The government secured a EUR101 million loan from Ausfuhrkredit-
Gesellschaft Mbh and ING Bank N.V. for phase two of the Gulhifalhu reclamation project.
“This project will facilitate relocation of existing International port in Malé to Gulhifalhu, and create enormous synergies, agglomeration effects, and opportunities for the growth and development of the Maldivian economy,” according to the finance ministry.
The Maldives hosted the first in-person gathering of the UN World Tourism Organisation’s commissions for South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific.
The tourism ministry and UNWTO also partnered to host a Ministerial Roundtable on ‘Tourism Resilience through Innovation and Digitalisation in Asia and the Pacific,’ which “explored ways in which new technology and new ideas can help better protect tourism against shocks including future pandemics as well as extreme weather events,” and a two-day ‘Global Summit on Community-based Tourism’ with public and private sector experts focusing on the “potential of gastronomy tourism, agro-tourism and community-based tourism for sustainable and inclusive development.”
According to the ferry operator Raajje Transport Link – a subsidiary of the state-owned Maldives Transport and Contracting Company – “each vessel has 48 reclinable airline style seats, designated seating for wheelchair passengers, and securable mechanism for medical stretchers”. Customers can book and pay for tickets on the RTL website or app. Persons with disabilities and children under three can travel for free.
The ‘Integrated National Public Ferry Network’ with atolls grouped into six zones is expected to be completed by September 2023. The routes will be divided into a commuter link to connect nearby islands, a non-commuter link for longer trips to domestic airports and business hubs, and a highway link to connect regional hubs.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih hailed the RTL network as “the spine of the decentralised development we seek.”
The Bank of Maldives announced a collaboration with Mastercard for the exclusive payment network of Transit Cards for the Raaje Transport Link.
“Utilising open loop technology, the need for commuters to carry multiple cards to transact and travel will no longer be required as one card will do it all,” BML explained. “As no additional infrastructure is required to top up these cards, no additional cost will be incurred by consumers, resulting in enhanced commuter satisfaction.”
The open loop technology will be expanded to include bus and ferry services in the area of Malé and Hulhumalé.