News 25 Jan 13

Indian Tycoon Plans Plush Resort in Macedonia

On a visit to Macedonia, Indian billionaire Subrata Roy has unveiled his plans to build a luxury recreational complex on the shores of the country's jewel, Lake Ohrid.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje
The project is expected to boost tourism in Ohrid

Roy, who arrived in Ohrid on Wednesday to visit the planned location, said on Thursday that the price tag will amount to at least several hundred million euro.

“Our intentions are not to build some mediocre tourist complex, but a destination that will rank among the top five or ten in the world,” Roy told a press conference during his two-day visit.

The complex, the Saharayan Makeeduniya, will be developed across 240 hectares around the Lake Ohrid near Ljubanista village. It will include luxury hotels, a floating hotel on the lake, casinos, residential and recreational facilities and an international standard golf course.

The scenic town of Ohrid along with the lake of the same name in southwest Macedonia are the country's biggest tourist attraction.

The government hopes that this major investment will extend the tourist season in Ohrid throughout the year, create thousands of new jobs and boost construction and other industries in the country.

“For our part, we are doing everything we can to ensure the swift, quality and transparent realization of the project,” Finance Minister Zoran Stevreski said.

To speed up the investment, the government said it had formed a team of experts to help with the legal, financial and ecological aspects of the project.

The planned resort has also boosted the government's own plans to extend the existing motorway from Skopje with an extra stretch towards Ohrid.

Once the resort is completed, Roy’s company, Sahara India Pariwar, said it plans to extend its investments to the nearby Galicica Mountain, where a ski centre is planned, as well as to the nearby Lake Prespa.

Subrata Roy [left] and Macedonian Fin Min Zoran Stavreski [right] | Photo by: finance.gov.mk


The project has been designed by Atkins, a UK-based engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting company. The design, they say, bears the signature of architect Tom Wright, who designed the famed Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.

Subrata Roy, listed among the ten most influential people in India by India Today, visited Macedonia in mid-June, when he received a warm welcome from Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and his economic team.

Media reports say that Roy has also mulled investing in Macedonian agriculture as well as in building a film town in the country.

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