Dubai developer invests $4.8B in luxurious tourist resort in Sarajevo

Published October 13th, 2015 - 06:00 GMT

Dubai-based developer Buroj Property Development announced plans to build a luxurious tourist resort in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Facing a growing number of Middle Eastern tourists to its mountainous landscapes, Bosnian property is currently in very high demand, Reuters reports.

"The initial investment in the project is worth around 920 million euros, while the total investment will amount to $4.8 billion," said Ismail Ahmed, the company's manager, in a news conference.

Called the 'Buroj Ozone', the property will cover an area of 1.3 million square meters and include thousands of housing units, hotels and the largest shopping center in Bosnia, said Ahmed.

Construction is set to begin in April or May of next year. Once regulatory issues are resolved and necessary permits are acquired from the Trnovo municipality, the land will be leased to Buroj Property Development for 99 years.

Located twenty kilometers from Sarajevo below the Bjelasnica and Igman mountains, Trnovo municipality was a venue for the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.

Once construction begins, Ahmed estimated that the project will create at least 10,000 local jobs.

"The aim of this unique project is to turn Bosnia and Herzegovina into a tourism leader of southeast Europe and to put its rich natural resources at the disposal of local and international clients," he stated. "Many people associate this country with the war and this project will help change that image."

The project could be one of the biggest foreign investments in Bosnia of its kind. Since the end of the 1992-95 Bosnian war, Bosnia has faced low foreign investments and little tourist traffic.

Now, tourism is considered one of the biggest expanding industries in the country.  In the first five months of 2015, tourist arrivals increased 26 percent over the same period last year, according to Gulf News.

If this growth rate continues, it is predicted that Bosnia will have the third highest tourism growth rate in the world by 2020.

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