CALLALOO CAY CELEBRATES MILESTONE
Developer Breaks Ground on $200 Million Dollar Project
“Together, public and private agencies have ensured that transparency, correct procedure, respect for the law and honest communication have prevailed. It is because of their steadfastness that we are able to turn the soil signalling the start of work on the first phase of the project leading to a luxurious five-star property never before seen in this twin island state.” These were the words of Dawood Shah, Senior Vice President of Business Development for Al Caribi Development Antigua Ltd at the milestone event marking the start of work on Callaloo Cay.
The event, held against a backdrop of the village of Old Road, celebratory in nature, and characterised by blue skies and wild gusts of wind, served as the picturesque starting point.
In opening remarks, Mr. Shah declared the day a “Celebration”. Among the reasons highlighted were the significant contributions, support, guidance and overall vision of the government of Antigua and Barbuda and its public-sector departments, the service of private entities involved from the start, and the work and support of community members.
Among the well-wishers and supporters who turned out to witness this milestone were a number of government representatives. They included Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda – Gaston Browne, Minister of Foreign Affairs – Charles “Max” Fernandez, Minister of Tourism – Asot Michael, Minister of Social Transformation – Samantha Marshall, Senator Michael Freeland, Senator Colin James, Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates – Casroy James, and Ambassador to the African Union – Yohann Hesse. Representatives of various government departments, including the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), contractors and community members also turned out in their numbers for the event.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Browne spoke favourably of the partnership. He said the government of Antigua and Barbuda “is seeking to develop a sustainable economic model. This is a true partnership where the government is partnering with a developer to assist with further developing the country with the Government of Antigua having 20% equity in the project. “He added “the tourism sector is one in which we have significant competence, in which we are very competitive globally, and a sector which will continue to be the driving force of our economy for a long time.”
Asot Michael, Minister of Tourism heaped praise on the developers and their plans while underscoring the benefit of the development to the tourism industry. “I would like to thank and congratulate Sheik Tariq and his representative Mr. Dawood Shah for the confidence that they have shown in Antigua and Barbuda and the ABLP Government led by the Hon Gaston Browne, and for this significant investment in our tourism product and the future of our country.” He added “Callaloo Cay will lead to increasing the room availability, and broadening our twin-island nation’s portfolio of distinguished properties. This new tourism project takes us another step closer to realizing our vision of becoming the economic powerhouse of the Region.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs – Charles Fernandez spoke about the positive social impact and the creation of opportunity for people in that community as well as ancillary economic turnover. He added however that more importantly “it is and has been the precursor of other significant investment opportunities coming from the United Arab Emirates and GCC countries.”
During construction, the development will represent over 180 jobs and hundreds more once the property is open. Amongst the international team of experts are global leaders in architectural design, OBMI along with leading tax, audit and financial advisory professionals KPMG. Spearheaded by first class specialists, designers and operator, the development assures a sound investment.