Investment opportunities in Aden [Archives:2006/910/Business & Economy]

January 9 2006

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The Yemeni government intends taking resolute measures to encourage investors and offer needed facilities to activate present investment sector stagnation and attract investment capital in available opportunities, especially in Aden Free Zone.

In this regard, President Ali Abdullah Saleh directed speedy evacuation of Aden's Badr Military Camp and its land handed over to the Free Zone to build an air freight village. Presidential directives also included evacuating Tariq Camp and the Central Workshop in Khor Maksar and using the spacious sites to build the Republican Hospital authorities plan to begin soon in Aden. The modern hospital is part of a plan to offer more health services to the governorate's citizens.

Large land areas also intend to be allotted for building a number of parks and recreational facilities for city residents as part of continued renovation and development projects to give Aden the beautiful appearance it deserves as the economic and commercial capital of Yemen.

As part of government's interest in attracting investments and offering investment opportunities, the Yemeni president also ordered granting land plots to a number of city investors according to a 99-year lease. Instructions also include offering investors vital building projects for tourist, residential, industrial and commercial purposes.

Presidential orders previously stipulated merging the state's real estate, survey department and land registry and the Ministry of Public Works and Roads' urban planning sector into one independent authority called, “The Authority of Land, Survey and Urban Planning.” The measure aimed to ease investors' procedures in completing their deals and obtaining land licenses for their projects. The directive followed the Yemeni cabinet's decision to merge the Investment Authority and the Free Zone Authority into one establishment to facilitate investors' obtaining project licenses.

Investment specialists consider these practical measures to revive stagnant investment, especially regarding land plots allocated for investment projects in Aden's Industrial Zone. The state Free Zone Authority recently announced a number of investment opportunities in Aden Free Zone, 420 km south of Sana'a, noting that they are very good opportunities, especially as investment law allows non-Yemenis to fully own projects and enjoy tax exemption up to 25 years.

Aden previously offered four large investment projects: an air freight village at Aden International Airport, a complementary project to build a container station, a storage area and developing Aden International Airport itself. A 60-hectare area was allocated around the airport for the building project.

Another available investment opportunity was a heavy industry and petrochemicals project, for which an area of 14,000 hectares was specified, in the “L” area west of Shaab township to build a heavy industrial zone and a 2,770-hectare area, “M,” on the northern coast to build petrochemical industries near Aden's oil refinery.