The original Dhivehi article was published on Avas.mv website on 24th May 2017.
The following is a loose translation with added background information:
- 7000 flat work started
- Road construction and other facilities’ work ongoing
- Service providers increased
From afar the scenery looks rather different. What you see is just a small sandbank. What is said around is that salt is still felt in the reclaimed side of the land and that nothing is happening here on this spread of land. Hulhumalé island, also referred to as the ‘Youth City’, is reached after 20 minutes from leaving the capital city Malé.
Yet, today when we go and look at this place we see a new chapter has opened here.
‘Changes has been made to the previous phase 1’s overall master plan. These changes were made after considering the current developments. Unlike before, we will put up high-rise buildings. We will deliver facilities usable for the majority. These are the reasons why we are doing these works,’ said Mohamed Simon, Managing Director of Housing Development Corporation (HDC).
The first Hulhumalé reclamation project which began in the 1990’s, its phase 1 work took 10 years for completion. The first plan was to occupy 40,000 people. The phase 2 reclamation process which the current government initiated 3 years ago has been completed. The current target of the government is to make this island a Youth City which took about 77 days to reclaim 240 hectares of land. The government target population is 200,000. In order to reach this target under the phase 2, works are in place to populate the island by providing housing. These changes are made after consulting with foreign experts.
Simon said changes were made as advised and reviewed by an expert team from Singapore (Heng Chye Kiang & Low Boon Liang, at the National University of Singapore (NUS), who did the design consultancy work.
‘As per research work done, we knew that to align President Yameen’s vision with Youth City’s vision, phase 2 needs to be reclaimed. So through phase 2, we will get the chance to deliver,’ said Simon.
Increase in service providing places
Under this huge project to make Hulhumalé a Youth City, it is not just the work of phase 2 that is ongoing. Under phase 1, works are also ongoing in order to utilise the idle lands efficiently; of which project works are given to local and foreign companies.
He continued, along with the development of residential areas other developments are also taking place.
‘School and road construction works are also ongoing. And so the biggest school construction work has been handed over. Furthermore, even when you look at industrial areas when we first started after reviewing there were only 40 places, but now there are additional 50-60 places providing services. There are more than 100 places giving services now,’ he said.
Central Park and Centro (Hulhumalé Mini-Mall)
‘Centro Mall’ is an entirely new concept for Maldives designed to be included in Hulhumalé. It will be a building where you get many services like what you find abroad. Even now international banks and franchises are operating here.
Moreover, the biggest park in the Maldives is developed here in Hulhumalé. At Hulhumalé Central Park you can find a variety of facilities in order to go and relax. Namely fitness area, joggers area and a special skating area for youngsters. An outdoor gym area and special sheltered area for yoga enthusiasts will soon be available for use. There will also be a green open area. The ‘Blue Pond’ is what make this park complete.
Phase 2 – totally different
From the phase 1, phase 2 standout completely different. Under the phase 2, street construction is in place; ground levelling, aligning of streets together and are all set for concrete gravel layering. This work is done by two Indian companies: Mohan Mutha Exports (MM Exports) and Ashoka Buildcon. These 3 lane road project valued at 40.3 million dollars will take two and half years for completion.
Maldives’ tallest office premise construction project with metal and glass material will also be in phase 2. This 25 storey building by HDC that will house a 30,000 cubic tonne water tank and is worth 122 million dollars (1.8 billion Rufiyaa). There will be a lobby and shops on the ground floor. On the first and second floor, there will be a car parking space. There will also be a 250 pax restaurant. The building will complete by next year November.
Simon also added that there will be space for Finance Ministry offices, governments offices, and banks too.
‘More businesses will come when we shift to Hulhumalé city, said Simon.
‘Hope’ 7000 flat works started
From the second phase, the first projects to take place will be to build 7000 flats. In this project, there will be 25 storey – 16 towers. This work is done on a loan by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to build housing units.
The project which was given to China State Engineering and Construction Company (CSEC), work has already begun work; in order to prepare the construction site, they have started gathering materials. Construction of a labour quarter is also ongoing. There will be 2 room flats in the building. These flats will also be available by next year November at a rate affordable for the commoner to purchase.
To build 35,000 housing units is also a target, in phase 2.
Hulhumalé phase 2 work has been smoothly progressing at a high speed. The government’s aim is to complete most of the projects by next year. Hulhumalé phase 2’s entire new chapter has begun.
*Hulhumale phase 2 highlights:
Government & Civic District with Leisure Waterfront
Yacht Club & Marina Facilities
Business District and Urban Square
Residential Neighbourhoods, Central Green Spine
Knowledge Park, IT Park, Light Industry
Harbour & Waterfront Boardwalk
Pedestrianized Commercial Spine
Mixed Use District
*Hulhumale Central Park:
Leisure Zone: Open Leisure Area, Relaxing Bench, Interactive Pavilion, Pathway Gardens, Waterpot Benches, Viewing Platform, Bridge Pond, Rock Garden
Recreational Zone: Skate Park, Hot Air Balloon, Exercise Platform, Climbing Wall, Calisthenics / Parkour, Outdoor Exercising
Interactive Zone: Led Garden, Maliboomer, Seesaw Park, Interactive Elevated Park, Fog Area, Toddlers Area, Beston Swinger, Extended Viewing Platform, Interactive Pavilion
Fountain Zone: Maze Garden, Plant Arts, Open Plaza, Mega Sundial, Interactive Water Fountain, Drinking Water Fountain, Fountain Garden, Shading Pavilions
Central Plaza: Flag Post, Mobile Stage for Events, Group Benches, Elevated Seatings, Open Plaza, Public Events Space
– East/West: Stage, 3D Interactive Art, Popup Market Extension
– North/South: Popup Market Zone, Mobile Kiosk Area, Seasonal Events, Facilitate Mechanisms
– Surrounding: Gateways/Bollards, Parking Lots, Pedestrian, Jogging/Bicycle track