Spain's Riu invests in Tanzania development

The new all-inclusive hotel is located in the Nungwi Beach area at the far north of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago. Photo credit: Riu Hotels & Resorts

A month after Marriott opened the second Four Points in Tanzania, Spain-based hospitality chain Riu Hotels & Resorts followed suit, acquiring the former Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est on Zanzibar.

This property, the company's second on Zanzibar, will be marketed as part of the Riu Palace brand to complement the existing Riu Palace Zanzibar. The company did not disclose the purchase price or indicate what the hotel's new name would be.

The all-inclusive hotel is located in the Nungwi Beach area at the far north of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago, a little over an hour by car from the airport and the capital city. The property has 149 rooms and a restaurant.

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Riu also acquired five hectares of land to build a third hotel for a total investment of $56 million. 

According to the company, these projects are meant to "reaffirm" Riu's commitment to the African continent as a tourist destination. Last month, Riu purchased a 25-hectare site in the Pointe Sarène area on Senegal’s west coast to build at least two new hotels with a total of 1,300 guestrooms. The planned investment—part of the chain’s partnership with the Society for the Development and Promotion of the Senegal Coast and Tourist Zone—amounts to €150 million, which includes the purchase of the site and the development of future hotels in the destination. The project is in the planning stage and due to launch in November.

Riu now has seven hotels open across sub-Saharan Africa (five in the Cape Verde archipelago and two in Tanzania) and five in Morocco.