Negotiations are under way between the Libyan Football Federation (LFF) and international hotel operators for the contract to manage and operate a planned five-star luxury resort complex and football training centre at Sidi Benure, 40 kilometres east of Tripoli.

The UK’s Atkinsis carrying out the resort’s concept design and feasibility studies, which call for the development of a 250-bed hotel village complex on the Mediterranean, complete with artificial lake, marina, bazaar and conference centre. Commissioned by the LFF, the designs also foresee the construction of two full-sized grass training pitches, with associated team residences, restaurants, a gym and a pool to meet the growing demand for summer training camps from national and international professional teams.

Under the terms of any deal, Tripoli will be responsible for the surrounding infrastructure work, such as road and wastewater improvements.

The resort is scheduled to open its doors to its first guests by 2009. One concern for potential hotel operators is Libya’s strict alcohol ban. It is understood that Tripoli may relax the ban in certain tourist areas, though not nationwide.