A brand-new £3.3bn “tourist city” will be built in Bosnia by a Dubai-based developer, an illustration of how the former Yugoslav country has become a magnet for Gulf investors.
The city, including thousands of homes, several hotels, a shopping mall and a hospital will be built in Trnovo, south of Saravejo, in the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska region.
The town currently has a population of little more than 2,000.
Developers Buroj Property Development will start work on the 1.3 million-square metre complex at the foot of Bjelasica, one of the four mountains around Sarajevo, in April and completed by the end of 2016, the Guardian reported.
According to plans released by the developers, the shopping mall will be the biggest in eastern Europe, with a lavish “dancing fountain” at its centre.
A three-bedroom villa at Trnovo will cost in the region of £170,000, according to reports.
Ismail Ahmed, Buroj president, said: "This is my life project and I hope that we will finish it without delay.
"I sincerely believe in this because I am convinced that Bosnia is an important global tourist destination that has yet to be discovered."
A surge in visitors from Gulf states, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, to Bosnia – where four in 10 inhabitants is Muslim - has been recorded in recent years.
Investment has followed, bringing a Kuwaiti-funded tourist resort and Saudi-built complex of 200 villas – both in the environs of the capital.
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