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2-05-2012 - Zawya By Bindu Suresh Rai

Sharjah's new mega eco tourism project to create 5,000 jobs

Recruitment drive will take place in phases over the next six years The emirate of Sharjah has announced a multi-billion eco-tourism project in the city of Kalba, which is expected to draw in private investments of over Dh1billion, with 5,000 new jobs created over six years.

The figures were announced at the ongoing Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), with the reps from the organisation declining to comment on the government's investment in the project; however, they did confirm that the government does expect a 12 per cent return on its investments when the project is complete.

Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq said: "Over the course of the six years that will take to complete the Kalba Eco-Tourism Project, we will be creating approximately 5,000 new jobs, which will not be limited to Emiratis alone, but will also include hirings across all departments of the project."

Al Sarkal also added that upon its completion, the Kalba project's eco-tourism would contribute 'double digit' numbers to Sharjah's annual GDP.

He added: "In terms of investment, the government will invest in the construction of the discovery centre by the end of this year, which is part of the first phase of development that will commence on May 11 with the release of the animals in the protected areas.

"The Lagoon development, which is the retail and hospitality hub would be another two years.

"We are aiming to raise Dh1 billion in private investments for the project. The rest will be funded by the government."

Meanwhile, the three-phase plan of the eco-tourism project will also see three- and five-star properties to be built at the lagoon, along with chalets and lodges.

The Kalba Eco-Tourism Project, which will be developed in collaboration with the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), and the International Conservation Services, will feature natural reserves and diverse tourist and commercial facilities.


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