Bahamas Government Signs $250 Million Agreement to Re-develop Nassau Cruise Port

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Heads of Agreement Signing for the redevelopment of Nassau Cruise Port, August28, 2019, at Festival Place. (BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis said the government is embarking on a “quarter of a billion dollar major project to redevelop what will become the iconic, world-renowned and new Nassau Cruise Port.”

The Prime Minister was speaking at the Heads of Agreement Signing between The Bahamas Government and Nassau Cruise Port Ltd. for the redevelopment of Nassau Cruise Port, August 28, 2019, at Festival Place.

Global Ports Holding will spearhead the makeover of the Port and will be the Port operator under a 25-year management agreement and part of a unique consortium that has been negotiated to transform the Nassau Cruise Port into one of the more beautiful and exciting cruise ports in the world.

Secretary to the Cabinet, Camille Johnson signed on behalf of The Bahamas Government and Regional Director of the Americas, Global Ports Holding, Mike Maura Jr. signed on behalf of the operator.  In attendance were Cabinet Ministers, Permanent Secretaries; other government officials; Chairman, Global Ports Holding, Mehmet Kutman and other representatives of the operator.

The Prime Minister explained that after
decades of discussion and debate, the transformation and revitalization of the
historic City of Nassau and downtown Nassau is about to take a dramatic leap.

“Rather than Nassau going to sleep early
every evening, Bahamians and visitors should enjoy a bustling and vibrant city,
with exciting nightlife, and entertainment, featuring Bahamian, and
international culture, music and food,” the Prime Minister said.

“Further, in keeping with world-class
standards, we are also entering a new era in how downtown Nassau is maintained
and beautified, which may require new regulations and laws.”

He said the transformed,
state-of-the-art Nassau Cruise Port will be situated at the historic Prince
George Wharf.

The Prime Minister also emphasized that
Prince George Wharf will remain wholly owned by the Government of The
Bahamas. 

He said: “The new world-class port will
include a new terminal, a waterfront park, a harbour village, new inner
harbour, amphitheatre, Junkanoo Museum, shops, restaurants and an impact
theatre.

“The number of berthing facilities for
cruise ships will be expanded.  This will mean even more cruise passengers
and more economic opportunities for Bahamians.”

He also explained that there will be “a
centralized transportation area for onward transfer of passengers by existing
and any future Bahamian licensed taxi and tour operators from Downtown Nassau
to elsewhere in New Providence and Paradise Island.”

Further, the new parking and waiting
areas will be designed “to ensure smooth and efficient operations by existing
licensed taxi and tour operators,” whose leadership has already been consulted
– this consultation will continue throughout the process.

The Prime Minister noted that during
construction, there will be approximately 500 jobs, which will likely help to
further reduce the unemployment rate in the country.

He said that it is expected that there will be a tremendous
growth in the number of cruise passengers in the years ahead.

“Along with the extraordinary growth in air arrivals, and longer
stay guests, New Providence will continue to see a rise in the number of annual
visitors.

“These millions of visitors represent enormous economic
opportunities for Bahamians throughout the economy, including farmers,
artisans, store owners, taxi, tour and heritage operators, straw vendors, hair
braiders, restaurant owners and others.”

The Prime Minister explained that through the Small Business
Development Centre, the government is training, mentoring, and in a number of
instances, approving grants to Bahamian entrepreneurs who are getting into the
tourism business.

“The new cruise port will feature an extraordinary variety ‘of
recreational, entertainment, shopping and food and beverage spaces for
Bahamians, tourists and other visitors.’”

The Prime Minister added, “These
small and medium-sized enterprises will be owned solely by Bahamians, who will
be able to rent or lease spaces designed around various aspects of Bahamian
culture.”

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