Will Ohrid become Macedonia’s Dubai? This extreme resort makeover will be completed within the following six years and is expected to significantly change the looks of this popular Balkan lake resort.
Sweet temptation hard to reject by the Macedonian government which puts strong efforts to cut the high rate of unemployment by stimulation of the foreign investors.
Great expectations both by the government and the locals, after Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski recently acknowledged that it will bring several thousand new jobs to area.
Project ‘Saharayan Makeeduniya’ has been designed by Atkins – a multinational engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services company headquartered in the United Kingdom. The design bears the signature of architect Tom Wright, who on his list of works of art also has the Burj Al Arab in Dubai – the world’s only seven-star hotel.
Indian businessmen Subrata Roy said last thursday the tourism complex set to be built at the Ohrid Lake shore would be among the world’s top ten. “I see the project’s economic justification by targeting elite clientele from the whole world, in particular from India, Russia, China, Europe”, he said.
“I believe that millions of India’s citizens will come here as tourists. It is also the case with people from China, Russia, Europe. I don’t expect a great number of guests from Canada, US. It`s hard to predict who would our guests be, but I am certain that this project will improve the economic situation in your country”, said Roy, who is paying a third visit to Macedonia.
He emphasized that the ambitious project would be beneficial for both parties – Macedonia and Sahara Group.
His host, Vice Premier and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski said a coordinating team of about 30 experts, as well as representatives of competent institutions and the Sahara Group, has been established towards regulating all legal, economic and environmental issues, as well as the Ohrid Lake protection as a UNESCO heritage site.
The ‘Saharayan Makeeduniya’ complex, located near village Ljubanista, will include world class hotels, casinos, residential and recreational facilities and an international standard gold golf course.
The whole area is attractive for the Indian film makers too, so it won’t be surprising if Ohrid become a new Bollywood.
Part of the civil society is still concerned, mostly for the fact that Ohrid Lake is one of the oldest lakes in the world with very special and interesting flora and fauna. It is believed to have been formed during the Tertiary Period 4 million years ago. Ohrid Lake was proclaimed a World’s natural and cultural heritage in 1980 by UNESCO.
Will this Macedonian gem be inevitably jeopardized?
“Environmental aspect of this project is the most important aspect to be respected during its execution. Macedonian state is in a continuous communication with the central office of Unesco (headquarter) and the authorities have informed Unesco that every next step taken will be monitored and in correlation with the Unesco requirements and legislations. All that, should provide continuity in the protection of the natural and cultural heritage”.- announced Dejan Panovski,representative from the Ministry of Environment.
Comforting note we’d like to believe.
Mother Teresa, born in Skopje, Macedonian capital, was an inspiration and the link for the two friendly nations. As it’s known she carried out her mission to help the poor and sick people in India.