Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Dubai-Style Plans Emerge For Macedonia's Ohrid Area

Would the proposed project, dubbed "Saharaya Macedonia," make Macedonia's lakeside summer resort of Ohrid look like Dubai?Would the proposed project, dubbed "Saharaya Macedonia," make Macedonia's lakeside summer resort of Ohrid look like Dubai?
Would the proposed project, dubbed "Saharaya Macedonia," make Macedonia's lakeside summer resort of Ohrid look like Dubai?
Would the proposed project, dubbed "Saharaya Macedonia," make Macedonia's lakeside summer resort of Ohrid look like Dubai?
When Subrata Roy arrived at Skopje Alexander The Great Airport in mid-June, he received a welcome that included Macedonian Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski and a hostess decked out in Macedonia's traditional dress.

Months of negotiations later, on November 20, the Indian magnate submitted an opulent and ambitious project proposal to the Macedonian government that includes a Dubai-like summer resort complex at the lakeside resort of Ohrid, a popular summer tourist destination.

Roy is chairman of multibillion-dollar Indian business conglomerate Sahara India Pariwar, which is based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The project he submitted was partly the work of engineering and design consultants at Atkins, which also designed Dubai’s symbolic trademark hotel, the Burj Al Arab.

“Saharaya Macedonia,” as the project is called, includes three separate resorts stretched over 240 hectares around Lake Ohrid. The biggest of the trio is slated for the nearby village of Ljubanista, where hotels, apartments, and haciendas would host a high-end clientele.

The plan also includes a hotel complex with pools, a mini marina, artificial beach, clubs, and casinos. The windmill-like form features infrastructure floating over Lake Ohrid, much like the (now sinking) artificial Palm Islands in Dubai.
Lake Ohrid as it looked in 1996
Lake Ohrid as it looked in 1996

Local media reports place the cost of the project at several tens of million of euros.

If plans are completed in the next two years and the necessary permits come through, construction could begin in 2014 and end by 2018.

Located on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the city is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe and home to St. Pantelemon, an ancient Orthodox monastery. 

Although he is described as a billionaire by the media, Indian investor Subrata Roy doesn't appear on the "Forbes" list of billionaires around the world. Reuters has referred to Sahara India Pariwar as an “unlisted giant whose interests range across finance, housing, media and entertainment.” A household name in India known in part for its sponsorship of the national cricket team, Reuters goes on to chronicle very recent accusations of financial mismanagement against Sahara, including a Supreme Court ruling ordering the payment of billions of dollars for illegalities.

Sahara's is not the only ambitious project to have been launched by the government in recent months. Two weeks ago, the public spoke out against a newly announced government project to build an airport at Lake Ohrid. Environmental activists and Ohrid residents argued that the proposed plan was political gamesmanship before the upcoming local elections.

Much attention was also focused on a similar case eight years ago when a Portuguese company, Aqua Pura, expressed interest in building a huge 50 million-euro tourism complex in Prespa, a lake resort not far from Ohrid. Two years ago, the project was canceled.

It's abortive projects like these that suggest it's too early to say whether Ohrid will indeed become Macedonia’s “Dubai."

-- Deana Kjuka
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Vlado from: Skopje
November 29, 2012 17:51
The approval of this project will depend entirely on how much money can be made and how many relatives of the Government can gain by it.

by: Trentt from: Wisconsin USA
November 29, 2012 18:32
Lake Ohrid is a jewel as it is. I can't believe they'd ruin it with this proposed monstrosity.

by: Alexander from: Macedonia
November 29, 2012 18:39
This is another goverment lie for the upcoming local election

by: Kris from: Australia
November 29, 2012 20:59
I don't support this project. It would be a shame to destroy the lake. But I thank Mr Subrata Roy for friendship.

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 29, 2012 21:43
The albanians will be all too happy with their Fleetwood Mac brothers doing the great works for them.Ohrid is sure to become the future capital of Great Albania!!!
In Response

by: Peter from: Canada
November 30, 2012 11:02
Anaturk,you can only dream.After achieving our independence,we will make sure that will never happened.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 30, 2012 14:33
Dear Peter,those who gave you `independence` will make sure that happen.You are `independent`in the sense that nothing depends on you.How many macs the albanians will have to butcher so that you will be able to realize that??? Cut down on the prepecenitsa and wake up to reality-you are the dreamers!!!
In Response

by: Peter from: Canada
November 30, 2012 23:33
@ Anaturk,your dream is like the one Karzai has about the Taliban,it will never happen in Macedonia!!
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
December 01, 2012 21:52
Peter.its already happening,and if you are really in Canada you`ll be the last one to realize it!

by: Zna SE from: Balkan-EU
December 01, 2012 00:27
while croatia and serbia and their secret agants are/were dividing bosnia,macedonia,kosovo..serbia BIA and croatia are doing everything to stop reforms in these countries and are doing everythin to stop world companies to invetst in bosnia,macedonia,kosova, and keep all bussnis to serbia and croatia....serbia's main man that is dodik his main job in bosnia to stop reforms/investment to bosnia even if it menas starving of his own people in srpska region...serbian and croatian Television and pop culture are innovative ways of promoting their country's tourism. Has Croatia struck gold in South Korea?
show was scheduled to become an instant favourite among reality fans in South Korea. And as a consequence, Croatia is likely to become the next big travel destination for many young Koreans
They soon learned that the reason behind this astonishing rise of Zagreb to Korean stardom was The Romantic in Croatia. A new reality show
Television, pop culture and social media have become the new frontiers for promoting tourism in the new globalised world, and it looks as though Croatia is in for a tourism boost from an unlikely source, according to an intriguing report in Croatia Week on November 25, 2012: South Korea.
According to the report, the Zagreb Tourist Board had a surprising surge of interest from South Korean females at the recent 25th Korean World Travel Fair, which was held in Seoul in June....why Bosnian young educated people and TV don't promote the Bosnian nature and beauty on TV,showes,newspapers,... does Bosnia have Tourist Board do the same ...i traveled Bosnia few times and Bosnia-Hercegovina is as even more beutufel than Croatia and people are more friendly than in Croatia...Otto,Berlin

by: Charles from: Ontario
December 01, 2012 19:38
if you can afford it build it...but dont borrow money from IMF or WB that you dont have....Borrowing to buy or build property has helped make Canadians some of the most leveraged consumers in the world, at a time when their counterparts in other heavily indebted countries—such as the U.S.—are digging out. Household debt is now 163.4% of disposable income in Canada, close to the U.S. level at the height of the subprime crisis...and that means Canada will be next Greece in few years....

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