Furi Real Estate announced a $10 million joint venture with an unnamed company from Macau to develop the first commercial shopping centre in Sihanoukville, a project aimed mainly at Chinese customers, the company’s director told The Post.
Chin Chan Len, the director of the project, known as Furi Times Square, said the large influx of Chinese tourists and investors has left Sihanoukville with a shortage of accommodation and commercial centres.
She said foreign tourists, especially Chinese visitors, struggled to find places for shopping and dining.
“Sihanoukville has grown rapidly in all sectors, but there are no commercial and shopping centres. Because there are so many Chinese guests, the building of Furi Times Square will focus on Chinese consumers,” she said.
The Sihanoukville Department of Tourism’s report showed that in the first half of this year, Preah Sihanouk province received 1.3 million tourists – up more than 10 per cent from the same period last year.
Tourists from China make up the most foreign visitors to the area – up nearly 44 per cent from last year.
Furi Times Square will be built in Sihanoukville’s Mittapheap district. The commercial centre, which will cover 1ha and stand four stories high, includes shopping malls, food stores, clothing stores, theatres and restaurants.
Construction will begin this month. It is scheduled to be opened in September next year.
Furi Real Estate, a local firm, has already been involved in several major projects, including Casa Meridian Condo, The Bhumi Emerald, and De Castle Royal. The company did not disclose the name of its partner from Macau.
Preah Sihanouk Province governor Yun Min, who returned from China on Saturday, said during his trip he tried to promote Sihanoukville’s potential to Chinese leaders and investors.
“Every country wants Chinese investors and tourists to visit as China has a lot of money,” he said.
During the first half of this year, the price of land in the centre of Sihanoukville doubled compared to last year, according to research by Real Estate Co Ltd.
Data from the Ministry of Tourism showed that in the first seven months of 2018, international tourist arrivals to Cambodia hit 3.45 million – up more than 11 per cent over the same period last year.
Chinese tourists made up about one million of the arrivals.
Figures from the Ministry of Interior showed that as of this year, there are 210,000 Chinese nationals living in Cambodia, compared with just over 100,000 last year.
Of this number, more than 78,000 are living in Preah Sihanouk province.