Dubai, August 12 - Development plans by Qatar on Sardinia's Costa Smeralda may be reformulated to meet new conservation rules established by regional authorities, the main players said Tuesday.
Hammad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani met Monday with Mayor Alberto Ragnedda of Arzachena on the Sheikh's yacht, anchored in the bay of Cala di Volpe, to discuss the billion-euro development plans.
Those may need to be adjusted to meet standards set by regional authorities for the conservation of the popular coast's natural beauty, they said.
Eighteen months ago, real estate developer Qatar Holding unveiled a billion-euro development plan to build four luxury hotels on the Costa Smeralda that was estimated to take as long as 10 years to complete.
The original plan included an aquatic amusement park inside the Liscia Ruja reserve, a low-impact electric Go-Kart route within a former landfill at Abbiadori, expanding roads and water and sewer systems, and a so-called Costa Smeralda Academy to train tourism managers, which had reportedly piqued the interest of Britian's Oxford and Cambridge universities.
The Costa Smeralda stretches along some 20 kilometres of northern Sardinian white sand beaches and with its golf courses, luxury hotels, private jet and helicopter services has become a playground for the wealthy and famous.
Qatar officials have also been discussing a revitalization of the former San Raffaele hospital in the northern Sardinian town of Olbia, to be financed by the Qatar Foundation.
Qatari investors buying the hospital reportedly plan a highly specialized center for the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients as well as a scientific research center in cooperation with Sardinian universities, regional research institutions and other Italian and foreign research centers.