The government of the Maldives is seeking developers to build 10,120 flats on the reclaimed island of Hulhumalé.
The housing ministry on September 17 opened up a call for proposals for 7,120 social housing units and 3000 medium-end housing units.
The flats will be located on the newly reclaimed 230 hectares of land on Hulhumalé. The ambitious housing venture is aimed at easing congestion on capital Malé, among the world’s most densely populated cities.
The proposals are to be evaluated by a ministerial committee.
Developers are expected to finance, construct and deliver the apartments. The land will be provided for free, and the price of the housing units and beneficiaries are to be determined between the government and the developer.
The government expects a minimum of 500 housing units to be completed within two years after contracts are awarded.
The artificial island was first populated in 2002. At the time, it comprised of 188 hectares of land.
According to the Maldivian government, 30 percent of the newly reclaimed land is to be allocated for social housing. The residential areas will be developed into neighborhoods which will consist of a mix of social and high-end housing.
The government expects to provide housing for a population between 150,000 – 187,000 on the newly reclaimed area. Between 46,000 and 57,000 people will be housed in public housing.
Establishing a youth city on Hulhumalé is among President Abdulla Yameen’s key pledges.
The government is planning to build a bridge connecting Malé and Hulhumalé with assistance from the Chinese government.
Saudi Arabia this month granted a US$80million loan for infrastructure development on Hulhumalé including sheet piling 1,200 metres of land, creating a waterway or channel between land reclaimed under phases one and two, connecting the phase two mainland and an ‘economic zone’ via seven small bridges, and constructing two harbours in the yacht marina area and economic zone.
In January, President Yameen said the government hopes to increase Hulhumalé’s population to 220,000 and urged residents of islands with small populations to migrate to the new city.
According to the 2014 census, the population of the Maldives stands at 341,256 people, of which 133,019 reside in Malé. Of this, some 15,769 people are registered as residing in Hulhumalé, but the actual figure is thought to be close to 30,000.
Yameen has pledged to establish a ‘technopolis park’, entertainment, and sports facilities, and facilities for tourism and fisheries industries. Hulhumalé Development Corporation officials have also said the new city will feature a monorail to Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.