The UAE-based Pride Group Holdings has announced that it would invest over $500 million in the tourism sector of India's Jammu & Kashmir while enabling the creation of up to 2,500 jobs.
"We intend to launch four mega projects in Kashmir, with standards similar to those of the best hotels and resorts around the world," Pride chairman Musadiq Shah said in a statement after a meeting with Jammu & Kashmir's tourism secretary Naeem Akhtar.
"Our intention is to help revive Kashmir's tourism and hospitality industry and portray the region as a benchmark in global hospitality," said Shah, who originally hails from Kashmir.
The four mega projects would be launched in Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Tanmarg, according to the statement here.
"These properties will be operated in strategic partnership with renowned operators IL&FS and Colliers International," it said.
All the projects would offer five star levels of service and facilities.
The resort in Tanmarg would be the most high-end project, with Pride Group modeling it after the best ski resorts in Aspen, Colorado, the statement added.
The first of the projects would be ready by 2010.
"In addition to the investment factor, Pride Resorts will also contribute in creating up to 2,500 direct employment opportunities in the region and at least 10,000 indirect opportunities as a result," Shah said.
Thanking Pride Group for investing in India's northernmost state, Akhtar said: "The Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Department will forward all needed support for successful completion of the initiative taken by Pride Group Holdings."
Indo-Asian News Service