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Business & Tourism

Maldives brands ITB Berlin a success

Despite questions over safety for tourists, the Maldives-sponsored international tourism and trade fair ITB Berlin was a major success, Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer has said.

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Maldives introduces mobile number portability

Mobile phone users in the Maldives can now switch mobile phone supplier, but retain their existing numbers, the Communication Authority of Maldives has announced.

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Finance minister signs biggest ever property deals

Finance minister Abdulla Jihad signed off on two contracts worth a total of US$260million for the construction of an office complex and a new wing of the state-owned Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Malé.

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National bank slashes interest rates on some loans

The Bank of Maldives has announced plans to slash interest rates on housing and personal loans and has launched a new loan scheme to encourage investment in green technologies.

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MDP questions sudden surge in foreign reserves

The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party has called for an inquiry into the sudden hike in Maldives’ foreign reserves. The source of some US$400million is unknown, the party said in a report issued on Monday.

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Hilton wins US$24million damages from MP Sun Siyam

Ruling coalition MP and tourism tycoon Ahmed Siyam’s Sun Travel and Tours has been ordered to pay US$24million in damages for the abrupt termination of a tourism contract with Hilton International, the Maldives Independent has learned.

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Maldives cuts electricity subsidies

Households across the country are facing higher electricity bills in March after the government revised tariff rates and decided to discontinue electricity subsidies next month.

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Resort worker sacked after staging a hunger strike over unpaid service charge

Abdul Hameed Moosa first went on strike on January 18 claiming Zitahli – owned by AAA Hotels and Resorts – had failed to pay service charge allowances for 12 months.

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Maldives hopeful of securing financing from Chinese-led bank

Speaking to reporters after returning from an official visit to China to attend the AIIB’s inaugural board of governors meeting in Beijing, Muiz said that the bank’s president, Jin Liquin, assured him of funding for infrastructure projects during an official meeting.

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Infrastructure projects could ‘transform’ economy, but poses risks

A visiting IMF mission said today that the “unprecedented scale up in public infrastructure” – including the expansion of the international airport and construction of the Malé-Hulhulé bridge – could boost tourism capacity and prove transformation “if implemented successfully, together with supportive education and employment policies”. But substantial external borrowing could add to “already elevated public debt.”

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Tourist arrivals reach 1.2m in 2015

Tourist arrivals grew by 2.4 percent in 2015, reaching a total of 1.2 million but falling short of the government’s target of 1.5 million visitors. Arrivals in December, the beginning of the Maldivian tourism industry’s peak season, also increased by 15 percent compared to the same period in 2014, according to statistics from the tourism ministry.

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Gasim’s Villa wins back all five resort properties seized during crisis

Jumhooree Party Leader Gasim Ibrahim’s Villa Company has won back all five properties seized by the government during a political crisis triggered by the JP’s split from the ruling coalition.

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Government revenue in December falls below forecast

“A 9.7 percent shortfall in revenue collection for December 2015 compared to the projection was observed for Green Tax, tourism sector GST and airport service charge. This is due to the 14.5 percent lower-than-expected tourist arrivals in November 2015,” MIRA explained in its December revenue collection report.

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Maldives resort accused of racism after refusing shelter for woman and child

A woman has accused five-star resort W Retreat and Spa of racism after staff refused to shelter her and her ten-year-old son on the island during a storm.

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Ban on foreign cashiers ‘killing’ small businesses

More than 60 businesses across the country have been fined by MVR10,000 (US$648) over the past year for employing foreigners, local media report. Small business owners say they are unable to hire Maldivians as the job is poorly paid and seen as socially unacceptable.

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Maldives MPs caught up in tourism scandal

Companies affiliated with ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives MPs Mohamed Musthafa, Hussain Manik Dhon Manik and Riyaz Rasheed, and main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s Ahmed ‘ADK’ Nashid were awarded islands without due process.

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Yameen asks Thai PM to waive visas for Maldivians

In a meeting with General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday, Yameen expressed hope for a visa waiver agreement between the two countries to facilitate trade and economic relations.

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