If working from home in a breezy tropical island locale appeals, Zanzibar may have something for you.
A new tax and residency scheme is opening the East African island up to foreign investors. A number of measures have been introduced to facilitate foreigners wanting to live and own property in Zanzibar. The destination had previously struggled to attract any significant real estate development, as there were no incentives and allowances for people wanting to invest.
Now, property owners are eligible to receive a residency permit and live in Zanzibar as non-citizens. At the same time, they are not required to live on the island permanently, and do not have to pay tax on worldwide income and wealth.
Meanwhile, income tax on local earnings has been halved to 15 per cent for foreigners. Villa buyers will receive residency permits for their partner and a maximum of four children under the age of 20. New incentives have also been introduced for business investors.
Those looking to take advantage of Zanzibar’s new investment rules should check out Blue Amber, a luxury mixed-use waterfront development currently taking shape in the north-east of the island.
The key details
Set on more than 404 hectares of tropical landscape and four kilometres of prime Indian Ocean beachfront along the Muyuni coast, Blue Amber is the largest resort development of it kind in Africa. Construction of the first phase of the community commenced in 2020 and is scheduled for launch later this year. It will be home to luxury residences, leading global hotel brands and a signature golf course.
The first-phase of development consists of 54 pool villas, a leisure centre featuring shops and a watersports centre, a boutique hotel and a beach restaurant. Residents will be able to enjoy views of the pristine Muyuni Beach and Mnemba Island, and can choose from a range of villa types. Residents can also opt for fully integrated property management service.
What’s the story?
Housing options include two-bedroom pool villas, with prices starting at $197,125. Set on a plot of 450 square metres, with an inside living area of 199 square metres, these single-level villas come with six metre by three metre private pools and a roof terrace.
There are also double-storey two-bedroom pool villas, starting from $201,000, with a living area of 157 square metres, and three-bedroom villas priced at $319,000, with a living area of 168 square metres.
All properties are fully air-conditioned, with internet connectivity. Designs are open, airy and contemporary, with stone-work facades, whitewashed walls and floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Kitchens come fitted with worktops, cupboards and an oven and cooker.
Residents can also request a locally handcarved Zanzibarian front door, ceiling fans, and move-in packages that include linen, crockery, cutlery, curtains and light fittings.
After an initial $5,000 deposit, properties can be paid for in instalments, with an initial 10 per cent instalment, followed by 40 per cent, 30 per cent and, finally, 20 per cent upon completion.
What the brokers say
"Blue Amber is Africa’s leading leisure destination and Zanzibar’s premier island resort. It is recognised as a strategic investment project in Tanzania," says the Blue Amber website. "Blue Amber’s real estate portfolio offers a select few a stable of property opportunities in which to invest."