A wealthy Chinese investor this week bought one of the biggest plots of land for sale in Iceland: Grimsstadir a Fjollum. He intends to build a large luxury hotel on the remote site, but approval is needed first from Icelandic and Chinese authorities.
Grimsstadir may be in the remote northeast of Iceland, but it is near the bridge over the Jokulsa a Fjollum river and several of the country’s most remarkable natural sites — including Dettifoss, Asbyrgi, Lake Myvatn, Askja and Kverkfjoll.
It is these natural pearls which attracted Huang Nubo to the area and led him to invest there; with the aim of building an environmentally-responsible hotel and tourism centre.
Stod 2 television reported on Wednesday that Nubo visited Grimsstadir with a Chinese delegation and met with landowners and local government officials and later signed the purchase agreement in Reykjavik; with the clause that Icelandic and Chinese authorities must approve the deal. The Icelandic government seems happy with the idea, if a statement from Minister for Foreign Affairs Ossur Skarphedinsson is an indication. The minister met with the Chinese party on Wednesday evening.
Skarphedinsson said he welcomes overseas investment in the Icelandic tourism sector — especially in the countryside. The Chinese investor also wants to open a hotel in Reykjavik, jointly managed with the one at Grimsstadir.
In a gesture to sceptics, the Chinese investor says he will give up water rights on the river and to run the project in close co-operation with the local authorities and people.