President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has begun an official visit to southernmost Addu City.
President Solih departed on the visit to the southernmost city of Maldives, on Saturday.
He is accompanied by a high-level delegation of government officials on the three-day visit.
The primary purpose of the president’s trip is to inaugurate two major developmental projects in the City. As such, the physical work of the Gan International Airport expansion project as well as the land reclamation project in Addu will be inaugurated by the President as part of the visit.
The Solih administration has initiated extensive development initiatives in Addu, expected to transform the city into the region's main economic hub.
These development projects will provide more socioeconomic opportunities for the community.
As part of the visit, the president will be observing the progress of multiple ongoing development projects including the road development project in Addu City.
President Solih will also visit the drug detoxification and community rehabilitation center in Hulhumeedhoo.
The visit will also see the president meeting with the Island Council, Women’s Development Committee (WDC) and residents of all districts of the city to engage in discussions regarding the needs and issues facing the island community.
Van Oud Dredging of the Netherlands, was awarded the Addu City land reclamation project, for which the physical work will be commenced during the president’s upcoming trip.
Under the scope of the project, a total of 194.3 hectares of land will be reclaimed from the lagoon of Addu and shore protection work will also be carried out.
90 hectares of land from Hithadhoo, 16 hectares from Maradhoo and Maradhoo-Feydhoo are to be allocated for tourism purposes. Further, 8.3 hectares from the island’s lagoon will be reclaimed, alongside three islands and 3.3 hectares of land will be acquired for the 4-lane detour link road's embankment.
The project is valued at MVR 1.3 billion and was contracted to be completed within 18 months.
The president announced plans to develop the Gan International Airport with the capacity to serve 1.5 million tourists on an annual basis, during his presidential address this year. The project is being carried out under the line-of-credit provided by the Exim Bank of India.
He also revealed that duty-free shops, restaurants and lounge facilities will be established.
Cargo facilities with cold storage for commercial and tourism use will also be developed, with a new control tower and a fire station also scheduled to be set up under the project under which airport roads and parking areas of the airport will also be developed.
During his presidential address, President Solih stated that 236.5 hectares of land will be reclaimed, including land designated specifically for tourism. The government has allocated more than MVR 2.6 million on these development projects.