President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has announced that once the ongoing developmental projects in Addu City conclude, over 7,000 tourist beds will be added to the atoll.
President Solih made the remarks during the inauguration ceremony of the large-scale land reclamation project in Addu City. The ceremony took place at the newly reclaimed portion in Maradhoo.
The President assured that the Hankede integrated tourism project will contribute an additional 2,872 beds and will be completed within the next two years. In addition to the Hankede project, President Solih said that the other ongoing developmental projects in the atoll will collectively increase the number of beds by 7,600.
“Through the Hankede Project, the islands in Addu City will observe an addition of 600 beds apart from the 2,782 beds in Hankede, and once the ongoing developmental projects conclude in the atoll, another 7,000 beds will be added to tourism operations,” President Solih said. He added that the project is in its early stages of commencement.
“The entire project will be concluded in two years. You all stepped up to bring positive democratic changes to bring these projects to Addu City. Today we are witnessing the achievement of these projects,” the president added.
Maldives Fund Management Corporation (MFMC) contracted China National Electrical Engineering Company to develop Hankede under an integrated tourism concept earlier in March 2023. The project is funded through a USD 145 million loan from the Bank of China.
President Solih had renewed hopes about the stalled Shangri-La tourist property in the atoll and assured that any interventions to the commencement of the resort's operations would be challenged.
President Solih further said that the share transfer documents have been shared with Shangri-La's management company on March 18, and once the share transfers are completed, the property will reopen.
In addition to announcing the addition of over 7,000 tourist beds in the atoll, President Solih added that he will facilitate a contractor finance model for Addu City guesthouse ventures and entrepreneurs through the SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC).
President Solih mentioned that there are currently 73 plots available in Addu City for long-term lease, and 44 parties have expressed interest in developing guesthouse properties on 58 of the available plots.
"The citizens of Addu City do not desire dilapidation of their residences. They aspire for development, prosperity, and progress in the city, and we are actively working towards fulfilling those aspirations," President Solih said.