Mauritius

Set 2400km off the south-east coast of Africa in the midst of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is an island paradise of white sand beaches, crystal turquoise seas and ruggedly beautiful mountains. Regarded as one of the world’s premier luxury travel destinations, leading hotel brands vie for pole position amongst high-end travellers, offering increasingly sophisticated 5 star services, from golf-courses and private islands to destination spas.

Overview

Yet look beyond the beauty and beaches, and you’ll find a rising global star that has successfully evolved from a resource-poor volcanic island (with an economy heavily reliant on sugar cane and textiles) into one of Africa’s wealthiest nations (GDP per capita). 

What’s behind the ‘Mauritian miracle’? Defying geographical stereotypes, Mauritius’s economic success owes much to a winning combination of political stability, democratic government, intelligent administration and a monetary and fiscal flexibility that has allowed it to successfully weather global financial storms.

Safe, progressive, and with a strong education and health system, Mauritius is a tropical haven that actually functions.

Overview

Mauritius has something of a patchwork past.  First discovered by the Arabs, it has since been colonized by the Dutch, French and finally British. The result is a multi-cultural heritage that translates into an eclectic culture (think Creole music, French style and British efficiency) and makes for a welcoming, friendly place to both be and do business.  One of the island’s stand-out strengths are its people; inspiringly warm, educated and inherently open.  With both English and French as the official national languages, it also makes for a versatile, easy place to be.

Testament to this is the growing number of expats (now numbering over 25,000 in a 150,000 strong population) who range from retirees to young families drawn to the favourable tax advantages, high quality of living and increasingly dynamic, and efficient, business culture.

Inside Mauritius

While Mauritius’s 9 provinces are spread over an area of 1,860 km2 and a coastline of 177 km, locals tend to refer to the 4 coasts, so you will either be on the north, east, south or west of the island.  While the international airport is located close to the south-eastern tip, the capital of Port Louis is located to the north-west, a 1.5 hour drive away. Here, Mauritius’s financial heart beats (picture modern high-rises, international corporations and a fast-growing ‘cyber-city’), but it’s the bustling town of Grand-Baie to the north where the island’s best restaurants, boutiques and culture can be found. The west coast town of Tamarin and surrounding area offers a more laid-back side to the island, combining services with beautiful beaches and easy access to Mauritius’s central mountains.  To the south, a handful of residential developments and luxury hotels give access to Mauritius’s beautiful beaches and world-class kite-surfing scene, while to the quieter east, you’ll find the sort of wild, tropical beauty that feels a world away from the progress and development catching like wild-fire through the rest of the island.  While a single highway between north and south used to make exploration arduous, the recent completion of a more extensive highway means you can hop around with relative ease.  

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The experts say

A low income tax of 15% makes Mauritius a popular haven, but the government is taking a measured, calculated approach to both real estate and business – companies cant just have a PO box like in the Cayman islands, and are required to invest locally, driving employment. One gets the impression that Mauritius has learnt, and is learning from the mistakes of previous countries and is seeking to forge its own path, one that is proving very successful for both international investors and the local market.

The luxury property market in Mauritius

The property development market on the island is the industry that is contributing most significantly to the GDP of the country and was the biggest driver of growth for the island in 2014. A series of exciting new developments are attracting both local residents and overseas purchasers. All properties available for purchase by foreign nationals are part of luxury development schemes.

The Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), (2004) and RES (2008) were the first schemes launched that enabled foreign investors to buy properties free-hold. These schemes have recently been integrated into the PDS scheme, and together set Mauritius apart from other Indian Ocean islands allowing for a succinct and transparent way of investing in real estate.

An investment of more than US$500,000 is needed for anyone to obtain residency status. Apartments are becoming popular, especially larger ones so that investors meet the residency threshold value, but large and luxurious villas are the most popular with those look at Mauritius. Villas in more popular parts of the island can go for up to US$1,500,000 easily. 

How to Get There

By Air

The main airport for the island is the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. The airport is an important hub for regional airlinestoo, such as Air Mauritius, in order to connect with other islands such as Les Seychelles and Madagascar.

Weather

Spring / Summer

Summer starts in November and extends all the way to May.The hottest month on the island is January with an average high of 26 degrees Celsius, however the water is the warmest in February. The month of January also tends to see the most amount of sunshine for the island.

Fall / Winter

The coolest months of the year are June to August. The average temperature for the coolest month is 20 degrees in July. The winters tend to be quite dry, the wettest months of the year are March and April.

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