Subsea Cables, Southern Connectivity, Busiest Airport Day

Thursday, February 24

Domestic carrier Manta Air commenced operations to Addu City with daily flights between Malé and Gan.

Thursday, February 24

Wednesday, February 23

SriLankan Airlines announced a partnership with Manta Air to offer more connectivity options to passengers on its weekly flight from Colombo to Addu. Tourists and locals on SriLankan’s direct flights to Gan airport in the southernmost atoll can take a connecting flight via the domestic carrier to the neighbouring Gaaf Alif Atoll, according to the airlines, which assures a short transit time and hopes to boost tourism in the south.

Wednesday, February 23

The Malé City Council sought investors for a raft of development projects in the capital and its island suburb, including 500 council housing units, a commercial building and a local market in Vilimalé, and a city council office, a new office building and a parking building in Malé.

Due to budgetary constraints, the council plans to implement some of its larger projects “through public-private partnerships models and similar innovative financing models,” according to the mayor. The council is in the process of forming a company “to implement these projects with greater efficiency while tapping into funding from investment partners.”

The High Court upheld a 2017 civil court judgment for MP Abdulla Jabir’s Yacht Tours company to pay US$3.6 million owed as rent and fines for Haa Alif Beenafushi and nearby Kadaali lagoon.

The finance ministry invited bids for the design and construction of 400 housing units in Kulhudhuffushi. Last year, the president pledged to build 1,400 new homes to resolve a housing shortage in the northern hub.

Separate announcements were made seeking contractors to build houses in Shaviyani Milandhoo (50 units), Noonu Holhudhoo (30 units), Noonu Manadhoo (40 units), Lhaviyani Hinnavaru (100 units), Laamu Gan (100 units) and Gaaf Alif Viligili (50 units).

100 housing units built on Naifaru were handed over on Saturday.


Projects to develop a community beach in Laamu Gan and install solar-powered street lights in Baa Kudarikilu were completed with financing from the Bank of Maldives Community Fund.

A substantial catch reduction will be needed to save Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna stock, according to a long-awaited report by the scientific committee of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission.

Tuesday, February 22

The Musicians’ Union of Maldives partnered with Dhivehi Insurance to offer the country’s first insurance coverage for freelance artists.

Tuesday, February 22

Monday, February 21

India’s leading mobile operator Reliance Jio was enlisted to connect the Maldives to the India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) undersea cable, expected to come into service in mid-2024. The system which originates in Mumbai and connects to Singapore “will provide more than 200Tb/s of capacity at speeds of 100Gb/s”. Ministers hailed the deal as a transformative investment in digital infrastructure. According to the government, it enables “direct integrations without having to rely on 3rd party hubs” and would help “reduce vulnerabilities at the internet gateway”.

Local telco Dhiraagu announced a separate contract with a consortium of 13 global telecom and tech companies to join a submarine cable system planned to connect South-East Asia, the Middle East, and Western Europe. It is expected to be completed by 2025 with a minimum speed of 100 terabytes per second and “direct access to key Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and Data Centres (DCs)”.

Dhiraagu press conference

Monday, February 21

After its yacht rally to promote cultural tourism concluded with a gala night, the Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation signed an MoU with International Venture Group for ‘The Maldives Sri Lanka Sail Regetta.

MITDC’s ‘Savaadheeththa Dhathuru’ yacht rally visited 11 islands and explored heritage sites.

George Corbin, an Italian tour operator who brought the first tourists to the Maldives in February 1972, was honoured with the Abaarana (Gold) Tier of the Maldives Border Miles loyalty programme. The first-ever gold membership was gifted as he departed after a six-day visit to join golden jubilee celebrations.

During the trip, Corbin reunited with other pioneers to launch a golden jubilee stamp collection and take part in a talk show moderated by the tourism minister. He paid a courtesy call on the president. Meetings with tourism industry associations focused on the untapped market in the United States.

The economic development ministry announced refunds for deposits made by foreign workers before the introduction of the Xpat System. Details can be accessed online.

More than MVR549 million (US$35 million) has been released so far, according to the ministry.

Allied Insurance’s Ayady Takaful introduced ‘Covid-19 Cover’ as an extension to its Travel Takaful package, an “affordable plan that offers protection against a range of travel-related emergencies including the coronavirus pandemic”. It covers isolation facility charges as well as medical evacuation as a result of Covid-19.


An Air India flight was welcomed at the Velana International Airport with a water cannon salute to commemorate 46 years of air service between India and Maldives.

Sunday, February 20

The Velana International Airport set a new air traffic movement record with 210 runway ATMs and 629 seaplane ATMs.

Sunday, February 20

The Bank of Maldives invited applications for fully-funded scholarships to study banking and finance in top universities.