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With USD 150 million, a well known Nigerian investor, Dr. Wanle Akinboboye, has partnered with a local company, O’clock General trading Plc, to construct a 500 bed resort near Al-Najashi Mosque in Mekele. The fist phase of the resort construction is expected to start in the new Ethiopian year. It will take one year to complete.
Since it is near a mosque, the resort will have plenty of spaces for prayers. The resort which will rest on 1,000sqm is expected to attract more than 200,000 tourists per year since it is near the old mosque and it will likely bring Hajj & Umra travelers to visit Al-Najashi.
The mosque in Negash, a traditional burial site of several followers of Prophet Mohammed who, during his lifetime, fled to the Ethiopian kingdom to escape persecution in Mecca. They were received and sheltered by Negus Asihima of Ethiopia, who was friendly. The mosque is also known as the ‘Tomb of Seid Ahmed al Negash,’ after the king, who allegedly converted to Islam and was buried there.
Dr Wanle said, “It is the first mosque in Africa. We need to attract more tourists but to do that we need to have best hotel services, that is why my partner and I agreed to construct the resort at that location.’’
“My partner, O’clock General trading has experience with meter taxi service and I hope when we begin the service visitors will have no problem in getting transport to move from one place to another,’’ he added.
Ahemidin Mohammed, owner and general manager of O’clock General Trading Plc said the resort will promote the mosque.
“People do not know much about the mosque because little has been done to promote the place, and opening these types of investments will do a lot to increase tourism.’’
Wanle Akinboboye owns one of the biggest beach resorts in Nigeria – La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort. In recent times, he has commissioned additional resorts in other destinations, such as in Grand-Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire, and in Koton-Karfe, Kogi State, Nigeria. He created and produces the popular Mare Festival for Ondo State government.
Ahmidin Mohammed has helped import several spare parts, industrial machines and cars and recently he promoted and imported Addis Meter Taxis.
Tigray Toursim and Cultural bureau played an important role in supplying land for the resort. It is expected to create jobs for 1,000 people.