Mauritius

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, live and do business.

Testament to this is the growing number of expats (now numbering over 25,000 in a 150,000 strong population). No longer solely a haven for wealthy retirees, young families and entrepreneurs are increasingly drawn to the favourable tax advantages (a flat 15% for both individuals and corporates) high quality of living (including first-class health care and education services) and dynamic 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. 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.

The experts say

A wealth of factors contribute to why now is an interesting time to invest in property in Mauritius. In addition to the advantageous taxation system and lifestyle benefits, there’s a new wave of exciting luxury developments driving the property market for international buyers. The government only opened up the property market to foreigners as recently as 2004 and high quality products have since been in short supply, so it’s exciting to have these new (and in many ways improved) options available as global interest in Mauritius as a destination grows. So far, properties have been increasing in value by around 17% year on year, providing excellent re-sale value.

The luxury property market in Mauritius

The biggest driver of growth for the island in 2014, the property development market is the industry that contributes most significantly to GDP. The Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), (2004) and RES (2008) were the first schemes launched that enabled foreign investors to buy properties freehold. These schemes have recently been integrated into the PDS scheme (link to buying guide?). An investment of more than US$500,000 is needed for anyone to obtain residency status. Luxury properties for sale in more popular parts of the island, such as Royal Park, can easily reach US$1,500,000.

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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