By Miloš Mitrović – Belgrade
Soon after the end of winter season, the greatest Serbian mountain resort Kopaonik would become “construction field” owing to investments by famous tennis player Novak Đokovic and UAE sheik Mohammed bin Zayed, daily “Večernje novosti” reported on Tuesday. Earlier this year, Bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, has announced the construction of “super-modern” mountain-style building of 10,000 square meters. ATP World No. 2 would invest in ski-center, Belgrade daily revealed.
“At this moment Kopaonik is the regional ski center and after the implementation of this investments it will be marked in a world ski map”, Dejan Ljevnajić, representative of “Serbian Ski Resorts” public enterprise has said. “This influential men will be excellent promoters of Kopaonik”, Ljevnajic emphasized, adding that construction plans would attract both new investors and tourists.
During the winter season Novak Đoković would open his restaurant in Kopaonik; next spring the construction of his hotel of some 1,000 square meters would start. Đokovic ventured into the business world in 2005. His family founded Family Sport, a limited liability company with initial focus on the restaurant business. The company opened theme cafés named Novak Café, as well as Novak Café & Restaurant in the Belgrade’s municipality of Novi Beograd.
Sheik Bin Zayed has already deconstructed an old “Jugobanka” hotel “which did not had an historical value nor it was adequate for reusing as high class hotel”. “In May sheik’s team will start the construction of modern 10,000 square meters building, which will take after Swiss ski log cabins. The most expensive natural material will be used, thus making hotel real tourist attraction”, “Večernje novosti” stated.
“This investments will bring a lot of changes. Everybody will feel benefits”, Milan Penjišević, hotel “Olga Dedijer” CEO has said.
Rade Dunjić, hotel “Klub A” chief, shares his optimism. “Those who have never heard about Kopaonik will become aware of it”. However, he added that “skyscraper” hotels construction, which already exist in Kopaonik, should not be allowed.
Bin Zayed was also interested to invest in another hotel constructing probably to replace the building which was bombed in 1999 NATO intervention against Serbia. Constructing several ski lifts and gondola lifts was also expected..