Abu Dhabi firm eyes Seychelles airport development contract

Published June 24th, 2015 - 08:25 GMT
Anse Source d'Argent beach, La Digue Island, Seychelles (Shutterstock)
Anse Source d'Argent beach, La Digue Island, Seychelles (Shutterstock)

Abu Dhabi Airports is in negotiations to build a new airport in the Seychelles, a spokesperson for the state-owned airport operator said on Tuesday.

The emirate of Abu Dhabi and Seychelles share significant commercial links including Etihad Airways owning a 40 per cent stake and a management contract in national carrier Air Seychelles.

The Abu Dhabi Airports spokesperson told Gulf News talks were on going for the construction of a new airport in the Seychelles capital of Victoria but that “the company is not in a position to disclose further details at this stage.”

“We believe that such a venture will further strengthen the ties between the government of Abu Dhabi and the Republic of Seychelles,” the spokesperson said by email.

The President of Seychelles James Alix Michel reportedly said last week that his country was close to reaching an agreement on the new airport.

“We are also negotiating with [Abu Dhabi Airports] to construct a new airport in Victoria near the existing airport ... we are about to reach agreement on this important economic and tourism project on an investment basis ... we expect this project to largely boost airport traffic and the number of tourists to our country,” he stated.

Abu Dhabi has provided the Seychelles with almost Dh200 million in financial aid over the past decade, according to Michel, and that the emirate had built “houses, schools and kindergartens, hospitals and other facilities” in the archipelago country made up of 115 islands.

The Seychelles has a population of just 89,000, according to the World Bank.

By Alexander Cornwell

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