Taj Hamaad, an Advisor to the Dubai-based Group Emaar International Properties, have confirmed that they will invest US$800 million in a new tourism resort development in Lombok, an island just east of Bali.
According to Hamaad, technical agreements and final a final memorandum of understanding (MOA) are now being hammered out prior to ground-breaking ceremonies planned for later this year.
Among the technical issues being resolved between Hamaad, Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik and the President's special envoy for eastern Indonesia Alwi Shihab are tax issues, investment licenses and land leases.
The Emaar Group has world-wide investments in various locales, including California and Malaysia, encompassing office buildings, resorts and mall complexes.
The Lombok project will occupy a 1.175 hectare site in Central Lombok owned by the PT Perusahaan Pegelola Asset - a State-owned firm.
The government has pledged that they will support new tourism investment in Lombok through the construction of an international airport capable of handling wide-bodied aircraft.
Development with a Middle Eastern Slant
The Emaar Group have indicated that they will steer Middle Eastern visitors to the new resort development, diverting Emirate Airline passengers to Lombok once the airport is completed. Once landed in Lombok, the Middle-eastern passengers will be greeted by two purpose-built luxury resorts and a massive mosque Ė all built by the Dubai investor.
The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, told the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia: "I hope that by 2009 the airport and the resort will be finished and both operational. The investors are optimistic that Lombok will surpass the popularity of Bali offering a range of international facilities."
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