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Will Thilafushi Port be Sold to Dubai World?

Will Thilafushi Port be Sold to Dubai World?

Former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has accused the current government of attempting to sell the strategic Thilafushi Port to Dubai World, a move he argues would be detrimental to the nation’s economy.

Yameen’s comments came during a public meeting where discussions turned to the recent opening of land sales on Thilafushi island. He expressed concern that this move paves the way for handing over control of the port to the Emirati company.

Yameen defended his own administration’s decision not to sell the port, claiming they believed it could be developed domestically for a fraction of the cost quoted by Dubai World. He outlined two main reasons why he believes Maldives should retain control of Thilafushi Port.

Firstly, Yameen fears the Maldives would see minimal financial gain from a long-term lease with Dubai World. He argues that operating the port itself would position the Maldives to benefit significantly from increased maritime traffic.

Secondly, Yameen expressed concern that Dubai World would prioritize their larger port in Kochi, India, effectively relegating the Maldives’ port to a secondary role. This, he suggests, would hinder the development of a free zone in the Maldives, a key potential advantage.

Yameen urged the government to carefully consider the long-term implications of selling the port, suggesting it could hamper the Maldives’ ability to compete with established ports in the region.

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The Maldives government has not responded directly to Yameen’s claims. However, the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) confirmed the recent opening of land sales on Thilafushi, specifying plots designated for various commercial uses.

Thilafushi is envisioned as a key industrial and business hub for the Malé region, with the port playing a central role in its development. The debate over its future ownership is likely to continue as the land sale process unfolds.

MMJ News Desk
Author: MMJ News Desk

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