Cambodia’s US$16 billion ‘eco-city’ raises financial and environmental concerns

The multi-billion dollar development project in the coastal city of Sihanoukville has stirred discontent among locals and fuelled environmentalists’ worries.

From the shady poolside cabanas of a newly opened beach club, only the buzzing of nearby passing sand-dredging ships disrupt the serenity of Cambodia’s largest ever coastal development.

This is stage one of the Bay of Lights – what is meant to be a US$16 billion 934-hectare “eco city”, nearly three times the size of Singapore’s Marina Bay.

Newly forged roads named Sunset Boulevard and Bay Esplanade lead to a menagerie of water sport offerings and a go-kart track. A golf course, shopping malls, luxury hotels and an international financial centre are planned for the future.

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