by Jameel Usman
“Best Islands in the World”, as voted by the Conde Nast Traveller readers in 2016, is the latest jewel the Maldives can add to its already heavy tourism crown.
Not only that, but in these same awards the Maldives came second in the top 100 places to visit in the entire world. The Maldives continues to be one of the most treasured and sought after tourist destinations on the planet.
Synonymous with white sandy beaches, ornamented by exquisitely designed hotels, floating above impossibly clear waters - this latest acknowledgement continues to show that the Maldives’ reputation is well-deserved.
As the Maldives continues to flourish in the tourism sector, there has also been a significant increase in infrastructure development especially in the capital Malé and the other most populated atolls.
Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is being expanded to accommodate for both this growth in tourism as well as to help the Maldivian economy diversify. Improved infrastructure will allow for the Maldives to become a key hub for trade and development in the Indian ocean. The result of this increase in investment and improvement is already being seen through the latest Moody’s report. For the first time, the Maldives economy was given an “outlook stable” rating.
These positive developments for the Maldives must be contextualised in the realities of the world today. Unfortunately, like every other nation in the world, insecurity, in the form of terrorism, is a 21st century problem which the Maldives is not immune to.
These concerns are something that the Maldives government takes extremely seriously. We spend a significant amount of time researching prevention and forward planning for dealing with security threats. The safety of all Maldivian people as well as that of every single tourist and investor that visits our islands is of paramount importance to the Maldivian government.
The Government of the Maldives knows that they cannot fight off global terror threats alone. It is for this reason that President Yameen recently submitted a paper to parliament outlining what steps the Maldives would take to ensure the safety of its people and all the visitors who flock to visit the best Islands in the world. The key recommendation of this report is that the Maldives increases the already significant amount of cooperation with partners and allies to fight this global threat.
The Maldives government strives to create the safest and most stable environment on all 26 of its atolls. We would like to assure all visitors
that their safety is taken extremely seriously and every effort has been made to ensure it.
The Maldives continues to be one of the best and safest places to visit in the world.
Our record speaks for itself. Despite the challenging times we all live in, we have had no deaths of foreign tourists from terror attacks on Maldivian soil. We are determined to maintain this proud record.
Economic diversification and increases in infrastructure development are all adding to this, and the Maldives government looks forward to welcoming more tourists and investors to its beautiful shores.
Editor's Note: Jameel Usman is the Member of the Parliament for the Gemanafushi Constituency. He is the Parliamentary Group Chief Whip for the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), Parliamentary Group Media Coordinator for PPM and Chairman of the Jameel Foundation. He is @Jameel_Usman on twitter.