President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has officially inaugurated the second phase of the Gulhifalhu land reclamation project, marking a significant milestone in the government’s efforts to address the housing crisis in Male’, the capital city of the Maldives.
During the inauguration ceremony, Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam highlighted the longstanding challenge of the housing shortage in Male’ that has persisted for 25 years. Previous administrations struggled to find comprehensive solutions as they attempted to tackle interrelated problems separately. In contrast, the current government has prioritized the launch of a major housing project that aims to address multiple issues and provide flats and land plots to a significant number of Male’ residents.
Parliamentarian Meekail Ahmed Naseem, also present at the function, emphasized that the Gulhifalhu land reclamation project represents the largest housing initiative ever undertaken by a government for the benefit of Male’ residents. As part of this endeavor, the government will allocate 2,000 land plots from Gulhifalhu for the Binveriyaa housing scheme.
To execute the second phase of the Gulhifalhu reclamation project, the government has contracted Royal Boskalis Westminster Limited. The Netherlands-based company will be responsible for dredging and reclaiming 18 million cubic meters of sand and constructing stone revetments around the area, with an estimated cost of USD 120 million. The company has committed to carrying out the project in an environmentally friendly manner, implementing measures such as regular monitoring of coral relocation in the lagoon, reducing salt pollution, and assessing changes in the quality of sea salt in the vicinity.
Gulhifalhu, located approximately 4 km from Male’ City, has been earmarked for development as part of the government’s efforts to alleviate congestion in the capital. The initial phase of lagoon dredging took place in 2010, with the aim of creating space and reducing overcrowding in Male’. However, the project was halted by the previous administration in 2013. Under the current government, the plan for Gulhifalhu’s development has been revitalized. Furthermore, the development of an international port in Gulhifalhu is expected to address the space constraints faced by Male’ Commercial Harbour, providing a solution to existing difficulties.