By Kagenyi Lukka
Ruparelia Group of Companies has finally completed and opened to the public the much awaited $320m Kampala Kingdom mall.
The group led by Dr Sudhir Ruparelia says Kingdom Kampala mall will “change our capital city’s skyline” and put Uganda on the rising bar.
The facility has 22,000 square metres of let-table retail & office space, parking for up to 450 cars and sprinkler fire suppression system.
It also boasts of 400 CCTVs to provide adequate security, three backup generators in case of power outages and six lifts with combined 72- passenger capacity.
For those who thought earlier attempts to cripple the businesses of city property magnet were beginning to materialise, this investment proves those efforts futile.
The illegal closure and sale of Crane bank Limited was one of the key highlights of such of several attempts.
Kingdom Kampala mall, which is now one of the marvels in the Kampala sky is located between three main roads; Nile Avenue, Yusuf Lule Road and Dewinton Road to the northeast of Central Business District of Kampala.
Dr Sudhir took over this mall from Saudi Prince Ali Waheed who was supposed to build a hotel to host guests during the Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2007 but the hotel was never built.
Prince Ali Waheed, together with Abland Africa an International firm from south Africa, were supposed to build a CHOGM hotel-Kingdom Hotel in 2007 but failed, and sold their interests to Sudhir’s Crane Management Services (CMS) that since took over the construction of the same.
$100m Speke Resort and Convention Centre
Meanwhile, work has kicked off at Dr Sudhir’s five-star resort in Entebbe better known as Speke Convention Centre.
Expected to cost $100m, the facility’s artist impression shows there will be a marina, a convention centre and a 3-winged main hotel block, with up to 10 visible floors penthouse suites on the top floor.
The Speke Resort and Convention Centre Entebbe will add to the Ruparelia Group’s hospitality portfolio that includes Speke Resort and Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo, Speke Hotel in Kampala, Kabira Country Club Conference and Forest Cottages.
The Entebbe hotel located at Ssese Gateway Beach will boost the tourism sector with people like Amos Wekesa, founder and CEO Great Lakes Safaris and Uganda Lodges Limited, describing it as “trailblazing”
Jean Byamugisha, the Executive Director Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA) said the hotel facility has come at the right time because it create job and skills transfer and offer variety to guests.
Kingdom Kampala mall and Speke Resort and Convention Centre are new additions to the ever growing empire with a combination of real estate, luxury, insurance, floriculture, Forex services, among others.