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September 9, 2021

Zanzibar joins Mauritius in unveiling a new tax and residency programme to allow foreigners to live and invest in the Tanzanian island as Africa opens up to non-citizens.

With the aim of luring investment to boost Zanzibar’s economy post-pandemic, the government of Zanzibar has unveiled an investor programme.

This means that foreign buyers now have the opportunity to invest and live in Zanzibar under special and favourable conditions including friendly taxation and immigration rules, and can acquire a residency permit allowing them to live in Zanzibar as a non-citizen investor without having to live in Zanzibar permanently.

Zanzibar joins Mauritius in luring foreigners

Zanzibar, it seems, wants a bit of what Mauritius currently has with development and investment in Mauritius, which is ranked as the wealthiest country in Africa on a per capita basis, booming.

Mauritius recently unveiled its Premium Travel Visa, which allows foreigners and their families a one-year visa to stay on the island, either as a retiree or professional (working remotely). Not only is it free and renewable, but it allows visa-holders to purchase property. In doing so, Mauritius joins the many stunning destinations, from Antigua to Croatia, that have recently also unveiled digital nomad programmes.

And while Zanzibar is certainly no Mauritius in terms of development, it is a stunningly beautiful island and on a direct trajectory to Asia.

How does Zanzibar’s residency programme work?

Foreigners can therefore purchase a property in Zanzibar and with it acquire a residency permit for themselves, their partner and up to four children under 20 years of age and can live on the island and claim residency benefits with no minimum stay required to do so.

In residing here, residents will have the benefit of no income tax on their worldwide income and wealth with income tax halved on local income (15% instead of 30%) as well as repatriation of profit allowed after tax. And while no work permit is allowed with the residency permit, one can be applied for separately by the employer.

The residency permit, which is valid for the duration that the buyer owns the property, is renewable every two years at US$3,050 for the main investor and US$550 for each dependent.

What property investments are there?

There are an increasing number of developments under the Zanzibar government’s Strategic Investment Status (SIS) allowing foreigners to invest in residency.

Among these is Blue Amber Zanzibar, courtesy of developer Pennyroyal Ltd, which is the first real estate project to be awarded SIS and Zanzibar’s premier island resort.

It’s a luxury mixed-use waterfront resort development, set to be the largest resort development of its kind in Africa, spread across 410 hectares of tropical landscape along 4km of pristine Indian Ocean coastline in the northeastern part of Zanzibar island. It is in fact the only SIS development on Zanzibar with an untouched natural beach, offering views of pristine Muyuni beach and Mnemba Island.

While construction of the first villa residences and visitor’s centre began in Q1 2020, the resort is scheduled to open in phases from 2021 with the development due for completion within the next two years.

The final development will feature leading global hotel brands, luxury residential homes, world-class amenities and East Africa’s first Signature Championship golf course.