Zanzibar on Tuesday announced plans to build sub-Saharan Africa’s tallest skyscraper, with the US$1.3 billion bill exceeding the archipelago’s annual budget by more than 60 percent.
The 70-story Zanzibar Domino Commercial Tower is to be developed on the west coast, 15km from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stone Town.
The development project would involve the creation of an artificial island, along with a marina for yachts and cruise ships.
At more than 3 trillion Tanzanian shillings, the total outlay would surpass the semiautonomous archipelago’s budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 by more than 60 percent.
Zanzibar Minister of Labor, Economy and Investment Mudrik Ramadhan Soraga told reporters that the project would bolster the “government’s efforts in inviting more local and foreign investors to the isles.”
The finished project would offer 560 apartments, luxury hotels, resorts, a golf course and a wedding chapel, the New York and Dubai-based design firm xCassia, Tanzania’s AICL Group and Scotland’s Crowland Management said in a statement.
“[The development was] first sketched in Paris in 2009, after my late father, my two sons and I played a round of dominos,” design firm founder Jean-Paul Cassia said in the statement. “I dreamed of building this project for more than a decade.”
“It had all of the bearings of an icon that anyone could remember, Cassia said.
“All it lacked was the right visionary investor and site to make it come true,” he added.
Once finished, the skyscraper would be Africa’s second-tallest building, after Egypt’s 80-story Iconic Tower, which is to be completed next year.
The continent’s tallest building in use is the 55-story Leonardo in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Famed for its turquoise waters and spice plantations, Zanzibar relies heavily on tourism.
The archipelago sustained a tremendous hit from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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