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Bahamas Prime Minister predicts zero unemployment rate

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The country is headed for zero unemployment when construction on the $750 million luxury Ritz-Carlton Resort begins on Rose Island in March 2007, Prime Minister the Rt Hon Perry Christie predicted.

Approximately 1,000 jobs will be provided during construction and 800 permanent jobs once the resort is completed in about two years time.

The Prime Minister made his prediction at a press conference December 12, at the Office of the Prime Minister on Cable Beach to update the media on plans for the resort.

“I am excited about this project and I look forward to this development commencing in March,” the Prime Minister said. “It means really that we have more Bahamians employed, and as I have indicated to the country, we are not talking about an unemployment rate, we are talking about moving to zero rate. That is that all persons who are in a position to work will have jobs available in this country.”

Scheduled for opening in late 2009, the resort will have 60 condo-hotel units, 60 private villas offering both marina and shoreline settings, 50 marina town homes and 135 exclusive estate homes on the 230-acre island. There will also be a 40-unit Ritz-Carlton Club offering fractional ownership opportunities.

Other features include a 300-slip marina with full retail and marina services, a helipad for quick access to the Lynden Pindling International Airport and continuous water ferry to and from Nassau and Paradise Island.

Also included are swimming pools, a luxury spa, several dining alternatives, and water sports.

The Prime Minister noted that the Ritz-Carlton will join other major developments underway on New Providence, including the Atlantis Phase II on Paradise Island, Baha Mar on Cable Beach, and the Albany Resort and South Ocean in the southwest.

The Ritz-Carlton is being developed by the Florida-based Gencom Group headed by Karim Alibhai, who has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry.

He said that the resort is destined to deliver sophistication with contemporary elegance and an uncompromising standard of service. He added that the Ritz-Carlton will maintain a cordial relationship with the nearby Atlantis, using Paradise Island as its seaport. The developer further proposed to aid in the promotion of Bahamian artwork, as provision will be made to accommodate straw vendors at their retail center.

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