Calas Vegas, a premium resort project located at the Twin Island off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in Calabar of Cross Rivers State, Nigeria, may become a new destination spot for luxury vacation lovers, as a team of investors from Dubai announce their investment plans for it.
The governor of the state, Ben Ayade had beforehand promised that the Island would be the most luxurious resort in Africa and his prediction may just come to pass. Speaking after a tour of the Island, Emad Jamal Musa of Lacasa Architect and Engineering Consultant, Dubai who had earlier led his team to do a presentation at the Conference Hall of the Governor’s Calabar, said his firm’s desire was to “bring Dubai to Calabar.”
Musa who is also Chairman of the Narkaza Group, Dubai said that his company has the expertise to turn Calas Vegas into Nigeria’s version of Dubai having achieved a similar feat in Palestine. “I took Dubai to Palestine, so if we can do that, we can do it here also. What is good about Dubai is that it started with a dream, ambition. A lot of people thought it would not be possible, now Dubai is a reality and I think what we are doing here today is the same,” he said. He expressed optimism that by the time his firm was done with it, Calas Vegas would be Venice, Bahamas, Dubai and downtown Las Vegas combined.
Musa explained that the beautiful scenery of the Island and other natural factors present makes Calas Vegas a potential world-class tourist destination, saying his group has the resources to achieve it. His statement has been backed by a member of his team, Murrell Juliet who said Calas Vegas looked promising. She described the Island as a beautiful place and the project as a “big dream”.
Governor Ayade has described Cross River as a huge tourist hub, “with the Obudu cattle ranch, alongside the international airport coming up in Obudu, alongside the Busafon resort and safari. So if you come to Cross River, you come to Calas Vegas and from Calas Vegas, you go to Busafon and from Busafon you go to Amunga Safari. Indeed, Cross River will give you the real pleasure of being African.”
Critics are not so sure, however. This is not the first luxury resort project by a government of the state, and the outcome was as disappointing as the budget apportioned to it. Tinapa, which was commissioned by Donald Duke in 2007 and opened fully in 2008 was completed at an estimated $450million has failed to live up to 1/10th of its potential. They have wondered why the governor has not tried to revive the existing resort, as against building a new one.
So far, there has been no response from the government. It remains to be seen whether this project would truly be successful.