Zanzibar Masai Resort Interview

TanzaniaInvest has interviewed Mr. Baldini di Sant’Arcangelo, a former London based investment banker who, together with a small group of friends from Italy and the U.K., decided that Zanzibar was the next location to build a tropical retreat where design meets nature and where privacy and service are second to none. Now, Zanzibar Maasai Resort Ltd is about to launch a new and innovative Beach Resort on the paradise island of Zanzibar: Morani Beach.

Baldini di Sant’Arcangelo Managing Director of Zanzibar Maasai Resort


TANZANIAINVEST:
What were the reasons that lead you and the group of investors you represent to invest in tourism in Zanzibar?

Michele Baldini – Zanzibar Maasai Resort:
The beauty of the island, the growth potential in the regional tourism industry and the general positive macro-economic environment in Tanzania.

TI:
How would you define the Zanzibar investment framework? Is it in line with your expectations from the start of this venture?

MB:
Let’s say you need to be able to adapt quickly to the general laid back attitude that you find on the island.

If you want the island to adapt to your speed, you are looking for trouble.

TI: Tell us more about the Morani Beach Club. What is the whole concept about?

MB: {xtypo_quote_right}The core of Morani Beach is it’s Beach Club, providing innovative design, top quality service, great music played by live DJs, wireless internet connection, watersport activities, and a restaurant of international recognition.{/xtypo_quote_right}The Morani Beach concept was created in the living room of the apartment of a school friend with whom I spent the last 25 years jet-setting around the world.

We thought of bringing luxury and made-to-measure entertainment to the island of the sultans.

The core of Morani Beach is it’s Beach Club, providing innovative design, top quality service, great music played by live DJs, wireless internet connection, watersport activities, and a restaurant of international recognition.

The Beach Club is open to external guests as well as to guests of the Resort.

The Resort will initially have 5 exclusive safari lodge style 60m² opened bungalows, expanding to 14 bungalows in the second year of operation, including four overwater bungalows.

TI:
Zanzibar already receives more than 100,000 tourists per year, mainly for sun and beach vacations. As such, the island offers several beach hotels and resorts of different standards. What will be Morani Beach Club’s target market, in terms of the visitors’ profile, and what are its competitive advantages?

MB:
Morani Beach brings spice and style to Zanzibar.

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On the island of spices we are trying to be spicy.

{xtypo_quote_left}We target the niche market of top-end luxury with the Resort and the cool people living on the island for the Beach Club.{/xtypo_quote_left}Our Beach Club targets the cool people living on the island and beyond and the surrounding Resort provides stylish accommodation unmatched on Zanzibar.

We are also developing new initiatives to represent in our Resort all of the cultural influences that can be found in Zanzibar, from the Sultan to the Maasai, through the fishermen and the baobab trees.

We target the niche market of top-end luxury with the Resort and the cool people living on the island for the Beach Club.

Both of these targets are virtually untapped on the island.

We look at being a first mover in the combined target market.

TI:
We understand Zanzibar Maasai Resort Ltd., the holding company of Morani Beach Club, is looking for strategic investors to join in this venture. What are the opportunities that are available?

MB:
We give the opportunity to make money while having fun.

Something really rare these days in the Western World.

TI: Having gone through the red tape that is necessary in order to invest in Zanzibar, what would be your personal piece of advice to anybody looking to invest in this part of the world as well?

MB:
Zanzibar and Tanzania are hot commodities at the moment.

You need a trustworthy local partner and, if you have time and experience, you always win.

If you miss any of the three, you better invest in regions you are more familiar with.{xtypo_quote}Zanzibar and Tanzania are hot commodities at the moment.{/xtypo_quote}