Mr Lalvani told local press that, with the marina complete, he is looking into a second project in Thailand: a man-made island off the shores of Phuket. “I have a choice of retiring anywhere in the world,” he said, “but I like Phuket. Many people thought that I was crazy to go steaming full speed ahead with Royal Phuket Marina after the tsunami hit Phuket in 2004. But I knew that Phuket would be okay afterward. My dream is to make Phuket the world’s No 1 destination.”

He said that a visit by Bill Gates in April gave him the inspiration for this massive project. “As many of you know, Bill Gates and his wife were here in April on a 54-metre yacht. He told me that he loved it so much that he wanted to come back again.” said Mr Lalvani. He noted that Phuket lacks a marina that can handle superyachts ranging from 40 to 70 metres, a significant failing in light of the increasing number of super-rich tourists such as Bill Gates coming to this area.

A father of three, Mr Lalvani plans to name the island Zoran, after his youngest son. The project is still in the very early stages. An Australian consulting firm has been hired to survey the proposed project site, about three kilometres off the Royal Phuket Marina, on the east coast of Phuket. The estimated cost of the project, which would have a hotel, luxury villas and berths for superyachts, was not revealed.


Dredge and build

Mr Lalvani told Phuket.Com that he is concerned about the environment and he wanted to make sure that Zoran island project is built accordingly.

“We will [soon] have to dredge the current waterway [into Royal Phuket Marina
and the neighbouring Boat Lagoon marina]. We will be left with a large amount of
dredged material, which needs to be put somewhere. We can make use of it by
turning it into an island. We can use it to build Zoran Island.”
Mr Lalvani noted that the Thai government is all in favour of tourism. He said that he understands, however, the need to check the proposed project carefully and noted that with the current government being strictly temporary, there may be a lengthy delay before a decision is reached. But once Thailand has a new elected government (elections are due in November), he is confident, he said, that things will move forward. He also stressed that he will be the sole investor in the island project. No funds will be borrowed, and Bill Gates will not be involved.

Gulu Lalvani is the founder and chairman of Binatone, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of digital cordless phones, after Germany’s Siemens. Mr Lalvani and his family are estimated to have a combined personal worth of GBP 450 million.


source reference : property focus, phuket.com

1 ความคิดเห็น

travelphilippines said... @ July 10, 2007 at 12:30 AM

wow ohhhh wow.. what can i say bill gates was in phuket... wow

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