President: Shangri-La will open before September’s end

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih speaks at a campaign rally in Addu City on January 26, 2023.

The Shangri-La Villingili Resort – which had once been a key source of income for residents of Addu City – will be operational in August or September, states President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

He made the announcement during his last campaign rally ahead of the MDP presidential primary held in Addu on Thursday.

Speaking at the rally, President Solih said the manifesto presented to him by Addu residents had some important proposals.

He said that one of the biggest concerns raised by Addu residents is the prolonged closure of the Shangri-La, resulting in loss of income to many.

President Solih said the Economic Council had decided to relinquish the 30 percent share the government has in Shangri-La.

He said that the owners of the resort have one month to make a decision.

“We have sent a letter to the council informing them of our decision. We are ready to relinquish the government’s share. We have passed the decision and informed the owners. They need to make a decision within one month,” he said.

President Solih provided assurance the resort would reopen in August or September.

President Solih said his administration was working on realizing everything in the manifesto – including increasing land in Addu.

“Addu residents wrote a lot of proposals for the development of the city in the manifesto they presented to me. We have begun a lot of projects in response to this. One of the most important things proposed by Addu City is the project to increase land and boost tourism,” he said.

President Solih said his administration had launched a project to add 236 hectors of land to Addu and develop five resorts. He said that funding has been secured to begin practical works on the Hankede project.

"You will soon see us realize our promise of adding 8,000 tourist beds to Addu with over 1,000 rooms in Hankede,” he said.

The MDP primary will see President Solih compete against MDP’s leader and Parliament speaker, former president Mohamed Nasheed.

The rift within MDP grows as the two leaders compete for the party’s ticket. The election, in which 57,255 MDP members are eligible to vote, will take place on January 28.