New franchise restaurants have been unveiled in the new waterfront complex at Velana International Airport (VIA), including the brands KFC, Pizza Hut, Costa Coffee and Harvest Market.
The CostaCoffee and Harvest Market outlets are the first of their kind to be opened in the Maldives, while currently there are outlets of Pizza Hut and KFC already in operation. Franchise restaurants have been gaining immense popularity in the Maldives.
The franchise restaurants in this 14,000 square feet building were opened by Minister of Economic Development Mohamed Saeed. The opening ceremony was also attended by Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL)'s Director Adil Moosa, as well as a number of MACL employees.
According to Adil, the opening of the waterfront building is an invitation for even more world-renowned franchises to open in the Maldives. However, currently, there are no plans to open more franchises at VIA.
"With the completion of the new terminals at the airport, we hope to open as many food outlets as we can. We may not be able to cater to the current demand for food outlets, but we will soon reach it", said Adil.
Additionally, Adil stated that the ground floor of the waterfront complex is also housing a new Male-Hulhule ferry terminal which will, in turn, make the international terminal at VIA less congested. Furthermore, Adil recognized President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's efforts towards the development of VIA.
The agreement to assemble the franchise restaurants at the Waterfront was signed with Italy's HMSHost International on January 29, 2018.
HMSHost International is an American highway and airport food-service company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Italian company Autogrill S.p.A. HMSHost has outlets in over 150 airports around the globe.
"The opening of some of the franchise restaurants was delayed due to the lack of space. These are brands that are brand new to the Maldives", said Saeed.
According to Saeed, with the completion of the new terminal, the duty-free shopping area will be expanded to four times its current size. He also stated that the waterfront building is only a 'minuscule' part of the entire airport development project.
In addition to the four new franchise restaurants, VIA also houses a Gloria Jeans outlet as well as Burger King.