Dubai’s ICD interested in buying Montenegro’s most lively airport

Tivat Airport in the Montenegrin coastal town of Tivat

The acquisition of the busiest airport in Montenegro, the Tivat Airport, is at the hands of the new owner of the elite nautical-tourism center Porto Montenegro, the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), as Vijesti daily was quoted by sources.

Sources said the newspaper unofficially learned that ICD, which acquired the controlling stake in Porto Montenegro in 2016, reportedly is interested in buying Montenegro’s Tivat international airport.

French and Canadian companies have expressed interest in helping the country restore its two international airports in Podgorica and Tivat, which are seen as being among the main pillars of tourism sector growth in the small Adriatic state.

According to Vijesti’s sources, ICD and the government have already launched unofficial talks on a possible sale of the airport.

However, the Government of Montenegro and the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs have not provided an answer to Vijesti since July 24 as to whether the ICD is interested in renting the said airport and under what terms.

The news provoked a very strong negative reaction in Montenegro and one opposition party – the Social Democratic Party – which said that it will launch a petition to protect the airport.

According to sources, Prime Minister Dusko Markovic announced in late May in Tivat that the state would not let its company Airports of Montenegro (Aerodromi Crne Gore – ACG) take out a favorable loan of EUR 50 million for the much needed reconstruction, modernization and expansion of capacities of the Tivat Airport, by that the Government would offer the airport for a long-term lease to an interested foreign investor.

Meanwhile, Montenegro’s transport ministry denied any talks with ICD on a possible sale of the airport and said that the government plans to modernize the country’s two international airport.

According to unofficial findings of Vijesti, the negotiations between the Montenegrin authorities and representatives of the ICD about the takeover of the Tivat Airport have already progressed far and the Dubai company is the first in line for the future ownership of the busiest airport in Montenegro.

Vijesti has also learned from unofficial sources that ICD intends to develop Porto Montenegro as an elite destination for the so-called ultra-high-net-worth-individuals, i.e. rich people whose personal property exceeds USD 30 million. The Tivat nautical-tourism center is merely a backbone for their much bigger plans in Montenegro related to air and road transport, real estate projects and projects of development of high tourism.

Back in May 2016, when they completed a transaction worth EUR 210 million and bough Porto Montenegro from its former owner Peter Munk and his partners, they announced that it was only the beginning of their plans related to Montenegro.