Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Askar Mamin has rubberstamped an ambitious plan to convert the Caspian Sea oil town of Aktau into a holiday resort for industry personnel operating in its major hydrocarbons region of Mangistau.

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Accommodations will also cater to wealthy residents from other parts of the country as foreign travel remains limited because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the end of the last week, Mamin participated in an inauguration ceremony near Aktau, marking the start of the second phase of development of the resort area at a 10-hectare plot of land stretching along the Caspian shore south of the city.

During this phase, private investors have promised to build several four-star and five-star hotels, a golf club, a water park, an amusement park, a shopping mall and residences — all capable of serving up to 750,000 people per year.

Earlier this summer, a group of investors is understood to have opened the 500-room Rixos Water World Aktau, which claims to be the “only true five-star hotel” in Central Asia.

Reports also said that plans are under way to obtain government permission to build a casino within the designated resort area near Aktau.

Known to Kazakhstanis as the Caspian Riviera, the sandy beach area near Aktau has now received a new name from developers, Aqualina Resort, reminiscent of a resort of the same name in Miami, Florida, located next to Trump International Beach Resort.