|By Md Rasooldeen, Arab News, Jeddah,
Saudi ArabiaMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 05, 2010--RIYADH -- Rani Resorts, the hospitality group owned by Saudi-based Aujan Group the largest investor in Mozambique's tourism industry, is to commence work on a $100-million flagship resort on Paradise Island in the country's Bazaruto Archipelago.
"Occupancy is picking up in our existing resorts and we are convinced that Mozambique is on track to be one of world's leading luxury tourism destinations," Adel Aujan, chairman of Aujan Group, told Arab News on the sidelines of the Gulf Africa Investment Conference in Riyadh on Saturday.
Aujan said that he entered the Mozambique market 10 years ago when it was just picking up. He recalled that he brought a trade delegation to the Kingdom some five years ago but the response from the local businessmen was not encouraging. He attributed the enhanced interests in the African region during the past few years to Chinese and Indian businessmen who had gone into the region to explore new areas of business.
"Mozambique is shaping up to be Africa's brightest rising star, with rich resources and outstanding potential for tourism," he said. Through a subsidiary, Rani Resorts, the Aujan Group operates five luxury hotel destinations in Mozambique, including the flagship Indigo Bay Resort and Spa, which is ranked by Tatler magazine as of the top 100 spas in the world.
Construction on Paradise Island will begin in 2011 and the resort will open to guests in 2013.
"The architectural concept for the new hotel is retro, in keeping with the original establishment on the island that was so popular with glamorous jet-set of the 50s and 60s," said Kamel Abdallah, chief executive officer of Rani Investment.
With an airstrip for easy access to the mainland, Paradise Island will consist of 80-room hotel and 50 holiday villas and apartments, restaurants, a Clube Naval, kids club, spa, shops, a dive and fishing center.
Only two hour's flying time from Johannesburg and less from Maputo, the Bazaruto Archipelago is increasingly becoming a sought-after destination for international tourists.
Aujan Group of Companies is the largest privately owned beverages and confectionery business in the GCC with significant interests in hospitality trade, industrial equipment, real estate and wood manufacturing.
It has one of the most formidable sales and distribution networks across the GCC, Yemen, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Levant and Iraq and significant manufacturing investments, including plants in the Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
With a corporate heritage that dates back over a century, Aujan has operations in 15 regional locations, brand presence in over 50 countries and more than 2,500 employees.
To see more of the Arab News or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.arabnews.com.
Copyright (c) 2010, Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com.