Three more uninhabited islands put up for resort development

Thursday, 11 September 2008 10:35

After a short break from putting up any more uninhabited islands for development as tourist resorts, the Tourism Minister has announced three more uninhabited islands are up for bidding.

The three uninhabited islands put up for bid by the Ministry of Tourism on Monday are Baa atoll Meyndhoo, Noonu atoll Huivani, and Gaafu Alifu atoll Lossaa.

The bidding documents for the three islands will be sold until 9 October, the Ministry said.

The pre-bid meeting for the islands, which require a US$100,000 bank guarantee to participate in, will be held on the 1st of next month and the opening of the bids will be held on the 13th of the month.

An official from the Tourism Ministry said that lowest rent that can be submitted for the islands are US$7,500 per bed annually. The official also said that even though an extended period of time would be given to develop the resorts, the rent has to be paid within 12 months of the signing of the agreement.

The three new islands have been put up for bid at a time when the previous Tourism Minister Dr. Mahmoud Shaugee, many officials from the industry, and some banks had said that it wasn’t a good idea to lease any more uninhabited islands for resort development.

After the Ministry’s decision to build resorts on inhabited islands, reclaiming land from the reef and lagoon of the islands to create parts of the resorts, the Ministry had put up four islands for bidding. Kaafu atoll Kaashidhoo was put up for bid twice under the new resort development policies and on the second time only one party expressed interest in the project. One of the other two islands up for bidding,

Haa Alifu atoll Kelaa, fared a little better with two parties expressing interest but the second island, Laamu atoll Gaadhoo, didn’t appeal to any potential investors.

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