The Ministry of Tourism has publicised new regulations governing the development and operation of integrated tourist resorts on inhabited islands. These provisions aim to promote tourism while ensuring that development activities remain in hand with the local communities and ecosystems.
According to recent guidelines, developers have the green light to set up individual tourist resorts, hotels, and other related facilities tailored for tourists within integrated resorts. These resorts are required to offer restaurants and snorkelling facilities catering to both resort guests and other visitors. Furthermore, if a project necessitates land from an inhabited island, developers are bound to rigidly follow the Ministry’s procedures and rules related to land allocation.
Furthermore, these integrated resorts aren’t restricted solely to inhabited islands. They can also expand operations by reclaiming lands and lagoons. However, there are specific rules regarding location, guidelines have been set: land allocated for a tourist resort within an integrated complex must be on the island’s outer edges, and resorts on uninhabited islands or lagoons can develop an additional tourist facility occupying up to half the total area. Any individual hotel within the resort should occupy no more than 85% of the pre-allocated land area.
Additionally, the Ministry has approved the establishment of yacht marinas within these integrated tourist resorts. A fee structure has been introduced for existing alternatives moving towards a transition to the integrated model. They would be required to remit either USD 1 million or MVR 154 million upon conversion.
The license duration for operating such an integrated tourist resort is set at 20 years.