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News: Santiago Island: An Atlantic paradise

Wed, 28 Nov 07

Sambala, the leading luxury resort and property developer in Cape Verde, reveals ten reasons why now is a good time to invest in Santiago Island, to achieve maximum returns...

A stable economy and good governance

The economy of Cape Verde is out performing all expectations, the IMF predicted a steady 6.5% growth in GDP, but it has actually reached 10.8%, and with £1.5 billion private investment scheduled for the next five years the rate of economic growth is set to continue. The World Bank cites Cape Verde as the best governed country in Africa, with good inflation control, regular payment of foreign debt and an economy that allows free competition. 

Investment incentives

The state offers tax exemption grants for a period of five years to foreign investors.  Investors can also benefit from the currency being linked to the Euro, which will enable buyers to take advantage of Euro mortgages, available next year.

Investor confidence

The first phase of the Sambala development, Sambala village, quickly sold out earlier in the year, while the second, Viviendas de Santiago sold all of its 41 private villas and has just a few townhouses left.

Property prices have already increased by 15% since 2006, and under the backdrop of strong economic growth and a fast growing tourism industry, average property price is expected to soar by over 75% in the next five years.

UK’s closest tropical island

Cape Verde is UK’s closest tropical island and as the island lies due south of the UK with only a two hour time difference, visitors can travel there within 5½ hours from London and not suffering from jet lag.

Improved Infrastructure

The authorities have approved projects totalling $300 million, which has been invested in two new internationals airports, roads, energy resources and education.     

Top tourist hotspot

Tourism in Cape Verde, which ranked No 1 in the Top Ten tourist hotspots in 2007 by Expedia, has already grown substantially, with tourist numbers increasing by 25% since 2006. However, this is expected to soar by a further 300% by 2015, and could be even higher on Santiago Island when the Sambala resort opens to visitors next year. 

Low bed stock

With only two hotels on the Island, Santiago has a very low bed stock. As demand for holiday lets is expected to be high, investors will be able to command higher rental yields than the neighbouring island Sal, which is more developed. 

Virgin territory

Santiago is a virgin territory which is home to a plethora of indigenous species and offers vibrant tropical underwater scenery including dolphins, sperm whales, porpoises and rock coral.  The island’s mountains and valleys have diverse Caribbean-style vegetation including Aloe Vera and papaya and these areas are surrounded by unspoilt beaches. 

An Atlantic paradise

The island is rich in African heritage and culture.  The average annual temperature is 24oC and there are over 300 days of sunshine per year.  The unusual and startlingly beautiful landscape lends itself to a range of activities including bird watching, paragliding, mountaineering, diving and game fishing.

Ecological development

The island’s unique biodiversity means development has to be carefully planned.  For example, Sambala resort will be powered by green energy, which will be generated by solar, wind and bio-fuel. Sambala is currently testing a small plantation of Jatropha, an indigenous plant in Cape Verde, for its bio-fuel capabilities and plans to set aside 280 hectares for the production of the crop.

Dominic McGlynn, Vice Chairman of Sambala Resort comments: “Until recently, Santiago Island was beyond the reach of holiday makers and property investors. However, the island’s true potential as a mainstream holiday destination and investment hotspot is about to be unlocked. The island’s virgin territory is paramount to its success and it is vital that the integrity and beauty of the island is maintained.”

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