Dubai firm eyes tourist investments in Zanzibar

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Dubai-based property developer Al Nakhil company is eyeing the Island of Zanzibar to inject its capital into the thriving tourism on the island famous for tropical and warm beaches, historical and cultural heritage.

Chairman of the company, Sheikh Ali Rashid Lootah, said that the tourist Island of Zanzibar is among priority destinations for Al Nakhil to invest into.

Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein said the island has many investment opportunities in the tourism industry which are yet to be exploited, so investors are welcomed to utilize the opportunities available there.

The Zanzibar President said his government is open to investors eyeing the Island’s fast growing tourism and is ready to cooperate with investors in tourist industry.

Tourism industry contributes more than 80 percent of Zanzibar’s foreign exchange earnings and 27 percent of the island’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), proving to be a pivotal pillar in the Island’s economy.

Zanzibar has a tourism target of attracting 500,000 tourists in 2020, with the larger percentage coming from the Far East countries.

Indonesia, Philippines, China and India are the target markets for the Island’s tourist gains now standing at $350 million.

Al Nakhil company is one of the largest construction firms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) established in 2001.

The company has undertaken master developments projects, including Palm Jumeirah, The World, Deira Islands, Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Village, Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Heights, The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Warsan Village, Dragon City, International City, Jebel Ali Gardens and Nad Al Sheba.

Sheikh Ali Rashid Lootah said that his company is eager to work with the government of Zanzibar to achieve the tourism goals.

Middle East Investments continue to increase in Zanzibar and East Africa, as the region is reckoned to be a preferred investment hub in Africa.

Zanzibar is aiming to raise the number of tourists visiting the Island with new business initiatives, centered on annual tourism exhibitions, promotion of cultural festivals and pulling foreign investments targeting to attract international visitors to visit and spend days in the Island.

Cruise shipping tourism is the other source of tourist income for Zanzibar, due to the island’s geographical position with its proximity in the Indian Ocean island ports of Durban (South Africa), Beira (Mozambique) and Mombasa on the Kenyan coast.

Zanzibar is now competing with other Indian Ocean islands of Seychelles, Reunion and Mauritius. Zanzibar has at least 6,200 tourist hotel beds in six classes of accommodation.

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