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New lagoon acquisition costs published

The tourism ministry published new rules for calculating acquisition costs to separately lease lagoons of islands leased for tourism development.



The tourism ministry published Sunday new rules for separately leasing lagoons of resort islands.

The lagoon can be reclaimed once the separate acquisition cost is paid and a new lease agreement is signed with the tourism ministry.

According to the regulation, the ministry can alter the acquisition fee based on a land survey report that must be submitted after reclamation.

The proposed acquisition fees are lowest for the northernmost and southernmost atolls at US$1.2 million per 10 hectares. In contrast, the cost of lagoons in Malé atoll is US$6 million. The cost ranges between US$3 to US$5 million for the other central atolls.

The tourism law was controversially revised in July 2015 to allow the government to bypass a competitive bidding process and lease listed properties to parties that submit a suitable proposal.

A list of islands and lagoons available for leasing is published annually with pre-determined acquisition costs.