Arab investors to build golf courses in Black Sea region

SEDA TABAK
ISTANBUL
Published 12.04.2016 21:11

Drawing a great deal of attention at one of the world's most prestigious real estate fairs, the MIPIM in Cannes, the Ordu Municipality will now be the site of investments such as golf courses and rehabilitation centers that Arab investors want to make in the flatlands of Ordu.

Ordu Governor İrfan Balkanlıoğlu indicated that Arab investors were keen on investing in the city. He explained that they held a meeting with a Saudi investor, and said: "Arab investors were quite impressed with our flatlands. They told us that it was a paradise and asked for a 100-acre field. They want to build golf courses and nursing homes for the elderly on our flatlands, and they foresee a $100 billion investment." Stressing that they have a flatland of 40 square kilometers that enabled skiing in the winter and golf in the summer, Balkanlıoğlu said: "In order to invest in the areas belonging to the Treasury, the qualification needs to change, which we can do, as the Office of the Governor. But, permissions such as purchase and allocation for investors are subject to the Prime Ministry. These changes need to be passed to start the investment. We are expecting a billion-dollar investment."

Participating in the MIPIM fair in March with four projects, Ordu Metropolitan Municipality introduced the Çambaşı Winter Sports and Skiing Center, Melet Park, Chocolate Park and Ünye Port Ordu-Giresun Airport projects.

Stressing that they drew great attention from foreign investors at the fair, Ordu Mayor Enver Yılmaz said: "We held some meetings regarding the operation of the skiing facility. Our negotiations with hotel chains are in progress and there are some eager groups from Europe and Gulf."

According to Balkanlıoğlu, the number of visitors to the city has reached nearly 480,000 from 300,000, increasing 41 percent over the past year due to the new airport and promotion activities, and they were expecting nearly 100,000 Arab tourists in the next year.

Explaining that five-star hotels would be constructed in the city, Yılmaz said: "Arabs want to stay in houses with their crowded families, which reflects the spirit of the city. We have related projects as well."

Yılmaz said that Trabzon and Ordu's tourism revenue was TL 1 billion ($350 million) and TL 20 million, respectively. "We do not want to share this cake, but to make it bigger. We aimed to be the new destinations. If Trabzon only attracts tourists from Saudi Arabia, we are working to [get tourists from] all the Arab countries."

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