High Hopes for Delayed $1.6 Billion African Mega-Resort

Blue Amber hopes Zanzibar's beautiful beaches will help attract tourists to its new mega-resort

© Shutterstock

Blue Amber hopes Zanzibar's beautiful beaches will help attract tourists to its new mega-resort

© Shutterstock

Construction has resumed on the biggest resort in East Africa on the Zanzibar archipelago ­– and its developers hope a new tax and residency programme will boost foreign interest. Located in Matemwe on the north-eastern coast of Zanzibar, Blue Amber is slated to be the largest resort development of its kind in Africa, spread across 410 hectares/1,013 acres.

International hotels
The first phase of the development, which was scheduled to open from 2021, consists of 54 pool villas, a leisure centre, boutique hotel and beach restaurant. Shirazi Resort & Villas will be operated by Newmark Hotels, Reserves, Lodges & Residences, an African-based hotel management company. The Ritz Carlton signed up to be part of the resort in 2017, planning an all-suite and villa resort with 90 rooms and over-water villas, each with their own private pool.

Unavoidable problems delay resort 
The mega-resort‘s developer Pennyroyal Gibraltar said "unavoidable problems" had delayed the project but building had now resumed, Construction Review Online reported. A new arrangement that allows foreigners to live and invest in Zanzibar under special conditions, which came into effect in July, is expected to boost demand.

Second phase to start end of 2022
The Shirazi Resort will have two restaurants, a spa, yoga pavilion and gym, a beach club and a pool. The development's villas are being put up for sale, starting at $197,125 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom pool villa.The second phase of the Blue Amber development will see further residences, retail sub-projects and a golf course being built. That work is expected to start late in 2022. 

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