Jordanians May Invest in Kazakh Resort

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said Sunday that Jordanian businessmen were planning to invest $1.5 billion to build a resort on the Caspian Sea coast as the country seeks to diversify its energy-based economy.

The unidentified Jordanians "plan to participate in the development of the Kenderli tourist zone, in which $1.5 billion will be invested," Nazarbayev said after a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah in comments on his web site.

The Kenderli resort will cover 1,700 hectares and will feature an aquarium, water park, open-air theater and 21,000 hotel beds, according to a statement on the web site of the Mangistau regional administration. The government says the resort will attract 300,000 tourists, mostly from Kazakhstan, per year.

Kazakhstan's economy has grown an average of 10 percent per year since 2000, triggering a construction boom.