The Zanzibar Revolutionary Government has approved a mega joint venture tourism investment project for the construction of a 70 storey commercial tower off the banks of the Old Stone Town.
The project which is worth Sh3.1 trillion, nearly twice of this year’s Zanzibar budget of Sh1.82 trillion.
The building, the Zanzibar Domino Commercial Tower, will be constructed on the west coast, nine miles from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stone Town at Chapwani Islet.
It will involve land reclamation and among its facilities is a modern marina for yachts and cruise boats.
Once developed, the project will be the second Sub-Sahara African’s tallest skyscraper after Egypt’s 80 storey Icon Tower which is due to be completed next year.
At present, the second tallest building in the continent is the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg, a skyscraper containing both offices and shopping facilities.
The building which is 223 metres high has 50 floors and 23 elevators has been the tallest office building in Africa since 1973.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Zanzibar’s Minister of State in the President’s Office, Labour, Economy and Investment, Mudrik Ramadhan Soraga, said the project will accelerate the growth of the tourism industry which now contributes more than third of Zanzibar’s foreign exchange earnings.
He said the project goes in line with the 2050 Zanzibar Development Vision and of the government’s plan to boost the blue economy.
The minister said it will also open employment opportunities for youth and stimulate business growth for local entrepreneurs.
During the last year general elections campaign, the CCM’s Zanzibar Presidential flag bearer, Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi (now President), promised to create 300,000 jobs for the youth from 2020 to October 2025.
The giant project will accommodate 560 apartments, luxury hotels, a golf course, resorts and a wedding chapel, according to the Dubai-based design firm Cassia’s founder, Jean-Paul Cassia.
The Zanzibar Domino Tower will be a key tourist spot, offering visitors, residents and businesses entertainment, culture and conferencing services
“First sketched in Paris in 2009 when my late father, two siblings and I played a round of dominos, I dreamed of building this project for over a decade,” he said.
AICL Group Company’s Executive Director, Yussuf Salmin Amour, the son of the retired Zanzibar’s President, Dr. Salmin Amour, told reporters that the project which will be completed in 2026 is a public-private partnership in which the government has 40 percent of the shares.
Zanzibar welcomed half a million tourists in 2019, mostly from Europe, before the sector was badly shaken by the coronavirus outbreak in 2020.