The Dutch are among the most notable expats living on the Costa del Sol. Through their organisations, businesses and investments they form part of and contribute greatly to the cosmopolitan community that is Marbella.
Like many other Northern Europeans, the Dutch first discovered Spain en masse in the 1960s, when affordable jet travel opened up new worlds. By the 1970s they were among the leading sources of tourists in the Mediterranean, punching – as is often the case – above their weight.
In previous centuries this trading nation would be present in all the world’s ports; today they are just as well represented in its major tourist destinations.
The Dutch arrived in Marbella via earlier hotspots such as the Costa Brava, finally succumbing to the advantages of air travel in favour of traversing France and Spain by car.
This brought destinations such as Marbella and Tenerife to within less than three hours of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, and since the 1990s a lot of Dutch citizens have bought holiday homes here and made it their home.
Since then, the link between Marbella and Holland has continued to grow, and the permanent Dutch community has integrated itself into the fabric of the local community.
Among them are retirees, tourism professionals, bakers, butchers, property developers, teachers, entrepreneurs and real estate agents – all bringing the particular Dutch brand of know-how, commercial spirit and innovation to the Costa del Sol.
Oscar Ernstsen, Villa & Fincas Country Properties
The Dutch real estate agent who has become an expert in country properties ended up in Marbella quite per chance.
“We always liked the area from holidays, so when I was invited to Sotogrande by developers while working in Vale do Lobo, a luxury resort in the Algarve, I became reacquainted with the Costa del Sol.” Not much later, Oscar took a post with Dutch developer La Perla Living and settled here permanently…
Words Michel Cruz