Maldives discontinues the Floating City project

Render of the Maldives Floating City project | Photo: Social Media

Malé, Maldives – Speaker of the Maldives Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed allegedly stated on Wednesday that the incumbent government is deliberately blocking the Maldives Floating City (MFC) since it is his vision.

Reports suggest that Speaker Nasheed said this in an internal WhatsApp group message within the ruling party MDP. Nasheed allegedly stated that the incumbent government has stopped the floating city project since it is connected to him.

I have decided to inform [the property developer] Dutch Docklands of how things work in the Maldives … This [floating city] project will not happen in the Maldives.

Speaker Mohamed Nasheed

Speaker Nasheed stated that a vote was taken regarding the project and it was stopped with majority votes including that of Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology Aminath Shauna.

“[The floating city is the] “new hope” for the more than half a million people of the Maldives,” Koen Olthuis, founder of Waterstudio, the architecture firm that designed MFC.

While the floating city is publicised in foreign media as a “practical solution to the harsh reality of sea-level rise” allowing “Maldivians to go from climate refugees to climate innovators”, locals raise alarms since the project is aimed toward luxury real estate.

According to a press release by Dutch Docklands and the Government of Maldives, every residence will be a sea-front, with individual units sized from 100 square meters (plus 40m2 roof terrace) upwards and priced from $250,000. The properties are advertised as “similar to the Maldives’ iconic over-water resorts, offering a seafront lifestyle centred around health, wellness and the outdoors” highlighting the ease of access to the international airports and global cities via major airlines.

“This will be an amazing place where locals and foreigners can buy their dream property at affordable prices,” says Paul HTM van de Camp, CEO of Dutch Docklands.

In development for more than a decade, MFC will feature thousands of residences, all water-front, floating along a flexible, functional grid across a 200-hectare lagoon. Inspired by traditional Maldivian sea-faring culture and developed in close cooperation with Maldivian authorities, MFC homes will eventually be joined by hotels, restaurants, stylish boutiques and a world-class marina.