DUBAI-based billionaire businessman Mr Shaji Ul Mulk arrived back in Harare last night ahead of a ground-breaking ceremony for the US$500 million Zimbabwe Cyber city project, which will see the construction of a state-of-the-art complex in Mt Hampden, a few kilometres north of the capital city.
This is part of the investments that the billionaire promised to undertake in Zimbabwe earlier this year following his meeting with President Mnangagwa at the 2020 Dubai Expo in the United Arab Emirates.
The cyber city project is the first investment to be made by a consortium of businesses from the Middle East under the Zimbabwe Global Investments Company.
It will be spread over 2,5 million square feet of land and is expected to have a shopping mall, luxury villas and apartments, cyber technology offices and other social facilities.
The facility will also house the Mulk Tower, projected to be the tallest building in Africa.
Speaking after touching down at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Mr Mulk said the ground-breaking ceremony, scheduled for Wednesday, would bring to fruition the development envisioned for Zimbabwe.
“This is my third trip to Zimbabwe and this trip is important and significant because we are now here to start executing the projects that we had planned for.
“This project is one of many that we will be undertaking in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mr Mulk said the cyber city was the first of the projects which would be implemented, and commended President Mnangagwa for making it possible.
He said the President’s decision to allow UAE businesses to invest in Zimbabwe would bring more investment in the future.
Under the first phase of the cyber city project, there would be construction of villas and a shopping centre.
Phase One is expected to be complete in two years while the Mulk Tower and commercial blocks will take another two years.
Mulk Holdings vice chairman, Mr Nawab Adnan UI Mulk, also commended President Mnangagwa for opening up the country to allow more investment.
“The first time we were here, we discussed how we can move forward with the cyber city. We are now implementing that project. We are excited for the opportunity given by President Mnangagwa to build
Zimbabwe into a great country and one of the dominant countries in Africa,” he said.
The investments were facilitated by Dubai-based Zimbabwean businessman, Mr Tempter Tungwarara, who expressed joy that the projects were now taking off.
“We are happy that the project is now taking off; it has been a long journey but we are finally here. We are thankful for Mr Mulk’s decision to come here and for President Mnangagwa’s support in giving him the platform to invest in Zimbabwe.
“Instead of crying and complaining about my country, I saw an opportunity to bring in investors, so l took the chance to market Zimbabwe and here we are,” he said.