Abu Dhabi helping with plans to develop Victoria


The agreement was signed on Thursday by Home Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy Minister Joel Morgan and the general manager of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council Falah Mohamed Al Ahbabi.

Mr Falah Mohamed had earlier in the morning held talks with President James Michel regarding this project to redevelop Victoria.

Mr Falah Mohamed during his meeting with President Michel

At the signing ceremony, which took place at the Seychelles Petroleum Company’s conference room at the New Port, Mr Morgan noted that the plans stem from an initiative of President James Michel and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“The level of will for the development from both sides is very strong,” said Mr Morgan, who described as very fruitful talks held by his team and that of Mr Falah Mohamed on Thursday.

“We were able to exchange a number of important ideas about the development of Victoria for the future and we are very happy you have been able to bring your team’s competence for the work we will do,” he said.

Mr Morgan said the plans will take care of the environment, transport infrastructure, planning and cultural guidelines.

“Above all we want to see Victoria develop as a beautiful city maintaining its heritage and culture and traditional architecture as much as possible for the people of Seychelles and tourists to enjoy,” he said.

He appreciated the support Abu Dhabi will give, particularly to the Planning Authority in terms of human resources and expertise that is expected to help regulatory and development  guidelines and process streamlining which he described  as a bottleneck that will hopefully see greater transparency.

Messrs Morgan and Falah Mohamed exchange documents after signing the agreement

“We are touched by your gesture,” he said.
Mr Falah Mohamed said the two countries’ leaderships’ governance and the government of Seychelles aspire to give the people of Seychelles a sustainable environment.

“The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council is honoured to be part of this strategic mission for the mutual benefit of both governments,” he said.

He pledged that the council will give the planning authority expertise and resources, and that both teams will work closely to align the urban development strategy with the overarching principles of Strategy 2017 and Vision 2020.

Mr Falah Mohamed said his team of experts -- eight of whom accompanied him yesterday – will work with Seychelles Planning Authority and other agencies to come up with the best plan to suit the people of Seychelles.

Minister Morgan and Mr Falah Mohamed with guests in a souvenir photograph at yesterday’s signing ceremony

“We will not forget to take the environment and culture into consideration with a view to improving them,” he said.
He said they will pay attention to roads, paths and other infrastructure that will help the Greater Victoria to grow and better satisfy the people of Seychelles.

Mr Falah Mohamed, whose team is here for the second time, said Mr Michel stressed the need to preserve the environment.
He noted that it will take five to six months to produce the master plan.

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