By KEITH J FERNANDEZ
THE Cypriot company Lanitis Development hopes to interest residents of the GCC in the Mediterranean island's first‑ever fully integrated golf, leisure and real estate development, Aphrodite Hills, which also hosts a five‑star deluxe InterContinental Resort Hotel.
With its EU status and imminent membership of the Euro, Cyprus is proving highly attractive to the region's investors. Lanitis will initially focus on Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Bahrain, and hopes to attract interest from both GCC nationals and expatriates, particularly the British community, who will be able to use their pensions to buy residential property overseas as part of the tax‑free Self Invested Personal Pensions scheme, as of April 2006. The $316 million (CYP 150 million) luxurious residential, sports and leisure complex, Aphrodite Hills covers 578 acres near Pafos on the Island's west coast.
"Whether it's buy‑to‑own or buy‑to‑sell, Cyprus has leapt up the list of the top European destinations for second home ownership in the past three years," said Nicos Kyriakides, real estate marketing manager for Aphrodite Hills. "EU membership has certainly enhanced our international image as an economically and politically stable country equal to that of our more Northern European neighbours, but still less expensive. This adds up to an extremely attractive investment proposition for affluent Gulf nationals and expatriates."
Residents and guests of the new InterContinental at Aphrodite Hills can also enjoy world‑class golf on the 18‑hole championship course, competition‑standard tennis courts, excellent fitness facilities and a sophisticated Retreat Spa. At the heart of the resort is the Village Centre with bars, restaurants, shops and amphitheatre for entertainment.
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