KSA firm to invest $100m in Maldives

Updated 11 March 2014
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KSA firm to invest $100m in Maldives

A Riyadh-based real estate investment and development firm announced on Monday its plans to develop a tourist property worth $100 million, which promises to offer lucrative investment opportunities for Saudi investors.
The Best Choice Real Estate Development plans to develop a tourist resort in Vadinolhu Island, located in Laamu Atoll in the Maldives, which will be ready in 2017.
The company plans to develop Vadinolhu Island’s seven-hectare area as an eco-friendly five-star resort based on the Maldivian Resort Island concept. The premium resort will feature 100 beach villas, including water bungalows and luxury suites and will offer world-class dining services, wellness facilities, and leisure activities. The site is being developed as a perfect getaway for tourists, while offering significant returns on investment to financiers.
Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, is currently visiting the Maldives on an official visit, as part of his Asia tour.
“The Maldives offers tremendous investment opportunities, especially in the hospitality sector, as it has rapidly emerged as a destination of choice for international tourists. Our aim is to develop Vadinolhu Island as a high-end resort with world-class facilities to promote it as a complete family destination,” Mohamad Rabih Itani, CEO of Best Choice Real Estate, said.
“We have already designed a business proposal targeting potential investors to collaborate with us in the operation and management of the resort. We are confident of achieving an operating profit in the second year with the cash payback period at six years,” he added.
The Maldives is one of the most recent investment destinations in South Asia; its tourist rate has been on the rise since 2012 and it is expected to attract 1.2 million visitors by the end of 2014. Its exotic beauty, panoramic view and clear waters have made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the past few years.
Due to its investment-friendly policies, the Southeast Asian Island offers attractive opportunities to keen investors, especially those interested in resort management.
Vadinolhu Island is an unexplored isle in close proximity to the domestic airport and offers immense potential for investors.
Best Choice is emerging as a property solutions provider of choice via its strategic mix of high-end developments, market research, and professional staff.
With headquarters in Bahrain and branches in Turkey and Maldives, the firm offers end-to-end real estate investment and development solutions focusing on international markets and major regional destinations.


Iran rial plunges to new lows as US sanctions loom

Updated 24 June 2018
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Iran rial plunges to new lows as US sanctions loom

  • The dollar was being offered for as much as 87,000 rials, compared to around 75,500 on Thursday
  • The currency has been sliding for months because of a weak economy

DUBAI: The Iranian rial plunged to a record low against the US dollar on the unofficial market on Sunday, continuing its slide amid fears of returning US sanctions after President Donald Trump in May withdrew from a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
The dollar was being offered for as much as 87,000 rials, compared to around 75,500 on Thursday, the last trading day before Iran’s weekend, according to foreign exchange website Bonbast.com, which tracks the unofficial market.
Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA said the dollar had climbed to 87,000 rials on Sunday from about 74,000 before the weekend on the black market, and several Iranian websites carried similar reports.
The currency has been sliding for months because of a weak economy, financial difficulties at local banks and heavy demand for dollars among Iranians who fear the pullout by Washington from the nuclear deal and renewed US sanctions against Tehran could shrink the country’s exports of oil and other goods.
The fall of the national currency has provoked a public outcry over the quick rise of prices of imported consumer goods.
Merchants at the mobile phone shopping centers Aladdin and Charsou in central Tehran protested against the rapid depreciation of the rial by shutting down their shops on Sunday, the semi-official news agency Fars reported.
A video posted on social media showed protesters marching and chanting “strike, strike!” The footage could not be authenticated independently by Reuters.
Hours later, Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said on Twitter that he visited the protesting merchants.
“I will try to help provide hard currency for (mobile) equipment (imports),” Azari-Jahromi wrote, adding: “The merchants’ activity has now gone back to normal.”
Some of the US sanctions against Iran take effect after a 90-day “wind-down” period ending on Aug. 6, and the rest, most notably on the petroleum sector, after a 180-day “wind-down” period ending on Nov. 4.
The rial has weakened from around 65,000 rials just before Trump’s announcement of the US withdrawal in early May, and from 42,890 at the end of last year — a freefall that threatens to boost inflation, hurt living standards and reduce the ability of Iranians to travel abroad.
In an effort to halt the slide, Iranian authorities announced in April they were unifying the dollar’s official and black market exchange rates at a single level of 42,000, and banning any trade at other rates under the threat of arrest.
But this step has failed to stamp out the unofficial market because authorities have been supplying much less hard currency through official channels than consumers are demanding. Free market trade simply went underground, dealers said.