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Nairobi City – A Guide to Nairobi Kenya

Nairobi Kenya

Nairobi Kenya is the only capital city in the world with a national park on its boundaries, making it a prime tourist destination. Nairobi city has a diverse and multicultural composition; there are a number of churches, mosques, temples, and gurdwaras within Nairobi city. Nairobi is home to several museums, sites, and monuments, plus spectacular five star hotels to cater for safari-bound tourists.

Whether you are visiting Nairobi for business or pleasure there are many activities and experiences that would suit any traveler.

About Nairobi Kenya

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. Founded in the late 1890s as a British camp during construction of the Mombasa-Uganda railway, it served as a British Provincial capital from 1899 to 1905 before becoming the capital city of Kenya in 1963.

A feature of the central business district that strikes foreign tourists the most is the skyline. Nairobi’s skyline has been compared to many Asian and American cities. The name “Nairobi” comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to “the place of cool waters”. Today, it is a metropolitan city popularly known as the “Green City in the Sun”. Besides being the economic powerhouse of the East African region, Nairobi is the only capital city in the world with a National park within her precincts.

Getting Around Nairobi Kenya

Nairobi city is served by Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the largest and busiest Airport in East Africa. Wilson Airport serves scheduled domestic flights to other towns in Kenya and to tourist destinations such as parks and game reserves. Buses and Mini buses [commonly known as matatus] are the most common means of public transport. The Railway line runs through Nairobi, from Mombasa to Kampala. Its main use is freight traffic, but regular nightly passenger trains connect Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu. A number of morning and evening commuter trains connect the city centre with the suburbs.

Nairobi Culture

Nairobi is a cosmopolitan and multicultural city with many expats and immigrants, as well as, every local community and culture well represented

Where is Nairobi Kenya?

Nairobi city is located at 1°16S 36°48E and occupies approximately 150 km? Nairobi is situated between the cities of Kampala and Mombasa. The Ngong’ hills, located to the west of the city, are the most prominent geographical features in the city. Mount Kenya lies north from the city while Mount  Kilimanjaro is due south-east. Nairobi Fliver and its tributaries traverse through the city and her environs.

Hotels in Nairobi Town

Nairobi is a culinary melting pot with a good variety of cuisine types available. Restaurants in Nairobi cater for all budgets and tastes with dishes from virtually all corners of the globe. All continents are aptly represented, and what is most impressive is the authentic touch that characterizes these dishes The choices are numerous with options for fine dining or casual eats with dining establishments ranging from five star hotels to restaurants offering take away services.

Nairobi Nightlife Guide

Nairobi is known for its vibrant nightlife with leading signature & contemporary restaurants, clubs, pubs, lounges & bars, cinemas and casinos. Whether in search of something quite, something traditional, something eclectic… Nairobi has it all

Shopping in Nairobi City

Nairobi offers many shopping options, and is definitely one of the best places in East Africa to buy African souvenirs, which are locally known as curios. There are many shopping malls in the city suburbs where one can get internationally renowned brands of fashion, gadgets, electronic appliances among others. Book and music stores, newsstands, cyber cafes are also in plenty. From large markets to roadside stalls, you will almost be spoiled for choice with the number of options available.

Exciting Articles

Shopping Malls in Nairobi Kenya

  1. Lifestyle – Location: Within CBD along Monrovia/Moktar Daddah Street
  2. Galleria – Location: Along Langata rd, opposite Bomas of Kenya
  3. The Junction — Location: Along Ngong rd
  4. Prestige Plaza — Location: Along Ngong rd
  5. Yaya Centre – Location: Along Argwing Kodhek rd
  6. The Mall – Location: ln Westlands, along Waiyaki way
  7. Sarit Centre – Location: In Westlands, Westlands/Parklands rd
  8. Westgate — Location: ln Westlands, along Mwanzi rd
  9. Village Market – Location: In Gigiri, along Limuru rd
  10. Diamond Plaza – Location: In Parklands, along 4th Parklands Avenue

Africa Heritage is a gallery and retail shop at the entrance to the Carnivore selling artifacts inspired by the designs of Africa. Also available are textiles, sculptures and arts of Africa as well as a clothing boutique and craft shop. Another feature of the shopping area is the  GALLERY selling wrought iron sculptures by the internationally acclaimed local artist Kioko Mwitiki.

Maasai Market is an open-air market ideal for African handicrafts, jewellery and souvenirs like beaded jewellery, batiks, baskets, sculptures, and paintings. It features at designated areas during the week.

Below are some places where the market is held:

  1. Tuesday – Westgate shopping mall
  2. Wednesday — Capital centre, along Mombasa rd
  3. Thursday – The Junction shopping mall
  4. Friday – Village market, Gigiri
  5. Friday – Uchumi by Wilson airport
  6. Saturday — Nairobi Law court grounds, CBD and Uchumi by Wilson airport
  7. Sunday – Nairobi Law court grounds, CBD and Yaya Centre, Hurlingham

 Forex Bureaus and Banks in Nairobi Kenya

  1. Barclays Bank
  2. Equity Bank
  3. Kenya Commercial Bank
  4. Commercial Bank of Africa
  5. Standard Chartered Bank
  6. CFC Stanbic Bank
  7. Co-operative Bank of Kenya
  8. Family Bank
  9. Consolidated Bank
  10. Fina Bank
  11. Gulf Bank
  12. First Community Bank
  13. National Bank of Kenya

Facts About Nairobi Kenya – Nairobi Kenya Facts

Nairobi Kenya  – Area

684 Square Km

Nairobi Kenya  – Population

Over 3 Million

Nairobi Kenya  – Languages

English, Swahili

Nairobi Kenya - Nairobi City

Nairobi Kenya – Nairobi City

Travel to Nairobi – Nairobi Travel Guide

Nairobi is an exceptional metropolitan city that has scores of historical attractions and activities not to be found in other cities. lt is therefore important to know what to expect and where to in Nairobi before leaving home.

1. Nairobi National Park

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

The first national park established in Kenya in 1946, the 117km2 is the only wildlife park in the world where free ranging lions and rhinos share a city with humans. It is the only protected wildlife area in the world bordering a capital city and dubbed “The World’s only wildlife capital’.’

For more information visit: Nairobi National Park

2. Nairobi Animal Orphanage

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

Established in 1964, it is the oldest animal orphanage in Kenya and set in Nairobi National Park. It is a refuge and rehabilitation centre for wild animals found abandoned or injured in Kenya. Animals at the facility undergo a thorough medical examination, followed by treatment if needed, before entering into an appropriate feeding and rehabilitation program.

For more information visit: Nairobi Animal Orphanage

3. Uhuru Park

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

A green park amidst the high-rise buildings in the heart of Nairobi, it has an artificial lake and is a popular place for Nairobi residents to relax and for occasional political and religious gatherings.

For more information visit: Uhuru Park

4. Central Park

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

Central Park is across the road from Uhuru Park whereas Uhuru Park is busy and exciting; Central Park is more relaxed and serene.

For more information visit: Central Park

5. Ngong Hills

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

This iconic range has been immortalized as ‘immovable waves against the sky’ in her novel turned Hollywood blockbuster” Out of Africa‘ by Karen Blixen who had a farm on its foothills in the early 1900s. One can climb the five peaks of the mountain which the Maasai believe is the clasped fist of the giant who fell to his death here.

For more information visit: Ngong Hills

6. Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

The orphanage is located within the Nairobi National Park, with the entrance on Nairobi to Kiserian Road, opposite the Kenya School of Communication Studies. lt is a centre for the rehabilitation and rearing of orphaned baby elephants. It was founded by Daphne Sheldrick in 1977 in honour of her late husband and famous naturalist, David Leslie William Sheldrick.

For more information visit: Sheldrick  Elephant Orphanage

7. National Archives

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

The archives are located at the heart of CBD along Moi Avenue. It houses the Murumbi Gallery, dedicated to the late Joseph Murumbi, Kenya’s second vice-president from May 1965-August 31, 1966. He and his wife Sheila were avid collectors of African art.

For more information visit: National Archives

8. Giraffe Centre

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

Giraffe Centre

Giraffe Centre

The Giraffe Centre started life as a refuge for the endangered Rothschild giraffe translocated from western Kenya. lt is the perfect location to see giraffes eye-to-eye and feed them with specially made hay-pellets, which they take from your hand using their sticky 25-inch long blue-grey tongues. Today there are about 1,500 Rothschild in Kenya with the biggest herd at Soysambu Conservancy on the shores of Lake Elementeita.

For more information visit: Giraffe Centre

9. Nairobi Arboretum

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

The Arboretum, a 30-hectare green paradise in the city was established in 1907 by Mr. Batiscombe, then Deputy Conservator of Forests, to try out introduced forestry trees for Kenya.

For more information visit: Nairobi Arboretum

10. Ostrich Farm

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

Located in Langata, you can feed ostrxiches and watch them guard their gigantic eggs.

For more information visit: Ostrich Farm

11. Uhuru Gardens

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

It is where Kenya’s first flag was raised on 12 December 1963. The national monument on Langata Road is Kenya’s largest memorial park. The park offers a tranquil picnic site, a popular family outing destination and a venue for corporate events. The Uhuru monument stands in it.

For more information visit: Uhuru Gardens

12. Kenyatta International Conference Centre

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

For a modest fee the general public can travel up the interior of the conference centre tower in the high speed lifts to the 27th floor and walk the final three floors of stairs up to the roof for a bird’s eye view of 360 degrees of Nairobi City. For safety, there is a handrail around the perimeter. It has a helipad, the only one in the city on the top tier of the tower.

For more information visit: Kenyatta International Conference Centre

13. Dedan Kimathi Monument

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

The life-size bronze statue of the Mau-Mau freedom fighter on Kimathi Street, opposite the Hilton Hotel was unveiled in Nairobi on the anniversary he was executed – February 18, 1957. Kimathi, clad in military regalia, holds a rifle in the right hand and a dagger in the other, symbolizing the last weapons he held in his struggle for the Nation’s freedom.

14. Tom Mboya Monument

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

Standing twenty meters from where the late Hon. Tom Mboya was murdered, the Tom Mboya Monument is along Moi Avenue by the National Archives. It was erected in 2011 in honor of the Kenyan Minister who was assassinated in 1969.The monument by the artist Oshottoe Ondula, cost the Government Sh15 million while the whole project took about Sh20 million. It was taken to China where it was cast in bronze.

15. Nyayo Monument

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

Built in 1988 on Uhuru Highway to commemorate 25 years of independence, the marble monument shows the lowering of the British colonial flag and the raising of the Kenyan flag. It cost nearly a million dollars to construct.

For more information visit: Nyayo Monument

16. Jomo Kenyatta Mausoleum

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

The mausoleum on the grounds of the Parliament in Nairobi’s CBD, is the final resting place of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president who took up office as Prime Minister of the self—governing Kenya in 1963. A year later, Kenya became a Republic with Kenyatta as its first president.

17. Bomas of Kenya

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

The Bomas of Kenya is located just 10 km from Nairobi and about one kilometer up from the main entrance to the Nairobi National Park. This is an attractive and interesting exhibit of traditional homesteads of several Kenyan communities, complete with their inhabitants.

For more information visit: Bomas of Kenya

Museums in Nairobi Kenya

18. Nairobi National Museum

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

The Nairobi National Museum has permanent and temporary exhibitions of its peoples, cultures, wildlife, prehistory and restaurants. A specific designated art gallery exhibits works by contemporary Kenyan and international artists.

For more information visit: Nairobi National Museum

19. Snake Park

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

The adjoining Snake Park has a large collection of reptiles and mammals.

For more information visit: Snake Park

20. Botanical Gardens

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

The Botanic Gardens and Nature Trail has the Kaya forest, grasses of Kenya and sculptures including medicinal plants. Located on the grounds of Nairobi National Museum is the office for Nature Kenya. Membership includes a Wednesday weekly bird walks around Nairobi, a day out within 100-km radius of Nairobi and occasional safaris. Log on to www.naturekenya.org. It is an affiliate of other nature groups in the country

For more information visit: Botanical Gardens

21. Nairobi Gallery

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

Located right in the heart of Nairobi City next to the towering Nyayo House is the Nairobi Gallery. Built in 1913, this Old Provincial Commissioner’s office was fondly referred to as ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ because births, marriages and deaths were recorded here. The museum holds temporary exhibitions.

For more information visit: Nairobi Gallery

22. Karen Blixen Museum

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

The museum is located in Karen area, near the Karen Country Club. The museum was set up in 1985 on the Blixen’s coffee farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills and still retains much of its original features. The colonial farm house is indeed well preserved. Much of the original furniture is still preserved in their original state, including kitchen utensils, photographs and original oil portraits painted by Ms Blixen. Within the compound is a coffee-drying plant and small carriages that were used to ferry the coffee to the market.

For more information visit: Karen Blixen

23. Institute Of Primate Research Nature Trail

Category: Tourist Attractions in Nairobi Kenya

Tucked Within the Oloolua Forest a few minutes from Karen Blixen Museum is the institute of Primate Research’s nature trail. The indigenous forest has a spectacular waterfall, picnic site, caves, campsite and a viewing tower. The National Museums of Kenya helps to conserve and protect this valuable natural heritage for future generations. Enjoy a walk in the forest or a picnic. Entrance is strictly by prior arrangements with IPR or the National Museums of Kenya.

Nairobi Kenya – Video

Top Best Accommodation and Hotels in Nairobi City

1. Villa Rosa Kempinski

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

The Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel is located on Chiromo Road, within the commercial centre of Nairobi, 20kms from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

For more information visit: Villa Rosa Kempinski

2. Nairobi Serena Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Nairobi Serena Hotel in Kenya is located in central Nairobi overlooking Central Park and five minute’s walk from the Central Business District.

The hotel is 30 minute drive away from Jomo Kenyatta International airport and a five minute walk from the city center.

For more information visit: Nairobi Serena Hotel

3. The Sarova Stanley

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Sarova Stanley is the oldest hotel in Nairobi established in 1902, with a rich and proud history. It has undergone an intensive programme of renovation. It is centrally located in the CBD and is 18km from JKIA.

For more information visit: The Sarova Stanley

4. Sankara Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Established in September 2010, Sankara is a sleek, contemporary hotel in the heart of Westlands, Nairobi’s commercial and entertainment center.

For more information visit: Sankara Hotel 

5. Intercontinental Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

This Nairobi hotel is ideally located for business, close to the Parliament buildings and next to Kenyatta International Convention Center.

For more information visit: Intercontinental Hotel

6. Fairmont Norfolk hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Playing a dominant role in the development of the city since its earliest days is Fairmont The Norfolk. Built in 1904, the hotel continues to be one of the most beloved landmarks in the city, and the launch point for safari tours. It has been refurbished over the years to give it a modern touch while preserving its traditional charm. Its conveniently located 20km from JKIA and 3km from the CBOR

For more information visit: Fairmont Norfolk hotel

7. Nairobi Safari Park Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Located 30 minutes drive from JKIA, the Safari Park Hotel is a fusion of international sophistication, safari style, theme-park fun and cultural creativity.

For more information visit:  Nairobi Safari Park Hotel

8. Ole Sereni Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Strategically positioned 12 km from the airport and approximately 15 minutes drive, Ole-Sereni combines the best features of a modern city hotel and a traditional wildlife lodge to present guests with a cocktail of breathtaking fundamentals of nature’s tranquility from a very close range.

For more information visit: Ole Sereni Hotel

9. House of Waine

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

was originally built in the 1970’s as a private home. It was acquired by its present owners, a local family, and carefully refurbished over two and a half years resulting in the unique boutique property that exists today.

For more information visit: House of Waine

10. Weston Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

luxurious hotel tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Nairobi Central Business District. Designed to be a comfortable home away from home for discerning business and holiday guests, we are the ideal choice of hotels for exploring Nairobi’s iconic attractions and an abundance of renowned shopping destinations, including the popular Galleria Mall and The Hub, which is one of East Africa’s largest malls.

For more information visit: Weston Hotel

11. Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Built in 1945 as the Mayfair Court Hotel, the hotel is set in 12 acres of lush landscaped gardens and retains the charming architecture of the colonial days. The hotel became Southern Sun Mayfair in 2010, and has a selection of conferencing and recreational facilities.

For more information visit: Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi

12. The Boma Nairobi

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Boma Club Nairobi is Located on the 1st floor of Galana Plaza, Galana Road, Kilimani, Boma Club is the latest entertainment joint in the capital. Boma Club Nairobi  aim is to ensure that all the partner restaurants provide the best possible service to the clients.

For more information visit: The Boma Nairobi

13. Fairview Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Fairview Hotel is a country hotel near the center of the city. The hotel combines comfort with modern facilities and i state of the art security system.

For more information visit: Fairview Hotel

14. Tribe Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Tribe is a luxury boutique hotel in Nairobi. Set in a leafy suburb within Nairobi’s Diplomatic District and attached to The Village Market. The hotel is ideally located 25km from JKIA.

For more information visit:  Tribe Hotel

15. Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Victorian-designed buildings set within a colorful landscaped gardens overlooking a fusion of indigenous forest and a 18-hole championship golf course, this five-star luxury hotel is located 15 minutes from the city center of Nairobi.

For more information visit: Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club

16. Sarova Panafric Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Named in honor of the Pan African movement, Sarova Panafric was inaugurated by the first president of Kenya H.E. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta on the 5th of January 1965 and truly represents Neo Africa.

For more information visit: Sarova Panafric Hotel

Other Hotels in Nirobi City

17. Carnivore Restaurant

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Set in attractive tropical gardens, the Carnivore is the ultimate ‘Beast of a Feast’ a variety of meat including ostrich, crocodile and camel, is roasted over charcoal and carved at your table. The Carnivore is also home of the Simba Saloon, a delicious a la carte restaurant by day and Nairobi’s most popular nightclub. Situated 4 kilometers from the city center.

For more information visit: Carnivore Restaurant

18. The Clarion Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

The Clarion Hotel, Nairobi, an oasis of tranquility and serenity where we blend Hospitality with creativity to ensure consistent delivery of high quality service. The Clarion Hotel is located in the heart of Nairobi, overlooking the central business district and close to major landmarks. It is in Kenya’s most exciting, commercial and entertainment district

For more information visit: The Clarion Hotel

19. Ngong Hills Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

The Ngong Hills Hotel was established in 1978, and has remained in the hands of the same family since then.

For more information visit: Ngong Hills Hotel

20. The Heron Portico

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

The Heron Portico is Nairobi’s finest and best known business hotel located at a distance of 3 kilometers from the city center and about 18 kilometers from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

For more information visit: The Heron Portico

21. Panari Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

The hotel is a central point for any tourist, business traveler, diplomat and dignitary or airline crew and it offers five star, luxurious and comfortable space to relax, unwind and rejuvenate in an ideal location that is conveniently 10 minutes away from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

For more information visit:  Panari Hotel

22. Marble Arch Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Marble Arch Hotel is located in the center of Nairobi, next to Akamba Bus Services. Affiliated to Kibubuti Coffee Farm, the hotel’s coffee shop serves its own Kent mere coffee with homemade cakes and pastries.

For more information visit: Marble Arch Hotel

23. Central Park Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

The Central Park Hotel is a 3 star hotel located in bustling downtown Nairobi, along Sheikh Karume Road between Ronald Ngala Street and Luthuli Avenue.

For more information visit: Central Park Hotel

24. Fahari Gardens Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Fahari Gardens Hotel in Nairobi features a 24-hour front desk, a lush garden, a fitness centre and an outdoor pool.

For more information visit: Fahari Gardens Hotel

25. Jacaranda Hotel Nairobi

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

Surrounded by the Jacaranda trees that give it its name, the Jacaranda Hotel is in Westlands, the commercial center of Nairobi.

For more information visit: Jacaranda Hotel Nairobi

26. West Breeze Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

West Breeze Hotel has the ability to provide you with quality, personalized services to match your individual needs.

For more information visit: West Breeze Hotel

27. After 40 Hotel

Category: Hotels in Nairobi Kenya

After 40 Hotel is located in Nairobi,s bustling city center.Intimate and original, in the heart of Nairobi, After 40 Hotel has a total of 63 rooms, 6 meeting rooms and 3 dining areas. The hotel offers the perfect solution for both business travelers and leisure vacations.

For more information visit:  after 40 hotel

Restaurants in Nairobi City

Chinese and Japanese Restaurants in Nairobi Kenya

  1. August Moon; situated at the food court, Westgate Mall.
  2. Bamboo; situated at Zen gardens, Lower Kabete Rd.
  3. Taste of China; situated inside the stylish Prime Apartments at the very end of Rhapta Road, Westlands.

Continental Restaurants in Nairobi Kenya

  1. Alabaster Lounge
  2. Half Past One Café
  3. Jade Coffee and Tea House

French Cuisine Restaurants in Nairobi Kenya

  1. Le Rustique
  2. Ambiance Restaurant
  3. Piano Bar at Captains Club Casino

Italian Restaurants in Nairobi Kenya

  1. La Prudna D’oro.
  2. La Grigla Restaurant.
  3. La Dolce Vita.

Indian Restaurants in Nairobi Kenya

  1. Haandi Udupi.
  2. Open House Karen &Westlands.
  3. Anghiti Westlands & Muthaiga.

Arabian Restaurants in Nairobi Kenya

  1. Café Habibi and Sheesha lounge.

Nairobi Kenya News

What makes Nairobi City the only African city in global investors top five watchlist

Updated on: 5.1.2017

Nairobi Kenya is on the global watchlist of top five fast modernising cities that are attracting new global business on growing realisation that big companies cannot operate from one sub-Saharan location in South Africa.

The Nairobi city is also taking off as a hub for global corporations looking to establish an office to cover the East African region, according to Global Cities-The 2016 Report by Knight Frank.

Big companies with global reach have come to the conclusion that they need to operate from multiple locations and Nairobi is a natural starting point in entering or expanding to new regions.

Nairobi City has been termed as demonstrating Africa’s rapid modernisation and joins other cities like Dubai, United Arab Emirates capital, which is said to have pulled clear of past difficulties and is expanding as a hub for investment, tourism and transport.

Others are Kuala Lumpar in Malaysia, Bangkok in Thailand and Moscow, Russia.

The report indicates that around 1.8 million square feet of modern shopping mall space was opened in 2015 and the space forecast to increase.

“Given that the mall stock previously had totalled 980,000 square feet, this amounts to a revolution in the city’s retail experience, which matches the huge economic and demographic changes that have unfolded in Kenya,” said James Roberts, the chief economist at Knight Frank.

With the world’s cities predicted to add 380 million new citizens in the next five years, new mass transit systems, utilities and faster connections to markets will be needed.

The Lamu Port and Lamu-South Sudan-Ethiopia transport Corridor (Lapsset) has been termed as one of the global infrastructure projects that will be generating new business clusters and creating real estate opportunities.

The project consists of a new 30-berth port and oil refinery at Lamu, which will be connected to Nairobi and the borders of Ethiopia and South Sudan by rail, road and oil pipeline.

Other mega infrastructure projects include; China’s global railway links – China is using rail to speed up freight transport to Europe on a route running through Russia or via Iran and Turkey.

The Chinese are also constructing the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from the Port of Mombasa to Nairobi and these projects form part of China’s one belt, one road programme to enhance trade routes.

In Ethiopia, a new Chinese-funded railway line between Addis Ababa and the Red Sea port of Djibouti was expected to begin operations before end year.

In Nigeria, a Chinese firm won the $12 billion (Sh1.212 trillion) contract to build an 870 mile railway between Lagos in the West and Calabar in the East.

Other projects are; The Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor – This is a development zone that will be targeted for investment to build up new industries to support India’s rapid urbanisation.

Expanding the Panama and Suez Canals is another mega project. Presently, ships queue to transit the Panama Canal whose original locks are restricted to ‘panamax’ ships that carry around 5,000 containers.

A new set of locks completes construction by end year that will offer passage to ‘post-panamax’ ships that can carry up to 13,000 containers.

A super airport – In Dubai, Al Maktoum International Airport which opened in 2010, is to be expanded from a current freight capacity of one million tonnes of cargo per annum to 16 million tonnes.

The report notes that Kenya is seeing a surge in electronic payments via mobile phone.

“The country is undoubtedly a developing world success story,” said Mr Roberts.

Kenya’s Economic Survey 2016 Outlook showed that last year mobile telephone subscriptions increased to 37.7 million, resulting to penetration rate of 85.4 per cent.

Nairobi Kenya – Swelling middle class

Internet subscriptions increased significantly from 16.4 million in 2014 to 23.9 million in 2015. The number of licensed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) increased from 177 to 221 over the same period.

The number of mobile money transfer service subscribers grew to 26.8 million last year, with total amount of money transacted through mobile platform expanded by 18.7 per cent to Sh2.816 trillion over the review period.

The global cities report said that while agriculture retains a large share of Gross Domestic Production (GDP), the country is developing a broad-based economy with rising services and production industries.

“The country is a fast growing centre for Information Technology (IT) and telecom industries in Africa, and output from Information and Communication industries has risen by 30 per cent between 2011 and 2014 in constant prices.

Finance and insurance output is up by 24 per cent over the same period,” the report showed.

For 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is forecasting Kenyan GDP to expand by nearly 7.2 per cent, compared to 2.1 per cent for South Africa and five per cent for Nigeria.

As a result of this economic transformation, Mr Roberts said the ranks of Kenya’s middle class are swelling thanks to so much growth in service industries.

“They are now living, working and shopping ever more in line with developed world expectation, as well as a modern retail experience and international brands, there is rising demand for food and leisure outlets, now that shopping is increasingly combined with socialising. This is why Nairobi needs more modern retail stock,” said Mr Roberts in the report.

United Nations (UN) is forecasting that by 2020, the country’s urban population will expand to 14.7 million people, an increase of nearly 2.8 million.

Knight Frank’s head of London Residential Research, Tom Bill said that for investors and landlords there are clear long-term rewards in the world of short-term rental accommodation.

“Cities that embrace the flexibility of models like serviced apartments will reap the economic rewards,” said Mr Bill.

The report said ensuring quality levels of short-term accommodation will be a challenge, particularly given that future economic growth will be dominated by emerging markets.

For the serviced apartment market, it underlines the growing importance of branding and the uniform quality of services and booking systems.

For example, the report said the quality of serviced apartments in Kenya matches that of a hotel, but it’s done relatively informally to date. “The next level will mean more professionalism and a branded type of offer,” it stated.

Kenya has also been identified as easy in doing business.

In the World Bank’s Doing Business Index for 2017, Kenya climbed 21 positions to rank 92nd out of 190 countries.

That included jumps of 34 positions for ‘Starting a Business’, 21 positions for ‘Getting Electricity’, 25 positions in ‘Protecting Minority Investors’, and 48 positions for ‘Resolving Insolvency’.

UN notes that there is going to be more demand for modern retail over the next five years, although the shopping development pipeline is ready to meet the challenge.

By next year, a further 1.3 million square feet of modern retail space will complete development in Nairobi, as the city is expanding from being the economic focus of East Africa into its biggest modern shopping destination.

Source: Business Daily


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