Maldives shifts focus to completing undeveloped resorts over new leases
Tourism Minister Ibrahim Faisal has declared a shift in the government’s approach, focusing on developing existing undeveloped resorts over leasing additional islands for construction.
In an interview with local newspaper Mihaaru, Faisal discussed ongoing discussions on challenges with 63 undeveloped islands, and said the government is open to considering proposals from capable companies interested in developing new islands into resorts.
Faisal said bringing the 63 islands into the market would be challenging, but assured efforts to expedite the process including efforts to identify individuals seeking modifications to lease agreements, emphasising the compilation of a list and scheduled meetings to address their needs promptly.
The minister noted the absence of an investment bank in the Maldives as a hurdle in timely resort development. With an estimated minimum investment of USD 25 million required for a four-star resort, first-time entrants face challenges securing funds without access to a dedicated investment bank.
On prolonged delays in some resort developments, Faisal highlighted the practice of showcasing island acquisition costs before seeking investors, leading to both successful and incomplete projects. He stressed the government is fostering a friendly environment for discussions on undeveloped resorts, welcoming parties requiring assistance or considering lease modifications.
Faisal also underscored ongoing efforts to attract Chinese investors, capitalising on significant investments from China to bolster the Maldives’ tourism industry.