Aden embraces giant investment projects costing US$ 10 billion [Archives:2008/1183/Business & Economy]

August 21 2008

By : Radhwan Al-Saqqaf
Construction work has started in the Firdous Aden Residential and Tourist City project in Aden city's Al-Beraiqa district. The project is considered the largest among investment projects in Aden carried out by Al-Guaizi and Al-Salahi Instruction Companies.

The project aims to build a modern residential city of 16 million square meters on the coastal area between Faqim and Amran regions, stretching for 8 kilometers.

The project will contain five-star, four-star and three-star hotels in addition to a tourist and residential resort. It will also contain restaurants, cafeterias and markets, similar to the Sharm Al-Sheikh and Marina resorts in other Egypt. Furthermore, 2,000 villas will be constructed, many including swimming pools and gardens. There will be a special zone in the resort dedicated to housing presidential palaces which overlook the sea. Another residential zone will contain 1,400 buildings with a total of 16,000 apartments.

There are also many recreational facilities intended for the resort city. Amusement parks of the latest international technology and character will also be constructed. Tourist sites and yachts will be provided in the city, and there are designs to build the largest water park of its kind in the Middle East. A social club and a sports club will be equipped with sport and health facilities, and will supplement an athletic sports academy with trained technical staff.

The project also includes plans for world trade towers which will house international companies, banks and restaurants. Foreign and Arabic schools for all school levels will be built in the resort, in addition to a scientific university available for students who will live in the city and in nearby areas. To serve the health and medical needs of its residents, a medical complex will be built which will contain clinics for different medical specializations. The Firdous Aden Tourist City will also include a civic defense system and security stations. There will be infrastructure in place for a postal system, phone bill payment and car parks.

Those involved in the construction claim that the city was designed in a way such that it will be able to contest with the greatest tourist cities worldwide.

In addition to Firdous Aden Tourist City, other investment activities are significantly increasing day by day in Aden's Free Zone. The number of accredited projects currently amount to 75 companies and factories which employ 15.000 workers, according to Abdul Jaleel Al-Shuaibi, head of the Aden Free Zone.

Al-Shuaibi stated that the international community is preparing a report about the future and strategic vision for the Free Zone in the upcoming period as part of the World Bank's project to develop port cities. He pointed out that the vision focused on the ways and means of developing the Free Zone's activity in Aden.

He further noted that all the concerned bodies should cooperate with each other in order to promote and develop activities in the Free Zone, which would serve to attract Arab and foreign investment projects into the area. He particularly stressed the importance of providing facilities and resources to create a better investment atmosphere.

He explained that licenses were given to the international companies which established their offices in containers' stations in the Aden Free Zone. For example, a number of companies including perfume and steel factories were recently inaugurated, with preparations to open the factories in the future. The companies had received licenses from the General Authority for Investment Attraction, which aims to attract businesspeople to invest in Yemen.

In the near future, Aden is preparing to host the Gulf 20 sporting event. The area has plans in the making for the construction of more hotels in order to accommodate the expected influx of local and international tourist groups, particularly given that preparations are in the making for the Gulf 20 sporting event. Currently, the accommodation of visitors and tourists is considered to be one of the largest obstacles facing Yemen with regard to hosting the Gulf 20 sporting event.