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Picnic island designated for Malé

The picnic island will be developed on the reclaimed Emboodhoo lagoon.



A new picnic island will be developed on the reclaimed Emboodhoo lagoon near Malé for residents of the congested capital, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced Tuesday night.

The picnic spot will be developed on one of nine islands reclaimed by Thailand’s Singha Estate for its Crossroads multi-resort project on the interconnected artificial islands.

The developer agreed to partner with the government for the picnic island project, President Solih said. The island will be opened for public use by early 2020 at the latest, he pledged at a ceremony held at the National Art Gallery. 

The Emboodhoo lagoon is 15 minutes from the capital. Designating a picnic island for Malé was a target of the new administration’s first 100 working days. 

According to plans unveiled during a presentation at Tuesday night’s ceremony, the island would have a barbecue area, a kids club, accommodation for families, changing rooms and clinics as well as facilities for water sports and beach sports.

As Malé is one of the most densely-packed cities in the world, its residents are “trapped in a state of anxiety and stress,” Solih said.

“However, the previous government ignored the sentiments of the people and appeals against selling off uninhabited islands previously used by Malé residents for picnics,” he said.

Two islands used for picnics, Kuda Bandos and Feydhoo Finolhu, were controversially leased for resort development during former president Abdulla Yameen’s administration.

The Yameen administration’s project to develop two picnic islands by reclaiming the Galufalhu lagoon near Malè – which remained stalled for almost two years – was scrapped by the new government.