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Business & Tourism

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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“China-Maldives Friendship Bridge” project launched

“Today you have made our impossible dream a reality,” President Yameen said at last night’s commencement ceremony, expressing “profound gratitude” to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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Holiday Island Resort staff owed overdue allowances

Several employees at the Holiday Island Resort are owed three months worth of service charges, Ramadan bonuses, and last year’s travel allowance.

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Maldives secures US$373m loan for airport development

Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer signed the “preferential buyer credit loan agreement” with the Chinese EXIM Bank yesterday during his ongoing official visit to China. The funds will be used to build a new 3.2 kilometre runway, reclaim land, and develop a fuel farm and a cargo complex.

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Maldives bans Christmas celebrations at guesthouses

“[A]s activities such as celebrating Christmas are contrary to Islam and the Maldives’ culture and traditions, celebrating Christmas in any inhabited island is not allowed under Maldivian law,” reads the letter signed by the home minister to local councils.

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Maldives hopeful of signing free trade agreement with China by 2017

After the first round of negotiations concluded at the Bandos Island Resort on Tuesday, Economic Development Minister Mohamed Saeed said a free trade pact with China will be most beneficial to Maldivian businesses that export fish products. “Our main aim is to export [fish products] to the China market without any tariffs,” he said.

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Deported German crew’s coverage of Maldives will affect tourism, says minister

A report on radicalization in the Maldives by a German TV crew who were deported from Malé last week will affect resort bookings, Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer has warned.

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Resort occupancy rate continues to fall

While the occupancy rate at resorts fell six percent in November to 68.7 percent, the occupancy rate at guesthouse rose 11.6 percent during the month. In contrast to resorts and hotels, guesthouse occupancy has risen to an average of 22.9 percent this year.

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Government’s seizure of Villa’s resort properties unlawful, civil court rules

Shortly after Gasim’s Jumhooree Party formed an alliance with the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party in February and launched an anti-government campaign, the tourism ministry terminated the lease agreements of two lagoons and three islands leased to Villa and subsidiary companies for resort development.

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President vetoes bill banning calls for sanctions, tourism boycotts

President Abdulla Yameen has vetoed a law banning calls for tourism boycott and sanctions against the Maldives, saying the bill infringes on the right to free speech.

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Record MVR27.5billion budget passed for 2016

The parliament passed today a record MVR27.5billion (US$1.7billion) budget for 2016 as proposed by the finance ministry. The MDP issued a three-line whip against the budget. Some 11 amendments proposed by the party were voted out.

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Row erupts over allocation of development funds for 2016

Days after President Abdulla Yameen told MPs he would not add new development projects for 2016, discontent over the scarcity of funds erupted into heated arguments between MPs and ministers with a minister calling MPs “idiots.”

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No money for the folks back home

Why a government plan to levy a three percent tax on migrant worker remittances has drawn concern among human rights advocates.

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MPs grill ministers over ‘unrealistic’ revenue targets

MPs on the parliament’s budget review committee questioned ministers today about targets in the 2016 budget after revenue this year fell far short of forecasts.

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Contractor chosen for ‘China-Maldives Friendship Bridge’

The bidding process was launched in Beijing last Tuesday with a team of 11 experts evaluating bids from three companies shortlisted by the Chinese government. They were China Railway Major Bridge Engineering, CCCC Second Harbour Engineering, and Sichuan Road and Bridge Construction. The housing ministry has not revealed the chosen contractor.

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Chinese company to construct 1,500 flats in Hulhumalé

The ministry of housing and infrastructure signed a contract with the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) today for the construction of 1,500 medium-end housing units in the capital’s suburb Hulhumalé.

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Maldives ‘safe for tourists’ despite state of emergency

The government of Maldives raised fear of a bomb plots in declaring an unprecedented nationwide state of emergency today, but insists that the honeymoon destination is safe for tourists.

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