British property investor hopes to bring a slice of Manhattan luxury to Zanzibar with his $46m vision

Richard Ashby takes a break while working on a new development in Zanzibar. Picture: Supplied

Richard Ashby takes a break while working on a new development in Zanzibar. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 4, 2024


British property investor Richard Ashby has set a goal of bringing Manhattan-style luxury to East Africa, with his vision of building a $46 million penthouse paradise in Zanzibar.

According to Ashby, Shivo Towers will be island’s first portered luxury flats with room service from a high-end restaurant, huge communal pool, spa, gym, co-working space and vast manicured tropical gardens on a beachside plot in Paje.

The founder and CEO of Shivo Tanzania decided to take a leap of faith and invest in the island as holiday real estate in Zanzibar is booming and land prices have exploded since foreigners were allowed to register deeds in their own name in 2018.

He left London for the Indian Ocean destination to escape stiff Covid-19 restrictions four years ago as Tanzania was one of the few places on the planet not to go into full lockdown or force visitors to wear a mask as the country’s late president John Magufuli, who had a PhD in chemistry, chose to follow established pandemic protocols and keep the economy open.

The view from the terrace of one of the penthouse suites at Shivo Towers. Picture: Supplied

The property investor said it was this freedom that brought him, an off-plan estate agent dealing in luxury flats next to the Thames in London, to the island in 2020 and, rather than return to Europe when lockdown ended, he helped to create a $24m private estate of villas in Nungwi and Paje which have largely been sold.

“We are taking luxury real estate to the next level in Zanzibar – nothing like this has been tried on the island before. With investment coming into the island at record levels, tourists and investors are looking for a new gold standard in off-plan luxury living.

“For the first time I can deliver the primary flagship standard of luxury build quality in Tanzania – similar to the riverside apartments that I grew up selling in Westminster in central London,” said Ashby.

The property investor said his vision was a new landmark for Zanzibar and investors could expect a 66% return in the booming winter sun destination which has been dubbed “the new Maldives”.

A rendition of a luxury restaurant and bar at Shivo Towers. Picture: Supplied

“The two towers will have four penthouses, each with an asking price of $2m, but there will also be more affordable entry-level studio suites starting at $120 000.

“The two 49-metre towers provide soaring eight-metre high apartment levels ceilings, giving every owner the feeling of living in their own vast, airy penthouse. There will be 105 units for sale at a total cost of more than $46m,” said Ashby.

He also revealed that Shivo Towers has been designed by the renowned Italian architectural firm Much More, based in Dubai, London and Milan and led by director Christian Bonu.

“The development embodies Italian contemporary design while taking inspiration from the natural world and the surrounding landscape of Zanzibar.

“Investors will get vast vaulted open mezzanine floors, creating the luxurious penthouse feel you get in the best penthouses overlooking Central Park in Manhattan but right next to the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean,” he said.