President Solih has unveiled land reclamation projects worth MVR 1.5 billion, islands for the construction of the resort, infrastructure development and other economic development projects planned for the project. An additional investment of MVR 179 million is planned to add 42 hectares of land to Hulhumeedhoo Island.
The changes include expansion of Addu Airport, making Shangri-La operational, development of Hankede, vacant plots, and extending loans for the construction of guest houses.
Maldives Fund Management Corporation (MFMC) is developing the Hankede integrated tourism concept. The project has been awarded to China National Electrical Engineering Company. The project, which involves a $142.9 million loan of $2.3 billion from the Bank of China, will have 1,041 rooms (2,082 beds).
It will also have two Grand Hotels, two Deluxe Hotels, 10 Boutique Hotels, 64 Serviced Apartments and 17 Beach Villas. These include knowledge centres, mixed sports buildings, outdoor beach sports, theatres and food courts, restaurants and shops.
“The ongoing road construction and land expansion is being designed and carried out in accordance with the complete plan for the site by the time Hankede is completed. A total of 600 tourist beds will be added to other islands in Addu City under the Hankede project. It will add a total of 2,682 beds. A total of 7,000 tourist beds will be operational in Addu City.”
Shangri-La Resort and Spa, the first resort opened in Addu Atoll, was closed on August 20, 2020. The closure of the resort, which was already running in losses, resulted in the loss of jobs for around 500 people working there.
The resort was operated by Addu Investments, a joint venture between the Government of Maldives and Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Company in 2005. Developed at a cost of approximately $150 million (RS1.04 billion), the 284-bed resort is by far the most expensive resort in the country. The resort has not resumed since its halt during COVID.
"We are now ready to remove any obstacles to the sustainable development of Addu Shangri-La. I will not allow the maintenance of the long-standing government's stake with him to become an obstacle," said the President.
"The contract finance model for SDFC to construct and complete private guesthouses will come to Addu," he said.
Under the project, guesthouses will be constructed for long-time holders of land allotted for tourism in different islands of Addu City. The loan will have to be repaid in the long run.
"There are 73 plots that have been allotted as mentioned above. Out of these, 44 have requested for construction of guesthouses on 58 plots. It will have a total of 2,870 tourist beds.
If these projects are completed, it will be the biggest change in Addu City in history.
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