In what is the very first project allowing open foreign investment
in property on the exotic island holiday destination of Mauritius, Pam
Golding Properties' International Division has been appointed to market
the island's first Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) - the Tamarina Golf
Estate and Beach Club.
Legislation in Mauritius has recently been amended to allow foreign
ownership of residential property in terms of what is known as IRS -
Integrated Resort Schemes. Previously, foreign investors were only permitted
to acquire property if they invested a minimum of US$500,000 into the
economy via a business or other form of financial investment, and could
then apply to
As the first such project, following the granting of IRS approval to
the Medine Sugar Corporation, Tamarina will comprise a boutique hotel
with 119 completed luxury villas ranging from 350sqm to 600sqm, a championship
18 hole golf course designed by Australia's Rodney Wright (who has designed
other courses in Singapore and elsewhere in Mauritius), and a private
The villas will be marketed at an average selling price of US$750,000.
The 103-hectare site is in a prime location on the popular south west
side of Mauritius near the landmark Sugar Beach Resort and Le Morne
Over the past two years PGI (Pam Golding International) has been involved
in assisting the development process and the official governing body,
the Board of Investment (BOI), which implemented the scheme and which
oversees the new
By way of background, Andrew Golding, CEO of the Pam Golding Property
group, explained: "The previous investment-related property restrictions
did not comprise a simple mechanism, but were in place in order to attract
investment, which was more specifically driven by the fact that the
sugar industry, which is a high income earner for the country apart
from tourism, is under threat due to world prices and cost of production.
"Mauritius currently receives internationally subsidised sugar
prices, a status quo that comes to an end in 2006. This has necessitated
contingencies to reduce workforces, thereby resulting in a major voluntary
retirement scheme for the industry. In turn, this has led to owners
of sugar plantations being allowed to sell off pockets of their tracts
of land in order to increase
housing infrastructure for the local community; fund these retirement
schemes; and sell certain identified tracts of land to foreigners under
the new IRS legislation."
The IRS legislation compels owners of the land to create a resort-type
environment where among others, a golf course/hotel component and individual
villas will form part of the resort activity. The villas can be sold
to foreign investors with a minimum entry level of US$500,000.
Also, foreigners can now directly buy property in these schemes, which
will further entitle them to apply for residents' permits.
Added Golding: "Foreign acquisition of property in Mauritius is
now far more accessible, plus there is a lifestyle component attached
to the property - a key factor among international investors seeking
idyllic island real estate opportunities which already include other
locations such as Barbados and the Cayman Islands."
Said Louis van Niekerk, who heads up PGP's International Division: "With
the launch of this first resort scheme, there are limited opportunities
and we believe not only will we see high interest among international
buyers seeking a second or leisure home with an appealing lifestyle,
we anticipate a demand also from professional people or those who are
able to relocate their
international business to a permanent residence in Mauritius, where
the tax status is beneficial to those in countries with high tax rates.
"Previously, Mauritius has been primarily a beach destination,
but now it has the potential to become a major golfing destination,
with four or five world class golfing resorts in the pipeline. The existing
golf courses are already over subscribed and there is a natural demand
for golfing opportunities there - the most recent being the Sol Kerzner-developed
golf course at Ille aux Cerf, opposite the Le Tousseroc Hotel."
Van Niekerk noted that due to the stringent development requirements
and limited opportunities, the properties would be highly sought after,
further underpinned by the fact that Mauritius was politically stable
and had an already well established and growing tourism market with
a sound infrastructure. The group believed these factors would lead
to significant capital growth in property values at the new resort developments.
Following extensive research, PGI anticipated the bulk of investors
would be from the UK, France, Scandinavian countries and other central
European countries, together with African investors that already know
the island and frequent it. Interest was also expected from Russia and