11 Apr 2017 - Mauritania (Nouakchott)

James Whitmee

I am in Nouakchott in Mauritania on a real estate project (looking at the land, retail, office and residential markets). I have been coming here for 10 years, and there have been big changes over the last several. The new airport to the north of the city has now opened, and the roads generally have been improved throughout, with solar powered streetlighting along all main routes.

The new US Embassy appears to be about to open, and the Sheikh Zayed Road on which it sits is developing as a major commercial axis, particularly on the eastern side.

Today I visited some of the major land tracts where housing is being developed or to be developed. This includes F Nord, Najah City Center (the old airport), Nord Centre Emetteur and Ribat Al Bahr. At Najah City Center alone I have the site availability schedule, and it appears to run to around 3,000 land plots.

There has been quite a bit happening on the retail side of things, with the French company, Auchan, opening the biggest ex-pat supermarket at F Nord (Atac Elkheir). Additionally, the Saudi development of the Marche Capital in the city centre is now built, and will be opening shortly.

Along all of the main streets where high-street retail exists (e.g. Avenue du General de Gaulle and L'Ambassade du Senegal) houses have been demolished and small "marches" have been built offering 10 or so 20 m² units for rents of around MRO 80,000-100,000 per month.

There's a lot going on relative to other African markets, and a new boost to the market with the Kosmos-BP deal for oil and gas extraction on the border to the south with Senegal. The market is now better prepared to take an influx of expats than when Kinross came here for the gold and ended up putting their staff offshore in the Canary Islands.

Nouakchott 2

New Development of Marche Capitale

Nouakchott 1

SNIM Tower development on Avenue Abdel Nasser

Tags: Mauritania