MP Ian Douglas says work will resume on Moroccan Funded Hotel after more than 2 years at a stand-still
Portsmouth MP Ian Douglas is assuring Dominicans that work will soon resume on the stalled Moroccan funded Hotel project, in the Cabrits National Park area in Portsmouth.
According to a GIS report, work on the facility was delayed due to changes in the Moroccan government establishment, but Douglas said the Moroccan Government had pledged their support for the project.
Actual work on the hotel began in February 2011. In October 2012, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the hotel would be completed in October 2013 and “not one day later.”
At a June 2013 press conference, Douglas said the project was nearing completion, and focus was being placed on “electrical, tiling and plumbing.” He also said at the time, five individuals expressed interest in managing the hotel, since the government had no interest in running it.
In October 2013, then Tourism Minister Douglas, announced that a management team from Bonaire was expected in Dominica “to see if we can reach a happy medium as far as what the government would want and what we can expect from them managing the facility.”
In November 2013, then Trade Minister, Collin McIntyre said the government was still searching for a team to manage the hotel. He said the hotel would be opened ‘sometime next year’ i.e. 2014, and the government was “recruiting staff and training staff for the hotel.”
When construction stopped at the facility, Douglas was questioned at a press conference in May, 2015. He responded by saying the project was experiencing “a slight setback” but was still on stream. He said a team from Morocco was expected in Dominica “to deal with the issues of décor, such as fixtures, lighting, tiling, and painting.”
At the same press conference, PM Skerrit, mentioned that the Moroccan Government had changed the contractor and architectural team for the project, and they have been “very delayed in addressing the replacement.” Two months later, in July 2015, Douglas blamed ‘administrative changes’ in the government of Morocco, due to the Arab Spring, for delays in the construction of a hotel.
The hotel was originally expected to be built in close proximity to the Melville Hall Airport in Marigot, to facilitate overnighting airline staff, but it was later moved to the Cabrits area in Portsmouth, purportedly on the grounds that the new location would be more economically viable, and he also said that the move was based on ‘sound analysis.’
The 50-room hotel is expected to contain seven major buildings including a conference facility, to accommodate 200 guests, duty-free shops, and a Spa, and it has been touted by the government of Dominica as a ‘generous gift’ from the government of Morocco.
However, to date, work on the project has been at a standstill for more than two years, and the project is still very far from completion, notwithstanding construction began way back in February 2011.
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