Thursday, March 22, 2012

tunisia The Wide World of Sports Cities

If you’re looking for fresh reasons to feel optimistic about international golf development, consider this: Late last year, Sports Cities International announced that it’s resurrected its down-but-not-out community in Tunisia’s capital city.

“We expect to resume the work soon,” SCI’s CEO, Victor Shenoda, told Emirates 24/7.

Tunis Sports City was a link in a chain of sports-oriented communities that SCI, a subsidiary of Sharjah, UAE-based Bukhatir Group, hoped to build in Sri Lanka, South Africa, India, Vietnam, Morocco, and, for a brief time, Pakistan. However, the company managed to open just one: Dubai Sports City, which debuted in 2004 and includes an Ernie Els-designed golf course.

In keeping with the template created in Dubai, the 650-acre Tunis Sports City has been master-planned to include a variety of housing types, a few hotels, some office space, the largest shopping area in North Africa, schools, a medical center, nine sports academies, a 10,000-seat outdoor stadium, and a 5,000-seat indoor stadium. Its 6,650-yard golf course has been designed by Peter Harradine, a Swiss architect who has an office in Dubai.

Shenoda didn’t provide any particulars about when the construction in Tunis will begin. As for the other communities, they remain kayoed by the global economic collapse, at least for the time being.

Some information in this post originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of the World Edition of the Golf Course Report.