Male’, Maldives, 14th January 2024 – In a recent update, Tourism Minister Ibrahim Faisal shed light on the government’s concerted efforts to tackle the obstacles surrounding 63 incomplete island resorts in the Maldives. While emphasizing the prioritization of ongoing projects, Minister Faisal also expressed the government’s openness to proposals from capable companies interested in initiating new resort developments.
Recognizing the significant hurdle of integrating these 63 islands into the tourism market, Minister Faisal stated that the government is actively exploring potential solutions. A key element of this initiative involves a reassessment of lease agreements. Minister Faisal revealed that the government is in the process of compiling a list of parties willing to modify their lease terms, scheduling meetings to discuss these potential adjustments. He conveyed optimism about achieving swift progress in these endeavors.
The absence of a dedicated investment bank in the Maldives has emerged as a major challenge, hindering resort construction, according to Minister Faisal. He pointed out that building a four-star resort typically demands an investment of approximately USD 25 million—an amount beyond the financing capacity of existing banking institutions in the Maldives, especially for newcomers in the tourism sector. This financial bottleneck has resulted in several projects stalling after the initial phases of investment and development.
Touching upon the island acquisition process for resort development, Minister Faisal explained that the acquisition cost is often disclosed to attract investors. However, he observed that even with investor involvement, certain projects have encountered mid-way challenges, leading to halts in progress.
Discussions surrounding the unfinished resorts are characterized by a cooperative spirit, with the aim of finding practical solutions. Minister Faisal affirmed that lease agreements would be amended if necessary to facilitate progress, underscoring the commitment to overcoming challenges in the tourism sector.