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Winter is (almost) coming to the Maldives

The structure housing the winter park has been compared to a warehouse.

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Final preparations to open a ‘winter park’ on Eid are under way, the housing minister said Monday.

Rasrani Bageecha park in Malé has been closed while the construction has been taking place. It is due to re-open Thursday – with an ice rink.

A tin-like structure housing the winter park is being built on the site where the ancient Kalhuvakaru mosque used to stand.

Chinese and Bangladeshi workers could be seen toiling away in the Maldives heat on Tuesday afternoon.

Only one expatriate was wearing a helmet and the space around the electricity box, which was generating the power for the work, was not cordoned off. Bags cluttered the area and wires were exposed.

The winter park has been mocked, even drawing comparisons with a warehouse, but Housing Minister Mohamed Muizzu has trumpeted its quality.

“Rasrani Winter Park is professionally designed and built. It has specially designed framing with its walls Sapisol thermal insulated within double skin, with treated spruce timber on both sides with battens, IB4 waterproofing & Philippe Starck designed Aluminium metal cladding,” he said.

It is not clear how much the project costs. Muizzu says it is being funded through the tourism sector.

The winter park will feature the Maldives’ second ice-rink. The first opened earlier this year at the Jumeira Vittaveli.

It has an ice-skating area of 87 square metres, views to the ocean and was inaugurated in March by Olympic gold medallist Evgeni Plushenko.

The luxury resort says the synthetic ice rink functions entirely without water and at a zero-energy level.

President Abdulla Yameen will be at Rasrani Bageecha as part of an Eid meet and greet marking the end of Ramadan.

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