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Most loans given to the private sector last year by commercial banks were for tourism sector development, according to statistics revealed by the Planning Ministry.

The Maldives Statistical Yearbook 2004 states that Rf1.2 billion (about US$97.1 million) were given as loans by the commercial banks to the tourism sector in 2003. The year before, commercial banks gave Rf1.1 billion (about US$90.2 million).

 

A total of Rf2.2 billion (about US$173.4 million) were given as loans by the commercial banks to Maldives’ private sector in 2003. This is an increase of 6.9 percent compared to 2002 when commercial banks gave Rf2 billion (about US$162.2 million) in loans to the private sector.

 

The second best recipient of bank loans last year were the commerce and trade sector which received Rf489.2 million (about US$38 million). In 2002, commercial banks gave Rf529.4 million (about US$41.1 million) in loans to the commerce sector.

Thirty-nine parties submitted bids for Vilivaru and Biyaadhoo resorts when the deadline passed on Sunday.

At the bid opening ceremony held at Nasandhura Palace Hotel in Male’, Tourism Minister Hassan Sobir said that 73 parties had actually bought bidding documents.

 

The Tourism Ministry accepted the bids with a 100,000-dollar bid security.

 

Among those who bid for Vilivaru and Biyaadhoo resorts were well-known resort and tour operators including Crown Tours Maldives and its parent company, Crown Company Pvt Ltd. Crown Tours Maldives bid for Vilivaru Island Resort, proposing a total rent of US$13.68 million for a 10-year period.

 

Crown Company Pvt Ltd bid for Biyaadhoo Island Resort, proposing a total rent of US$21.98 million for a 10-year period. The highest proposed rent received for Vilivaru Island Resort was US$21.84 million for a 10-year-period by Suriana Investments Pvt Ltd while the lowest bid was US$9.75 million by Paradise Holidays Pvt Ltd.

 

The highest proposed rent received for Biyaadhoo Island Resort was US$34.56 million for a 10-year period by Eco-Heaven Holidays Pvt Ltd. The lowest bid was US$10.04 million by Sea N See Pvt Ltd.

 

Vilivaru and Biyaadhoo, two resort islands in South Male’ Atoll run by an Indian company, were put up for tender after the present period of lease expired.

 

Below is the full list of the parties which submitted bids for Vilivaru and Biyaadhoo resorts on Sunday and the total rent they proposed for a 10-year-period as released by the Tourism Ministry:

 

VILIVARU ISLAND RESORT

 

1. Suriana Investments Pvt Ltd – US$21.84 mln
2. W.L.T Pvt Ltd - US$20.92 mln
3. Sunland Hotels Pvt Ltd - US$18.16 mln
4. Marine Mystery Travels and Tours Pvt Ltd - US$18.15 mln
5. Yacht Tours Maldives Pvt Ltd - US$18.12 mln
6. Rindhali Resorts Pvt Ltd - US$18.00 mln
7. Cinnamon Resorts Pvt Ltd - US$17.88 mln
8. Abdulla Ali, H. Girithereyge house - US$17.04 mln
9. Rainbow Retreats Pvt Ltd - US$16.78 mln
10. H.P.L Resort (Maldives) Pvt Ltd - US$16.21 mln
11. Asia Resorts Pvt Ltd - US$16.02 mln
12. Mohamed Naeem, M. Velidhooge house - US$15.06 mln
13. Ibrahim Abdul Latheef, Ma. Athamaage house - US$14.07 mln
14. Resort Investments Pvt Ltd - US$13.85 mln
15. Crown Tours Maldives - US$13.68 mln
16. Hamid Ismail, H. Hirifushi House - US$12.60 mln
17. Sun Travels and Tours Pvt Ltd - US$11.98 mln
18. Maryam Shakeela, G. Manaam house - US$10.98 mln
19. SAS Hotels and Enterprises Limited - US$10.05 mln
20. Seagull Group Pvt Ltd - US$10.02 mln
21. Paradise Holidays Pvt Ltd - US$9.75 mln
BIYAADHOO ISLAND RESORT:

 

1. Eco-Heaven Holidays Pvt Ltd – US$34.56 mln
2. Jet Companies Pvt Ltd – US$33.02 mln
3. Yacht Tours Maldives Pvt Ltd – US$29.00 mln
4. Mohamed Zahid, Ma. Vaadheege house – US$27.84 mln
5. Farooq Umar, M. Aadhilleege house – US$23.38 mln
6. H.P.L Resorts (Maldives) Pvt Ltd – US$23.13 mln
7. Alia Investments Pvt Ltd – US$23.12 mln
8. Crown Company Pvt Ltd – US$21.98 mln
9. Ahmed Siyam Mohamed, G. Sunset house – US$21.66 mln
10. Resort Investments Pvt Ltd – US$20.22 mln
11. Sunland Hotels Pvt Ltd – US$20.02 mln
12. Maldives Clown Investments Pvt Ltd – US$19.68 mln
13. Ibrahim Mohamed Didi, G. Manaam house – US$17.56 mln
14. Ibrahim Kaleem, H. Emboogasdhoshuge house – US$17.37 mln
15. Voyages Maldives Pvt Ltd – US$16.03 mln
16. Mohamed Shihab, M. Bageecha house – US$13.584 mln
17. Villa Travels and Tours US$13.584 mln
18. Sea N See Pvt Ltd – US$10.04 mln

Thirty-nine parties submitted bids for Vilivaru and Biyaadhoo resorts when the deadline passed on Sunday.

At the bid opening ceremony held at Nasandhura Palace Hotel in Male’, Tourism Minister Hassan Sobir said that 73 parties had actually bought bidding documents.

 

The Tourism Ministry accepted the bids with a 100,000-dollar bid security.

 

Among those who bid for Vilivaru and Biyaadhoo resorts were well-known resort and tour operators including Crown Tours Maldives and its parent company, Crown Company Pvt Ltd. Crown Tours Maldives bid for Vilivaru Island Resort, proposing a total rent of US$13.68 million for a 10-year period.

 

Crown Company Pvt Ltd bid for Biyaadhoo Island Resort, proposing a total rent of US$21.98 million for a 10-year period. The highest proposed rent received for Vilivaru Island Resort was US$21.84 million for a 10-year-period by Suriana Investments Pvt Ltd while the lowest bid was US$9.75 million by Paradise Holidays Pvt Ltd.

 

The highest proposed rent received for Biyaadhoo Island Resort was US$34.56 million for a 10-year period by Eco-Heaven Holidays Pvt Ltd. The lowest bid was US$10.04 million by Sea N See Pvt Ltd.

 

Vilivaru and Biyaadhoo, two resort islands in South Male’ Atoll run by an Indian company, were put up for tender after the present period of lease expired.

 

Below is the full list of the parties which submitted bids for Vilivaru and Biyaadhoo resorts on Sunday and the total rent they proposed for a 10-year-period as released by the Tourism Ministry:

 

VILIVARU ISLAND RESORT

 

1. Suriana Investments Pvt Ltd – US$21.84 mln
2. W.L.T Pvt Ltd - US$20.92 mln
3. Sunland Hotels Pvt Ltd - US$18.16 mln
4. Marine Mystery Travels and Tours Pvt Ltd - US$18.15 mln
5. Yacht Tours Maldives Pvt Ltd - US$18.12 mln
6. Rindhali Resorts Pvt Ltd - US$18.00 mln
7. Cinnamon Resorts Pvt Ltd - US$17.88 mln
8. Abdulla Ali, H. Girithereyge house - US$17.04 mln
9. Rainbow Retreats Pvt Ltd - US$16.78 mln
10. H.P.L Resort (Maldives) Pvt Ltd - US$16.21 mln
11. Asia Resorts Pvt Ltd - US$16.02 mln
12. Mohamed Naeem, M. Velidhooge house - US$15.06 mln
13. Ibrahim Abdul Latheef, Ma. Athamaage house - US$14.07 mln
14. Resort Investments Pvt Ltd - US$13.85 mln
15. Crown Tours Maldives - US$13.68 mln
16. Hamid Ismail, H. Hirifushi House - US$12.60 mln
17. Sun Travels and Tours Pvt Ltd - US$11.98 mln
18. Maryam Shakeela, G. Manaam house - US$10.98 mln
19. SAS Hotels and Enterprises Limited - US$10.05 mln
20. Seagull Group Pvt Ltd - US$10.02 mln
21. Paradise Holidays Pvt Ltd - US$9.75 mln
BIYAADHOO ISLAND RESORT:

 

1. Eco-Heaven Holidays Pvt Ltd – US$34.56 mln
2. Jet Companies Pvt Ltd – US$33.02 mln
3. Yacht Tours Maldives Pvt Ltd – US$29.00 mln
4. Mohamed Zahid, Ma. Vaadheege house – US$27.84 mln
5. Farooq Umar, M. Aadhilleege house – US$23.38 mln
6. H.P.L Resorts (Maldives) Pvt Ltd – US$23.13 mln
7. Alia Investments Pvt Ltd – US$23.12 mln
8. Crown Company Pvt Ltd – US$21.98 mln
9. Ahmed Siyam Mohamed, G. Sunset house – US$21.66 mln
10. Resort Investments Pvt Ltd – US$20.22 mln
11. Sunland Hotels Pvt Ltd – US$20.02 mln
12. Maldives Clown Investments Pvt Ltd – US$19.68 mln
13. Ibrahim Mohamed Didi, G. Manaam house – US$17.56 mln
14. Ibrahim Kaleem, H. Emboogasdhoshuge house – US$17.37 mln
15. Voyages Maldives Pvt Ltd – US$16.03 mln
16. Mohamed Shihab, M. Bageecha house – US$13.584 mln
17. Villa Travels and Tours US$13.584 mln
18. Sea N See Pvt Ltd – US$10.04 mln

Only foreign parties have to date expressed interest in constructing a bridge linking capital Male’ and Hulhule island where the Male’ International Airport is located.

Transport ministry’s media officer Aishath Liusha said that seven foreign parties have submitted expressions of interest in building the one-kilometer bridge. The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is before the end of this month.

 

The Transport Ministry is presently in discussions with an Indian joint venture company to hand over the drawing of the concept of the bridge. Minister Ilyas Ibrahim said that before the project is put up for tender, prospective bidders need to be aware of the Maldivian government’s requirements regarding the construction and concept of the bridge.

 

Once the project goes up for tender, interested parties have to undertake feasibility studies including environmental impact assessment reports. According to the Transport Ministry, a company, a joint venture or a consortium can bid for the project provided that they have a proven record of a previous undertaking as extensive as this.

 

Once the bridge is built, the government hopes that Male, Hulhule, and the new island Hulhumale being reclaimed from Hulhule’s lagoon will become a metropolitan area in North Male Atoll.

The concept drawing of the new building for Maldives Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Studies (FHTS) is to be given to a local party, Maldives College of Higher Education (MCHE) announced.

Riyan Design Private Limited will be contracted the project for Rf60,000 or about US$4,669, said Asst. Vice Rector Hussain Haleem.

 

"We are trying to get the building constructed in our present premises rather than shift to another location," he said.

Most tourist arrivals from Asia to Maldives last year were Japanese holidaymakers according to statistics released by the Tourism Ministry.

While 101,000 arrivals from Asia were recorded in 2003, 42,081 were from Japan.

 

China accounted for 15,021 arrivals while India came in third place with 11,000.

 

Most Japanese arrivals were recorded in the month of September. In that month, 4,894 Japanese arrivals were recorded.

LOHIFUSHI ISLAND RESORT -- Australian surfer Toby Martin on Saturday won the 4th edition of the O’Neill Deep Blue Open which concluded in Lohifushi island resort in North Male Atoll.

Martin was given 15,000 dollars in prize money in the 6-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) prime surfing event organized by Australia’s Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) in association with Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) and Maldives Surfing Association (MSA).

 

In second place was Brazil’s Peterson Rosa while Australia’s Jarrad Howse came in third place In fourth place was Australia’s Trent Munro who was last year’s champion.

 

Four Maldivian surfers also contested in the 125,000-dollar event but all were out from their first rounds. Current Maldives’ national surfing champion Hussain Areef, who is surfing instructor at Dhonveli Beach and Spa resort (former Thari Village resort) came closest to making the final round but he was narrowly relegated to third place in his heat.

Tourist arrivals to Maldives increased by 35.6 percent last month compared to the year-ago period. Tourist arrivals in May 2004 were recorded as 42,197 while arrival figures for May 2003 were 31,119. Most tourist arrivals last month were recorded from the United Kingdom. There were 7,642 British arrivals recorded in May 2004.

The government-run Nasandhura Palace Hotel in Male' on Thursday marked its 23rd anniversary.

At a ceremony chief-guested by Deputy Tourism Minister Mohamed Saeed, certificates were given to staff for outstanding services for the years 2001 to 2003.

 

The ceremony, titled "Star of Night", were entertained by items staged by the hotel's staff. Nasandhura Palace Hotel is an important transit hotel for tourists who stay overnight in the capital Male'.

 

It is also a premium hotel for high-ranking foreign and business delegations staying in Maldives.

LOHIFUSHI - President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on Tuesday, June 8, officially inaugurated the 4th O’Neill Deep Blue Open 6-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) prime surfing event at Lohifushi island resort in North Male Atoll.

The O’Neill Deep Blue Open staged a soft opening ceremony on Monday, June 7, at this island. Among the 172 surfers participating the US$120,000 surfing event were four locals, Hussain Areef (surfing instructor at Dhonveli Beach and Spa resort), Mohamed Fayaz, Ismail Miglal and Ibrahim Sharoon.

 

Areef, who is the ambassador of Quiksilver in Maldives, and Sharoon are to compete at the event on Wednesday, June 9. Fayaz and Miglal competed on Monday, June 7, but did not make it past their heats.

 

Four surfers compete in each heat of 25 minutes duration, and the event is to draw to a close next Sunday, June 13. Depending on local surfing conditions in North Male Atoll, the contest will also be held in Himmafushi and Thulusdhoo, two inhabited islands on the eastern outer fringing reef of North Male Atoll.

 

The O’Neill Deep Blue Open is organized by Australia’s Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) in collaboration with Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) and Maldives Surfing Association (MSA).

 

“This is the 4th year in which O’Neill Deep Blue Open is held in the Maldives. Such an event here has increased Maldives’ reputation as one of the top surfing and tourism destinations of the world,” an official said.

 

World renown professional surfers from world’s premiere surfing countries like Australia, Hawaii, United States, Brazil and Japan are participating the Lohifushi event. Journalists from prominent international media are also in Maldives to cover the event.

 

There are 13 judges on the judging panel, including three Maldivians who are Ali Moosa, Hussain Shanih and Ibrahim Nahushal Nasir. ASP Australasia’s Matt Wilson, who is again master of ceremonies for the event, said that the waves off Lohifushi -- dubbed Lohi’s -- were “high performance waves that we always have a spread of excellent scores from start to finish.”

 

“It’s been a good, solid start and it looks like things are only going to get better for the event,” he said on Monday.

 

For live video webcasts, photo galleries, and news updates of the 4th O’Neill Deep Blue Open, go to the link, http://www.deepblueopen.com

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