15 May 2019 - Senegal (Diamniadio)
I am in Senegal looking at the office market in Dakar, although I have also had an opportunity to look more closely at Diamniadio.
Until recently Diamniadio was a relatively small and unremarkable town with a population of just 12,000. However, under the leadership of President MackySall, Diamniadio has become the focus of a plan to revitalise the Senegalese economy and ease the population pressure on Dakar. The development of the new city is taking place around 30 km from Dakar, close to the Blaise Diagne International Airport, which opened in December 2017.
I have been driving around the area today, and it is currently largely characterised by empty, unused land and is sparsely populated. However, dotted around this zone there are some significant new developments, including the Dakar Arena, Sphere Ministeriellebuilding, Centre des Conférences de Diamniadio and the Radisson Blu.
11 Apr 2019 - DRC (Kinshasa)
I am in Kinshasa in DRC. I started off at the Grand Hotel in Gombe, but have now moved to Le Cypres which is a nice, small hotel in Ngaliema.
It has been tough for hotels here in the last couple of years because of the economic and political instability. There are a five 4-5* hotels representing just under 900 beds, and occupancy has been sub-50%. Prices in this sector are up to $250 per night. The 3* market is a bit stronger, generally charging in the range of $100-150 per night.
18 Mar 2019 - Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
The prospect of a winter sun break always lifts the spirits. My trip this time is a whistle stop one with 2 countries and 3 cities in 9 days and the prospect of a couple of blogs along the way. Airports in Asia are chilly at the best of times and a brisk walk is a double benefit firstly as a wake up for the legs after an 18-hour flight and secondly to get warm. On exiting the airport, I walk into a wall, one of 33 degrees heat and 60% humidity at 5pm, it was just delightful. I am in Kuala Lumpur looking at the high-end residential market.