It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a group of strong women to create the kind of multiverse you will want to invest, live, work and play in. This is Mauritius.
By: Brian Berkman
Without wanting to sugar-coat the issue, Mauritius is increasingly an attractive destination for upwardly mobile South Africans wishing to move on to greener pastures.
The barrier to entry for foreigners is a $500 000 IRS scheme, which grants residency to a husband, spouse and children under the ages of 21.
Purchase into these schemes is limited to specially designed property developments such as Azuri Ocean and Golf Village, in Roches Noires, on the north-eastern coast.
Living in Mauritius
The sweetener of having a property and residency in Mauritius is amplified by the fact that many South Africans, upwards of one-quarter of the folks in the development, already live in Azuri.
A short flight from South Africa, just two hours ahead of local time and year-round warm temperatures, make it especially appealing. That English is an official language is a comfort too.
Azuri, along with most of the property developments in Mauritius, is on land previously used for sugarcane. Today, sea-facing land is worth much more in the built environment.
There’s a boatyard and fuelling station so you can store, provision and launch your vessel directly from Azuri. And, like the team that maintains all the facilities to a pristine level, your property can be managed for rental income in your absence or freshened up just before your arrival with the fridge already full of fabulous Gourmet Marche goodies.
Of course, there’s an upmarket Ile aux Cerfs Golf and Beach. gym, spa and top-notch sporting facilities like tennis and archery and, for keen golfers, there’s access to the exclusive and nearby Bernhard Langer-designed
Investing In Property In Mauritius
Azuri is currently selling their next phase off plan which will feature a signature Par 3, nine-hole golf course designed by IMG International.
If you’re not in the market to buy, you can rent a luxury self-catering apartment or villa or take full advantage of the hotel and its many restaurants and lifestyle facilities.
A lobster braai on the beach or a sophisticated tasting menu of Mauritian delights, accompanied by a local Sega dance and beach bonfire, will be memorable.
As property will always be your most costly investment, you’ll want to be sure of the credentials of the people behind the project. Azuri Ocean and Golf Village is developed by Blue Life, a listed company that is part of IBL, an almost R40 billion megalith, and one of Mauritius’ most established corporations.
As important as knowing that your financial investment is safe, is knowing that you will be able to be happy once you relocate.
Chatting while sitting on beanbags on the beach as island-rum cocktails are proffered, Blue Life CEO Christine Marot talks about the executive team’s strong female complement. CEO and CFO Michele Anne Espitalier Noel and Marketing Director Sophie Maingard-Lagesse are all women – a rarity in business in general, and in property developments in particular.
Residency Schemes in Mauritius
While Christine explains the various schemes with guaranteed residency under which foreigners can purchase, she also says how Azuri is different from the gated all-expat enclaves that are also popular on the island.
“We have created a community and not just built brick and mortar. My team and I are passionate about people, and we share strong values. This is why, while we develop property, we are not focussed only on a bottom line but on how people will live in what we create, and how we will be able to create value from which those who trust us will benefit,” she says.
“There’s a flat-rate 15% income tax in Mauritius and no capital-gains tax,” she says, adding, “the island was recently ranked by the World Bank as the 13th in the globe for ease of doing business. For South Africans, Mauritius provides a solid Rand hedge and a way to preserve capital. Finance, up to 70% of the value of the property, with a 30% deposit, is available. Our vision is of Mauritians and foreigners living together. Azuri is defiantly not a rich ghetto,” she ends.
Azuri, unlike most land in Mauritius which is lease-held, is owned and sold with title deed. There is precious little available on the coast that can be owned outright, and this is another of Azuri’s USPs.
If fairy godmothers existed, Azuri Village Manager Isabelle de Coriolis would be one of them. As social cohesion is so central to the Azuri vision, Isabelle runs a programme that spans a Halloween beach party for the children, monthly market-days in the village centre and bring-and-share suppers to turn the investment into a lifestyle worth living.
Don’t overlook the river and lagoon during your visit – exploring the mangroves on a kayak is not to be missed.
Things To Do In Mauritius
- Eat the street food. Join the queues of locals along the beach in Grand Bay for chilli bites, chicken biryani and battered potatoes.
- Take to the skies with Island Wings Mauritius (islandwingsmauritius.com) and swoop over the seas in a micro-lite seaplane. Explore the Lux* Grand Gaube Resort where they are based.
- Savour rum and explore the historic mansion homestead of Château de Labourdonnais named Versailles for good reason. (domainedelabourdonnais.com).
- Visit the Patrick Mavros showroom. This jewellery designing family of Ardmore Ceramics’ Fae Halstead has a range of exquisite items in gold and silver with precious gems, many celebrating African wildlife from Zozo to Dodo. (patrickmavros.com).
- Be the VIP. Step off the aircraft into a waiting limo and private lounge while passport and other details are managed while you sip your Caipirinha. (vividprive.com).
- Swim with turtles at Radisson Blu Poste Lafayette Resort & Spa (radissonhotels.com) After, visit the nearby Bras d’Eau National Park to experience wildlife in their natural habitat and mango and litchi orchards.
- Drink coconut juice out of its shell with your feet in the Indian Ocean. For less than a coffee in South Africa, quench your thirst on a just-cracked coconut on any beach on the island.
SAA flies direct to Mauritius daily from Johannesburg. Book your tickets with SAA today!
Words by Brian Berkman