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Sun 16 Sep 2012 12:17 PM

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Ajman crown prince eyes tourism boost

Sheikh Ammar ratified a new decree to reorganise the tourism department

Ajman crown prince eyes tourism boost

Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince and chairman of the Executive Council of Ajman, has ratified a new decree to reorganise the tourism department in a bid to boost investment into the sector, the WAM news agency reported.

“The reorganisation is also meant to encourage more investments in this vital sector and achieve sustainable development. According to the new structure, the Department will have a Chairman and a Director-General and will consist three major administrations — Licensing and Tourism Standards, Tourism Development and Marketing, and Services and Support,” WAM news agency reported.

Ajman’s property market was badly hit by the onset of the financial crisis in late-2008. Scores of investors were hit when the emirate’s offplan market collapsed in late-2008, sending house prices tumbling. In the $15bn Emirates City development alone, more than a dozen projects are on hold, affecting hundreds of buyers.

Ajman Real Estate Regulatory Agency (ARRA), last year told Arabian Business around 40 percent of offplan investors had switched their cash to units in projects nearing completion.

Developer Sweet Homes Holdings in June said the first 200 units at its much-delayed Ajman Uptown real estate project was due to be completed by September.

The company has also assured Ajman's property regulator that infrastructure like electricity and water utilities will be completed at the same time.

Originally scheduled for completion by 2010, the US$598m project is set to feature more than 1,500 villas as well as a range of community facilities.

Similarly, Al Zorah Development Co, Ajman’s state-backed tourism project, in December restarted work on its AED4bn ($1.1bn) flagship resort after cutting the size of the development by half.

The luxury Al Zorah Resort was designed as the crown jewel of the AED220bn Al Zorah City development, Ajman’s largest project, but was suspended after the collapse of the emirate’s real estate market in late-2008.

Some 70 percent of the development, a joint venture with Beirut’s Solidere International, will comprise of tourism and leisure facilities. The first phase of the project will include four hotels and marinas, and will be funded by the company.

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