History of DENARAU ISLAND

1969 - Preliminary work for the development of Denarau Island began by an American developer Dennis McElrath.  The infrastructure took three years to complete.

1972 - First resort, the 300-room Regent of Fiji hotel (now the Westin Resort & Spa) commenced construction, and was completed in July 1975.  Construction also included several grass tennis courts and a tennis club.

1985 - Work commenced on the construction of the Sheraton Fiji Resort and the hard-court tennis courts. Completion was in 1987.

1988 - Japanese property developer EIE International Corporation purchased the development land and the Regent of Fiji.  In 1991, EIE purchased the balance of the resort.

1988 to 1993 - EIE, under the management of Andrew Thomson, undertook major development works on the island of a scale never seen before in Fiji. This included the clearing of the balance of the 600 acres of the island, the reclamation of a vast area of swamp, the construction of an 18 hole championship golf course, a clubhouse, extensive dredging in the marina, the construction of marina facilities and foreshore protection.  In all, 2.5 million cubic meters of fill, and $200m spent on infrastructure.

1995 - EIE International Corporation was placed into Receivership and Denarau Island was placed on the market for international tender.

1996 -  The resort was sold to a consortium involving Tabua Investments Limited, ITT Sheraton and Air Pacific.  

ITT Sheraton from Boston in the United States purchased outright the Sheraton Fiji Resort and the Regent of Fiji and a 50% interest in the golf course.  Air Pacific through its wholly owned subsidiary Richmond Limited, acquired the site immediately to the east of the Westin for the development of a 300 room resort hotel.

Tabua Investments acquired 50% interest in the Denarau Golf & Racquet Club and the balance of the land by a joint venture of New Zealand interests including the principals of Fay Richwhite, a subsidiary of Brierley Investments, Howard Paterson and Peter Thomson.

1996 - Tabua Investments, under the management of Martin Darveniza, commenced the implementation of a tenure reorganization program known as the Land Swaps. This reorganization included the swapping of various areas of land on the resort in respect of Freehold, State lease and Native lease.

The reorganization allowed for all the resort hotels to be Native lease, the residential properties on freehold land, and the golf course and remainder of the land for commercial development to State land. Tabua undertook the responsibility of developing Denarau Island as a fully integrated island resort in accordance with the Charter and Articles of Association. 

1997 - Site work commenced on the construction of Sheraton Denarau Villas – the first strata title development in Fiji, comprising of 82, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. Opened May 1999.

1998 -  Civil engineering works commenced on residential neighborhoods, the first released in 1999.  A total of 8 residential neighborhoods – 331 residential products. 

2001 - Villa Commercial, a mini shopping complex was constructed adjacent to the Sheraton Denarau Villas.

2003 -  Site work commenced on the construction of The Terraces (formerly Golf Terraces) comprising of 44, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.  Opened June 2005.

2006 -  Site work commenced on the construction of Radisson Resort Fiji, comprising of 135, 2 bedroom apartments. Opened July 2007.  

2006 -  Site work commenced on the construction of Port Denarau Retail & Commercial Centre (PDRCC), comprising offices, restaurants, retail outlets and luxury stores. The PDRCC opened July 2007.

Source: Tabua Investments Limited, October 2010