Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rendering of Pearns Point, Antigua
Rendering of Pearns Point, Antigua

With a popular citizenship-by-investment program, the Caribbean’s twin island state of Antigua and Barbuda is becoming the new billionaires’ playground.

From Chinese billionaires to Dubai royalty and French aristocracy, the Caribbean’s twin island state of Antigua and Barbuda is attracting some high-profile new residents from all over the world.

Earlier this year, Ondine de Rothschild, the daughter of the late Baron de Rothschild and a Parisian antiques dealer, snapped up seven acres of beachfront land on Antigua. Sources say the plan is to build a dream holiday home, overlooking the azure Caribbean waters and the white-and-pink sand beaches.

Last year, Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood A-Lister Robert De Niro announced plans to acquire and renovate Barbuda’s K-Club Hotel into a five-star resort, to the tune of US$250 million. After the proposal was submitted, Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne made De Niro a Special Economic Envoy, with the aim of attracting more investment and high-end tourism to the Caribbean state.

Members of Middle Eastern royalty are also joining the tourism game — Sheikh Tariq Bin Faisal Al Qassimi of Dubai, a member of the ruling family of Sharjah, signed a memorandum of agreement with the Prime Minister to invest in a US$120 million luxury resort. The new resort will be located on 36 acres of prime beachfront land on Morris Bay, according to a government release.

Sun Yinhuan, the Chinese billionaire who owns Yida Group, started the tourism investment trend in 2013, when he signed an agreement to build a US$1 billion mega-resort in Antigua. Construction on the massive 1,600-acre residential and commercial project, called Singulari, will include marinas, homes, golf courses and the Caribbean’s largest casino. The land was owned by disgraced Texan financier Allen Stanford, who is currently serving a 110-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2012 of running a global Ponzi scheme.

The surge of interest from ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals, defined as people with at least US$30 million in assets, has made its mark on the country. The Caribbean UHNW population increased by 2.1 percent last year as wealthy individuals flocked to the tropical paradise, according to Wealth-X. There is a reason for this sudden popularity: in October 2013, Antigua and Barbuda became the latest country to legalise a citizenship-by-investment route, joining its peers Barbados and St. Kitts & Nevis. Investors receive not only a liberal passport, but also a low tax jurisdiction and potential new business opportunities.

To gain an Antigua and Barbuda passport, there are three avenues — a US$1.5 million investment into a business, a US$400,000 purchase in a government-sanctioned property project or the most popular route, a US$250,000 donation to a national development fund. Successful applicants enjoy visa-free travel to 130 countries including the UK, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore. Applicants must maintain their investment for five years and reside in the country for a minimum of 35 days annually.

According to Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment head, Don Myatt, around half the applicants so far are Chinese; the rest hail from the Middle East, with a small number of Europeans and Americans. “China has a large middle class of people who have a few million dollars and are looking for economic security,” said Myatt. “Travel with a Chinese passport can be a huge hindrance. You can’t just fly into London for a business meeting.” Myatt added that he anticipates as many as 200 applications per year. The process takes about three months, and most applicants are successful, he said. According to The Wealth-X Caribbean Wealth & Investment Report 2015, there are over 1,155 UHNW individuals living in the Caribbean, more than 67 percent of whom have relocated from another country.

Agents say the Caribbean also offers investment value – luxury resort home prices in the Caribbean remain below their 2008 highs, but have climbed 9 percent in the past year, and are forecast to continue rising. Developers are gearing up for a marketing push to sell some of their plushest properties. Dutch investor Albert Hartog and his partners Ben de Jonge and Rene Boon are behind Pearns Point, a US$300 million luxury development including a boutique hotel and 60 high-end condos. Designed by world-famous architects Piet Boon and Brian D’Ornellas of OBM International, the resort is already 20 percent sold. “I have never seen such beautiful beaches in my life,” said Piet Boon. “Waterfront properties are quite rare these days and becoming much more valuable.”

The appeal of the Caribbean state is being further enhanced by government initiatives. In a bid to bolster tourism, the government has improved 4G Internet connectivity, as well as the roads around the islands, and overhauled St John’s Port. There’s also the new 23,000-square-metre VC Bird International Airport terminal, due to officially open this year. It is designed for a throughput of 3 million passengers by the year 2030, up from the current 860,000, bringing in whole new streams of passengers, said the Ministry of Tourism.

“Our major source markets are the USA, UK, Europe and Canada, but the Ministry of Tourism has undertaken negotiations with multiple airlines to ensure that there is increased air access capacity for the anticipated increase in demand,” a Ministry of Tourism spokesperson said. “This will lead to an increase in visitor arrivals and will support the new hotel room stock.”

By Tara Loader Wilkinson

Citizenship by Investment Program - St Kitts and Nevis Passport

Basseterre, St. Kitts,The importance of reforming the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, came to the fore, during the first National Consultation for CBI, held today (July 30) at the Ocean Terrace Inn.

More than 120 stakeholders participated in the working sessions, which included a panel discussion, as they deliberated on the theme: “The Way Forward through Collaboration.”

“For me, the citizenship of my country is a prized and precious connection to the land that I love and to which I will always return,” Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said at the opening. “It is not something to be commoditized nor bartered away easily.”

Dr. Harris appealed to persons interested in becoming an economic citizen, to enjoin him to build the country and help make it the best small island state in which one would want to be born, to grow up, and to work, to play and establish a family.

“You build, not just through a contribution to the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) or real estate,” said Dr. Harris. “You build this country by supporting other projects and special purpose infrastructural work, in which the government may engage from time to time.”

Prime Minister Harris deemed the programme as an excellent product, and market leader.

“It is an enormously invaluable vehicle for promoting national development and economic resilience,” he said, while noting that it is a tremendous resource. “Like all resources, it needs to be managed carefully with credence, integrity and diligence.”

According to the Prime Minister, the benefits from the CBI are clear to all. The International Monetary Fund recently reported that St. Kitts and Nevis has the strongest growth in the region. Growth for 2015 is projected at 4.5 percent, which is partly due to the CBI programme, as it contributes 30 percent of annual revenue to the twin island federation.

St Kitts Real Estate, Nevis Real Estate, Real Estate

Starting your St Kitts real estate hunt.

St Kitts is a beautiful and wonderful place to visit and live in. No wonder you have decided on picking up St Kitts real estate for living-in or investing. Your St Kitts real estate hunt can easily begin with looking for the local real estate prices so as to have an idea of what kind of house and location would fit your budget. This comes after you have estimated how much money that you can afford to spend on a piece of real estate in St Kitts.

You can easily find out the St Kitts Nevis real estate prices with very little effort. There are many ways that you can do this. One way is to visit which is a St Kitts real estate listing portal. You can contact them and ask about the kind of property you can get within your budget (if you are looking for St Kitts real estate for investment purposes).

Many people say that they find it easy to just contact and get a grasp of the going prices for properties in St Kitts and Nevis. If you are looking for St Kitts real estate that is available under the St Kitts citizenship by investment program, then you would start with checking out what properties are available. However, if you are looking for St Kitts real estate because you actually want to live in St Kitts or Nevis (and enjoy your life and the culture), then you would be better off starting with your most basic requirements from a house e.g. you could specify a 1 bedroom house or a condo or whatever, if that is the minimum space you would need to be able to live in comfortably with your partner or your family etc.

If you cannot get the home you are looking for in the location of your choice in St Kitts or Nevis, you might have to rethink and figure out other options (e.g. looking for a home in another are in St Kitts-Nevis, or waiting for some more time before you can actually own that piece of St Kitts real estate that you desire etc).

So evaluation of affordability is important. Here, we are not saying that you should not evaluate the affordability factor if you are looking for St Kitts Nevis real estate for living in and not investing. It’s just that you will need to pose the question differently to that St Kitts real estate agent. In any case, you should never reveal your real budget to that St Kitts real estate agent. Mention an amount that is lower than your real budget by 10-20% even if your St Kitts real estate agent insists on what maximum you can spend.

If you are ready to find your next piece of real estate in St Kitts visit


Apple Logo

You are probably thinking the iCar is a new racing game for one of the many iOS devices Apple has but it is not. Yes, its’ a car but not a racing video game car; rather it is a newly proposed project of Apple who, after being an undoubted king of the smartphone world, now wants to enter the world’s automobile market by their newly designed and innovative Apple car. The advancements of Apple in the upcoming technologies may result in their complete hold over the technology world in the near future.

The idea of the Apple car is proposed by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and this car is predicted to be launched as soon as 2020. This car will be designed as a self-driving electric car. Apple is hiring engineers from Tesla for developing iCar (named project Titan) and has also imported experts in battery technology from Samsung. Self-driving cars are already available in the market. The battery of the iCar will be the most salient feature which will make it valuable.

LIDAR technology is supposed to be used for mapping purpose. LIDAR is a laser that spins about 10 revolutions per second and gives a complete 360° view around the car. The car will be installed with the iOS system which will allow you to unlock the car and start the engine by synchronizing with an iDevice i.e. iPad or iPhone and even Apple Watch. It is also been speculated that car will have the latest camera technology that will control car functions by detecting hand gestures.

Apple’s Carplay feature will help you to interact with the software of your automobile and to control it with voice commands. Apple states that once the iPhone of the driver gets connected to the carplay integration of the vehicle, voice commands will enable him/her to make calls, to dictate response to messages, to show contacts and maps, estimated time for arriving destination, mapping instructions and traffic situations on the roads.

iPhone could also be used to set the user preferences for the favorite seat position and to adjust the temperature and radio settings. The windshield of the car is supposed to be designed having about four times more pixels than reality. iCar will be a lightweight yet powerful vehicle, which will be able to careen across six traffic lanes.

A few test drives of the automated iCar have been reported in San Francisco and USA. The car that was found roaming on the main roads was well equipped with the cameras and other testing tools. It was supposed that the car was on the run to capture the mapping for iOS system. It is also rumored that Apple has established a lab near their head office, in which hundreds of workers and engineers are working eagerly to develop an automated electric vehicle.

iCar is it a rumor or reality? It will be clear soon after the launch of the iCar but it is a fascinating and innovative idea. It can’t be considered impossible as technology is growing day by day and anything could be made possible in the technical world. So, hope for the best and wait till this idea comes in front of your eyes as a reality.

Learn more interesting and cool facts about apple products and apps by visiting

Kuhex, Dropbox

Birmingham, 9th June 2015 – Kuhex, the Birmingham-based technology consultancy, announced today they have become Birmingham’s first firm to join the Dropbox Partner Network, allowing them to officially offer Dropbox for Business to their clients. Dropbox for Business provides teams the power, security, and performance of Dropbox, along with robust admin capabilities that give IT visibility and control over company data.

The Dropbox Partner Network is a unique opportunity for Kuhex to introduce customers to a user-friendly file sync and share solution that helps improve employee productivity and efficiency while cutting costs for the business. Management capabilities with Dropbox for Business include Active Directory integration with single sign-on (SSO), recovery of lost or deleted files, two-factor verification, remote wipe, activity audit logs, and sharing controls.

Kuhex Managing Director, Sohaib Ahmed, said: “Through our unique partnership model, we work with our partners to help meet their business needs using the right technology. With business becoming increasingly mobile, Dropbox for Business allows files to be accessed at anytime, from anywhere – making business more flexible and productive. Joining the Dropbox Partner Network means we can remain at the forefront of new technology and provide comprehensive support to our partners, in Birmingham and the wider-area, in implementing this technology within their businesses.”

As Authorised Stockists for O2 and EE, Dropbox for Business perfectly complements the high-speed and powerful 4G data solutions available from Kuhex. Dropbox is already integrated into the existing product offerings from Kuhex including Microsoft Office 365 and Apple iPhone and iPad devices. Kuhex’s ability to create bespoke solutions for its partners will allow them to provide and integrate Dropbox for Business as part of a larger IT strategy where required.

Hank Humphreys, Head of Channel Partnerships at Dropbox, said: “Today, Kuhex has developed a strong portfolio of products and services that support SMB customers as they move their business to the cloud. We’re excited that Kuhex is now offering Dropbox for Business to their customers to help them benefit from increased productivity, efficiency, and mobility”



The Bancorp, a widely recognized financial technology company and leading prepaid card issuer, and MeaWallet, a leading provider of cloud-based payment platform, have entered into a partnership to deliver open loop mobile prepaid cards to card partners in Europe.

Oslo, Norway – June 9, 2015. The Bancorp and MeaWallet have agreed to a strategic partnership to deliver open loop mobile prepaid cards to The Bancorp card issuers in Europe. The partnership will be officially launched at the PayExpo, London, with the goal of launching the first commercial card program Q4 of 2015. Industry response to this innovative partnership is strong, with key customers already expressing interest in a platform offering joint service development and integration between the respective technology platforms into one solution.

The MeaWallet cloud-based mobile payment platform will be used to issue digital mobile prepaid cards. The partnership provides existing and new customers of The Bancorp the ability to add branded mobile wallets and cloud-based digital mobile prepaid cards to their portfolio of card products. The open loop mobile prepaid cards will initially support MasterCard® and Visa® cloud based mobile payment schemes. This means that mobile cards issued using the solution will be accepted for contactless and remote payments at merchants around the world that accepts these schemes.

“This partnership means that our customers will have a faster route to mobile payments, using new innovative products such as customer branded digital mobile prepaid cards and mobile wallets. We look forward to enabling many new and interesting mobile payment projects together with our customers in Europe,” says Kriya Patel, The Bancorp.

The digital mobile payment cards is using cloud-based security and Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology. The end-users just tap their smartphone at the merchant NFC-enabled POS-terminal to complete the payment. The service will work at all merchants that accept MasterCard PayPass and Visa payWave transactions.

“We are proud to partner with an innovative financial services provider like The Bancorp and we look forward to support them in the enabling of new, secure and attractive mobile financial services. “As the growing prepaid market now goes mobile, this partnership is strategically important for MeaWallet enabling us to offer our solutions to new customer segments”, says Lars Sandtorv, CEO at MeaWallet.

In the future, the solution may be expanded into the use of tokenization and using the smartphone for other digital mobile payment instruments like vouchers and gift cards.

If you would like to schedule a meeting with The Bancorp or MeaWallet during the PayExpo, London, please contact Noel Smith, Business Development Manager of The Bancorp at +44 7554 664468 or Morten Mansrud, VP Sales of MeaWallet at +47 906 74 707, or visit The Bancorp at Stand B04.

Accor Hotels

TripAdvisor travellers have voted, and the results are in!

In addition to the many Accor Hotels across Australia recently recognised by TripAdvisor for their outstanding performance from businesses within the tourism and hospitality industry, several notable hotels and resorts were additionally acknowledged for achieving the honour five years in a row, earning a prestigious TripAdvisor Hall of Fame award.

Six Accor hotels in total were admitted into the Hall of Fame this year:

  •  The Sebel Melbourne Flinders Lane
  • Quay West Suites Melbourne
  • The Sebel Maroochydore
  •  Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa
  •  Pullman Cairns International
  • The Sebel Mandurah

Chief Operating Officer of Accor Hotels Australia, Simon McGrath, said the number of hotels and range of brands and destinations represented by Accor in TripAdvisor‟s Hall of Fame roll call for 2015 reflected the high calibre of hotels and resort‟s the group represent across the nation.

“It‟s wonderful for so many of our hotels to be recognised for the hard work that they put into making guests‟ stays something special,” he said. “Maintaining a focus on guest experience, and a commitment to anticipating needs are essential to any hotel‟s ongoing success, and the honest feedback provided by customers via TripAdvisor is highly valued by Accor.

“It‟s particularly impressive to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as this award relies on having consistently positive online reviews for five years in a row – a difficult achievement by any measure”.

TripAdvisor is the world‟s largest travel community site allowing travellers to create and read reviews from hotels, restaurants attractions and more all over the world. The site has 340 million unique visitors each month and is home to more than 225 million reviews making it a wealth of information for travellers.

Now entering its fifth year, the Certificate of Excellence is awarded to establishments which have continuously earned positive online reviews on TripAdvisor. A handful of Accor properties have been initiated into the prestigious TripAdvisor Hall of Fame – an accolade reserved for hotels which have won the Certificate of Excellence five years in a row.

Olamide Fasina
Image of Olamide Fasina who was fatally stabbed in October, 2014

Three men have been jailed in connection with the manslaughter of a man who was chased through the streets of Bexley and fatally stabbed.

Olamide Fasina, of Erith, was attacked by an armed gang near Wolvercote Road on the Thamesmead Estate on Tuesday, 14 October 2014.

The 25-year-old was eventually cornered and stabbed through the heart. Despite paramedics trying to save him, Olamide, also known as Ben, died at the scene just before 15:00hrs.

Police were called by members of the public who heard him trying to escape.

Three men were convicted following a trial at the Old Bailey on Thursday, 4 June and sentenced yesterday, Monday, 8 June.

Louis Henry, 22 (11.3.93), of Henwick Road, Eltham, was jailed for 12 years for manslaughter.

Alvin Ansah-Baaphy, 23 (16.3.92) of Old Dover Road, Abbey Wood, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to cause actual bodily harm.

Steven Ngolo, 22 (4.10.92) of Portmeadow Walk, Abbey Wood, was also jailed for three years for conspiracy to cause actual bodily harm.

The court heard drug-dealer Ngolo had called from a telephone in his cell in Thameside Prison, where he was serving a sentence, to urge the other defendants to take revenge on Olamide for an earlier incident.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Tony Lynes, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “These convictions and sentences have come following a difficult and challenging police inquiry.

“Olamide was fatally attacked last October as a result of what was in effect a dispute between young men.

The senseless attack on him was all the more shocking because it took place in the afternoon in a highly populated residential estate with many local people around who witnessed a very violent altercation.

“I would like to pay tribute to the family of Olamide who have been left devastated by this incident and the loss of their son. They have been left numb by the experience but have been extremely supportive of the inquiry. I hope, for them, this represents some justice and that they can begin rebuilding their lives.”


Former U.S. Air Force Policeman Lynwood Newman who has been living with Type 2 diabetes for 31 years has completed his latest fundraiser for Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF).

He was one of 14 people who jumped in April and has personally raised £1700 so far adding to the total group amount of £8694.15

Wanting to mark his 65th birthday by doing something special he signed up for the tandem parachute jump with GOSkydive in Salisbury. He challenged himself with the task of raising as much money as possible for the charity which is very close to his heart. Lynwood has volunteered for DRWF for many years.

He explained:

“It was a great way to celebrate my belated 65th Birthday which was in December 2014.It has been a pleasure stepping out of my comfort zone and helping to raise so much money for a worthy cause.I love working with the DRWF team when I visit their office in Hayling Island to give a hand, and at their Diabetes Wellness Events.The jump was a truly great experience.”

His phenomenal fundraising success came courtesy of the 162 people who sponsored him. He is an extremely visible member of his local community and people spotted him on his daily paper round wearing a ‘sponsor me’ tabard. He also received support from the members of his Zumba-Gold class, and from the many people in and around Weymouth including R & C Joy Convenience Store, Weymouth Squash & Fitness Centre, Dan Gina and South Coast Alarms.His local ‘campaign manager’ was hairdresser Zoe Hoskins:

“Lynwood is such a fantastic character when I heard he had signed up to do a skydive I just wanted to help him as much as possible so we have used the salon as the campaign headquarters and have been spreading the word about the skydive. Local people have been very generous and we are delighted with the total achieved.” She said.

He took a spur of the moment decision to increase his jump from 10,000 to 15,000 feet when signing in for the skydive on the day of the jump. He has a film of his experience and although he would love to do it all again in 2016, he has promised his wife Lida not to put her through the worry again. He has said he will act as ground support instead.

He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio Solent as well as a public speaker on diabetes and his love of history. Lynwood is an associate member of both the Royal Naval and Royal Air Forces Associations. Plus he is a member of the DRWF editorial board for their Diabetes Wellness News.

Claire Levy the Community Fundraiser at DRWF praised Lynwood for all his efforts with the charity:

“Lynwood is an amazing person, he is works so hard to support the charity in so many ways. His total of £1700 is truly fantastic and we are privileged to have him as one of our volunteers. When he upped his jump to 15000 feet we were stunned.”

The charity has booked their 2016 skydive with GoSkydive in Salisbury for Saturday 9th April. There is more info on the website


Den 25 april talade Project Playgrounds platschef Mapanya Sogoni på UniTED, en TEDx konferens på University of Cape Town, Sydafrika. Mapanya berättar om sitt tidigare liv som gängmedlem, ett liv fyllt av kriminalitet och våld från 12 års ålder, men också om hans långa tid i fängelse och boken som hjälpte honom ändra sin inställning och därmed sitt liv. Han berättar också om vad hans tidigare liv kostat det sydafrikanska samhället och varför vi tidigt måste arbeta för att barn och ungdomar ska tro på sig själva – något som rapporten What Money Can’t Buy, gjord inom vårt projekt Great Corner Lugna Gatan, visar.

What Money Can’t Buy vänder sig till personer som är intresserade av att få en bild av utanförskapets kostnader i allmän­het, men det kriminella utanförskapets kostnader i synnerhet. Rapporten beskriver och analyserar Mapanyas utanförskap i nationalekonomiska termer och det sociala mervärdet av den förebyggande verksamhet som Great Corner Lugna Gatan vill skapa. Författarna Ingvar Nilsson och Eva Nilsson Lundmark skriver i slutet av rapporten:

”Det har varit inspirerande och stimulerande att göra detta arbete. Att möta M och hans berättelse har stundtals varit omtumlande, ofta gripande. Än mer gripande har varit att få ta del av den ”turn around”, den totala förändringen av sitt liv som M genomfört. Om denna rapport kan bidra till att beslutsfattare, bidragsgivare, sponsorer eller andra finansiärer ser värdet – inte bara det mänskliga utan också det ekonomiska – av att stödja prevention och tidiga insatser för att förhindra att flera ungdomar ska följa i M’s destruktiva fotspår, så har rapporten kanske gjort viss nytta.”

Lyssna på Mapanyas TEDx Talk här och läs mer om projekt Great Corner Lugna Gatan här.