Shangri-La delays to cost the gov't USD 65 mln

The government has to pay USD 65 million for the loan to finance the delays in opening Shangri-La Villingili Resort, Addu.

Answering questions asked by Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam at the Parliament, Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom said while the state holds 30 percent shares to Shangri-La Resort, the delays in opening the resort have directed several questions and complaints by the public. The minister said the government has to pay USD 65 million to pay for the damages caused due to the delay, and the state is working to resolve the issue.

'Shangrilla has 284 beds. As per the agreement with Addu Investment Private Limited, the state has to be part of the loan taken to finance the delay. For this, the government has to contribute USD 65 million. However, while such a long duration has passed without any revenue being generated from Shangri-La, the government is considering letting go of its shares,' said Mausoom.

Mausoom said the most recent amendments to the Tourism Act allow the government to release its share. However, he said around MVR 80 million will be incurred to release the shares.

'The 10th amendment to the Tourism Act got us a formula. Even so, we still have to pay around MVR 80 million, which is why we have drafted an 11th amendment to the Tourism Acy. Under that, we can consider that Addu Investment Pvt Ltd buys 30 percent of shares,' Mausoom said, adding that the Finance Ministry and Addu Investment are working together to reopen Shangri-La.

The Tourism Minister further said the opening of Addu City's Canareef Resort was a significant success. He acknowledged the efforts by Sri Lankan Airlines, Maldivian, and the private sector in making the necessary arrangements.