Monday, 5 September 2016 marked an important milestone in the development of luxury real estate in the Commonwealth of Dominica, as the Government signed agreements with three developers to become part of the nation’s Citizenship by Investment Programme pre-approved real estate option. The three developers are Oriental Developers (Caribbean) Ltd, represented by Mr Alick Lawrence, Ay Ay Holdings Caribbean Ltd, represented by Mr Samuel Raphael, and Bois Cotlette Estate Inc., represented by Mrs Rose-Anne Charles. The signing ceremony follows months, and sometimes years, of assessment on the part of the Government to ensure that only projects that are sustainable and in line with Dominica’s ‘nature island’ qualities are approved under the Programme.

Oriental Developers (Caribbean) Ltd will be responsible for the creation of Silver Beach Resort and Spa, a 200-room, 5-star development to be located in Portsmouth. Hundreds of local Dominicans are expected to be hired during its construction, and around 600 employees will be required for the effective running of the resort once it is fully operational. The hotel will be developed in the first half of 2017. Silver Beach Resort and Spa will “represent[…] and showcase[…] the natural attributes of the nature island,” said Mr Lawrence at the signing ceremony – something that is also reflected in the development’s motto: ‘escape to nature, surrender to luxury.’ Mr Lawrence also noted Oriental Developers (Caribbean) Ltd’s commitment to the community, and announced that a “substantial financial contribution” would be made by the company “to partner with the people of Portsmouth and the Government to construct a community centre” for local Portsmouth communities.

Ay Ay Holdings Caribbean Ltd is tasked with the redevelopment of Jungle Bay, an establishment with a long history on the island of Dominica, which is now being transferred to a new, larger property overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the island’s famous ‘Scott’s Head,’ and the town of Soufriere. Prior to August 2015, Jungle Bay had been voted the 3rd Top Hotel in the Caribbean and had won the World Responsible Tourism Award, and the new development is vying to be even more spectacular – providing visitors with 120 luxury eco-villas, two swimming pools, yoga studios, restaurants, and other amenities and infrastructure. The new resort will require over 100 staff members, and construction work will provide jobs for 120 workers over a period of three years. Developers plan to open the first 20 suites of the development in December 2018, or early 2019.

Bois Cotlette Estate Inc. is one of the most historical sites in Dominica, dating to 1735 and containing both coffee and cocoa fields. Today, it already holds direct contracts with nine cruise lines to offer tours to cruise passengers. The new development will see the building of 90 rooms, to be held within 20 luxury villas and 15 cottages, as well as the construction of conference facilities and sport and wellness amenities. Ground-breaking is expected to take place in March 2017, and the new development is due to be operational by June 2019. At least 90 direct and indirect jobs are to be created following the commencement of the project.

Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, the Honourable Robert Tonge, Minister for Tourism and Urban Renewal, and the Honourable Dr John Collin McIntyre, Minister for Planning, Economic Development, and Investment, all attended the ceremony. Minister Tonge highlighted that these developments would increase the number of high-quality rooms and employment in management, and that staff training and customer service would improve throughout Dominica. He also underlined that the island would be certain to attract international brands to its shores, as well as large conferences. The Prime Minister emphasised that the approval of these three projects under the Citizenship by Investment Programme stands as an example of the Government’s continued effort to create a strong foundation for private sector investment in Dominica. He also said that “the Government has every confidence in the developers to carry through on the terms and conditions of the agreements,” and that he was proud to see citizens become involved with the Programme.