Economic Minister: Floating city project is a huge scam

Renders of Maldives Floating City. (Photo/Dutch Docklands)

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has described the Maldives Floating City Project contracted to Dutch Docklands last year as a huge scam.

He made the allegation in response to a text MDP leader, former president Mohamed Nasheed sent to a MDP national council Whatsapp group on Wednesday.

Nasheed wrote that the project was deliberately derailed because his name was associated with the project.

“I plan on telling Dutch Docklands how this is going, and to advise them it cannot be done in Maldives, wrote Nasheed.

He alleged that the Economic Council had voted against the project.

Fayyaz responded that Dutch Docklands had sold three out of five lagoons issued to the company for the project.

“Even now, they are working on reclaiming six more lagoons and selling it,” he wrote.

Fayyaz said the lagoons were issued to Dutch Docklands for free.

He also said the law did not allow for social housing to be built as part of such a project.

“Running a social housing project in the lagoon of a resort is a huge blunder. And anyhow, it cannot be done without legislative amendments,” he wrote.

Dutch Docklands had contracted Bison Maldives to construct the first homes under the project back in February, nearly one year after it was awarded the project.

Bison Maldives said at the time that the first homes would be ready by the end Ramadan.

According to Dutch Docklands, Maldives Floating City would be developed as a new floating development of 5,000 homes built in a lagoon a five-minute speedboat ride away from Male’ City.

The initial agreement to utilize floating islands technology to build resorts in Maldives was signed back in 2010 during Nasheed’s administration.

News of the project resurfaced in international media in 2015, before eventually dying down.

The future of the project remained uncertain until the current administration signed a second agreement with Dutch Docklands in 2019 - to build a floating city near the Maldivian capital.

The project was officially launched in March 2021.