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The project, fully financed by the Kenya Commercial Bank, is a contemporary development comprising fully serviced, five-star apartments.
It was conceptualised by two Kenyan brothers, Mr Alnoor A. Kanji and Mr Amyn Kanji. Alnoor lives at the coast while Amyn lives in England.
The strategy, which was unveiled on November 27, 2013, is the culmination of an idea that was conceived in 2007 after the brothers acquired a four-acre parcel of land in Mombasa.
“We had to offer 20 per cent more than the actual price since many people had been eyeing it for 10 years,” says Alnoor.
The brothers decided to establish the facility from an idea Alnoor got as a student abroad.
“While studying in Vancouver, Canada, I had a friend whose father owned an apartment in a marina and when I went to visit him, my reaction was ‘Wow!’
It was my first exposure to a marina lifestyle,” Alnoor says.
“Having been born and bred in Kenya, my brother and I often saw Kenya as a half-full glass, and this vision aimed to bring to Kenya a modern, international development that would offer the best in lifestyle and luxury, as well as become the region’s first serviced marina to cater for the luxury boating market,” he adds.
HIGHEST STANDARDS...OF EVERYTHING
The resort will be built to the highest international standards of design, functionality, and safety, and incorporate the latest energy-saving, recyclable and renewable technologies, says Alnoor.
Covering 60 kilometres, English Point Marina sits across the old Mombasa skyline in a natural marine basin with a breakwater coral shelf.
“When you look out at night from any beach hotel, there is nothing to see out there.
If there are lights in the dark, that will be as far as you can see.
That is what makes English Point an amazing alternative,” says Alnoor.
The property, valued at Sh5 billion, will also seek to reposition the East African coastline as a key tourist destination, as is the first in the region to provide proper yachting support and facilities, including docking space for 60 boats varying in length from six to 40 metres.
It will also fuel local and visiting boats, he adds.
Alnoor says their project will add to the coastal town’s investments, adding:“Although Mombasa is starting at a much lower base rate than Nairobi, its level of economic growth might surpass Nairobi’s in years to come.
This will not be in monetary terms, but in terms of development, and that is where Mombasa’s future is and where English Point comes in.”
Alnoor says the big projects going on in Mombasa will enhance the city’s status.
These include expansion of the Lamu port and the Dongo Kundu bypass, which will be an alternative route to the ferry from the port of Mombasa to the South Coast since it will connect Mombasa mainland to the south and west.
Dongo Kundu will provide the necessary infrastructure to make Mombasa a free-trade zone, similar to the one in Dubai.
If this happens, he says, it will attract a lot of investment and tourism in Mombasa comparable to that in Dubai, UAE, and Bangkok, Thailand.
Alnoor said Kenya had more to offer than Dubai and Thailand.
Despite the fact that we are very small, we have more than what Dubai and Bangkok has, he says.
Kenya is also not normally associated with mining and this is something new but with tremendous potential.
"I am told that there is titanium being mined in Kwale, and this site may be the second or third largest deposit in the world, with even bigger untapped deposits in Kilifi. Think of what this will do to investments in the Kenyan coast," adds Alnoor.
"There is also the new railway, recently commissioned by the president, which will link Mombasa and Nairobi.
"The railway will connect the northern corridor from Kenya to Uganda to Sudan.
With this new railway, new cities will emerge just as Voi and Mtito Andei came up.
This will be a great investment for Kenya."
That is not all Mombasa has to offer.
"Oil from Uganda will need a pipeline that will transport it through the sea.
Think of all the high-end investments that will result in Kenya. Where will they stay?
What we have are beach and tourist hotels, but none provides a business environment.
Therefore, there will be need for high-end accommodation and the timing is perfect as I can only think of one place that provides this, English point Marina."
KENYA ON THE MAP
Alnoor says the Marina has also placed Kenya in the map, as we already have invites from the governments of Mauritius and the Maldives, for us to create a marina there.
Sun seekers, makers of luxury boats have also requested to have English Point Marina as their third dealer in boats in Africa.
"When the rich and famous international investors and even those from Nairobi acquire yachts, they would want to showcase them in front of Mombasa and not at some creek in Kilifi.
"We shall soon have the big boys bringing yachts here and that is how Mombasa will look like in the next five to ten years.
The Marina is already negotiating with Volvo Ocean Race, Clipper Round the World Race, the Open 40’s Race, and the Oyster Round the World Rally for purposes of bringing them to Mombasa,."
The director says this development will bring immense return on investments and potentiality due to its nature.
It is a projection of where East Africa should be in years to come for the region to compete favourably with the real estate industry globally.
Thirty apartments have already been sold out, eight of which are penthouses.
In October this year the penthouses were selling at Sh. 100 million and as at now, the value has appreciated to 170 million.
The Marina is to employ more than 2000 people directly and indirectly in the areas of engineering, rigging and sail making and other sectors.
With devolution gearing to bring services, resources and power closer to the county people, the development has ignited the need to further tap into available resources to create more job opportunities.
Kenya has the potential to compete with other leading developing countries with proper funding and public support. Kanji added.
This comes in the wake of counties strategically positioning themselves to attract foreign and local investors.
Recently, Machakos County launched an Investment program to attract financiers in all sectors of the economy.
Vision 2030 has also earmarked English point, as it is the first of its kind in East and Central Africa.
According to Alnoor Kanji, the development has the potential of being a major economic hub that will grow the country’s economy.
It also plans to have an eco-policy that will target NIL garbage principle in two years.
“We are looking at a variety of recycling solutions and a complete garbage annihilation on site,” says Kanji.
He adds that the coastline was a gold mine if investors could broaden their aspirations and focus on return on investment as opposed to quick money schemes.
PARASTATAL heads who signed the Mombasa port community charter risk being sacked if their agencies do not deliver on the contents of the new entity. The charter signed between the government and the private sector aims at improving the movement of cargo from the port into hinterland