Real Estate news - Dubai firm plans 'Amazulu World' in South Africa

DUBAI (AFP) — A Dubai-based real estate company said on Monday it plans to build a multi-billion-dollar themed entertainment development in South Africa, the largest of its kind in the African continent.

"Amazulu World" will be "a multi-billion-dollar themed entertainment and mixed-use destination development on the north coast of Durban," the firm Ruwaad said on the first day of an international real estate exhibition.

"The project will be a master-planned, uniquely African destination development covering approximately 16,500 hectares (40,750 acres) of land, and will be the biggest and most comprehensive development of its kind anywhere in the African continent," it said.

Key elements will include "Africa's first world-class internationally branded entertainment theme park," Africa's largest shopping destination, a sports village, a dedicated education and health village, as well as hotels and resorts.

South Africa's hosting of the 2010 football World Cup, its heavy investment in infrastructure and the recent surge of foreign investments in tourism projects "will support this development in becoming the destination choice of Africa," said Ruwaad CEO Hayan Merchant.

The development will be built in phases over 25 years, the company said.

Property developers in Dubai on Monday shrugged off the global financial turmoil to announce mega projects at the opening of Cityscape 2008, an annual four-day real estate exhibition.

One government firm said it planned to build a "new city" in the booming Gulf emirate at a projected cost of 95 billion dollars.

Developers based in Dubai, which is part of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, are also involved in major real estate projects overseas.

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