By Andy Sambidge
Dubai-based Ruwaad unveils plans for largest ever development in African history.
Ruwaad, a UAE-based company, has unveiled Amazulu World, a multi-billion dollar themed entertainment and mixed-use destination development on the north coast of Durban in South Africa.
The real estate, hospitality and tourism project will cover about 16,500 hectares of land, and will be the biggest and most comprehensive development of its kind anywhere in the African continent.
Hayan Merchant, Group chief executive officer, said: “Amazulu World will have a perfect blend of development zones. Among the key elements are Africa’s first world-class internationally branded entertainment theme park, as well as Africa’s largest shopping destination, Africa’s most comprehensive and advanced sports village development, Africa’s largest lifestyle community and Africa’s first dedicated education and health village.”
The project will also include a number of hotels, resorts and spas, a marina, a variety of residential offerings, community facilities, and nature reserves.
The proposed development is directly north of the Thukela River and is located east and west of the N2 national road, that connects the city of Durban with Richards Bay and the rest of the northern KwaZulu-Natal province.
The project will be situated close to the $1 billion new King Shaka International Airport.
A development on the scale planned by Ruwaad is expected to have a significant, positive impact on the South African economy.
Initial studies indicate that Amazulu World will create more than 200,000 new jobs, and will increase tourism to the region by almost 40 percent through attracting millions of tourists.
King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, the King of KwaZulu-Natal, who attended the launch of the project in Dubai on Sunday night, added; “Ruwaad has demonstrated to our community its firm commitment to developing a destination that fits inline with our area’s unique natural, cultural and historical character.
"With confidence, the local community is hugely excited to welcome Ruwaad to our province, and we look forward to the future employment, and economic growth that will contribute to the sustainability of our area; for the inhabitants of today and those for generations to come.”
The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, The Honourable Sibusiso Ndebele said he was confident the Amazulu World destination will pave the way forward for even more foreign investment to come into South Africa.
Ruwaad is now moving swiftly to obtain the approvals required from the South African government, necessary to begin the project’s construction which is scheduled to be built in multiple phases over 25 years.
Ruwaad is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dubai 9 Group, a UAE-based investment company with almost 40 years of experience; with investments across more than 10 industry sectors across four continents.
Ruwaad has significant international experience in investing in and developing key projects in various parts of the world as its holding company, Dubai 9 Group is one of the three founding members of Enshaa Holdings. Enshaa, through Emirates Sunland, is developing and managing the Palazzo Versace Resort on Australia’s Gold Coast; the Palazzo Versace Resort in Dubai; the 80-storey D1 Tower, the White Bay master-planned community in Umm Al Quwain, the Emirates Financial Towers in the Dubai International Financial Centre; and the Karachi Financial Towers in Pakistan.