Saturday, February 17, 2007

Addu to shine more on Shangri La, Herethere resorts opening

Economic boom will make Addu stand tall among other atolls
Addu atoll is set to get its biggest boost in recent years with the opening of two mega resorts and the people immensely benefiting with income and jobs.

Located on the southern-most tip of the Maldives is Addu Atoll comprising five islands–two of which are Villingili and Herethere where the projects will come up. The world-renowned Shangri-La will put up its resorts in Villingili- - its first initiative in the Maldives. The resort will start operations in January 2008 giving rise to an economic boom in Addu.

In Herethere, the first ever government and private sector owned resorts comprising 600 beds will be opened by August 2007.

But, why these two particular resorts are important in a country strewn with resorts is a question noteworthy.

Employment generating opportunities in Addu with a population of nearly 35,000 people are scare, forcing many to travel to Male’ seeking jobs.

But not all have been able to secure employment and many are left with hardly any alternatives.
Come January 2008, things will change for the better for Addu islanders.
The two mega projects are expected to generate over 2000 jobs of which priority will be given to Adduans.
“We will recruit foreigners only if we fail to get the Maldivians with necessary qualifications,” Managing Director of the MTDC, M.Solih said.

The government pumped in Rf 50 million into the Herethere resorts while another Rf 100 million was raised by selling shares, he said adding a loan of US$ 25 million was obtained from the Bank of Maldives.
In Maldives, sprawling sandy beaches are nothing new. But when those sandy beaches are coupled with tree villas and vast stretches of vegetation, it will sure be a cut above the rest.
And, that is what a guest who visits Shangri-la in Villingili will be in for.

“The resorts offer many unique features such as tree top villa’s, chi spa, nature trails, all land villas to have pools, and many other features that are encased in a heavily forested large island with 3 natural lakes, that provides its own unique attributes”, Director project Development of Shangri-La, Robert Poole told the Maaloafaanu yesterday.
Asked where he would rate Villingili resorts among other Shangri-La resorts in the word he said: “This is a premier property for Shangri-la due to its diverse, unique, and geographical location.”

The Shangri-La is one of the world’s finest hotel management companies, garnering international awards and recognition from prestigious publications and industry partners. Its chain comprises hotels and resorts spanning across the globe.

The government and Shangrila Maldives Ltd entered in to agreement on June 16, 2005 to develop a tourist resort in Addu Atoll Villingili as a joint venture between the two parties.
The project which dilly dallied for various reasons– is now in the midst of construction.
“We will not let you down sir, the resort will be completed by December,” Project Manager, Shangri-La Maldives Resort and Spa Stuart Ward assured President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom during a recent visit to the atoll.

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