Iraq: Plans unveiled for Baghdad development

The Iraqi tourism board has unveiled plans for a multi-billion-dollar resort on al-A’arass Island in the heart of Baghdad.

The tourism board is seeking up to $3 billion in investment capital for a five-year development project that will include construction of a six-star hotel surrounded by multiple golf courses and spas.

Ahmed Ridha, head of Iraq's National Investment Commission, has said that with the nation’s security level improving, he expects tourism to soon compete with oil as a major source of national revenue. He said Iraq received $74 billion in direct foreign investment in the last six months of 2008.

Set on the Tigris River, the 1.32-mile long island was a poplular destination for weddings and honeymoons back in the 1980's, according to the tourist board chief Hamud al-Yakuby.


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