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.
The Maldives police and British counter-terrorism experts sat down this week with more than a 100 tourism sector security personnel to work out measures to protect visitors from potential acts of terror.
The president’s remarks come after the World Bank warned in its Global Economic Prospects report released last week that “rising debt levels” and “persistent political tensions” are among the risks facing the Maldivian economy.
Disgruntled internet users are calling on telecoms companies for compensation after cyber attacks disrupted internet services across the Maldives for more than a week.
Despite tourist arrivals growing by 4.6 percent annually as of November, revenue from Tourism Goods and Services Tax last year decreased by -4.4 compared to 2015, suggesting shorter stays and lower spending by tourists.
Two companies involved in the MMPRC scandal have won legal bids to recover an island and a lagoon seized by the Maldivian authorities after an audit report revealed that the state did not receive acquisition fees.
Media regulators and the anti-corruption commission have launched investigations in the bitter row between ruling party MP Riyaz Rasheed’s fuel supplier and the state ports company.
From January 8 onward, travellers can buy up to US$500 dollars per ticket through an online portal or at any BML branch. But the dollars must be collected from a dedicated area at the Velana International Airport after checking in at the departure terminal.
According to new regulations enacted by the finance ministry last week, sovereign guarantees will only be offered for loans taken with an interest rate below four percent to finance tourism-related projects, social housing projects that meet the government’s criteria, and high-priority development projects.
In the face of criticism from the opposition, the finance ministry said the Maldives’ first ever international sovereign bond issuance would help raise finances for infrastructure projects and develop the country’s financial system and capital market.
The audit report of the tourism ministry for 2014 has raised fresh allegations of corruption over the lease of islands and lagoons for resort development during the tenure of former Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb.
Velana is a reference to former President Ibrahim Nasir, the president’s office explained, who oversaw the development of the Maldives’ first international airport as prime minister in 1964.
Feydhoo Finolhu, the nearest uninhabited island to Malé and the international airport, has been leased to a Chinese company for 50 years at an acquisition cost of about US$4 million.
Malaysia-based security firm Nexbis Solutions has won an arbitration award of US$15 million as compensation for the Maldivian government’s termination of a US$39 million border control project.
The civil court ordered the state-owned Maldives Ports Limited to buy diesel for its vehicles exclusively from Meridiam Services, a company linked to ruling party MP Riyaz Rasheed.
The government signed Sunday a US$50 million loan agreement with the OPEC Fund for International Development to finance the expansion of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. According to the finance ministry,
President Abdulla Yameen has described international money-laundering checks as “red tape” that inflicts disproportionate burdens on small economies.