Istithmar to build $150mn resort in Zanzibar

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Dubai’s State-owned Dubai World on Thursday said that it would develop a new $150-million, or about R1-billion, luxury resort in Zanzibar, off the Tanzanian coast, after reaching an agreement with the African State’s government.

The resort is to be set on a 76-hectare site located at Muyuni Beach and will contain a 50-room residence and spa retreat, as well as a 150-room luxury hotel.

The development will also feature luxury beach villas for sale, a fisherman's village, watersports centre, and sports club.

The project is a strategic global investment for Istithmar, which recently led a consortium that secured a deal to develop a 3.5-hectare downtown commercial site in Singapore.

“Zanzibar is one of the world’s upcoming destinations and we believe that this resort will become a major contributor not just to the Istithmar portfolio, but also to the local economy and local people,” Dubai World chairperson Sultan Bin Sulayem said.

Work on the project would start immediately, with completion targeted for 2009.

The company expects to make a further announcement of acquisitions “in the near future”, Sulayem said in a statement.

Zanzibar is the archipelago in the Indian Ocean about 25 to 50 kilometres off the coast of East Africa and part of Tanzania.

The site for the new resort is a three-hour flight from Johannesburg and a 15-minute flight from Dar Es Salam.

Last year, Istithmar purchased the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, and is also behind the development of the Djibouti Kempinski Palace Hotel in Djibouti City.

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