The Star (Nairobi)

6 November 2012

Kenya: Billionaire Briatore Says Kenya Is a Good Place for Investment

Italian billionaire and former Renault Formula One boss Flavio Briatore has described Kenya as a safe haven for investment. Briatore is constructing a Sh500 million exclusive billionaires' resort in Malindi.

He said investors should not shy away from the country, and the resort town of Malindi in particular, as there is a great potential in the country .

The billionaire, who jetted into the country on November 1 for a week-long business trip, said the International media has contributed a lot in tarnishing the image of the country.

"Kenya is a nice place for investment because of its stringent security measures, and it's time for the country to improve its tourism so as to attract high class tourists," he said.

He came together with other nine high profile personalities including former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The others were Francesca Pascale,Maurizio Cicero, Dafni Di Boni,Valentino Valentini,Tarak Ben Ammar,Giorgio, Puricelli,Mariarosaria Rossi,Alberto Zangrillo and Francesca Pascale

In an interview with journalists at the Malindi Marine park beach in front of his luxurious project he accused the International media for portraying Kenya negatively saying negative image about the country was being portrayed by the International media

Briatore said already his project was nearly complete and would be officially open at the end of February next year. "The project is now in its final stages, by December it will be complete and officially opened in February or march next year," he said.

He however did not disclose the number of the exclusive apartments that had been sold out to billionaires. Early this year he said 50 percent of the units had already been sold out and expected all of them to be bought once construction work ended.

The billionaire's resort was designed by world-famous Italian architecture Marma Fossa and will be an entire high class village facing the art scenic beach just beside the Malindi marine national park.

It would compose of 30 state of the art apartments, a lounge, disco, and restaurant and would be offering high class services to the clients. According to previous reports from the billionaire the clients would be accorded high class services to suit their wealth.

The clients shall have a chauffeur, to take them shopping, boat to go fishing and all the high class services offered in the rooms for them to be comfortable as per their standards so as to enable them enjoy their wealth.

Once complete the billionaires resort shall reportedly employ more than 800 people who would undergo training abroad so as to conform to the standards of services required by the wealthy personalities.

The clients are billionaires from different parts of Europe who are expected to begin flocking to Malindi beginning next year. Briatore has been visiting the country quite often and was in the resort town barely two months ago together with the former Italian PM.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that the former PM had plans to invest in Kenya and were being assisted by the billionaire who is the owner of the Lion group of companies with exclusive hotels and investments worldwide.

However Briatore said Berlusconi was just a mere friend who came to the country for holiday. Efforts to meet him has been futile since his visit as he rarely went out or even walked to the beaches.

He was only seen on the arrival day with Briatore at the Billionaires resort during an inspection tour of the project from a distance . During the interview tourists both locals and international jammed at the beach to have a glimpse of the billionaire who was being guarded by plain clothes security personnel, and Masai Moran.

The Billionaires resort is believed to be a clear move of attracting more high profile personalities to set up their investments and uplift the state of tourism which now concentrate on low class tourism.

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