Dubai World investors have asked for more land to build houses and a hotel at the Kigali Golf Club to accommodate upscale tourists.
The investors are ready to fork-out part of the $230 million planned to be invested in eight tourism sector, to develop Kigali Golf Club as a priority project.
When Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman Dubai world visited the country over the weekend, he announced that already ‘architectural drawing works have kicked-off, but was quick to say, they need more land (in Kigali).
Francis Gatera of Rwanda Investment and Export Promotions Agency says the investors need more 100 hectares of land around Nyarutarama, where they will build an upscale 150-room five star hotel, a golf-and-country club, 300 houses and villas.
They are targeting upscale clients only. These clients described as having deeper pockets are looked at as ones who could spur fast economic development.
Experts in tourism say upscale visitors have the capacity to spend more days in the country, visit different places, use available means of transport, and buy local art pieces, as government collects its taxes from them.
“Therefore the dollars these tourists bring in will trickle down to most Rwandans, creating wealth and market for services and goods in the country. Not the few developers staying near the Golf Club with their families are to spur economic develop in Rwanda,” a junior employee at the Rwanda Tourism office who asked not to be named saying she is not the spokesperson said.
The officer suggested that government and the developer should look for money to expropriate the residents who will be affected by the development at market value. The Golf Course occupies 58 hectares of land out of the total 80-hectares of this Nyarutarama based Golf Club.
The investors promise not to tamper with the Golf Course because they want to ‘make lovers of golf have golfing at the club the ‘perfect choice for any golfer.’ According to a draft plan, they may redesign the style of the course by adding greater flexibility to the choice of tees.
The money Dubai World is to inject in the economy is the second highest foreign direct investment attracted in Rwanda after Lap Green, a Libyan firm that has promised to invest $317 in the country’s telecom sector, this year. Lap Green bought 80 per cent stake at $100 million in Rwandatel, a public telecom company that was run down by an American investor.
The $317m will be invested over a period of time to revamp the telecom sector.