The following is an interview between Bennett Oghifo and Mohammed Asaria, Managing Director of Range Developments. Range Developments is an investment and hospitality firm operating in the eastern Caribbean.
Q: The citizen by investment programme looks interesting, particularly with the ultra-luxury resorts. What are the house types?
A: In Grenada at the Six Senses La Sagesse, we are building an ultra-luxury resort. It will compromise 100 rooms spread over 28 acres. The hotel will have a number of restaurants, a feature Spa as well as access to two beaches. It will be something special that all Six Senses resort are. Six Senses is the leading brand of the Intercontinental Brand. The resort will also include a number of exclusive villas that will be built in the same style as the main hotel. They will share the facilities and will be available to be used by the hotel.
Q: What should a Nigerian interested in the programme do?
A: Grenada has emerged as the leading CBI option due to its multiple benefits and access to the E2 USA visa. Citizenship of Grenada may be obtained in a cost-effective manner expeditiously within a 90-day period following a detailed due diligence process on the applicant. This is also a very cost effective-jurisdiction in comparison with the range of other existing citizenship programmes.
Q: What’s the expected return on investment, besides citizenship?
A: The investor must hold the investment for 5 years. Thereafter, they can resell the investment to another investor who can also apply for citizenship of Grenada. The original investor keeps their citizenship in perpetuity. In addition, an investor will also receive a profit from the operations of the hotel. The projected yield is from 2% to 4% once the hotel opens.
Q: What arrangement is there for a Nigerian investor to use his home during their vacation or at any other time?
A: The investors are acquiring an interest in the hotel rather than a specific home. This is the way the Grenadian CBI programme is structured. Investors are welcome to spend two weeks a year on a complimentary basis at the Six Senses Hotel and during construction we invite them to spend two weeks a year at one of our other Caribbean Resorts (either the Park Hyatt St Kitts or Kempinksi Dominica).
Q: How secure is the investment from economic and political storms?
A: Investment in a CBI programme offers the best refuge from economic and political storms, because it gives mobility and security. Once you have second citizenship, you are free to travel wherever you choose. It is the perfect hedge from social, economic or political storms. Combining this with the ability to live in the United States – ensures CBI is not just a luxury, it has become a necessity.
Q: What’s the payment structure?
A: To secure Grenadian citizenship, investors must first invest US$220,000 (plus government fees based on the composition of the family) in a government-approved real-estate project, such as Six Senses La Sagesse, Grenada and apply for citizenship of Grenada. The level of government fees depends on the number of family members the main applicant is planning to include into a citizenship application. So, for a family of four, there will be an additional US$80,000 of government fees. At the outset, a deposit of 10 per cent of the investment amount is taken, the balance on approval (expected within 3 months) of the application.
Q: What percentage of Range Developments’ is available for investors?
A: Both the Park Hyatt St Kitts and Cabrits Resort Kempinski are fully sold. There is still availability for investors in the Six Senses La Sagesse, Grenada.
Q: Do you have representatives in Nigeria?
A: Our activities in Nigeria are managed through our offices in Dubai.
Q: What’s the interest or role of the Grenadan government in these projects?
A: Grenada wants to encourage investment, create jobs, and bring tourists to the island. All these criteria are met by the Six Senses La Sagesse, Grenada, which will be Range Developments’ third development in the Caribbean. It will comprise 100 rooms spread over 28 acres. Six Senses has been named as the number one hotel brand globally for the past three years by Travel & Leisure magazine. Its construction is funded in part through Citizenship by investment. Demand for the Grenada offering has been buoyed by the recent changes in US immigration law, especially the exponential price increases to the EB5 Programme. The Grenadian Government has undertaken full due diligence on Range Developments and only then were Range permitted to attract investors under their citizenship by investment programme.
Q: At what stage can a prospective investor inspect the resorts?
A: At any stage they choose. Range Developments will be happy to show any prospective investor around the resorts, or help facilitate their stay in the Caribbean in any way possible.