Foreigners can now invest in Maldivian guesthouses!

maafushi guesthouse
Kaani Village and Spa, guesthouse in Maafushi, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives | Photo: Budget Maldives

Male’, Maldives — The Government of Maldives has announced that opportunities are open for foreign investors to invest in the guesthouses of Maldives, given that a Maldivian has the majority shares.

While the previous laws of Maldives were against foreign investors from investing in the guesthouse business of Maldives, the new amendment brought to the law states that foreigner can invest up to 49% shares from the guesthouses of Maldives. Along with this a new partnership company can also be introduced with a Maldivian where the foreign partner consists of no more than 49% of the shares.

The Tourism Minister of Maldives, Dr. Abdullah Mausoom spoke to local media outlet and informed that with the new amendment to the bill, he hopes for the guesthouse businesses in different islands of Maldives to expand in the near future.

Minister Mausoom also gave reassurance that the new amendment to the law will also help the owners of unfinished guesthouse financially in resuming their work.

Minister Mausoom further stated that they have not only brought changes to the law, but will also help the guesthouses in Maldives find foreign investors as well. According to Minister Mausoom, the Tourism Ministry has already created a cell regarding this matter.

The individuals who have lands to operate a guesthouse but couldn’t build it to lack of money can contact us and we will help the individuals find investors.

Tourism Minister Mausoom

While noting that this new change brought to the country is a very beneficial thing, Minister Mausoom stated that currently guesthouses hold 10% of the bed capacity rate in Maldives, however, he foresees this rate to increase by a great extent in the upcoming future.

Minister Mausoom addressed possible concerns of the citizens over the fact that foreigners may get a hold of the business carried out in islands and stated that even now, most guesthouses use a foreign backing without disclosing it. This leads to a loss of government revenue.

The tourism Minister said that amending the existing laws and allowing foreigners to invest provides a legal framework. He stressed that even with the the amended law, a foreigner can only invest up to 49% of the shares, making a Maldivian the majority shareholder.