If you’ve ever wanted to own your private Island, the Maldives is offering you the opportunity to do so now. The government of the Asian nation has announced that it is auctioning 50-year leases to 16 islands, and island clusters, scattered throughout its atolls.
It’s a canny move, aimed at helping the nation rebound after the pandemic’s severe impact on its tourism-driven economy. Successful bidders have 36 months to start construction on any project, which front loads the uplift, and will also be encouraged to decamp to the country themselves. Spend at least $250,000 as an investor like this, and you’re eligible for a five-year resident visa, so you can work from paradise long-term.
It is not just about the money, however. Investors will have to agree to certain conditions, including gender parity of staffing and carbon impact of the development itself. Any resort must also be sensitive to its surroundings, per Ali Shinan, the director of the planning section of the Ministry of Tourism.
“No buildings can be built above tree height, and the built-up area [on any atoll] is capped at 30 per cent,” he said. Trees can’t be felled during the build-out without written permission from his department—and if one is, two must be planted in its place. Infrastructure must be built five meters, or around 16 feet, inward from the vegetation line to preserve the existing environment.
If you are interested, you have until June 6 to obtain the relevant documents which can be gotten from the Ministry of Tourism at email@example.com. International bidders must pay a non-refundable fee of $3,250 to receive the application and must place bids on their favoured locations by 10 am local time on June 10.
Each auctioned island comes with a minimum occupancy rate for any resort built, plus an indication of whether land reclamation is possible—a common technique in this island nation, which often expands its footprint by draining coastal areas to turn the seabed into livable land.
There’s no minimum bid for any given site, but certain islands are expected to fetch the higher prices. Among them, is the Thaa atoll, one of the larger parcels at 42 acres, and Laamu, another group where each of the islands comes with land reclamation rights. Meemu Atoll is also premium, as it’s close to the capital city of Malé where the international airport is located.
If you’re an underbidder on this batch, though, don’t worry. The country has plans to auction off another dozen or so islands soon.
Source: Robb Report