Malé, Maldives – Speaker of the Maldives Parliament Mohamed Nasheed stated on Thursday that it is likely that Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail does not understand the concept behind the floating city.
Speaker Nasheed stated this, following remarks by Economic Minister Fayyaz questioning the authenticity of the floating city project envisioned by Nasheed.
Nasheed further stated that the Tourism Minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom is educated in the field and fully understood the concept when he prepared the contract.
The Speaker stated referring to the most recent agreement signed by the government with Dutch Docklands adopting the floating city project under the integrated tourism concept.
The reviewed contract created with advisement from the government’s economic council was signed on 23 June 2022 with a million-dollar payment from Dutch Docklands to the government. The modular city construction is scheduled for January 2023 and would take 4 to 5 years to complete under the new agreement.
Reports suggest that under the revised contract, the floating city will follow the “one island, one resort” concept followed by luxury resorts in the Maldives, where islands are developed solely for tourists.
This change was made after the government halted the floating city project and Minister Fayyaz raised alarms about the legitimacy of the floating city project.
Economic Minister Fayyaz stated that the Maldivian legislature does not allow for residential social housing to be developed in developments under a tourism lease.
“Five lagoons [in Malé atoll] were given for free to Dutch Docklands. Three of which the company have sold off for millions of dollars,” said Fayyaz.
Minister Fayyaz further added that the aforementioned lagoons will not be developed under the floating city concept, instead, the lagoons will be reclaimed. In addition, the company is planning to develop a sixth lagoon for social housing which is not permitted under the current law.