Opportunities for investment in Socotra, To offer at the first conference for tourism [Archives:2003/660/Business & Economy]

August 18 2003

The Yemeni government intends to submit opportunities for investment in the islands of Socotra, situated at the conjunction of the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean, during the first conference of the tourism scheduled to be held in the near future. The opportunities focus on building chalets, hotels and coastal parks.
Tourist sources in Sana'a have made it clear that the tourist conference aims at revitalization of the tourist movement to the Yemeni islands and the tourist resort in general. There are many of investment opportunities that would be proposed at the conference especially in the islands of Socotra which is characterized by their rare biodiversity in the region and the world.
Socotra is composed of an archipelago consisting of a number of islands most famous of which are Abdakorie, Dersa, Samha and Ka'l Faroun. The Yemeni government has built an infrastructure after it was declared a free zone in 1998 with the aim of attracting local and foreign investors.
Among the constructed projects is the building of an airport having international specifications. It is 3300 meters long and 45 meters wide aimed at offering high quality services and to receive all kinds of planes. The overall cost of the airport amounted to more than YR 1.5 billion. Other installations built are three fuel containers and a port at Hawlan area with a headland; 350 meters long and 14 meters deep at a cost of YR 40 million and a capacity exceeding 600 tons. The government has also build and paved roads costing YR 10 billion. The Yemeni government has established a number of health centres, schools, communication centres, supplying Socotra capital Hadeebo with electricity and building a local administration for security.
Socotra is characterised by many elements for tourist attraction and investment as it possesses more than 800 medical plants species that most of them are used for treating incurable diseases. The island is a habitat for very rare birds, 80 kinds of insects and turtles. In waters of the island live many kinds of fish in addition to coral reefs, sponge and rare animals and plants.
Tourist sources say there are many local investors who have established projects in Socotra, among which building tourist resorts and hotels and investment in fishing. Some local and Arab investors have obtained permissions for building tourist projects in the island worth more than YR 2 billion… since it has been declared a free zone Socotra has changed into an active trade centre, linking Yemen to countries of the Indian Ocean.
It is thus scheduled that during the first tourist conference to promote for a number of tourist projects given priority to investment in Socotra in order to qualify it for attracting tourists and offering them the best services. The Yemeni government wishes to gain financial returns and development of revenues of government sector through rendering attention to investment projects with countries of the Horn of Africa and the countries situated on the eastern coast of Africa.