A partnership of Maldives government and Shangi-La Maldives started demolition works in Addu Atoll Villingili, an island selected for resort development, most probably instilling hopes in many workers from Addu who are currently miles away from home in other atolls.
Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation said that construction materials of the resort will reach Villingili during next week. However currently according to the ministry only the demolition works are going on. In the initial phase of the development structural works will be carried out besides demolitions of old buildings.
“Demolition works are advancing speedily. A major part of the demolition is now complete. If the works advance at current speed the deadlines will be met” speaking to Haama planning officer at ministry of tourism Mohamed Adly said.
According to Adly under the first phase 147 rooms will be built on Villingili and the civil works will start within two months. As the project segments are undertaken on subcontract basis, the works are progressing speedily according to Adly.
The government of Maldives delivered the island to an interested party to develop a resort on the island in 2003.
There are a number of criticisms directed at the government as the Villingili project has been delayed for a long period of time. Villingili development discussions first dominated the floor of the parliament in 2004 and still the debates arise in the house.
In April Ministry of Tourism signed an agreement with Maldives Tourism Development Corporation, MTDC, to build a 600-bed resort in Addu atoll Herethere.
Herethere consists of Hajara, Dhonraha and Geradhoo.
Earlier ministry of tourism said that MTDC should develop Herethere as a resort in 18 months.
When British RAF withdrew from Addu in 1976 numerous people who were made jobless invested their time and efforts in the tourism sector that was at its infancy at the time. Still it is believed that the tourism sector is dominated by people from Addu both as labor providers and investors.