China, Sri Lanka firms to develop 3 resorts in Maldives

LOLC Group's deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara (R) and CMEC's deputy general manager Qian Haojuan celebrate launching the project in the Maldives.

LOLC Group’s deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara (R) and CMEC’s deputy general manager Qian Haojuan celebrate launching the project in the Maldives.

A major Chinese construction and engineering firm in collaboration with a Sri Lankan company have commenced a project of USD 150 million to develop three resorts in the Maldives by reclaiming lagoons.

According to Sri Lankan news website Sunday Observer, China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) and Lanka Orix Leasing Company (LOLC) Group’s subsidiary Palm Garden Hotels Plc commenced the joint venture which is expected to be completed in 2018.

The project will see the construction of three independent resorts on islands reclaimed within two neighbouring lagoons situated a 40 minute speedboat ride away from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA). The three resorts will feature total 470 rooms with 120 rooms in the five-star resort, and 150 and 200 rooms in the four-star properties.

Meanwhile, 30.5 hectares of land have already been reclaimed in the lagoons by Van Oord, a dredging and marine engineering company of Netherlands.

The website did not disclose when the lagoons were handed over to CMEC and Palm Garden Hotels or when. The tourism ministry is not available for comment regarding the issue.

The government had last year leased the island of Kalhufahalafushi in Thaa atoll to CMEC for resort development. CMEC also signed with the government last year to develop 1,500 housing units for middle-class society in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale’s second phase, following their construction of 1,000 housing units in the island’s first phase. Currently, they are developing 700 additional flats in the suburb.

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