Government approves project for floating golf course

The Maldivian government has signed a contract with Dutch Docklands of the Netherlands to develop a floating golf course and hotel in the Maldives.

Minister of Trade and Economy Mohamed Rasheed signed the contract on behalf of the Maldives, and Chief Executive Officer Wen Di Cam signed on behalf of Dutch Docklands.

President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed and Ambassador of the Netherlands to the Maldives Leoni Margaretha Cuelenaere attended the ceremony held at the President’s Office on 4 March when the agreement was signed.

Cam said the Docklands was proud to develop the floating centres in the Maldives and the company would seek a good location for the development.

He said the company would start the project as soon as possible after doing the necessary studies.

Press Secretary for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair said the project would be “very beneficial for the country.”

He added that it would increase the number of tourists visiting the country.

”Most of our resorts do not have a golf centre due to lack of space,” Press Secretary Zuhair said, noting that ”Golf has a good market in the world.”

Deputy Minister for Environment Mohamed Shareef said the floating golf centres would be “much better and more environmentally friendly than reclaiming land.”

Shareef noted the floating developments would be stabilised by anchoring.

dutch docklands2
Proposed golf course in the Maldives

”It would not be very harmful for the environment,” he said, ”the only damage is that it will block the sunlight from the stones and corals.”

He added that there were showcases of floating centres made by the same company in Australia.

”They are now developing such centres in the Middle East,” said Shareef. ”We would not compromise our environment for anything.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is responsible for conducting environmental impact assessments, has not yet been consulted on the project according to its director Mohamed Zuhair.

The project would “definitely have negative environmental impacts”, he said, but added that “it is not for the EPA to assess the risks of this project at this stage. The contractor [Dutch Docklands] is responsible for finding a suitable consultant to assess the risks.”

Zuhair said once project proposal by Dutch Docklands’ is finished, it will be submitted to the EPA who will then screen the project. The EPA will then provide an environmental assessment report.

“They can only start actual work once they have EPA approval,” he noted.

Director of environmental NGO Bluepeace, Ali Rilwan, said as long as the project was conducted in an environmentally friendly manner he thought it was “very exciting” and “innovative and weird”.

“I don’t think there should be a problem,” he said, “but it depends on how they do it.”


19 thoughts on “Government approves project for floating golf course”

  1. This is an absolutely ridiculous project. The maintenance costs alone for this venture will be astronomical. I do not see this being a fiscally viable endeavor.

    But here are some cool pictures of it:

  2. This project would undoubtedly impact positively to the local economy and add a new assortment to the tourism industry. To manage the Maldives tourism industry, destinations like Dubai are building artificial beaches and islands which would definitely affect the robust competency of Maldives. Therefore to compete and sustain the industry of Maldives, we need foreign investment with various different concepts. I applaud government for the great work and expect more such visionary accomplishments.

  3. How in the world are such huge projects being signed with out detailed feasibility studies. This is nothing but hot air until feasibility studies are done project plans made available. The government right now is run buy idiots that is hell bent to take the nation down with them

  4. And this is a good venture for the people of the country because......???

    Ofcourse if you give someone a free lease to build a golf course in one of the most glamorous locations in the worlds, they will bite your hands off! Its like winning the lottery! But someone please explain to me how this is benificial to the people?!

    Sensational news headlines is not what we need Mr President. We want to hear your plans on:

    1) Job creation: There are already more than a 100 resorts (and many being more exclusive than your floating star), which are making a select few of us very wealthy indeed. What the govt needs to do is find a way of translating this to more middle class jobs in the country so that the gap between the haves and the have nots is reduced.

    2) Education: A aprox 10% pass rate is a disgrace by any standard! This is our future and unless we urgently reform,, no wait.. overhaul this archaic socialist system of an education we have, we are in biiig trouble!

    So spare me the floating stars and the CGIs of virtual cities, and please start delivering on the basics! We are not asking for you to turn Maldives into Dubai (we all know where that's ended!), just for a chance to better ourselves!

  5. If Maldivians are as 'optimistic' as Mr. Waheed (commented above), Maldives would be underwater in no time..

    Any lazy pessimist can find a thousand and one reasons not to do anything. If they run this world, no progress would be possible.

    But fortunately there are people among us who dream and make the impossible happen.

  6. Given our track record in projects of this size and nature there is every reason to believe that this is just another phantom project deployed to grab news headlines. Over the last few years we have ‘built’ many mega projects like this - Gulhifalu Global Business Park, Transhipment port in Ihavandhippolhu, Hulhumale Phase 2, Moon Bay Marina and the USD 200million wind farm in Gaafaru were all phantom projects.

  7. congratulations for the government for attracting much needed investment for the maldives, i discount the skeptics cause if this were to happen then it will positively impact the economy, diversify our tourism by attracting untapped markets, provide job and more importantly make us proud, we have wounded our pride, and seems like most of have given up hope, to make a nation that we aspire to then we must dream and hope and try to make that dream a reality instead of dissing this as another mega epic fail project meant to dupe the public, interestingly given the current global economic trouble the current government has been successful in getting investors when the majority of countries are trying to recover..i hope this and the other megaprojects turn to reality...and hoping and keeping the maldivian dream alive..

  8. My first impression - this is a joke. Not that Im pessimistic but considering the likes of the other such announcements, there is very little we know to consider this as something serious.

    Is this a business proposal or PR event for this company? Do you know any businessman who will invest without knowing his financial? I dont. Well, where are the financials for this? Seems they still have to do all the plans, so how do they know this will be feasible? Its interesting that these company's first decide to invest and later do the calculations. Way to go : >

    No location. No project duration. No business plan - that we know. What is this? A joke?

    Sounds like unnecessary announcement for me. For God sake why not do something and then later announce it. Seems like its all firt but there will be no sh*t.

  9. Naim has written an informative piece on the subject.

    I just wish that some sensible person talks with our leaders, who push all these rubbish to the public. This certainly dosent help the government - can someone tell the leadership, that it dosent help, please?

    Our beloved leadership, when foreigners come over here making offers, ask yourself, not only whether its worthwhile for you to do it but whether its the same for them. Please make business sense before making everyone who works in the administration looks like a bunch of idiots. Before you go public about these projects can you please check the a, b, c of business proposals?

  10. Maldivians do not understand the power of golf. It is a way of life in the west and there would have been hundreds of thousands turned away from maldives because they want to be able to play golf in the most expensive holiday of their life - specially the older (wealthier) generation. Having an exciting and a fantasy golf course will be icing on the cake for Maldivian tourism. It looks too surreal to believe but if they can do it, it has nothing but positives about it.

  11. There are ongoing projects of Dutch Docklands already in Dubai which are carrying out successfully such as the ongoing development floating tower and the Mosque. According to my knowledge Dutch Dockland is the only company presently offering the floating technology and I perceived that this deal would be a good investment to Maldives, specially to diversify the tourism industry. I strongly agree that radical improvements is needed to the employment law of Maldives and the possibility of getting quality and affordable hospitality and tourism training in order to enhance the benefits of the industry to the community.

  12. ”It would not be very harmful for the environment,” he [Shareef] said, ”the only damage is that it will block the sunlight from the stones and corals.”

    Yeah... it "just" blocks sunlight from stones and corals - but he did not mention that sunlight is essential for corals?! Hello? And what does he mean by "stones"??

    I'm not against the project per se as long at it is not anchored above a thila or giri but... this comment is quite ridiculous! Is that really what he said?!

  13. on what basis has the Deputy Minister for Environment Mohamed Shareef calculated the environmental impacts of floating golf centres a better and more environmentally friendly option. His this statement raises his competence on the environment.

  14. This is nonsense, who are this people in this government with ant heads. You are talking carbon neutral environment friendly green economy and everything with in next 10 years. At the same time now you are talking to man made floating island in a country where there is zero materials for such a production, to make this floating island. Even if it is brought from Europe, how on earth they get all these materials without costing astronomical damage to environment, either it be tress or petroleum products.

    Its very easy make photoshop animations and print them on news papers, but the reality is far beyond us to reach.

  15. ”It would not be very harmful for the environment,” he said, ”the only damage is that it will block the sunlight from the stones and corals.”

    What an understatement for a Deputy Minister to make. Question is it it harmful or not? We do not want to know wheter it is very harful, mildly harmful, not harmful, or half harful and half harmless.... Crazy. We have so much of bed capacity and its not still having a very high occupancy rate. Whats more, where have all the "promised jobs" with the expansion of the tourism industry vanished. Another publicity stunt by Mr. President and his "mentally deranged paranoid" associates. Once agains Jack-of-all-Trade Juha the joker tries to put down his lacking intellect on paper. Jack-off Juha

  16. against it. a floating golf course???? why can't we focus on sports like sailing, kayaking, canoeing?


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