The city of Praia, in Cape Verde, will host one of the largest private investments in the country, providing €250M for the construction of six hotels on Gamboa beach, amounting to more than 1,000 rooms, a marina and the creation of 1,200 jobs.
The ‘Gamboa Plaza Shopping & Hotels’ project has already been approved in a 15-year deal struck between the State and private promoters, foreseeing the start of activities in 12 months and the installation of the touristic mega-enterprise in an area of 13,987 square meters, next to the sea.
In return for one of the largest private investments in the archipelago – led by businessman João Fernando Freire – the agreement will provide the promoting company, among other tax incentives, a 100% exemption from profit taxation during the first five operating years after the conclusion of the construction – expected to take up to eight years – and then a 50% exemption after the fifth year.
The promoters are also exempt from the payment of the Property Tax in the acquisition of properties for their construction and installation, as well as in the payment of customs duties on the import of equipment.
“The Government of Cape Verde considers the ‘Gamboa Plaza Shopping & Hotels’ project to be of great value, and, therefore, declares it of exceptional interest within the framework of its country’s socio-economic development strategy, taking into account the impact it will represent in terms of investment, employment, vocational training, the wealth it will generate, the significant increase in the touristic offer and the quality and quantity of national accommodation capacity ”, reads the Council of Ministers’ resolution that approved the agreement.
The investment is divided into two phases, the first of which provides for an investment of €70M, more than 90% for the construction of hotels, generating 400 jobs. The second phase is estimated at €180M and will generate 800 more direct jobs.
In the first phase of the work, which is already underway, two four and/or five-star hotels have advanced, with a total of 419 rooms and “whose management contract has already been signed with an international company”, but also a marina for 150 boats.
The second phase will see the recovery of the old pier, the construction of restaurants, bars, a swimming pool, an aquarium and the requalification of Gamboa beach, in the center of the Cape Verdean capital, with the placement of white sand, coconut trees and palm trees. Two parking spaces are also planned, with capacity for 236 vehicles and a public mini-golf course.
Also in the second phase, four more hotels will be built, between four and five stars, with a maximum capacity of up to 800 rooms.
Tourism makes up 25% of Cape Verde’s GDP, but activity has practically stopped since March, due to restrictions imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19. In 2019, the archipelago had a record of more than 819,000 tourists, a number that dropped to just over 300,000 in 2020.