The Governor of Ariana, Mehdi Zaoui, ‘announced the beginning of construction on the Tunis Financial Harbor” according to statements published on Tuesday April, 19 by Tunisian news website AfricanManager. Construction on the mega project in the northern suburbs of Tunis, near Raoued, began after litigation to establish eminent domain over the building site was resolved according to the article.
The Tunis Financial Harbor is being developed by the Bahraini investment bank Gulf Financial House (GFH) and Tunis Bay Development Company (TBDC) according the GFH’s website the project will have a final development value of 3 billion USD (5 billion TND) and provide approximately 16,000 jobs.
The multibillion dollar project had been stalled since 2011, until a meeting between President Essebsi and board members of the GFH and TBDC during a trip to Bahrain in late January, during which it was agreed to relaunch the Tunis Financial Harbor (FTH) mega project . A follow up visit to Tunisia by a Bahraini delegation took place in February, after which according to a statement from the Presidential Palace in Carthage, the “Bahraini delegation briefed the President of the Republic on the phases of the project” and according to same statement, President Essebsi “underlined the need for the Tunisian government and the Bahraini group to work together to accelerate the project.”
After a meeting with President Essebsi in Manama in January, Hisham Alrayes, CEO of GFH and Chairman of TBDC, had told reporters on January 28 “We have reaffirmed the Group’s investment commitments in Tunisia’s developing economy and we believe this is going to be a unique project in North Africa.” adding “We have noticed the new mindset and desire from the new government to drive the economy and support Tunis Bay Project to be the key new destination in Tunis.”
According to information on the GFH Financial group’s website:
“Tunis Financial Harbour. (TFH) will deliver North Africa’s first offshore financial centre at Tunis Bay in a project with an expected end development value of USD 3 billion. (Roughly 5 billion TND) TFH is expected to be a world class banking centre designed to capitalize on Tunisian economic growth over the past decade. TFH is expected to create approximately 16,000 new and mostly skilled jobs across the financial, service, human resources and regulatory community, the benefits of which will be felt throughout the North African economy.”
“The Tunis Bay project is a large mixed use real estate development in a prime area in Tunisia, which shall comprise a financial hub, and other quality residential, leisure, health and educational communities. The overall Tunis Bay development has been master planned over 4 phases to serve as a modern urban environment and spreads over 523 hectares in the governorate of Ariana. Tunis Bay’s location and its infrastructure will offer easy access for skills, knowledge and investment capital to flow from within the MENA region and from international markets into Tunisia and Africa.”