Yesterday, Maldives restarted tourism leases, allocating 29 uninhabited islands and land from several inhabited islands for new tourism developments. At the ceremony held in the main convention Centre of Dharubaaruge, tourism minister Ali Waheed said the government plans to develop additional 13,720 tourist beds within its first five-year term.
The uninhabited islands allocated for resort development include 4 islands in Haa Alif atoll, 3 in Haa Dhaal Atoll, 3 in Shaviyani Atoll, 1 in Noonu Atoll, 2 in Raa Atoll, 2 in Meemu Atoll, 2 in Faafu Atoll, 3 in Thaa Atoll, 3 in Laamu Atoll, 2 in Gaafu Alif Atoll, 3 in Gaafu Dhaal Atoll and 1 in Addu Atoll.
The main purpose of this is to boost tourism in atolls with low concentration of tourist facilities. This is expected to create 18,000 jobs for locals. Some Maldivians are against this as uninhabited islands are many people’s source of entertainment.