ST GEORGE’S, Grenada -- A Grenadian businessman, who is part of a group planning to invest in hotel construction on the island, has said that work on the first project should begin before year-end.
Danny Fakhre, a ship owner and international meat and livestock trader, was quoted in the latest issue of Caribupdate Weekly as saying that drawings and designs are being finalized for constructing a five-star resort on the famous Grand Anse Beach, on a site that formerly housed the Silver Sands Hotel.
“We expect groundbreaking and the start of work on the project around November of this year. And 18 months to two years after that, the hotel will be opened and operational,” Fakhre said in a Caribupdate news story.
“We expect anywhere between 250 to 400 people to be employed during the construction phase. When the hotel is operational, we expect there to be about 200 people employed fulltime.”
Another project, Fakhre said, is slated for the former Riviera Hotel, which is also on Grand Anse Beach.
In each case, he explained, “we have foreign investors who are very familiar with the tourism and hotel industry”.
Caribupdate Weekly reported that the foreign investors include Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, who is also an American citizen; and a German citizen Hamed El Chiaty, owner of Travco – a leading global hotel wholesaler.
Fakhre told the paper that he and his partners want first to complete the new Silver Sands’ project, to “make sure it is up and running”, and then they will give undivided attention to the Riviera initiative.
“In the meantime,” he said, “we’re going to start clearing the Riviera land, landscaping it, and preparing the drawings. We’ll probably start construction of a high-end restaurant and beach bar on Riviera, which would eventually be incorporated in the resort. That would, in itself, start a lot of economic activities on the site. But the proper construction of the hotel on Riviera would start only after we finalize the Silver Sands’ one.”
According to Fakhre, he and his group have consulted and received “professional advice” on environmental concerns expressed by some on the proposed hotel projects for Grand Anse Beach; and they don’t believe the projects in any way will impact negatively on the beach, he said.
Fakhre said the investor group is encouraged by the support received from the Grenada government of prime minister and minister of finance, Dr Keith Mitchell.
“We’re very comfortable with the support the government is giving,” he said.
“This is obviously a government that is very keen to see investment in Grenada and to see Grenada booming again. And, Grenada really does deserves to boom. Every investor, guest or friend that I bring to Grenada, says this place is the best-kept secret in the world. And by the way, I agree with them.”