Changes brought to Floating City project to include dredged area

Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam has said changes had been brought to the plans for the Maldives Floating City project to include a dredged area.

During Tuesday's Parliament sitting, several questions regarding the project were directed at the Planning Minister. Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed also inquired regarding the project and asked for details.

"Honourable Minister, I would like to ask you to give full details about this floating city. Some members are very interested to learn more about this project and have been asking [for more information]," Nasheed said.

Replying to members' questions, Aslam said the original plans for the floating city did not include any land dredging. However, the latest plan includes dredging the land around the floating city, he said.

"I am aware that a local company was awarded the contract to build a mockup of the floating city. This is not a project directly under the ministry," Aslam said.

Although Nasheed had said the minister would know all details regarding the project, Minister Aslam said he might not know the full details of the project. He said he was providing information to the best of his knowledge. It is possible that his answers may not be fully accurate, he added.

A mockup of the floating city is currently being prepared for display in Hulhumale' lagoon. Parts of the mockup houses were installed early Monday.

The "Maldives Floating City" project was launched on March 14, 2021. On June 23, 2022, another agreement was signed between the government and the Dutch Docklands Company, which had been planning to implement the project since 2011 during President Mohamed Nasheed's administration. The new agreement included some changes to the original plans.

The government has given a 200-hectare lagoon near Aarah to the Dutch Dockland Company to carry out the project. The project is being implemented jointly by the government and the Dutch Dockland Company.

The mega-project will build 5,000 houses at a cost of about $1 billion. Photos of the mockup units installed in the Hulhumale' lagoon have been released. The official houses of the floating city will be built on a lagoon five minutes from the capital city, Male'.

The floating, environmentally friendly city is being built in such a way that 5,000 plots can be issued and includes tourism components. A yacht marina, two five-star resorts, and small picnic islands will be built in the area. In addition, a hospital, school, shopping mall, council and government offices will also be built.