Velifinolhu island of Haa Alif Atoll was awarded to Pearl Sands of Maldives for USD 700,000 (MVR 11 million) to developed into a resort.
The winning company has a stake of parliament member, representative of the Kinbidhoo constituency Mohamed Nashiz.
The company paid an acquisition fee of USD 600,000 and an additional million dollar to train the employees.
Tourism Ministry had given priority to regions of Maldives that has fewer resorts when they opened bidding for islands to be developed into resorts in April of this year. Islands near the capital Male' are leased for higher prices while islands in the southern most and northern most atolls are leased for lower prices.
Velifinolhu island and Hoarafushi Airport are in the same lagoon.
While bidding was open for 16 islands, only seven islands received proposals. Tourism Ministry had previously said the only valid proposal they received was from Pearl Sands Maldives.
Tourism Ministry plans to open bidding for the islands again later this month.
As the global economy had suffered following the coronavirus pandemic, bidding for these islands started at lower amounts than usual as well, with a 30 percent discount on the usual acquisition fee.