Investors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have expressed interest to invest in Uganda’s tourism and trade sectors.

A delegation led by Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates was in Kampala to sketch out openings to invest in construction of shopping malls, entertainment centers, cable cars on Mt. Rwenzori and putting up Hot Air Ballons in National Parks.

The investors were briefed about investment opportunities in Uganda.

Eng. Frank Sebbowa, the Uganda Investment Authority Executive Director explained that investment opportunities are not only in tourism and trade but also in mining, oil and gas, energy/power sector, agro processing, Education, ICT, construction of road toll roads and utilizing the abundance marine transport opportunities on Lake Victoria.

He said with Uganda’s GDP at Ush54.6 Trillion, the growth rate estimated at 5.2% and Foreign Direct Investments in the range of $1.1 billion, it was an opportune time for the Arab investors considering that Uganda has no forex restrictions.

“As far as I know, after clearing taxes with URA on your profits, you can repatriate all your money,” Sebbowa said to the Investors at Kampala Serena Hotel.

Reem Al Hashimy said they were in Uganda to explore different business opportunities and do the necessary homework for investment.

Uganda’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Okello Oreym said diplomatic relationships between Uganda and the United Arab Emirates are excellent.

He added that the visit by the investors was a precursor to the awaited visit of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayeed Al Hayhan in April this year.

“This visit will be met by increased UAE investments in Uganda,” said Oreym.

In May this year, Etihad Airways is expected to launch direct flights between Entebbe International Airport and UAE.

By Paul Tentena

– The East African Business Week