Dubai of the Mediterranean – Tunisia

North Africa's smallest nation, Tunisia, may be mightily overshadowed by near neighbours Morocco and Egypt in the current property press.

However the country is set to make a big impact.  Property prices are low, even as low as Morocco was five years ago, and the bonus is that unlike some far-flung destinations a property in Tunisia is both a good investment as well as being close enough, just three hours direct from London, to actually hop on a plane and enjoy.

Tunisia lies directly south of Italy's Sardinia and, thanks to a sharp right-angle turn on its Mediterranean-facing shoreline, has 1,400km of coastline to enjoy.  The sandy beaches front an impressive infrastructure of luxurious hotels, modern international airports, chic boutiques and jet-set marinas whilst the barren south has long-been the chosen setting for blockbusting films including Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Monty Python's Life of Brian and Minghella's The English Patient.  These assets, together with its strategic location, have propelled the nation on to the global stage and attracted considerable foreign investment, particularly from the Middle East.

As tourism becomes more important, leisure facilities are springing up at a significant rate, particularly around the honeypot resorts of Hammamet and Monastir, and Tunisia now boasts six golf courses, two of which have 27-holes, international diving centres and plenty of yachting clubs.  Two significant projects currently underway, Mediterranean Gate 'Century' City and Tunis Sports City, both funded by Dubai investment at 25 billion USD and 5 billion USD respectively, will bring further golf courses and marinas, world-class sporting academies, Olympic grade facilities, business and leisure hubs as well as thousands of residential units and hotel beds.

With so much to offer and a decades-old tourism industry, why isn't Tunisia a regular on the international property market?  Samuel Mond, GEM Estate's Tunisia Expert explains, "The Government prevented foreigners from participating in Tunisian property until national home ownership was as high as 80%, that's higher than even the UK.  The rationale was to stop foreigners pricing the locals out of their own market.  Now this has been achieved some, although not all, nationalities are welcome to purchase and the bonus is that the affluent home-owning Tunisians can now form part of an exit strategy.  Similarly, with the purchasing power to take regular holidays within their own country, Tunisians, plus neighbouring Algerians, will also boost rental occupancy."

For The Dunes Golf & Spa Resort, gross rental yields have been forecasted as high as 14% per annum, and a combination of factors from location to facilities make this possible.  Set midway between two of Tunisia's busiest airports, Hammamet and Monastir, this beachside development is also on the doorstep of Tunisia's most exclusive purpose-built marina resort, Port El Kantaoui, complete with two 18-hole golf courses.  This sets the tone for what's in store at The Dunes Golf & Spa Resort.