Above: the signing ceremony in Antigua (Photo: ABG)
By Alexander Britell
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has signed a memorandum of understanding on a new $200 million tourism project the government announced.
The project was signed by Browne and Antigua’s new Ambassador to Cyprus, Dr Aly El Dakroury, who was representing SunnyHill Group Limited.
The 400-unit project will be located on a 100-acre site in the Falmouth and Bethesda areas of Antigua, land owned by CO Williams Property Development Company Limited.
It’s the latest in a series of memoranda signed by Antigua’s new government on new hotel and tourism projects.
The first was the $740 million project with Chinese investment firm Yida in mid-June; that was followed by a new hotel project in mid-July, along with a $120 million project by a United Arab Emirates investor announced the following week.
SunnyHill Group is a new company founded by Caribbean Trust Immigration Services, a promoter of the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme based in Dubai, in a joint venture with Canada-based Stuart Investment Management.
“This project will create over one thousand new jobs for Antiguans and Barbudans with five hundred in the construction sector and over five hundred in operation and management positions,” Browne said.
The project will be overseen by Trust Arabia Contracting, an affiliate of Caribbean Trust Immigration Services.
“We intend to develop and manage a world class, high quality hotel resort complex with an investment of over US $200 million dollars to be invested in four phases of US $50 million dollars each,” El Dakroury said. “We are committed to realize the first phase of the project in under two years.”
As part of the memorandum, SunnyHill has agreed to establish the SunnyHill Antigua Development Fund, which will “provide young people seeking employment and reintegration with scholarships to attend classes of vocational education and qualified technical training to enhance their profile skills in the tourism, information technology and communication sectors and to encourage entrepreneurship in the tourism, Information Technology, Communication, Agriculture and manufacturing sectors by investing in selected projects,” according to a government statement.
That will eventually receive a total of $8 million in funding, with $2 million per year.