Government is engaged in negotiations with property owners near Kigali Golf Club to relocate and allow Dubai World to build facilities for upscale tourists.
The move comes after Dubai World investors recently asked for more 100 hectares of land around Nyarutarama, where they will build a 150-room five star hotel, a golf-and-country club, 300 houses and villas.
Now part of Eugene Nyagahehe’s land located in Nyarutarama has been identified.
“We are in talks with (Eugene) Nyagahene and Rwanda Development Bank for the 79 hectares of Kigali Park land near the Golf Course,” a senior government official who preferred anonymity said.
Residents of Kamatamu, majority who built houses Kigali City Council authorities call ‘illegal structures will also be expropriated. This land is between the Golf Course and King Faisal Hospital. And, government is ready to pay for the properties at market value.
If Dubai World gets the land, part of their planned $230 million investment in eight tourism sector facilities, will develop Kigali Golf Club.
When Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the Chairman Dubai World visited the country recently, he announced that already ‘architectural drawing works have kicked-off, but was quick to say, they need more land (in Kigali). The Golf Course occupies 58 hectares of land out of the total 80-hectares of the Nyarutarama based Golf Club.
Government is expected to provide more land partly because the investor promised not to tamper with the Golf Course.
‘They want to ‘make lovers of golf have golfing at the club the ‘perfect choice for any golfer,” according to a draft plan.
It is understood that Dubai World is targeting upscale clients with ‘deeper pockets’ looked at as ones who could spur fast economic development.
Tourism industry experts 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.