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Own A Piece Of Paradise

The Soul: First holiday apartments anybody can buy - ideal for "workation"

The sea shimmers turquoise, temperatures rarely drop below 30 degrees Celsius in December. There's a jungle out there, but your apartment is cool, modern and eco-friendly.

You are sipping fresh madafu, coconut water, and open your laptop because it's home office time. The internet at the rooftop co-working space is top-notch and surely your colleague in London, Braunschweig, Seattle or Bahrain will not believe you when you tell him you are working from Zanzibar.

And the dream doesn't stop there: Your girlfriend is paddling around in a man-made lagoon just in front of your terrace. She smiles and says, she rather waits for you to go kiting together than checking out the surf on her own.

If this sounds like a scene from your sweetest dreams, it's time to wake-up and make it real. At least that is what Tobias Dietzold would recommend, one of the masterminds behind The Soul apartments, presently being built on the African island. The new fully serviced residential-leisure project lies in the hinterland of Paje on Zanzibar's east coast, only a short walking distance from the now famous kitesurfing beach.

"The worldwide corona pandemic has not slowed down the sale of the holiday property, on the contrary", Dietzold says: "People are looking for safe investments they can use themselves and also rent out." A hundred Soul units have been sold in the last months to buyers of 20 nationalities - some looking for remote working places. A new global trend has been spurred by the corona crisis: Some call it "long-distance home office", others, "workation" (from work and vacation). "Your home office by the beach - why not?" says developer Tobias Dietzold.

The Soul flats - in total 220 units in 11 terrace buildings - are the first holiday property where foreigners are free to buy. Construction is well on the way for the extraordinary hideaway project. Project manager Milan Heilmann, 30: "When visitors enter, they can already imagine the silhouettes of the wellbeing oasis we are creating here." Handover of the first serviced one to three bedrooms apartments, with either a private garden or terrace, is expected for 2021.

Prices start from $47,900 for a one bedroom to $96,900 for a three-bedroom. "Where in the world can you get a property near the beach for that money?" Heilmann asks. The Soul project is directed by CPS, the German developers building Zanzibar's first eco-city Fumba Town near the capital.

Tourism has been growing at a record rate of 15 percent in Zanzibar before the pandemic. With only few reported covid-19 cases, the semi-autonomous island just off the coast of Tanzania, seems to be doing comparatively well. And the surfers are already back in Paje! With its shallow coastline and tropical waters, it had been rated one of the world's top ten kitesurfing destinations.

Eco is a keyword for the Paje complex. The hybrid houses utilising wood technology are prefabricated locally in Zanzibar. "Solar panels, cross ventilation, reuse of rainwater, waste recycling - all these elements make the project work", explains Lucas Garcia de Oteyza, the Spanish architect.

"We'll have even a barbecue area," adds manager Heilmann. Just like in Fumba Town, and unlike in many other building projects in Africa, permaculture gardens are planted parallel to the construction. "Before the first buyers move in, the birds will sing here," Heilmann says with a smile. The holiday flats both provide individual comfort and a clever 2.0 communal concept: rentals are fully managed, co-working spaces, gyms and bistros planned. Enjoying picturesque beaches and local culture while being grounded in modernity at home - who would say no?

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