The Lake Victoria Serena Resort, which is a multi-billion investment, will provide conferencing and accomodation facilities in Uganda, writes Faridah Kulabako.
Uganda’s conducive investment environment and abundant natural resources have continued to lure in investors in the country. with a recent mark seen in the multi-billion hotel investment on Entebbe Road. The Shs40b ($20m) 124-roomed Lake Victoria Serena Resort, owned by Pearl Development Group and managed by the Serena Hotels chain, is the latest addition to the Serena East Africa portfolio.
The Resort which has been developed into an ultra-modern hotel on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kigo, Wakiso district, was taken over from Ranch on the Lake Hotel in 2006. The hotel, which will provide conferencing and accommodation facilities positions Uganda as a conferencing hub in the region with over 200 hotels in the country. So far, the hotel is composed of 89 guest rooms, two suites and 31 other rooms under construction.
Speaking at the launch of the hotel, the Executive Director of Uganda Investment Authority, Dr Maggie Kigozi said her organisation has registered over Shs1.3b in planned investments in the tourism sector in 2010.
In his remarks, Mr Mahmud Janmohamed, the Serena Hotels managing director said the launch was a vote of confidence to Uganda’s investment environment at the time when most regional economies are competing for Foreign Direct Investments. “This is proof that Uganda is an emerging regional investment hub,” Mr Janmohamed said.
Mr Kartick Halai, the director of Pearl Development Group said the additional 31 guest rooms are being built on the location of the old hotel site and are due the completion in June this year. Phase three of the construction, which constitutes the building of a championship golf course, a marina and a luxury residential complex are also due completion by the end of 2011.
Mr Halai said they had earmarked $30m (Shs62b) for the completion of the property. “The facility will set new standards in Uganda’s growing leisure market,” he said. He added that the opening of the property was aimed at giving Kampala a state of the art facility that will target its social and corporate life and act as a fresh breather into the country’s flourishing tourism industry.
The minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry, Mr Kahinda Otafire called upon East African Member states to work together to promote the region as a single tourist destination. “We should complement one another to attract huge investments in the region,” Mr Otafiire said.