UAE to build tourism resort in Indonesia's undeveloped Aceh province

The UAE has signed an agreement to develop a number of infrastructure projects in the South-East Asian country

The UAE plans to develop a multimillion-dollar tourism resort in Indonesia’s Aceh province.

This is one of a number of large-scale infrastructure projects planned by the UAE in the Asian country, after it signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday with the Republic of Indonesia to co-operate in the areas of creative economy, tourism, environmental conservation and logistics.

"The UAE and Indonesia are exemplars of religious and cultural diversity, tolerance and moderation," said Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth, after the signing in Jakarta.

"These are the values that bind us together and enable us to co-operate for our common interests, especially in the sphere of creative economy, which is a pillar of sustainable economic growth. As the world is going through a challenging time due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to turn challenges into opportunities for innovation."

According to Indonesian news agency Antara, the resort project in Aceh is being spearheaded by the UAE’s Murban Energy, which has already been involved in the development of luxury resorts in the Maldives and Seychelles.

The resort would be the first of its kind in Aceh, which is currently home to limited accommodation options, largely in the two, three and four-star categories. Guest houses and homestays are also common.

A regency in the Aceh province of Indonesia, Singkil is predominantly located on the island of Sumatra, but also covers the offshore Banyak Islands, which consists of 99 largely uninhabited islands.

The semi-autonomous Aceh province is located close to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India. It is bordered by Bay of Bengal to the north, Indian Ocean to the west, Straits of Malacca to the east, and North Sumatra to the south-east and south.

It is considered to be the place where Islam began to spread in Indonesia and continues to be home to the biggest population of Muslims in the country. It also adheres to shariah law.

It is the site of abundant natural resources, including oil and natural gas, and is also famous for its natural attractions, including the forests that lie along the Bukit Barisan range. South-east Aceh is home to the Gunung Leuser National Park (TNGL), while Singkil itself is home to conservations areas committed to protecting green and leatherback turtles.