East Bank Highway to become ‘massive’ economic zone – President Ali

─ as US $35 M Sheraton Four Points hotel begins construction

A major transformation is underway at Houston, along the East Bank Demerara (EBD) corridor, as a multibillion state-of-the-art Sheraton Four Points hotel prepares to begin construction there.

His Excellency, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali

The multinational hotel brand operated by Marriott will feature advanced technology, service, and sustainability features. The first hotel in Guyana with EDGE advance certification-an internationally accredited environmental and sustainable certification relating to clean energy generation and conservation guarantees the hotel will consume 40 per cent less resources than a similar project using traditional methods. Importantly, the hotel’s architecture will take into consideration the diversity of cultures in Guyana, especially the Amerindians.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, on Tuesday, led other ministers of government and investors for the sod-turning ceremony for the 172-bedroom architecture which will help shape the development trajectory along the East Bank.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, and CEO of Go-Invest, Dr. Peter Ramsaroop joined in the sod turning of the Sheraton Four Points hotel at Houston, East Bank Demerara.

Alongside the hotel will be a modern hospital of international standards offering specialised care, with heavy focus on cosmetic and other such surgeries. A mall, along with a possible second hotel is also on the cards. In addition, a number of government ministries, including the Ministries of Housing and Water and Education, as well as the telecoms sector will be housed along the highway.

Dr Ali said work will commence on those projects before the end of this year.

Directly opposite the grand hotel, a huge private sector industrial commercial development will be established to support the oil and gas industry. Adjoining that establishment will be a commercial zone, an upscale development, a medical and technological zone, and a services hub.

President Ali said the transformation to come will provide boundless opportunities for all.

“This area will become a massive economic zone. Thousands of jobs will be created in this area. This area will then be connected to a highway and linked to Ogle, going all the way down to the East Coast where we will have a new link moving to LBI, Enmore, that entire area, which will become a massive housing commercial zone,” President Ali said before the sod turning.

He explained that the road network will be enhanced into a major network from the East Coast, connecting to the East Bank, moving all the way to the Linden- Soesdyke Highway, where the new Silica City will be established.

The sod-turning for the Sheraton hotel is the second such activity for this week. On Monday, President Ali turned the sod for another multi-billion venture, Pasha Global and Blue Bridge Hotel, at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.

While many major developmental projects are being initiated, others have been completed and are already offering services.

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal and Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall joined a local investor on Sunday for the opening of a multi-billion shopping complex at Enmore, East Coast Demerara.

On Wednesday, the president will deliver the feature address at the opening of another major investment, the Pegasus Corporate Centre.

Dr. Ali said the development trajectory of the country is ‘forward-looking, upward, dynamic, diversified and bearing potential for investors and the creation of jobs government has always talked about… These developments are not isolated. They are strategically aligned to a goal of the government,” he stated

He said the government understands the global changes that are occurring and is positioning the country to benefit.

“And that is what this government is doing every single day, unlocking new opportunities, looking for new paths to fuel our development.”

Government is also working feverishly to eliminate bureaucracy. He said three years ago, the approval process for projects such as the Sheraton hotel would have taken years.

“We want those bureaucracies to be eliminated. Checks and balances to ensure transparency and rigidity of the system are critical, but not at the expense of the project. We are working alongside the developers to create the ‘one window’ approval system.”

The new Sheraton hotel is expected to open its door by the first quarter of 2024.