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|| Niagara Falls mayor heading to Dubai looking for investors

niagarafalls.jpgNiagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati will be looking for potential investors in Dubai next month when he visits the city - Niagara Falls Review is reporting

The city council has approved $10,000 to send Diodati and the city's director of business development, Serge Felicetti, on a business trip to Dubai in October.

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More details follows from Niagara Falls Review

Fresh from his trip to China, Mayor Jim Diodati will be selling Niagara Falls to potential investors again next month when he visits Dubai.

"This council has often been criticized for not doing enough to bring investment to Niagara Falls," Coun. Carolynn Ioannoni said.

"So what I have to say is, 'Go get 'em and bring 'em home.' "

On Monday, council approved $10,000 to send Diodati and the city's director of business development, Serge Felicetti, on a business trip to Dubai the week of Oct. 10.

Diodati, along with Felicetti and city chief administrative officer Ken Todd, were in China a couple of weeks ago to promote the investment opportunities that exist in Niagara Falls.

That trip was paid for by the Canadian Chinese Business Association.

During the past several months, staff has been dealing with a group representing investors from Dubai who has been investigating investment opportunities in Niagara Falls, according to a staff report.

The investment group has asked that Diodati and city staff meet them in Dubai to discuss their interest in investing in the community.

This is the custom in doing business with Dubai investors, according to staff. The investors want to know the city will take their project seriously and will work with them through the development and approval process.

"We have to diversify our local economy," Coun. Wayne Gates said. "We can't just rely on tourism. It's a different culture and it's a different way that (foreign investors) think. You have to go to them before they come here."

Diodati said he will be looking at direct investment and strategic alliances while in Dubai.

"We have made it clear, we will come to do deals, but not until there's real interest from the other side," Diodati said.

In an interview with reporters after the council meeting, Diodati wouldn't name the Dubai investors he'll be meeting on the trip, saying the investors have "asked to remain confidential at this point."

He said, however, they're "very bullish" and "excited" about Niagara Falls.

"They've been over here already. We've met with them. They've been scouting out the city for numerous investment opportunities. We showed them numerous opportunities.

"They're looking at development and redevelopment, and they're not just looking at one area, they're looking at several areas."

The $10,000 cost of the trip will come from the city's business development department budget.

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