Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting news updates in Aruba.
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News Updates in Aruba
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Future Tourism Developments
Tourism minister updates the public with projects and developments that will take place in the near future.
Due to the current state of the economy, the majority of the local community is against developments of new hotels on the island. However, tourism minister is focused on producing income for the government, and thinks it’s important to introduce tourism developments that will increase the quality of hospitality in Aruba.
The government will announce the upcoming tourism projects that will start soon.
One of the projects that will be introduced in the near future is near Bushiri beach, which was recently made clear of the old building that use to function as a hotel and culinary art school decades ago. According to the tourism minister, investors who want to develop this piece of land, must consider projects that will benefit the community and travelers, this counts from bushiri beach until tamarijn druif beach.
Another project that is within the vision of the tourism minister is, isla di oro.
This project entails a 60 over water bungalow style resort in the middle of the mangroves near Pos Chiquito and Savaneta.
There’s also 2 different petitions by investors to build all inclusive hotels in San Nicolas. But there’s also investors who want to invest into boutique hotel in this area, with about 900 rooms. This type of project will compliment the fast ferry project announced by the government.
More Information About Developments at Isla di Oro
As long as the “zoning policy” better known as the ROP “ruimte ontwikkelings plan” doesn’t change, project isla di oro cannot proceed. This was confirmed by one of the investors and the tourism minister.
However, the tourism minister and infrastructure minister, who is in charge of the zoning policy, confirmed that the ROP is in process of being adapted.
It’s not certain when the ROP will be changed, but it will be sooner than later, according to one of the investors.
Besides the ROP that needs to be changed, there’s several NGOs that are opposed to the project.
Isla di Oro project was approved by the previous government, and the current government, which is a coalition of three different parties (AVP, POR & RED) also approve of the project.
The official name of the project at isla di oro is Zoëtry.
Zoëtry Isla di Oro will be an oasis and one of the only resorts in the Caribbean offering over-water suites.
Here’s a model of the upcoming project…
According to the investors, the project is environmental friendly and is destined to be a eco friendly tourism project. Tourism and infrastructure minister promises that if the project continues, it will do so only if it is approved by international regulations, and has to withhold to environmental regulations. This means protection for the mangroves in the area.
The project should be completed within two years after successfully changing the ROP, according to investors of this project.
Not everyone is happy with the project, because NGOs are of the opinion that the area is protected wetland, and construction is prohibited.
President of Aruba Birdlife Conservation is ready to take the investors to court, if necessary. Even if it has to be dealt with internationally, in order to stop the project from proceeding.
Another NGO called “Arubian Warrior” protested against the project with a demonstration on April 2, 2018 in front of the entrance at isla di oro.
Whether the project will continue lies on the changing of the ROP and manifestations of the NGO’s.
New Police Commissioner in Aruba
A new police commissioner (Andrew Hoo) was sworn in this week by the justice minister.
The previous police commissioner (Adolfo Richardson) lead the police force for 8 years, until recently, in which he has a new position within the interpol department.
His successor graduated at the Police Academy in Apeldoorn. He also has a Bachelor degree of Science in Hotel Administration, and an Associate degree of Science Hotel Management, in addition to Executive Master of Tactical Policing, majoring in General Leadership.
According to the new police commissioner, the use of technology will be a mayor part of his vision within the police force.
New Vehicles For Police Force & Ambulance
The police force receive 8 new vehicles.
Four of these cars are SUVs, designated to to the surveillance department and the rest of the cars are pick ups for the planning department.
All vehicles are Isuzu models, especially made and designed to accommodate the daily work of police on the island.
Justice minister confirmed during a press conference that more vehicles are on the way for the police force, about 22 more! He also said that drones, helicopters, and neighborhood watch police will also be reintroduced.
Health minister also announced a new vehicle for the ambulance department.
The new ambulance is state of the art and complies with every international regulation. It has wifi aboard enabling communication with the ER at the hospital.
According to the minister three more ambulances are on the way, which will complete 10 ambulances on the road to assist in any type of emergency.
Green Light For CITGO: Resume Rehabilitation
Prime minister of Aruba discussed the situation of the rehabilitation of the refinery on a popular morning radio show, after a meeting with representatives of CITGO.
According to the prime minister, the contract between CITGO is clear and there’s no room for error on their part moving forward, which can cause millions of dollars of fees.
The contract between Aruba and CITGO prevents the island to be jeopardized in any case the investors decide to abandon ship.
CITGO has been complying with the tax payments to the government since the start of the project, even until now, despite the refinery not being operational.
The prime minister also shared the good news during a press conference that a slowdown of the rehabilitation of the refinery is no longer effective.
Representatives of CITGO confirmed to have the necessary funds to proceed with the rehabilitation of the refinery within a short period of time.
Transport Between ABC Island & Venezuela Possible Again
Minister of foreign affairs in Venezuela confirmed that the ban on commercial communication between ABC islands and Venezuela has been lifted.
The ban was implemented during the first week of January, and was in working for over a month. It affected the importation of fruits and vegetables for local markets on the island.
From now on the Aruban government will be exercising stricter border controls between Venezuela, and products imported from the neighboring country will only be allowed if they are certified.
New Mural in San Nicolas
Local artist were invited to paint a new mural in San Nicolas.
It took them less than a week to complete a beautiful and artistic mural using paint that was donated by a local hardware store.
Inspiration for the mural was the cultural heritage city of the island – San Nicolas.
The mural incorporates a chameleon and one of the oldest buildings in the district Nicolas Store, which was a popular shop for locals decades ago. The nicolas store has now been remodeled and is now a hip cafe offering healthy foods.
Pass through the main streets of San Nicolas and see the new art project and different other murals painted by local and international artists.
Soul Beach Music Festival
This year will be the 18th annual soul beach music festival edition.
Soul beach music festival has been rated by both USA Today and Jetsetter magazine as one of the most popular Caribbean festivals in the region.
The event feature consecutive days of live music, comedy shows and beach parties.
Who will be performing?
No one better than award winning singers and songwriters Alicia Keys and Maxwell, also one of the worlds best comedians Marlon Wayans.
SBMF will take place during memorial day weekend, May 23-28, 2018.
Tickets for soul beach are available at Café the Plaza, Craft Coffee & Bar, Dragon CD & Electronics, Hamaka Sidewalk Café, MooMba Beach, Reflexions, Salt & Pepper, all CITGO gas stations (Boulevard, Essoville, Santa Cruz, Palm Beach) ad at Ponton Service Station.
Fore more info on tickets and other details visit www.Facebook.com/soulbeach
Master Bartending Class in Aruba
One of the lead Ambassadors of the Bacardi brand organized a “Master Bartending Training” in Aruba.
Different bartenders that were present during the training representing different bars and restaurants, learned to make classic cocktails using Bacardi that are popular between locals and visitors.
This includes drinks using a mix of different bacardi brands like rum, vodka grey goose, bombay, sapphire, martini and dewars whiskey.
A couple of weeks ago 9 different bars and restaurants received a “mojito certification award” by ambassadors of Bacardi. The following establishments got a mojito certification – Renaissance Blue Bar, Bucuti Hotel, Fusion Restaurant & Lounge, Cuba’s Cookin, Azia Restaurant and Lounge, Marriott Lobby Bar, Holiday Inn Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Pelican Pier and Marriott Stellaris Casino.
Hilton Aruba Presents Aruba Beer Time
Hilton Aruba has a new special “Aruba Beer Time” at their bar named Mira Solo.
There’s special price on buckets of three of the islands locally produced beers – balashi, chill and hopi stout.
Dubbed as the “Aruban Trio”, how much buckets is enough for you?
Next to the beer special, they also have local snacks available, like cheese balls, croquet and loempia.
There’s also live music by a brass band, including a carnival show every Wednesday night.
It all starts every Wednesday from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM.
Win Megabucks At Ritz Carlton in April
Ritz Carlton has a new campaign called “Mega Win”.
All players at Ritz Carlton casino can win up to $25.000 in prices during the month of April.
With every 80 points accumulated until April 25 at any slot machine, you get a ticket to participate in the raffle to win cash prices varying between $500.00 and $2000.00
A total of 10 winners will be selected for different cash prizes on April 25 (9:30 PM) at the Ritz Carlton Casino.
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