Posted on August 30, 2014

Qatar's state investment fund, Qatari Diar, has pulled out of a project to build a luxury resort in the Przna bay in the coastal town of Tivat. The "Beyond Horizon" project, which started in 2011, envisaged the construction of five-star villas in a cove with a sandy beach in Krtole, near Tivat, and was worth about 350 million euro. 

"After more than three years of diligent planning and strong commitment to the preparatory tasks, problems in acquiring land ownership currently make this project unsustainable," the company said. Media reports on Wednesday said the change of heart left the Montenegrin economy with a hole in its investment plans, blaming "unsettled property relations" between the state, local residents and the Qatari Fund. 

The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism on Wednesday said it still had no complete information on Qatari Diar's plans to dump its project in Montenegro. A ministry representative, Predrag Jelusix, said he was surprised by the reports because the government had enjoyed close communications with the Qatari company in recent months. "We expected that concrete construction work on the five-star hotel and residential part with the 76 units would start by the end of September or in early October," Jelusic added. 

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The Qatari fund is the second major government partner to withdrew from a multi-million investment in Montenegrin tourism in the last two months. In July, the government canceled a 250-million-euro contract with British-Montenegrin company, Boka Group, terminating its plans to build luxury complex and golf course in  Tivat. The deal failed because the company broke the deadlines to start construction. 

The Montenegrin government's hopes are now focused on two remaining capital projects - construction of the highway to the border with Serbia and the tourist project of the Azerbaijan-based company, Azmont, in the coastal town of Herceg Novi. The start date of construction of the highway is still uncertain because the selected companies, China Communications Construction Company and China Road and Bridge Corporation, are still waiting approval for 800 million euro sought in loans.

Even the 500-million-euro Azerbaijani investment has not gone according to plan.  The start of construction of the resort in Herceg Novi has already been delayed several times due to "technical problems".

source: Balkan Insight