Dubai World goes to Rwanda

 

Dubai World, Dubai's investment holding company, will put a total $230 million into tourism projects in Rwanda over three years, a government official told Reuters on Thursday.

 

Dubai World will build three four-star hotels at the foothills of Rwanda's three main national parks and a new five-star golf resort in the capital Kigali with 300 high-end apartments.

 

"They are ready to start tomorrow," said Rwanda Investments and Export Promotion Agency deputy director Claire Akamanzi.

 

In the Volcanoes National Park, famous for its rare mountain gorillas, Dubai World plans to set up a five-star $2,000-a-night tented camp.

 

Dubai World - which manages Dubai's portfolio of businesses across 100 cities - will also buy a tea estate adjacent to the proposed four-star hotel in Rwanda Nyugwe forest.

 

In the Akagera Park, east of Rwanda's capital, the firm will construct an airstrip to serve tourists visiting the park and staying in a hotel it intends to put up there next year.

 

"They intend to finalise their $230 million projects in the next two to three years and all their projects kick start at beginning of next year," Akamanzi said.

 

Rwanda has been hard to sell to foreign investors mainly due to the country's 1994 genocide. The country remains one of the poorest in the world with more than half of its population living on less than a dollar per day.

 

High transport costs from the sea to the landlocked country has also been a major impediment in attracting big investments.

 

But Rwanda's economy has gained momentum over the years and last year the country targeted new investments worth $204m but surpassed that target by $40m. Much of the new investments were in the financial and real estate sectors.

 

In November, Rwanda launched a new growth strategy aimed at cutting down on huge poverty levels by creating more jobs and widening its export base to increase on revenue inflows. (Reuters)
 
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