With 2023 starting off, the plans to introduce urban tourism to the Maldives also appear to be finally setting into place. Introducing urban tourism in the Maldives was officially announced on November 30, 2022, as the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) shared the idea of the ‘Urban Isle’ project with the public.
Totally different from the current trend of tourism that is popular in the Maldives, urban isle is focused on introducing tourists to a more local and urban side of the Maldivian tourism industry with several options of stays for visitors to choose from. Based in the main hub of the Maldives, Hulhumale Phase II, upon completion of this project visitors would have access to long and short terms stays with easy access to the capital city as well as Velana International airport, making layovers easier than ever.
With the announcement of the project, HDC also shared their plan for the different facilities and accommodations that will be available in this area, which include:
● 21 guest houses with a total area of 9224 SQM
● 11 luxury villas with a total area of 5083 SQM
● 10 serviced apartments with a total area of 7006 SQM
● 9 commercial spines with a total area of 9474 SQM
● 3 midscale hotels with a total area of 19,103 SQM
● 3 upscale hotels with a total area of 50,681 SQM
● 4 city hotels with a total area of 2850 SQM
This project is highly anticipated to bring in even more visitors and introduce a new side of tourism to the Maldives, making it an even bigger success that it is today. While the concept of Urban Isle was introduced last year, the first phases of the project are already planned to be set in place as HDC has announced that they are open to expressions of interest in developing 15 different guest houses in Urban Isle, opening up major opportunities for business to the locals.
The opportunity for expression of interest is open, until 19th January 2023 and interested parties can easily apply through the Urban Isle investment portal. With 15 plots open for expression of interest, if more than 15 parties are to apply, then the process will have to go through a bidding process and HDC has also made it clear that each individual party is allowed to apply for an expression of interest to a single plot out of the 15 guesthouse units.
With the Maldivian tourism industry reaching new heights as visitor rates have increased since the lockdown rules have been lifted from most countries, the Maldives has been witnessing great accomplishments. The country reached its tourism goal in 2022, and with the introduction of this project, there is hope for a different form of tourism in the Maldives, making it more successful than ever.
While many dream of having a long-term stay in the Maldives, with the completion of Urban Isle, this dream could become a reality for many as this project would facilitate long-term stays for tourists who have been looking for such an opportunity in the Maldives.
This project would also be a great opportunity for local businesses who are looking to expand into the tourism industry as HDC plans to build a dream city to make Urban Isle a success. Not only would this allow businesses to integrate into the industry, but it would also open up thousands of new job opportunities and give the Maldives more opportunities to diversify the tourism product.