Leasehold rights holder of “Ekulhivaru” island in Noonu atoll, State Trading Organization (STO) has begun seeking interested investors to develop the island into a resort.
Via atender announcementon Thursday, STO publicized the sale of leasehold rights of the island and urged interested parties to forward their Expressions of Interest (EOI) along with information mentioned in the Terms of Reference (TOR) by 2pm on 6 November, by mail or e-mail.
Those interested may reach the organization viae-mailfor further inquiries on 24 October, for which responses will be forwarded on 30 October.
Located in the northern side of Noonu atoll, Ekulhivaru was leased to STO for 50 years by the government after entering into negotiations.
Requirements of submitting EOIs include a letter of interest to purchase lease hold rights, applicant details, a profile of the company, details of the individual who will serve as the point of contact for STO and the company’s annual audited financial reports of the last financial year.
After the deadline to submit aforementioned information is reached, STO will be conducting a pre-qualification process which will decide whether the buyer has the financial capability and relevant experience to carry out the project. Further, evaluations will also be carried out to deem a buyer appropriate to submit proposals.
Following this, STO will be holding discussions on clarifications or inquiries and only a limited number of applicants will be shortlisted for the tender process.
STO has given its assurance that all information provided by potential buyers will be confidential.
While STO has been contributory in Maldives development with over 2,000 staff, Ekulhivaru island was previously leased to Maldives Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in 2008. However, the agreement was terminated as no progress was observed due to several issues, with MTDC having filed a lawsuit against the sublease holder, ENA Hotel Holdings for failing to pay rent.
Local media outlets cited Civil Court having ordered ENA Hotel Holdings to pay up USD 29.5 million in unpaid sublease rent, in March 2018.
The island rests 200km from Velana International Airport (VIA) and features lush-green tropical forests throughout a span of 19.2 hectares and is crowned with rich greenery, enveloped by sandy beaches and coral reefs and is accessible by seaplane from VIA or a 40-minute flight.