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Business & Tourism

Tax authority freezes accounts of Gasim’s Villa Shipping company

The move comes days after Gasim predicted that Villa’s accounts could be frozen ahead of Monday’s no-confidence vote against the speaker of parliament.

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High court rules against Gasim’s Villa in resort lease dispute

Gasim had predicted that the high court would rule against Villa. “It looks like a big wave is building, looks like they are going to freeze all the accounts of Villa Shipping company again,” he said Sunday night.

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Hilton ordered to pay US$16m to MP Siyam’s Sun Travels

The judgment comes in spite of a Singaporean arbitration tribunal awarding US$26 million in damages to Hilton for Sun Travel’s abrupt termination of the Irufushi management agreement in May 2013.

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Malaysian company awarded US$57.5m project to build five airports

Developing an airport on the northern island of Kulhudhufushi is a campaign pledge of President Abdulla Yameen. But environmentalists have previously warned that it would destroy the island’s environmentally sensitive wetland area.

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Saudi Airlines to double flights to Maldives

Saudi Arabia is also funding a grand mosque in Malé that can accommodate 6,000 worshippers. Last week, the housing ministry awarded the US$24 million project to Turkish company Alke-Turmaks.

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Import duty hiked for cigarettes and energy drinks

The price of a pack of cigarettes has shot up from MVR48 (US$3.11) to about MVR75 (US$5) after the import duty hike from MVR1.25 to MVR2 per cigarette came into effect. The price of a single cigarette is up from MVR2.50 to about MVR4.

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President launches US$400m airport runway project

President Abdulla Yameen launched Monday morning a US$400 million project awarded to China’s Beijing Urban Construction Group to build a new runway at the Velana International Airport.

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High court deals blow to Gasim’s bid to retain airport

The high court overturned a lower court order halting the tourism ministry’s takeover of the Kaadehdhoo airport in Gaaf Dhaal airport.

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Thousand jobs on offer at Hulhumalé youth career expo

According to state media, the jobs fair in Hulhumalé was organised by the economic development ministry and the state-owned Housing Development Corporation at the behest of First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim, who is overseeing the president’s re-election campaign.

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In unprecedented move, supreme court sacks civil court judge

The apex court declared that Judge Mariyam Waheed has “lost the legitimacy, legal capacity, and authority” to remain on the bench after she ruled against the government in a long-running dispute over the lease of Vaavu Bodumohora for resort development.

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Airport hotel suspends six staff after protest

The suspension came after more than 60 Maldivian staff signed a petition demanding that the management lifts the suspension of a staff member accused of leaving without permission during duty hours.

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Maldives secured US$100m from India to shore up depleted reserve

The agreement with the Reserve Bank of India was the Maldives’ first currency swap deal.

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Tourism lobby scuttled rules banning resorts from selling dollars

The rules were aimed at alleviating a persisting dollar shortage and tackling an entrenched black market.

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President forms new tourism promotion company

Former Auditor General Niyaz Ibrahim has suggested that the government is planning to “bury” the scandal-ridden Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation and replace it with the new tourism promotion company.

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Maldives resort owners alarmed by ‘falling revenues’

Expressing concern over declining revenues, MATI called on the government to increase destination marketing activities.

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Villa takes government to court over airport seizure

A civil court judge has granted a stay on the seizure of a domestic airport leased to Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim’s Villa Group.

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President’s announcement revives rumours about the sale of Maldives atoll to Saudi Arabia

The president described the project as a township or an integrated development project involving various industries and open to travellers from all over the world.

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