COMPANIES said yesterday that they intended to continue with business developments as planned for Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island, following Monday’s tragedy.
Although some Cambodians expressed concerns to The Post about visiting the isle to enjoy its entertainment venues or marriage facilities, officials from developer Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation said its scheme, projected to cost around US$200 million, remained on track.
“The disaster has not affected our future plans,” Touch Samnang project manager of the Diamond Island development said yesterday. “Everything is going on as it was before. We have not changed our project.”
OCIC had just broken ground on its $3-million City Hall Diamond project – which would see 3,000 square metres of offices and conference rooms built and intended to see it complete in six or seven months, he said.
The firm is also building a $3 million new theatre and film centre, to be finished in April, as well as housing and a golf driving range.
Officials also confirmed that preparations for a 555-metre tall tower – which would be the world’s second largest if built today – would continue on the isle. Touch Samnang said plans were already drawn up, and preparations for a survey was underway.
“The second step is to study the land in detail, and then we will start construction on it,” he said.
The disaster has not affected our future plans. Everything is going on as it was before - we have not changed our project.
Although OCIC remained confident, Touch Samnang said he was deeply saddened by the disaster.
Diamond Island is also home to a number of restaurants and vendors. Outlets of popular Kingdom brands were slated to open on the isle – which has proved a popular attraction in the capital – in the next few months.
Lucky Burger representatives said yesterday it still intends to open its first fast food outlet on the island tomorrow, though operations manager Sok Vong said he was concerned about the tragedy keeping customers away.
“I worry a little about attracting clients, but our location is far from where the tragedy took place. I hope the situation will get better soon,” he said yesterday.
Diamond Island had also become a popular location for weddings, due to its large banquting halls.
Although some have expressed their concerns at following through with marriage on the isle, officials said yesterday there had not yet been any cancellations.
Prak Chan Long, general manager of Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Centre, said yesterday he expected a strong season ahead.
“Business is still the same. We haven’t had cancelled weddings, exhibitions, or other meetings,” he said, adding that more than 10 couples were scheduled to get married today.
Over the remainder of the year, he said a further 300 couples were set to celebrate their weddings at the centre.
The Diamond Island Night Market is also open, and vendors have not announced any intention of moving on, according to Prak Chan Long.
“We are trying to normalise a bad situation by upgrading things on the island. I hope that people will continue to come, more and more.”