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Boost for tourism as President Uhuru Kenyatta opens Sh5.1b English Point Marina

By Mkala Mwaghesha | January 14th 2016

After a two-year delay, the iconic English Point Marina in Nyali, Mombasa, was on Tuesday finally opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta. In a colourful event attended by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho among other dignitaries, the President lauded the project, asking more investors to put money in the tourism sector.

“Let me congratulate the management, financiers and the Ministry of Tourism for making the English Point Marina dream come true. The English Point Marina is an iconic landmark in the City of Mombasa with a modern design and contemporary feel,” President Kenyatta said of the Sh5.1 billion project overlooking Fort Jesus.

The marina has been described as one of the most magnificent tourist resorts between Cape Town in South Africa and Cairo in Egypt.

President Uhuru Kenyatta cuts the ribbon during the official opening of English Point Marina in Mombasa. Looking on are Mombasa County Governor Ali Hassan Joho, Tourism Cabinet secretary Najib Balala and Managing Director of English Point Marina Alnoor Kanji. The President said the marina would boost tourism. (PHOTO: OMONDI ONYANGO/STANDARD)

“This will encourage those already flying in to increase the frequency of their flights,” said President Kenyatta.

Interestingly, the president had expressed his interest to preside over the opening of the project when he visited the site early last year.

Intricate design

According to sources, his itinerary had not allowed for that to happen in the course of last year, even as the final touches were being put on what the Managing Director Alnoor Kanji described as ‘intricate’ design.

Initially set to be opened in November 2013, the Marina’s opening had been postponed more than four times. “The interest English Point has generated since it started to take shape is the reason it has taken a while to be completed,” General Manager Philip Jones said mid last year from his first floor office at the English Point Marina Hotel. He partly blamed the contractors for the delay.

“There are many challenges, but contractors have to take responsibility. We have had to re-do a number of things because they were done wrongly. It has taken longer than expected because the contractors have erred more than once,” he said.

English Point Marina has a 26-room hotel, conferencing facilities, a roof-top restaurant, a gym and spa, a swimming pool, 96 serviced apartments and eight penthouses. It also has a popular boardwalk that features retail outlets, water-sports centre and a fully-serviced 88-berth marina.

Since November 2014, the facility has had a soft opening with the boardwalk, a popular site for wedding ceremonies and cocktail events.

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