The landmark Sinamale Bridge, representing the friendship between Maldives and China, has been officially inaugurated late Thursday following an extravagant display of fireworks.
A special ceremony was held where President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, along with the Chairman of Chinese Development Corporation Wang Xiaotao, inaugurated the over-water bridge joining capital city Male to the airport island of Hulhule.
The ceremony was attended by government officials, diplomats from the Chinese government and foreign dignitaries. Hundreds of citizens gathered near Artificial Beach to watch the display of fireworks.
President Yameen thanked the Chinese government for transforming what was a distant dream to reality, describing the bridge as a beach of hope for the youth of the country.
The 432 hectares of Hulhumale is planned to be developed into a city that will host over 240,000 people. According to the President, the citizens of this country are eager to cross the "bridge of hope".
The President noted that the dream of this mega structure was once thought to be beyond the economic and engineering capabilities of Maldives.
The Chinese government had provided USD 126 million as aid and USD 12.6 million from the government budget for the construction from Sinamale Bridge, which stretches over 1.39 kilometres in length and is 20 meters in width.
The Sinamale Bridge is one of President Yameen's biggest electoral pledges from his previous presidential campaigns, and to celebrate the opening of the bridge, week-long celebrations have been planned out by the government.