United Arab Emirates (UAE) billionaire, His Highness Sultan Khalil Ibrahim Albalishi, arrived in Zimbabwe on Thursday evening to explore investment opportunities in various sectors of the economy.
He touched down at the Robert Mugabe International Airport with his business partner Alder Archibald, who is an Indian national based in the UAE.
Albalishi is the CEO of Rind Properties, one of the biggest real estate companies in Dubai and the rest of the UAE. The property firm has a staff complement of 400.
Rind is a partner of EMAAR, a property company in the UAE and listed on the Dubai Financial Market.
The billionaires were welcomed at the Robert Mugabe International Airport by their local business partners, Darlington Chipfupi and Kelvin Mapingire,a pilot by profession.
Their areas of interest in Zimbabwe include real estate, mining, and aviation, both commercial and private, among others. It is understood they want to also set up a flight school in the capital Harare and are awaiting approvals from the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA).
Asked about the purpose of their visit, Albalishi and Archibald said they “see a lot of investment opportunities in Zimbabwe”.
Mapingire weighed in saying: “They are billionaires. Sultan (Khalil Ibrahim Albalishi) is from Ajman State (one of the seven emirates of the UAE). We had many entanglements at the Zimbabwean Pavilion during the Dubai Expo. We later deepened roots and I persuaded them to come here.”
He added: “They intended to visit South Africa and Kenya, but I persuaded them to come (and invest in Zimbabwe), and I am honoured that they are finally here. The value of the (business) proposal lodged with ZIDA will bring a change here in Zimbabwe in their areas of investment and am confident it will flow out as planned after ZIDA clearances.”
Chipfupi said: “They are targeting real estate sector, mining and commercial and private aviation. They also plan to set up a flight school here in Harare.”