The ministry of tourism has announced plans for 55 islands leased for resort development, including terminating the contracts for twelve of the islands.
Speaking at a press conference today, Tourism Minister Dr Ahmed Ali Sawad said that the ministry was taking action because of the lack of progress in development of many islands.
Sawad said that in some cases work had not even begun.
After identifying the islands, Sawad said that contract talks would be held with the relevant parties.
“The ministry has decided that if the situation calls for it, the ministry will go into joint ventures on the development of some of these islands”
Sawad said that the government would not be initiating a new bidding process for the selected islands for but look for new interested parties.
“The government is not entering into these joint ventures to facilitate, not to do business,” he said.
The ministry said that if they do proceed with these joint ventures the government would have a 10 to 15 per cent stake.
Part of the joint venture plan calls for the ministry to draw up a work schedule and have quarterly inspections to make sure that the parties follow the plan.
Of the remaining islands, Sawad said 20 islands still had time to begin development and salvage the contract.
Work has been on going on for the remaining 23 and the ministry would be checking progress.