Govt announces decision against leasing islands from Male' atoll

Tourism Ministry has announced the government's decision not to lease further islands from Male' atoll for resort development.

Minister Ali Waheed on Wednesday said the government decided against leasing more islands from Male' atoll as may islands have already been leased, out of which the construction of a large number of resorts still remain incomplete. The decision was made after seeking the Economic Council's opinion, he said.

While the government is preparing to put new islands on the market for resort development, the ministry is seeking a party to conduct 'Initial Environment Assessment and Social Economic Assessment' on the proposed islands.

Minister said the purpose of the assessments are to seek public opinion and conducting an environment research. The number and name of islands will be publicized after the assessment, said the Minister.

The ministry considered areas in which less number of resorts are being operated in choosing new islands to be developed as resorts, said the minister.

Statistics show 140 resorts are currently being operated in the Maldives, out of which 47 are operated in Male' atoll. During the tenure of former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, over 30 lagoons in Male' atoll were dredged and leased for resort development.