When it comes to setting up world class facilities, everything inch of the property must be exquisite, and if you are Sudhir Ruparelia, include every blade of grass, flower and tree on the list.
While some think it is all about the structures, landscaping plays a big role in the ambiance of a resort or hotel. One man who knows this is Sudhir, as he has been a top player in the hospitality business for over three decades.
On Saturday, he was a busy man, supervising the relocation of 20-year-old palm trees to the new convention centre that will host the Non Aligned Movement heads of government summit in early 2024.
The summit will host over 120 heads of nations that are not allied with either the eastern or western powers. Leaders are expected to attend from Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas, with observers China and Russia.
Relocating the mature palm trees
While it is hard work, building appears the easy part as a high rise building can be completed in a matter of months, when put in comparison with 20 years you have to wait to have 16-metre-tall palm trees to beautify the property. Well, unless you are Sudhir. Thanks to money enough to hire heavy duty machinery and technical people who know what to do, a mature tree can be moved from one place to another.
It was a beehive of activity and a marvel at Munyonyo as the hotelier supervised the relocation of palm trees with a crane carefully digging away around the towering 20-year-old trees and extracting them complete with their roots, before a truck hauled them to their new home.
Sudhir delivered the Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo in time for the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) and he says everything is on course the NAM summit.
The new Shs140billion facility will have among other amenities a 3,500-seat ultra-modern auditorium and a suspended restaurant overlooking Lake Victoria. Additional presidential suites will also be developed with smaller conference rooms for sideline meetings during the NAM summit.