UAE investors have expressed a strong interest in investing in and developing Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls region, according to local media reports.
According to a report in the New Zimbabwe newspaper, officials from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and Victoria Falls Municipality met with unnamed UAE investors last week, who expressed an interest in developing hotels, medical facilities and shopping malls in the area.
“We met them when we went to Dubai with the Minister [Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Prisca Mupfumira] and they expressed an interest in investing in a tourist destination,” ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke. “Their choice was Victoria Falls which is why they are here.”
Kaseke declined to comment on the potential amount of the investment, but noted that it would be towards developing a state-of-the-art hospital to be used as a “world referral centre”, as well for a motor racing course, shopping mall and hotel.
The newspaper noted that Victoria Falls, which the Zimbabwe government has designated as special economic zone, has a room deficit of approximately 2,000 keys, as well as a lack of five-star facilities that lead many tourists to instead choose destinations in nearby Zambia or Botwsana.
Additionally, a lack of modern medical facilities in the area has lead to some tourists having to be airlifted to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, or to South Africa.