Construction Under Way On Rwanda's Zaria Court

The sports and culture hub is due to open in early 2025.

By Sneha A on
7th September 2023

Construction is under way on the Zaria Court project in Kigali, Rwanda. 

The project involves repurposing existing buildings to create an urban hospitality hub. Zaria Court will feature an 80-room boutique hotel, restaurants, a rooftop lounge, a gym, wellness spaces, co-working spaces and a podcast studio. At the heart of the site is a multi-purpose court that will serve as a space for sporting events, festivals, performances, markets and other events. 

There will also be a retail area that aims to serve as an incubation hub targeted at women-owned businesses and young local entrepreneurs. Shipping containers will be repurposed into shops and other businesses. 

About 70% of the site will comprise a sustainably designed, biodiverse open green space including two football pitches. 

Zaria Court is located within Kigali’s sports and entertainment district, adjacent to the newly built BK Arena and the under-construction Amahoro National Stadium. Construction is expected to be completed in November 2024, with operations beginning in February 2025. 

“This kind of investment grows infrastructure, it grows economies, it contributes to tourism. The impact is much bigger than what the eyes can see,” said President Paul Kagame at the groundbreaking ceremony on 14 August.

The project is being developed by Masai Ujiri, president and vice-chairman of the Toronto Raptors basketball ream and co-founder of the non-profit organisation Giants of Africa (GOA). Real estate developer Andrew Feinstein is one of the co-sponsors.

The financing for the project was arranged by Bank of Kigali, Helios Sports & Entertainment – a subsidiary of Canada-based Helios Fairfax Partners – and a consortium of local and international investors. Design practice NLÉ worked on the architectural drawings. Aleph Hospitality will operate the hotel and QA Venue Solutions will be responsible for the campus.

Zaria Court

The investors hope to develop Zaria Courts across Africa, with initial target markets to include Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; Dakar, Senegal; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Nairobi in Kenya. Each development is expected to create at least 500 jobs in hospitality and tourism.

Africa has the fastest-growing consumer class in the world and its population is projected to double by 2050, with two-thirds of that growth happening in cities where Zaria Courts hopes to have a presence.

Photos: Rendered images of Zaria Court (Source: NLÉ)

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