Club Faru resort to be closed within two months: Tourism Minister

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb has revealed that the Club Faru resort is to be closed down within two months after the government took over the property this weekend.

On Saturday (January 5), the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture said it had assumed control of Club Faru after the resort’s operators were said to have failed to hand over the property following the expiry of their lease agreement.

Adheeb told Minivan News that the resort would be closed as part of the government’s plans to begin the second phase of “reclaiming” Hulhumale’ this year.

“The resort is to be operated by a government company for two months and it will then be closed down and reclaimed,” he said.  “It was a seven year lease that expired on November 15. Now the government has decided to reclaim that part of Hulhumale’,” he said today.

The proposed closure has been described as “interesting” by the former secretary general of the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), who expressed hope that the government would treat all resort operators equally going forward.

Adheeb today maintained that his ministry would not favour certain resort operators over others in terms of their treatment.

According to the tourism minister, the government offered other companies the chance to temporarily manage Club Faru after the first phase of reclaiming Hulhumale’ was completed.

However, Adheeb claimed that after the expiry of a seven-year lease on November 15, 2012, the resort’s operators had gone to court on two separate occasions to try and extend their lease.  He added that the operators had been unsuccessful on both attempts to obtain an injunction against the government.

Despite the lease termination deadline expiring last year and the subsequent takeover on Saturday, Club Faru’s website – when accessed at the time of press – displayed a pop-up sign dismissing rumours that the resort will be closed or temporarily shut down for renovation between November 1 to April 31.

“Attention!!! Against different phrased rumours that seem to circulate in the internet and in certain travel agencies: Fihalhohi and/or Club Faru will neither be closed nor will there be any renovation from November 1 to April 31 that could lead to disturbance. This info is valid for Fihalhohi and Club Faru. Both Islands continue as is,” the pop-up statement reads.

Management at Club Faru resort were not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.

Speaking to local media, Adheeb claimed that the handover had gone “smoothly” when he visited the resort yesterday (January 5).

“Everything went quite smoothly. The Finance Ministry’s financial controller, tourism’s permanent secretary, and legal officials of the ministry along with me came to the resort and took over,” he said.

“We will oversee the operations of the island as the [tourism] ministry has reclaimed ownership of this resort,” Adheeb told local newspaper Haveeru.

Local media reports have claimed that the government had assumed ownership of the island property while tourists were still holidaying at the resort.

According to Adheeb, an Italian company called Club Med had originally invested in the resort. However, after Club Faru was designated part of the Hulhumale’ reclamation plan seven years ago, Club Med was given another island as compensation.

Local media reported that the government leased the island for a period of five years on November 16 1995, after a delay in the second phase of reclaiming Hulhumale’. Following the expiry of the five year lease, it was then extended on an annual basis.

All resort operators treated the same: Adheeb

When contacted today, Former Secretary General of MATI ‘Sim’ Mohamed Ibrahim described the Club Faru handover as “interesting”, adding that no operators should be favoured when it comes to breaching legal contracts.

“While it is important that legal contracts are kept to and enforced, it is also important that individual resort operators are treated the same and not differently.  It appears that Club Faru has taken precedence over others, especially as Hulhumale’ is earmarked for development,” Sim told Minivan News.

Responding to the comments, Adheeb said that the tourism ministry did not favour any resort operator over another.

While there are no other resorts in the Maldives where an operating licence has been cancelled, Adheeb claimed that when dealing with rent payments, each resort will always have to pay or face a termination notice.

The tourism minister claimed that when he first took up his position following February’s controversial transfer of power, there were 12 resorts found to be not paying rent at the time. However, through flexibility on the interest rates, he maintained there were now “no resorts not paying rent”.

“We are not tolerating resorts who do not pay rent, any operating resort has to pay. Those who are not paying already have the termination notice. This culture has to go, by the end of this year all resorts will be paying and it will become a more stable industry,” Adheeb said.

At a press conference held on December 31, 2012, Adheeb said that resort operator Yacht Tours had been sent termination notices for both Alidhoo and Kudarah resorts, with a seven day period for handover.

He added that while the ministry had come to a payment system agreement with a number of other companies, Yacht Tours had sent no official written communication in regard to the payment of outstanding rents.

Following the termination notice, Yacht Tours, a company owned by opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Abdulla Jabir, said it will take the government to court over the dispute.  The company has alleged that the Tourism Ministry had failed to responded to correspondence it had sent on the matter of rent payments.

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18 thoughts on “Club Faru resort to be closed within two months: Tourism Minister”

  1. Putting political views aside myself and my partner are glad this island (club faru) is not going to be a holiday resort anymore.... After visiting the Maldives in 2011 we stayed one long night there it was awfully dated and a concrete jungle 🙁 thankfully we were taken straight back to fihallohi island which was stunning and we truly believe to be what the Maldives is all about... Will be visiting again soon xxx

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  2. This tourism minister is a disgusting, corrupt man with no integrity whatsoever.

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  3. keeping politics aside, and thinking on terms of a single individual, i think what adheeb is doing is good... there were a lot of resorts who refrain from paying rents and taxes...delays and so on...the problem will be if he is favoring any one side...and its the media job to go out there and bring the deeds to light. however, theres somethn wrong wth adeeb...somethn corrupt which i cant put my finger on...

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  4. There are obviously law abiding resort owners.

    But a lot of them are not saints, to say the least.

    I ask Minister Adeeb to publish a black list of owners who

    a) do not pay rent on time
    b) illegally keep guests in local staff accommodation and evade tax

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  5. @ pathetic

    whats the proof that adheeb took any form of bribes ? or are you just retarded and expressing some form of opposition against the decisive action of collecting what is due to the govt and the people of maldives ?

    for your brainless minds information, tourists resorts have to pay rent and fee's to the govt. this guy adheeb seems to be carrying out his job as a minister, and you're trying to defame his image accusing him of something which you imagined him to be doing ? Or wait, maybe it was ur paranoid and imaginary friends that supposedly provided with this garbage information ?

    dont support adheeb or waheed or trust any politician for that matter, but anyone who's trying to do something good for this nation should be given the space to act. remains to be seen whether he's going to act fairly and impartially towards all the resorts.

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  6. @PatrioticMaldivian.

    Like you, Adheeb is not so patriotic, sadly. He is taking bribes from business whenever he has the opportunity, even sometimes by trickery (by manipulating them to think he is more powerful than he truly is in the government).
    He is not a sincere person who is trying to do good for the country.
    Recently he allowed about 6 resorts to pay rent and fines owed to the govt of Maldives for a 10 year period. Is that helping the already broke country? MIRA has expressed major concern over this issue.
    He opposed the taxes when it was first introduced by the former govt. Would anyone who is sincerely for the greater good of the country oppose taxing the resort owners?
    I like hopeful like you. But the reality is that this guy is as corrupt as many other politicians in this country and I know this for fact.

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  7. @Tourism Saint.

    I'm fairly certain the Govt can check on tourism numbers by cross checking individual resorts tax submission against the immigration forms filled in by each tourist.

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  8. nice to see brainless morons kicking each others butts.... so typical of our idiotic politicians!

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  9. Adheeb's problem is drinking. Not sure he took a bribe. But he drank! He drank a lot in a resort, recently... made a fool out of him one fine evening and disappeared the next morning. Of course this happened after he became one of the 'honorableness'!

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  10. @ joke

    which 'businesses' did adheeb take bribes from ? care to enlighten us ?r maybe you are a part of the group of people who approached this Adheeb guy and offered him these bribes ?

    and is he really that capable that he's able to manipulate whole businesses into offering him bribes without getting caught like you claim ? something seems fishy here, and it seems like you're talking more garbage than words.

    and i havent heard anything in any news media outlet about MIRA expressing any form of concern about Adheeb giving resorts options about paying back fines. As reported in haveeru, this guy seems to be doing his job as the tourism minister, and pressuring resorts, giving them options so as to encourage more revenue into the govt. In my view, thats a good thing, and amounts to finding out a solution to the problem of revenue reciepts by working within the system, not illegally as you claim.

    The past action's of Adheeb cannot be dismissed lightly, in that he took a stand as head of MATI, against our elected president Nasheed back in 2010/2011, when he could have approached the issue impartially. He lost a lot of credibility amongst a credible support base due to that move.

    However that doesnt mean he accepted any of your so-called bribes. Your attempt at commenting in the name of joke, and then replying to my comment directed at pathetic, suggest you're more of a fraud than adheeb, and merely conjuring comments so as to character assasinate someone who you dislike.

    what next, are you going to comment in the name of sissy and say @joke "yes, you are right, i was present when this bribe was taken" - you being pathetic, a joke, and sissy as well. (im referring to your commenting names only, not traits of your personality, dont take that personally )

    in this time when our country needs educated youth in the politics arena, this guy adheeb represents a glimmer of hope, that the old , obsolete, corrupt players in our political atmosphere can be replaced by educated youth.

    sadly, the efforts of retards such as you destroy the prospects our nation have of youths becoming active, by conjuring up baseless and garbage accusations.

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  11. how do you know he isn't taking bribes? Do you for sure? I am telling you the truth and you shouldn't say it's false unless you are Adheeb himself and you know you didn't take any bribes. I am telling you what I know for what he is.

    Also, Adheeb has increased the period to pay fines and rent for some resorts to 10 years. The cases were heard in court and were soon to reach a verdict. The State could have won against these resort owners but at the last minute, the ministry took the side of the resort owners instead.

    Another thing. Its interesting that while pointing out your views you like to do a lot of name-calling such as "garbage" , '"retard".
    Is that your way of distracting me from the actual point? All I wanted to tell here is that Adheeb is a corrupt politician who is taking advantage of his position to get a fortune for himself.

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  12. now Tourism ministry is giving Club Faru without any bidding to MTDC, Isnt this an act of coruption. where is Anti Coruption Board when govt officials robs the public.

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  13. @ sissy

    Which businesses did Adheeb take bribes from ? did he go around from corner to corner asking shops selling flour and salt "hey i'm the tourist minister, gimme a bribe, cuz i say so".

    or did he go around asking the resort owners or the companies asking them for bribes ? he must have encoutered heap's of big difficulties, since most resorts are operated by multi-national companies with head offices ? did he go oversea's to collect these supposed bribes ? and did the oversea's companies just casually give him bribes just because he was a big guy at the govt without asking for any favours ? Do u know any multinational companies as stupid as that ? Or any owners for that matter ?

    Apparently your sources of this bribe information seem to be your imaginary friends and jiminy cricket (aka the voice inside your head). maybe you heard it from ur imaginary friends while at coffee, or from some crazy guy raving at local market. and my dear friend, the things that jiminy cricket tel you don't really count as exactly truthful no matter how much you try to convince yourself it is the truth. and the guys who rave at local market just rave without any shed of proof.

    i could do that as well. i could accuse you of being say, a rapist.i could rave about you supposedly raping an underage girl at some local guest house ?

    would you just smile and go along while i say that ? what if everybody started prejudicing against you, based on this false rumour i create , without a shred of evidence and simply because i wanted to discredit you ?

    its easy to make unsubstantiated claims about someone. but you believing something you heard or imagined, without witnessing or having any evidences do not separate gossip and conjured up lies from truth.

    And no, i do not have to be Adheeb so as to take a stand against someone like you who creates and spreads made up lies about peoplen so as to discredit them.

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