European ‘ghost town’ to transform into the next Vegas


Radical plans are underway to transform a deserted ‘ghost town’ into a European hotspot for gambling,  shopping, fine dining and entertainment, to compete with Las Vegas or Macao. 

A consortium of prominent businesspeople have approached authorities in the Turkish Republic of  Northern Cyprus (TRNC) with a grand proposal to create a major new resort city. 

Billionaire businesspeople from across the globe as well as some of the world’s most successful hoteliers  have identified the beachfront town of Maraş, a suburb of Famagusta, as the best location for this new  billion pound project. 

During the early 1970s, Maraş was the top tourist destination in Cyprus and one of the most popular tourist  destinations in the world and attracted the glitz and glamour of Hollywood celebrities such as Brigitte  Bardot and Sophia Loren. However, following the Cypriot civil war and the Turkish intervention it has lain  empty and is now a ghost town. Buildings have deteriorated over time, metal has corroded and plants and 

trees grow through the roads and pavements. 

Maraş is host to one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and sea turtles have been known to nest  there. 

Under the new proposals, Maraş would be restored to its place as one of the world’s top holiday  destinations. Dozens of casinos, luxury hotels and resorts, shops and fine dining restaurants are planned.

Dr Muhammet Yasarata, Chairman and CEO of the Paradise and Premier Group of Companies, a leading  luxury tour operator in North Cyprus, Turkey and Malta said: 

“For too long America has held Las Vegas as a shining example of what can be achieved through strategic  investment. It is about time Europe had a contender to attract tourists from all corners of the globe. 

“What better place to establish a rival, than in a historically significant tourist destination that has  languished unused and neglected for far too long. 

“This year Maraş will have stood deserted for half a century, which is far too long.  

“Now is the opportune moment to unleash our creativity and explore ways in which Maraş can flourish and  offer experiences to people across the world.” 

Chet Ramadan, Co-Chairman of the Freedom and Fairness for Northern Cyprus campaign said: 

“North Cyprus and the rest of the island will benefit enormously from this development. It will show the  world that North Cyprus is open for business.