other overseas territories including the Cayman Islands, as tax havens was “not fair”, as they had opened up their tax systems for wider scrutiny. In May, the BVI opened its report system to the US government to comply with its Fair and Compliant Transactions Act. However, reports this year said that more than 21,000 clients from China and Hong Kong – including senior members of the Communist Party – held BVI-registered offshore bank accounts. This week, the British government vowed to crack down on suspected money laundering by way of offshore companies acquiring London properties. According to Transparency International, 38 per cent of the 36,342 properties in London held by offshore companies were registered in the BVI.

What is there to do on the islands?

There are more than 50 islands to explore, and the pleasant climate and calm currents within this part of the Caribbean make it a favourite among sailors. On Tortola, the biggest of the islands, there are museums, botanical gardens, a national park and even a rum distillery to visit. Virgin Gorda, meanwhile, is the second-most populous island. The 21 square kilometre island features a series of hiking trails, a nature reserve, old ruins and several five-star resorts nearby, including Victor International’s own Biras Creek.

So why buy Seashell Beach Villa?

This is clearly aimed at someone looking for a luxury holiday home, and that luxury yachts are available for lease makes it attractive for sailing and yachting enthusiasts. The property can also be leased through a club membership scheme in which the owner receives 60 per cent of the rental income and the developer 40 per cent. There is also the potential for capital appreciation, although the latest Knight Frank report said that property prices in the BVI fell 7 per cent last year.


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