A much-anticipated and controversial ‘winter theme park’ in the capital opened Friday night with an ice skating rink, an ice slide and snow corner.
Children in sweaters and jackets revelled in the artificial snow after an opening ceremony attended by the first couple and ministers.
Speaking at the event, Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muizz praised President Abdulla Yameen for conceiving of the park for “children in the Maldives who do not get to experience the winter of foreign countries.”
Muizz, who defended the park in the face of criticism on social media last week, said the structure was designed and built in France. The management was handed over to local company Diamond Wings, which was awarded a plot within Rasrani for a restaurant to cover the winter park’s maintenance costs.
Despite the official opening to coincide with Eid, the winter park will open to the public next Wednesday. Ticket prices have yet to be announced. The QueueBee application can be used to take token numbers, according to the housing ministry.
Addressing concerns over the dismantling of the Kalhuvakaru mosque to make way for the winter corner, Muizz said that its parts are under the care of the Heritage Department.
The ancient mosque will be reassembled as planned on Thinadhoo island in Gaaf Dhaal atoll, he assured.
Snowing in Maldives. pic.twitter.com/MACNvXS4oy
— Dr. Abdulla Khaleel 🌐 (@abkhaleel) June 15, 2018
You know what else kids would like? And ecological site unique to their own country like the mangroves instead of importing Arctic weather. They'd so appreciate retaining their natural environment for them to enjoy.
— Ahmed Tholal🎈 (@Tholman_79) June 15, 2018
Children need parks. But we also need to teach them and kinds of yourself to set the priorities right. What is a winter park for a say 8 yr old kid who doesn’t have the privilege of proper nutritious food? who sleeps with Mom Dad and 6 other siblings in one room?
— FaathiA (@Faathiye) June 13, 2018
The country is drowning in debt and a winter park is the MOST important thing ever!? How many times do we have to sacrifice our heritage and culture for a short-term solution!?
— Lalli (@notyobrownfren) June 14, 2018
Maldivian: I’m so pissed off my relative passed away because the hospital lacked basic equipment.
Govt: well, we DO have a winter themed ice box if you wanna cool down about it.
— Maumoon (@notMAG_) June 14, 2018
Things I wanted as a kid
– to be able to study a wider, better range of subjects at school
– to be able to afford proper healthcare at home without having to save up for two years for a trip to India
You’re really funny Layal. Let’s talk about fundamental needs first.
— discount rooshan (@izznzz) June 13, 2018
Did the research. Hulhumale’ hospital doesn’t have a ventilator. There are hospitals in this country where you can’t even get a measly X-Ray taken. For most sophisticated investigations everyone has to flock to IGMH or spend their money at ADK. I’m honestly worried about you. https://t.co/kc44XKP233
— Mariyam Shafa Rameez (@ShafaRameez) June 14, 2018
And this is Where our kids play.
SNOW FOR MALE
MUD FOR FUVAHMULAH pic.twitter.com/wTfV2tInw4
— Issis ❄ (@Ixxath1515) June 13, 2018