Development of touristic facilities in Kuwait delayed due to Covid-19

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‘Pandemic negatively hits level of liquidity at public reserve fund’

KUWAIT CITY, May 12: The Touristic Enterprises Company says it was scheduled to launch the process for the development of some touristic facilities in the country in a comprehensive manner based on the company’s strategy that was approved by the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA). However, this has been delayed due to the exceptional circumstances that the country is going through because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Al-Anba daily. It explained that the pandemic has negatively affected the level of liquidity at the public reserve fund, and the Kuwait Investment Authority has requested the company to submit its perceptions regarding postponing the payments agreed upon within the framework of the strategy and the work plan.

The company has submitted its perceptions to implement this and is awaiting the decision in that regard. The company’s statement was part of the response of the Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Investment Khalifa Hamadah to a parliamentary question issued by MP Muhalhal Khalid Al- Mudhaf about the reasons behind the delay in the changes decided for the Entertainment City, Green Island, the People’s Marine Club, the Yacht Club, Al-Shaab Entertainment Park, Al-Sabahiya Park, Marah Land, and the Swimming Pool Complex. Regarding the operational status of the aforementioned facilities, the company explained that it provides its services to the pioneers in its current technical condition, with the exception of the Sabahiya and Shaab gardens, and to the people, taking into account the decision taken by the Cabinet regarding the operation of the facilities according to the operational stages of return based on the reports of the health agencies in this regard, with reference to the Entertainment City site that has been designated and handed over to the Amiri Diwan.

Its strategy, which was approved by the Kuwait Investment Authority, and the updated strategy include the comprehensive development of some of the facilities that the company is licensed to utilize. When a decision is issued by the Kuwait Investment Authority regarding the updated strategy, direct operations in developing the facilities will be launched. It has concluded a contract to develop Nuwaiseeb Guest House.

The procedures for signing a contract to develop the Ras El Ard Club are being completed. There is also a tender for the development of the Messilah Beach project. The Ministry of Public Works, in coordination with the Touristic Enterprises Company and other competent authorities, is in charge of developing the beachfront. Regarding the reasons for restructuring the Touristic Enterprises Company, the company stated that the strategic plan approved by the Kuwait Investment Authority included a comprehensive restructuring of the company, indicating that it is awaiting a decision regarding the updated strategy and the consequent preparation of the timetables necessary for its implementation.

It explained that the reasons for conducting studies on restructuring the company are many, the most important of which is the fact that most of the company’s facilities are worn out and requires reconsideration of the commercial and operational model followed by the company in order for it to carry out the tasks of developing and operating those facilities and implementing the goals for which it was established. This comes according to a strategic plan, the implementation of which depends on a comprehensive restructuring to achieve the greatest possible use of the company’s human and material resources.

Concerning the latest strategy proposed in the company and based on the State Audit Bureau’s report for the 2017/2018 fiscal year regarding the company’s conclusion of contracts for the development of the touristic park project and the water park project in Khiran, the company said its strategy, which was approved by the Kuwait Investment Authority, included a plan to develop projects in several stages, including the two aforementioned projects based on a ten-year financial plan. However, the liquidity crisis has prevented its implementation and the company is awaiting the approval of the updated strategy and the new decision regarding it.

The company said the current facilities licensed for the company to use in accordance with its contract with the Ministry of Finance are the following – Shaab Park, Sabahiya Park, Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Park, Al-Shaab Marine Club, Ras Al-Ard Club, Fahaheel Marine Club, Messilah Beach, Egaila Beach and Kuwait Towers. Also, there is Jahra entertainment hall (under a judicial dispute), Khairan chalets used by the Ministry of Health for building a field hospital, Al-Tal Restaurant (under a judicial dispute), two fast food restaurants in Al-Bidaa area, the triangle restaurant, the circular restaurant in Failaka Island, which is unused, waterfront phases (first and second), Failaka chalets (unused land only), and guest houses in Abdali, Salmi and Nuwaiseeb areas.

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