Zanzibar President attracts potential new tourism investors

After Zanzibar President, Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, concluded his four-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) late last month, a team from the UAE-based International Holdings Company (IHC) landed in Zanzibar to search for investments slots in the island.

The International Holdings Company (IHC) is the biggest investment conglomerate in the UAE with massive business and economic ventures in Europe and other regions, focusing on tourism development.

President Mwinyi had asked the IHC top executives to send its investors to Zanzibar and venture into the Island’s potential investment areas, now set open for development through his government’s Blue Economy strategy.

Zanzibar President flew to the UAE in late January to search for potential investors who would capitalize on the island’s open doors for high-end investors to push ahead its envisaged Development Vision 2050 plan.

The Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA), Executive Director Mr. Sharrif Ali Sharrif said the UAE investors had met and held discussions with top government officials, targeting to explore investment slots on the Island.

Mr. Sharrif said the IHC was ready to invest in Zanzibar through major development projects in line with President Mwinyi’s commitments on the development of Blue Economy.

The arrival of IHC top executives from the UAE was a result of Dr Mwinyi’s visit to the Middle East, signaling the positive trend that would attract foreign investors to the Island, he said.

President Mwinyi had held discussions IHC top officials after official meeting with the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan in Dubai. 

Zanzibar has 53 small offshore islands earmarked for Blue Economy investments in oil and gas drilling, deep sea fishing, construction and maintenance of deep-sea fishing vessels.

Zanzibar government had leased out eight small islands to high-end strategic investors late in December 2021 and gained $ 261.5 million through lease acquisition costs.

Zanzibar President that his administration is now shifting focus from mass to quality tourism as it targets wealthy visitors.

In 2020, Zanzibar received 528,425 tourists who generated a total of $426 million in foreign exchange for the country.

Tourism accounted for 82.1 percent of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Zanzibar, whereby an average of ten new hotels were being built in the Isles each year at an average cost of $30 million each.

Hotel Association Zanzibar (HAZ) said in its report that the amount that each tourist spends in the Island has also gone up from an average of US $80 per day in 2015 to US $206 in 2020.

The President said late in January that his government is implementing the strategic tourism policy to raise the island’s tourist investments and business.

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