The original Dhivehi article was published on Mihaaru.com website on 11th September 2017.
The following is a loose translation:
It has been a year since the government formed a company under the name Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC). However, the company established to initiate and promote middle-class tourism, has yet to show much of their work.
President’s Office said at that time that MITDC will enable middle-class businessmen to have an active involvement in the tourism industry.
MITDC met with the Maldives media last week. Primarily they announced and discussed the projects initiated previously by Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) — Baresdhoo Guest House Island project in Laamu Atoll.
Leased earlier by Villa Shipping and Trading Company Pvt Ltd, while acting as the Minister of Tourism Ahmed Adeeb compiled several plans in order to develop it as a guest house island.
The island’s plots that were secretly sold to many different parties. MMPRC kept saying on several different occasions that works were being done to develop Baresdhoo island. Likewise, apart from leasing the 16 land plots to build guest houses, the island’s harbour and road development work were also handed to some party.
After forming MITDC, the first project government assigned to them was the Baresdhoo project. Changes were made to the previous concept of the project: instead of selling the land plots, the plan now is to build hotels and guest houses after leasing the plots for 50 years.
During the news conference held at the office at Velaanaage building on the Tourism Minister’s floor, MITDC’s Managing Director Mohamed Shahid said they will announce to invite interested parties to lease the Baresdhoo land plots.
According to the current plan, it is to develop 50 guest houses with beds ranging from 25 to 50 and 2 hotels with 100 beds. It will also include restaurants, cafes, bars, spas, theme park, theatre, golf course, botanical garden and dive centers.
‘All these places will be managed by various parties. It will be different from the usual resort operation,’ said Shahid.
Since Baresdhoo land plots has already been sold out earlier, for various purposes to different parties, MITDC has decided to involve them in the project as well. Therefore, MITDC will be working closely together with them to develop those places. Now the aim is to complete developing the island within 18 months.
‘We will be honouring the lands sold by MMPRC and we won’t be changing their contracts. We only brought changes to the designs and concepts of the rest of the places’,’ said Shahid.
The budget is now ready to build 3000 beds on Baresdhoo island. Although, he did not disclose the amount. MITDC said that they can only estimate a budget for the whole project after studying the proposals of the interested parties to develop the plots.
‘We will be developing the island after reviewing their proposals and also based on their input. Now this company will develop the guest houses and hotels, but also as per the likings of the parties interested in leasing them,’ said Shahid.
Next week Wednesday at Hotel Jen Malé Maldives, there will be an informational workshop regarding the pricing, sizes and structures on Baresdhoo project. After that, they will give around 2 months to come forward to lease them, shared MITDC.
MITDC has also made a model of the 75 hectare island. As per the model, hotels and guest houses will be developed with water villas and beach villas. The highest structure on the island will be 4-storey tall.
There are lands allocated in the middle of the island for a theme park, golf course and recreational and an entertainment area as well. The small island Mahakanfushi, lying next to it will also be connected to Baresdhoo island with a causeway. Mahakanfushi island will provide electricity, sewage and drainage system, laundry service and storage facilities
Baresdhoo’s model looks amazing. Next is practical work. Only then, everyone will benefit from it directly and indirectly.