Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed revealed late Tuesday government plans to allocate 29 islands for resort development, which will generate a total of 18,672 jobs.
The announcement was made at ‘Burabi’, a special ceremony organised by the ministry, held in Dharubaaruge Convention Centre.
At the event, Waheed revealed details of resort development plans, declaring that it will generate an additional 13,720 bed capacity.
Minister Waheed announced plans to develop four resorts in Haa Alif Atoll, which includes a 425-bed resort to be developed in Maafinolhu, 1,000 beds in Dhapparu, 317 beds in Medhufushi, and 233 beds in Alidhuffarufinolhu. Three resorts are to be built in Haa Dhaalu Atoll with 500 beds in Hondaidhoo, 233 in Kudafarufasgandu, and 436 beds in Vaikaramuraidhoo.
Furthermore, three resorts are planned for development in Shaviyani Atoll, with 1,700 beds in Nalandhoo, 400 beds in Kudalhaimendhoo, and 233 beds in Fushifaru. While a 250-bed resort will be developed in Kunnamalai, Noonu Atoll, two resorts are to be built in Raa atoll with a 200-bed resort in Egili, and a 200-bed artificial island resort on a 10-hectare reclaimed area on Alifushi lagoon.
Two additional resorts will be developed in Meemu and Faafu Atoll each. Seedheehuraa and Boahura in Meemu, and Embulufushi and Jinnathagu’u in Faafu will each house a 200-bed resort.
Three resorts with a 233-bed capacity will be built in Laamu Atoll on Kashidhoo, Dhomberaha, and Bodumunyafushi. Two more resorts will open in Gaafu Alifu Atoll with 494 beds in Maarehaafai and 233 beds in Funadhooviligiyya. Three resorts are to be developed in Gaafu Dhaalu Atill with 215 beds in Kandahalagalaa, 233 beds in Fereythaviligiyya, and 200 beds in Kadevaarehaa. A 207-bed resort will be built on Hankeda in Addu Atoll.
The government will also allocate plots of land for tourism development in inhabited islands including Kelaa in Haa Alif atoll, Nolhivaranfaru in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Gan in Laamu Atoll, Vaadhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Fuvahmulah City, and Addu.
Minister Waheed highlighted that the decision to allocate islands for resort development was made following discussion with the Cabinet and consultations with relevant local communities. Despite plans to reclaim a 10-hectare area on Alifushi lagoon in Raa Atoll for the development of a 200-bed resort, he also stated that the environmental impact of these allocations was duly considered.
“We are hoping to complete the bidding process and begin the development work within the first half 2020”, Minister Waheed declared, adding that the government’s target is to begin operation of the resorts and fill in the jobs before the end of the term of the current administration.