Paradise found in Zanzibar

Paradise Found


Fabled for its tropical paradise setting, Zanzibar, the birthplace of rock legend Freddie Mercury is open to foreign property buyers for the first time. Luke Thomas pays a visit

March 2018 was a game-changing date for the idyllic Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar, with the announcement that foreign investors, could, for the first time invest in property in this magical, tropical paradise.

The country has witnessed strong economic growth in recent years, and new investment from international house-hunters is expected to create a buoyant property market. According to a 2017 Africa Report by Knight Frank, Tanzania is one of just a handful of African nations to have maintained GDP growth in excess of 5% in 2016. A strong importer of commodities, the destination has also benefited from low oil prices as well as growth in private consumption and investment.

From a tourism standpoint, the picturesque locale is experiencing large scale investment and development in real estate projects for residential, industrial and commercial purposes, as it boasts one of the most stunning coastlines on the planet.

Already prized as a holiday destination for its warm, clear waters, white, sandy beaches, vibrant culture and tropical setting, Zanzibar is a prime place for holiday home investment. In fact, Knight Frank data shows that four-bedroom executive houses in prime locations within Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es Salaam, garnered prime rental prices of $4 500 per month and prime yields of 6%.

While the new laws open the doors to solo, small-scale investors looking to buy one off vacation properties, the creation of huge, resort style developments is also underway.

One such project is Blue Amber Resort by leading developer Pennyroyal Zanzibar Ltd, set to be the largest resort in Africa.

Initially launched as Zanzibar Amber Resort in early 2017, this mixed-use community spans 411 hectares of five international hotels – including the Ritz Carlton and Anantara Hotels – as well as East Africa’s first signature 18-hole golf course designed by professional golfer and former world number one Ernie Els, and a deep water mooring on the marina. It will also house a water park, underwater restaurant and nightclub.

Blue Amber will also offer both Tanzanian and non-Tanzanian residents an opportunity to invest in premium residential property.

The first residential phase, comprising 47 double-storey villas set in a secure private estate with sweeping views of the ocean, lakes or golf course, is under construction and is expected to be complete by 2020.

Non-Tanzanian residents will be eligible to buy property within the luxury community on a 99-year lease basis with the option to extend ownership by 49 years, says Saleh Said, managing director of the Blue Amber Resort.

Prices for villas in phase one of the Blue Amber Resort start from $672,000. For investors, the property in luxury surroundings is likely to deliver returns in line with or in excess of that in Dar es Salaam.

An investment in Blue Amber Zanzibar also offers significant tax benefits for property owners, including a tax rate of 15% earned on local income and no tax on worldwide income. This is realised by the development’s status as a strategic investment project. Property owners will also be exempt from capital gains, stamp duty and inheritance tax on properties purchased.

In addition, property owners – along with spouses and children under 25 years of age – are also eligible for residence permits in Zanzibar, with residency status valid for as long as investors remain property owners.

Says Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property group: “Ideally suited for leisure use, we anticipate the residential offering – which will include fully serviced villas linked to iconic 5-star world renowned hotels plus an additional range of luxury villas and apartments – will attract buyers from South Africa, East Africa – mainly Kenya and Tanzania, the Middle East, China, Western as well as Eastern Europe.

“The potential for this world-class development is huge. According to New World Wealth, there are over 11,000-dollar millionaires across East Africa, fuelling the demand for high end goods and services, including high quality housing. East African economic growth continues to outperform the rest of Africa, while the region has been successful in attracting foreign investment in recent years, including the attention of numerous international hotel groups,” Golding concludes.


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