Agreement signed to develop floating resort in V. atoll

An agreement has been signed to build an overwater resort or floating resort in V. atoll.

The agreement was signed by a joint venture between the Vaavu Atoll Council, Levini Hotels and Resorts, and a foreign company. The company was first registered on August 16 this year, according to the business registration of the Ministry of Economic Development.

Speaking to AVAS regarding the project, V. Atoll Council President Sujau Ali said the project was awarded to Levini Hotels and Resorts without a bid.

"This project was proposed to us by a foreign company. The construction of the floating resort will be carried out as a joint venture between the V. Atoll Council and Levini," Sujau said.

Sujau said discussions regarding the project have been ongoing with the Tourism Ministry and the President's Office for over a year. Sujau added that the proposal was received while the discussions were ongoing. The Council decided to go ahead with the proposed project as such a project would be a profitable venture, he said.

Sujau added that all companies have the opportunity to submit proposals to island councils and collaborate with councils to carry out such development projects. As the opportunity to pursue such projects is open to all parties, it could not lead to corruption, he said.

"A foreign party submitted this proposal to us because they think that V. Atoll is a safe location, with many natural characteristics to build such a resort. So, this cannot be considered as corruption," Sujau said.

Sujau further said the floating resort would be completed within three years. The project will include 40 villas, with each villa estimated to cost between MVR 1.3 million and MVR 1.4 million.

“All the costs of the project will be borne by Levini,” Sujau said.

Noting further that the floating resort would be built in an area away from the existing resorts in the Rakeedhoo lagoons, Sujau said the location would be finalized after conducting surveys. He said the project would benefit the entire V. atoll.

"There have been three resorts in this atoll for many years now. But we don't see much benefit for the atoll's residents from those resorts," he said.

The Atoll Council hopes that quality services can be provided to tourists visiting the atoll and that other businesses in the atoll will flourish as a result of the project. The Council hopes to take advantage of available resources to bring about further development to the atoll.