July 20, 2012

Mogadishu as Future Tourism Destination

A lucky aspect of my work in Mogadishu is the ability to travel freely throughout the city.  With 16 districts in the city, many of them retain their own unique characteristics either inherited from history or newly developing amidst the current revival of the city.  A couple days ago, while meeting with members of the local business community, a successful restaurant owner showed me some of the other ventures he is developing.  One in particular had already caught my eye while rolling down the street.

The zebra-stripped facade stands boldly from the ruined landscape.  In the neighborhood of Liido, across the street and down a ways from the restaurant Indian Ocean, the Safari Classic Beach Resort is a visionary step toward a future tourism economy.  The owner returned two Somalia from many years in Canada in 2009 and said that these days everything is dramatically different.  When I asked him if he ever plans to bring his children to Mogadishu he looked at me with a smile and said "they will be here in two days!"

We walked around the grounds of his new establishment toward the ocean.  The sand was covered with boys playing soccer while young girls ran into the crashing waves.  The air was warm and the water was cool.  Apparently where we stood was once occupied by some of the largest mansions in Mogadishu, and today, it is simply a popular place for recreation.  I have no doubt that this can become a big tourism hotspot.  


  1. @The safari resort I wonder what's on the very top?

  2. Hello,

    There really isn't anything on top or inside the building, given that it is still under construction. The owner has another hotel-like building under development one lot over and I suspect he hopes to eventually expand upward as guests start rolling in.


  3. Hi Mitchell,

    I've just read an article that speaks about urban planning in Mogadishu. I was wondering if you know Mohamed Abdulkadir Ahmed, an urban planner in Mogadishu. The article talks about preserving and restoring buildings in the city, including those from the Italian colonial era.

    Are you aware of this or any other related projects in the city?


  4. Hey Abdi,

    I know Mohamed quite well, as he was actually the person who first contacted me regarding planning of the city. On current projects I work more directly with the Mayor and Deputy Mayors, but Mohamed and I speak often about planning options and opportunities for the city. There are some projects in motion, but to be honest, there will be nothing concrete until the spring. At the moment everything is sorta frozen while the TFG transition gets worked out. And when that is over, there will be much more momentum, keep in touch and we'll see if we can get you involved in something interesting this winter.