Three islands have been added to a list of properties that can be leased for tourism development without open bidding.
Raa Villingili, Gaaf Alif Hulhimendhoo and Odagallaa were included in the list, published Monday by the tourism ministry.
The highest acquisition cost is for Villingili, at US$2.7 million. This island is estimated to be about 3.60 hectares.
Hulhimendhoo, which is 5.20 hectares, has a price tag of US$650,000 while acquiring Odagalla will cost US$96,250. This island is 0.77 hectares.
The tourism act was amended in 2016 to allow leasing of islands and lagoons without open bidding. The amendment was followed by a regulation on submitting proposals for the lease of islands, lagoons and lands for tourism purposes.
According to the regulation, the ministry must publicly disclose a list with details of places to be leased for tourism development during the first two months of that year.
The ministry, with permission from the President’s Office, can amend the list throughout the year.