Blue Amber Resort, East Africa’s largest resort development in Zanzibar, was set to be complete in 2023. However, the plan was shattered last year after the Ministry of Lands in Zanzibar revoked the title deed of the 411-hectare property where the project is coming up.
The decision, which led to the stop of the project was a result of an application by Pennyroyal Limited seeking court intervention to stop Aecus Limited from evicting them from a piece of land that makes up the 411 hectatres site.
In addition to Aecus Limited, respondents in the application also included the Zanzibar Minister for Land and Housing Development and Attorney General.
The case is still ongoing.
Blue Amber Resort Overview
Nestled along four kilometres of gorgeous, unspoiled Indian Ocean beachfront – encompassing 410 hectares of tropical scenery on Zanzibar’s north-eastern side – Blue Amber resort comprises residential, hotel, tourism, community, and public services, as well as luxury homes for sale.
The development features a mini-Stone-Town with shop space on the ground floor and 22 two-bedroom apartments above, as well as sporting amenities such as a football pitch, tennis courts, squash courts, beach volleyball courts, basketball courts, archery, and a skateboard park.
A tiny grocery, outdoor-indoor-and-beachfront restaurants with roof-top bars, a gym, liquor shop, sports bar, health and beauty store, bike rental store, hairdressers, and laundry services, to mention a few retail facilities, will be available at the resort. Blue Amber, when finished, would also have an amazing coastal aqua recreational resort with full water sports facilities.
Blue Amber’s first villa residences are currently under construction (with completion scheduled for early to mid-2023), and 54 luxury villas are available for purchase, with prices starting at US$ 197 125 for a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom unit with a roof-top terrace, or US$ 319 USD for a double-storey 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom villa. There are also 4 and 5-bedroom houses available on the property.
Buyers at Blue Amber Resort in Zanzibar to enjoy a slew of tax breaks
According to Grant Anderson, CEO of Blue Amber, buyers enjoy a slew of tax breaks when they buy within the Blue Amber complex, as well as residency permits for themselves and their immediate families.
Blue Amber is designated as a Strategic Investment Project, which entitles property owners to considerable tax breaks, including a 15% tax rate on local income produced, no tax on international revenue, and no capital gains, stamp duty, or inheritance tax on properties acquired. Furthermore, buyers, their wives, and their children under the age of 20 are eligible for residence permits for the life of their ownership of a property.
Blue Amber Resort Project Timeline
Construction of Blue Amber Resort in Zanzibar resumes
Construction of the biggest resort in East Africa has resumed. Zanzibar Amber Resort Manager Murtaza Hassanal and the project director of Pennyroyal (Gibraltar) Limited Saleh Mohamed Said made the announcement and explained unavoidable problems that led to the project delays.
The mega-resort dubbed ‘Zanzibar Amber Resort’ is being developed in Matembwe coastal village, north of Unguja in Tanzania. The development will be home to five five-star hotels and it will comprise an equestrian centre, a private jet airport that will have a 3,000m runway, an international school, and modern medical facilities that will serve all the customers.
The electricity between 25 and 30 megawatts will be generated at gas and wind energy plants that are set to be built near the mega-resort. Apart from the resort construction, the company is looking forward to investing in Corporate Social Responsibility by planning to build a community arts centre so as to promote the culture of the region as well as a police station so as to guarantee the residents good security.
Also read Top ongoing mega projects in Tanzania
Pennyroyal Gibraltar, a British Architect developer based in Gibraltar partnered with 3DroneMapping Company in mapping the proposed 2000ha project, orthomosaic images, and high-resolution DTM mapping which allowed the developers to make accurate and precise cost estimations and spatial planning decisions.
The overall cost of the Zanzibar Amber Resort is estimated to be US $1.6bn. Phase one construction is scheduled for completion by the end of 2022. It includes the construction of a 5-star hotel with at least 50 rooms and a four-room presidential suite, recreational centre, golf course, and 60 modern houses for sale in the area. The houses will be sold based on square meters and each square meter will cost US $1600
“We had unavoidable problems which contributed to the delay of the project. For example, we were supposed to get our lease in 2015, but it was not possible until late 2018,” Said explained.
Blue Amber Zanzibar engages female construction workers
With 50 per cent of women in Sub-Saharan Africa still tethered to the land and struggling to make a living, a new development on Unguja Island in Zanzibar, Tanzania, is set to offer financial stability and an unusual career option.
Khuluka Hamisi Haji, a 68-year-old grandmother, used to support her family, including her sight-afflicted husband, by selling home-cooked snacks in her village. “Some days I was successful but other days I sold nothing,” she shares.
This precarious subsistence living came to an end when she began assisting a local mason with bricklaying and with her experience landed a job at Pennyroyal Ltd’s Blue Amber Zanzibar, an extensive and long-term development set on over 400 hectares on the northeastern coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibari archipelago.
Khuluka’s income is now steady, and she has inspired other women to move away from an erratic home industry income or work the land for little return. Khuluka has taken 27-year-old Aisha John Nyangiriki under her wing. The young woman is a single mother with two young children and as a construction worker, is now able to pay school fees and rent a house for them.
“I read a recent Brookings Africa Growth Initiative report (AGI) which stated that despite the increase in women working in industry and services in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade, a full 50 per cent were still working in agriculture,” says Grant Anderson, CEO of Blue Amber Zanzibar. “As an equal opportunity employer with several women on our construction team, we’re proud to be part of a significant change.”
The crew of female construction workers who are contributing to the development of Blue Amber Zanzibar has made the transition from what they believed was their traditional role, to creating a hub where their contributions are both valuable and supportive to the building industry. In addition to actual construction work, there are other aligned opportunities at Blue Amber Zanzibar that benefit women.
Construction work is a hungry business and for 32-year-old Margaret Nakumolwa, the Blue Amber Zanzibar’s site kitchen, which provides meals for the on-site teams, proved a boon for her cooking and selling skills. She has been able to pay for her two children’s school fees and help her parents buy a tract of land. She hopes to make this land the site of her own new home one day. “I would encourage women who are determined at heart to plan more for their futures,” she advises.
“I believe it’s critically important today that a project such as ours is more than an exciting investment opportunity with substantial tax and residency benefits, but also an equal
opportunity employer that directly benefits local communities!” Anderson declares.
“Across the world, in a post-Covid environment, people are linking their decisions to travel or purchase holiday homes with ethical business practices. There seems to be a growing
mindfulness of tourist destinations and properties that make a real and positive impact on the development of a local community.”
More significantly, with over ten communities in the project area, the women who are helping to build the development’s foundations, have become architects of a secure future for their families. A future that will also include further and ongoing job opportunities in the hospitality and services sector once construction at Blue Amber Zanzibar is complete.