Friday, December 13, 2019

Saint Lucia’s Pearl of the Caribbean to Transform the South

Saint Lucia is poised for significant advances in our tourism product and business

environment thanks to Saint Lucia’s Pearl of the Caribbean which is expected to

commence construction in 2017. The southern-based project, estimated to cost about $2-

billion, is a fully integrated equestrian oriented development which will encompass the

Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club and its expected world class horse racing, and related

entertainment, leisure and accommodation amenities.

At a sod-turning ceremony on Friday November 25th 2016 there were several

announcements made on the impact of the project and the unique opportunities it brings.

Held in Vieux Fort the historic ceremony was attended by His Royal Highness Prince

Henry of Wales, Prime Minister Honourable Allen M. Chastanet, Ministers of

Government, Chairman of the China Horse Club International Advisory Council and

Bloodstock Advisor for HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Honourable John Warren, Chairman of

DSH Caribbean Star Ltd and China Horse Club, Mr. Teo Ah Khing, the Board of

Directors and Management of Invest Saint Lucia and other invited guests. There were

stunning artist renderings of the project and presentations were made to His Royal

Highness who also took part in the turning of the sod.

Speaking at the event Mr. Teo Ah Khing said: “St Lucia’s Pearl of the Caribbean is a

project that will be constructed with the people and for the people. It will drive new

opportunities across the nation in established industries like international tourism,

business, leisure, retail, digital media and real estate. It will create a new equine industry

with the building of a state of the art race course.”

Mr Khing thanked Prince Henry of Wales for taking the time to witness the sod turning,

while he continued to speak of the benefits of the project to Saint Lucia: “DSH Caribbean

Star brings with it a proven track record of delivering upon the visions of the government.

It is a record we are proud to stand by. We believe Saint Lucia’s Pearl of the Caribbean

will spearhead a momentum to move this country forward in line with the government’s

vision that St Lucia will truly become a premium tourism destination of the world. To the

people of St Lucia, we at DSH Caribbean Star share the enthusiasm to promote the very

best virtue of this country. We want the Pearl of the Caribbean to connect the people

from all around the world to Saint Lucia.”

For his part Prime Minister Allen Chastanet described the project as “bold, courageous

and different.”

“The horse racing track is just the beginning,” said the Prime Minister. “There are also

the jobs that will be created for the multitude of young people, particularly here in the

south. When you see the rich history of horse riding in St Lucia you see the love of

horses. You see the young men as entrepreneurs on the beach getting tourists to ride their

horses. This is going to create an opportunity for them to become professionals, an

opportunity for them to become world class.”

The Prime Minister spoke of the potential for development in Vieux Fort and surrounding

areas: “We have a world class deep water harbour, international airport and over 10,000

acres of undeveloped flat land. There is nowhere in the Caribbean where that opportunity

exists better than it exists here in Vieux Fort.

“We intend to make sure that the first international horse racing event will take place here

by next November!” he announced as he also spoke of other development initiatives for

the south including a cruise ship terminal and the redevelopment of the Hewannora

International Airport.

CEO of Invest Saint Lucia, Mr. Mc Hale Andrew spoke specifically about the time frame

and status of the project as he explained that over the next few months, “subject to full

planning approval, we are poised to witness the transformation of the south.”

The CEO addressed environmental concerns: “Let me reiterate that the protected and

environmentally sensitive Mankôté Mangrove has, by mutual agreement, been excluded

from the scope of this project. Let me also reassure all of Saint Lucia that while DSH has

received the Development Control Authority’s approval in principle, this by no means

constitutes permission to commence construction. With a project of this magnitude, you

would appreciate that there are, and will continue to be, a number of obligatory processes

along the project implementation continuum that must be satisfied prior to the actual

commencement of construction.”

Andrew went on to explain: “We are now at the stage where this project, despite the fact

that it has not yet received CIP approval, is forging ahead to fully fund, through the

developer’s equity, the construction of the horse racing track. It is anticipated that,

subject to satisfaction of the stipulated requirements, CIP approval will be forthcoming in

the desirable time frame and will help to finance the remainder of the project.”

Andrew ended by stating: “Invest Saint Lucia is proud to be associated with Desert Star

Holdings Ltd. and is satisfied that this investment will be a key driver for the south and a

catalyst for further investments throughout the island.”

For his part Minister with responsibility for Tourism Honourable Dominic Fedee gave an

overall vision for the Tourism industry in Saint Lucia and commended DSH for its

commitment to Saint Lucia.


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