Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has expressed dissatisfaction following Tourism Ministry Dr. Abdulla Mausoom’s failure to specify a date Shangri-La resort can be brought into operation again.
Central Hithadhoo MP Ahmed Rasheed, in Tuesday’s parliamentary sitting, questioned the Minister on when Shangri-La resort can be reopened in order to secure an additional source of revenue for the government as the Maldivian economy flourishes.
Responding to the question – Minister Mausoom said that he was also waiting on a date for the reopening of the resort.
“They are a private business. The government has extended the greatest courtesy. That is lowering the rent by a significant amount. Discussions on transferring the government shares have concluded – while these discussions included parliamentarians of Addu City and council members,” he said.
Minister Mausoom added that following the conclusion of further discussions – the resort is expected to be operational sometime this year.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the Minister’s response – Speaker Nasheed, underscoring discussions on the transfer of shares having been halted, questioned when they would resume.
“Honorable Minister is aware that it can only happen once the shares are renounced, but the efforts to transfer the share remain stalled. When can the shares be transferred? Who has not come to an agreement? As I see it, this parliament has repeatedly questioned the Shangri-La issue. I have not seen an adequate response,” he said.
Answering further questions – Minister Mausoom said that approximately 8,000 to 9,000 beds have to be created at Addy City and Fuvahmulah City in order for tourism to peak in the southern atolls.
On this note, he detailed that efforts were underway to develop under-developed islands in the region, specifying funds were presently being allocated for the development of Hankede.
Minister Mausoom said that the operating company of Shangri-La has been informed of the government’s decision to renounce its shares – whereas efforts to implement the decision will commence as soon as the company responds.
Nevertheless, the Minister said a quality airport is required to further tourism in Addu City.
During the campaign for Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) presidential primary – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih assured that Shangri-La will be operational by September.