Qatar’s Katara Hospitality announced on Tuesday it had entered an agreement with the Gambian government to develop a QR730m (US$200m) resort near the capital city of Banjul.
The resort will cover an area of 18 hectares located in Bijilo Forest Park on the Western African coast and will be a joint venture between the Gambian government and the Doha-based hospitality firm.
“This will be a unique resort at a premium location near Gambia’s capital. We think it will be a good investment,” Katara Hospitality chairman, Sheikh Nawaf bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani told Gulf Times.
Sheikh Nawaf said the 200-room resort project was also unlikely to be the firm’s last venture in Gambia. “We are spreading all around. Qatar and Gambia have a very good relationship, at the political level. Obviously, that will lead to economic co-operation,” he was quoted as saying.
“We welcome Katara Hospitality to the Gambia and we are confident that this investment in Bijilo Forest Park will contribute significantly to boosting the tourism sector not only in the area, but in the country,” added Faton Mass Jobe-Nije, Gambian minister of culture and tourism.
Earlier this year, Sheikh Nawaf said Katara will open six new hotels before 2016, including its flagship Lusail Marina Hotel in the Qatari capital Doha, and was aiming to double its portfolio.
“We are looking at 220 countries,” he said. “You will see us spreading rapidly in the near future.”
The company says it will open three new hotels in 2013: the Royal Savoy Lausanne; the Gallia Hotel Milan; The Peninsula Hotel Paris, as well as a second Parisian location with a five-star hotel.
In 2014, it will open the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, Tazi Palace in Tangier, Morroco - currently undergoing a multi-million dollar refurbishment - and a new-build project, the Comoros Beach Resort located in the Union of Comoros.
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