Govt to lease islands for Halal tourism

The government has announced its decision to lease islands to promote and develop Halal Tourism in the Maldives.

The government's Strategic Action Plan (SAP) unveiled recently said policies, rules and regulations will be formulated to introduce halal tourism to the Maldives. The task will be overseen by Attorney General's Office, Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Ministry of Tourism.

Under the plan, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Economic Development will next year conduct activities to attract investors to develop halal tourism in the Maldives. According to the plan, islands will also be allocated for the purpose of establishing Muslim-friendly resorts in the bidding process of tourism islands.

Additionally, an understanding will be facilitated in 2021 between banks and Ministry of Economic Development to introduce new Shari’a compliant finance schemes for the development of halal tourism.

While tourism was introduced to the Maldives 47 years ago, no Muslim-friendly resorts have been established in the Maldives thus far. ADK Company worked to build an Islamic-concept resort in Sh. Gaakoshibee, however, the project did not move forward.

Halal Tourism market is a growing market segment, with Muslim tourists seeking destinations which meet their needs, in terms of diet, dress or rituals. A recent report publicized by Thompson Reuters said Muslim travelers accounted for 11.8% of tourism in 2017. Over US$ 169 billion was spent on halal tourism in 2017.