The Tourism Ministry has increased the submission period for bids on the 21 islands being leased for tourism purposes.
The government initially announced that 18 islands were up for grabs during the Dubai Expo last year. The islands were opened for bidding on January 17. The ministry later added three islands in Shaviyani atoll to the list of islands: Sh. Dhigurah, Medhurah, and Mairah, increasing the number of islands up for lease to 21.
While the government said bid submission would end for all 21 islands on February 27 and 28, the Tourism Ministry Friday said the period had been extended until March 17. The ministry said the time period was extended by 23 days due to the economic and travel restrictions caused to countries due to the spread of the new COVI-19 variant, Omicron. The ministry said it would like to extend an additional opportunity for investors in the current situation.
Final deadline for bid submission:
Islands in Ha., HDh., Sh., and R. atoll: 10 am on 27 March
Islands in M., F., Th. atoll: 1 pm on 27 March
Islands in L., Ga., GDh. atoll: 10 am on 23 March
The ministry said the islands must be developed as resorts and opened for service within three years. Out of the 18 islands, the highest acquisition cost was for Maausfushi island, a 10.40-hectare island in Meemu atoll. The acquisition cost of the island is USD 1.5 million. The second-most expensive island is 14.70 hectare Ga. Maarehaa with a price tag of USD 1.4 million. The acquisition cost is the lowest for R. Ehthigili, F. Embulufushi, and F. Jinnath, costing around USD 300,000.