A new resort being developed by Qatar will rise in 2024 in Labuan Bajo, Flores island in the Nusa Tenggara region of east Indonesia, Indonesian ambassador Ridwan Hassan said.
Speaking to reporters recently, the envoy said the Qatari side and one of the Indonesian companies promoting the local tourism industry are working closely, especially in building the facilities.
“Hopefully, if everything goes on well, by 2024 it (the resort) will be operational… For this reason, the Indonesian government introduced a new policy. We call it ‘New 10 Balis destination’, so we copy Bali as the basis and then we develop it into other islands with some modifications.
“Then, among them is the island of Lombok, the Mandalika area, and next to that island, we have the island of Flores, which is close to the Komodo island and one of the areas we call Labuan Bajo, so this new hotel will be in that area,” Hassan said, adding that this area is a gateway to many exotic destinations in the eastern part of Indonesia.
According to Indonesia’s ministry of investments, the ’10 New Balis’ project consists of 10 destinations in Indonesia that are assigned to be ‘the next Bali’ – projected to attract a large number of visitors.
The ’10 New Balis’ includes Borobudur Temple (Central Java), Belitung (Sumatra), Mount Bromo (East Java), Labuan Bajo (East Nusa Tenggara), Lake Toba (North Sumatra), Thousand Islands (Jakarta), Mandalika (West Nusa Tenggara), Wakatobi (Southeast Sulawesi), Tanjung Lesung (Banten), and Morotai (North Maluku), the ministry said, noting that each of these destinations has its unique features and scenery “that even Bali cannot provide”.
Visitors can explore several exciting places surrounding the Nusa Tenggara such as the Batu Cermin Cave, Rangko Cave, and Cunca Wulang Canyon Waterfalls, among others.
“Indonesia is very famous for tourism especially if you are talking about the island of Bali. But Indonesia consist of thousands of islands and if you are just focusing on Bali it is not enough because Bali is not really big enough to accommodate all the foreign tourists coming to Indonesia,” the envoy said.
While Qatar has invested in Indonesia’s telecommunications (Ooredoo) and banking sectors (QNB), among others, he noted that tourism has become one of the most interesting sectors to be developed lately.
Hassan said the resort being developed by Qatar in the Labuan Bajo area is one-of-its-kind.
He expressed optimism that “there could be some other things coming up”.
The envoy also underlined the strong relations between Qatar and Indonesia, saying that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani visited Indonesia twice – in 2017 and 2019, further cementing the close and deepening ties between the two countries.
The envoy added that Indonesia is continuously witnessing an increasing number of visitors from the Middle East, including Qatar, both citizens and other nationalities.
“As you may know, Qatar is a hub and Qatar Airways is already flying to Indonesia, now to Jakarta thrice daily and it is always fully booked; and to Bali so far one flight daily and maybe it will return to twice a day,” he said.