Bids of up to Rf1 billion for airport, while Jumhoory Party announces ”special gathering” to express disapproval

Indian company GMR Infrastructure has said it is confident it will win the bid for Male’ International Airport, after offering US$78 million (Rf1 billion) upfront.

“Considering the offers, we will get the highest marks. We will make the payments and take over the operations of the airport in March,” newspaper Haveeru reported one official as saying.

Finance Minister Ali Hashim disclosed the bids at a function today.

Bids at a glance:

  • GMR-KLIA: US$78 million upfront and one percent of the total profit in the first year (until 2014), and 10 percent of the profit from 2015 to 2035. GMR would also pay 15 percent of fuel trade revenues to the government in the first four years and 27 percent from 2015 to 2035.
  • Turkish TAV Airports Holdings Company and French Airports De Paris: US$7 million (RF89.95 million) upfront payment, with 31 percent of the total profit until 2014 and 29.5 percent from 2015 to 2035. The consortium offered 16.5 percent of the profits from fuel trade.
  • Swiss Flughafen Zurich AG and GVK Airport Developers offered US$27 million (Rf346.95 million), along with 27 percent of the total profit in the first four years and nine percent of the profit from 2015 to 2035. The consortium said it would pay nine percent of fuel revenues to the government.

The Jumhoory Party (JP), led by Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim, has meanwhile announced that it will conduct a ”special gathering” to express disapproval at the government’s decision to privatise Male’ international airport.

Ali Shareef, secretary general of JP, said the special gathering would be conducted in collaboration with other NGOs and political parties.

”Male’ international airport was built by our forefathers and it is one of the assets of the state,” said Shareef. ”There are many concerns over privatising the airport, and we want to express our opinions during this special gathering.”

Shareef said the transaction could cause disruption and “national security issues”, and would decrease government revenue.

‘There is no transparency in this transaction,” he said. ”We are very concerned over the issue.”

He said that the gathering would be “a peaceful gathering.”

”We want to gather people and make them aware of what’s happening, and tell them the consequences of it,” he said. ”There is the potential for many problems if foreigners control the country’s main entrance.”

He said that the venue, date and time of the gathering was yet to be advised.

”We are in discussion with other parties involved and will decide the venue and date very soon,” he said.

Moosa Rameez, Spokesperson of JP, said members of the party and people of the country were concerned over the issue.

”Male’ international airport is a asset of the state which was built by the people,” said Moosa. ”We do not want it to be given to a foreign party.”

The Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has also expressed concerned over the issue.

Vice President and Spokesman for the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Ibrahim Shareef said the party will not honour “shady deals made according to vested interests” if the party comes to power in 2013, referring to the government’s privatising of the country’s airports.

Shareef also expressed concern that the government’s efforts to privatise state assets, such as the airport, were not occurring with parliament approval.

Shareef said the airport was currently “making the government money”, and the asking price it had set “is so low. [The deal] is riddled with corruption,” he alleged. “If the government has nothing to hide, it has nothing to lose from asking parliament.”

Minister for Civil Aviation and Chairman of the Privatisation Committee Mahmoud Razee recently told Minivan News that ”as far as I understand we are proceeding according to the public finance act which is currently in force. Parliament legislates but actual delivery is up to the executive.”

It is the opposition’s “prerogative to say what they wish, but the reason why experienced and reliable companies are involved in this bid is because they believe that this is a viable project.”

The Male’ airport privatisation deal would be for 25 years, extendable by another 10 years, and would require a minimum level of investment towards upgrading the airport in the first three years to meet a certain level of service.

This week government shortlisted three parties to run Male’ International airport and has it would select one by the end of the week.

The parties include Aéroports de Paris Management Company of France (ADP) and Turkish company TAV Airports Holding Company, Indian company GVK Airport Developers in partnership with Swiss Flughafen Zurich AG, and GMR-KLIA.

Press secretary for the president, Mohamed Zuhair did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.


43 thoughts on “Bids of up to Rf1 billion for airport, while Jumhoory Party announces ”special gathering” to express disapproval”

  1. I agree that the airport needs upgrading and it would be great if some experienced company would come forward with a good proposal to run it.
    However, even I do not agree with the current policies and practices of the government's privatization programs.

    According to haveeru the Maldives Airports Company makes an annual profit of Rf250 million.

    The company which is likely to win the bid (GMR of India) has proposed to pay Rf1 billion upfront, 1% of total revenue until 2014 and 10% of total revenue until 2035.

    This, I believe is too low a price. It should be made compulsory for the company to invest a certain amount of money to upgrade the airport. In the longer term it is really questionable whether the privatization would be more beneficial compared to trying to upgrade it by MCL itself.

    The deal seems shady really...

  2. This looks like steal even at the level of profit that we are making presently.

  3. Jumhooree Party (JP) two cabinet ministers are in the President Nasheed's cabinet. They should have blocked the decision to privatize the Male' International Airport and if they fail to block it they should respect the collective decision of the Cabinet, the so called "the collective cabinet responsibility” must be respected.

    If Jumhooree Party as party that does support the decision of the President Nasheed' Administration to privatize the Male' International Airport, they should step down from their posts, otherwise there is no point Mr. Gasim Ibrahim, the leader of JP to protest against the decision of the President Nasheed.

    Please show some democratic principles, without that we would not be able to strengthen the democracy in the country.

  4. come on people we need to do some thing to our airport. look at colombo international airport, when lanka was at war there have made it. Our airport is still looks like 1990 it need to upgrade and be international standed. GMR-KLIA are one of the best. we need to privatize Male’ International Airport.that place is not manage well all these 30 years all the money going to airport company's managers hands.

  5. I think the problem for Gasim is that Gasim is unable to bid for and win the airport. He is unable to stomach the fact that another private party has won this concession.

    His vision is to own the airport and have the arrivals terminal in Maamigili and the departure terminal at Hulhule.

  6. shihab and sawad must leave, there's no reason for you guy to be in cabinet while you party leader openly challenges and disrupts the efforts of our President in development of this country, and also don't change you colors in order to be a minster

  7. Ah! Gasim and DRP/PA to the rescue eh? Interesting move by the opposition to bring Gasim to the forefront of this issue. Maldives did not need to get to this level of desperation, had our policy makers been rational and responsible. And the very same people who knowingly dragged this nation down to the gutter on many different fronts are becoming 'heroes' in part due to paranoia, blunders, and 'shady' activities of some in the current administration. Still, justice will eventually be served all round - it always happens, often in unexpected ways. Will be interesting to see how the chips fall in the future. Sad thing is that the general public are the losers in all of this, always. Ibra was absolutely right when he said 'politics is a pathetic thing'.

  8. Does anyone know that Male International Airport need a major upgrading program. Due to lack of space on the ground, on busy days airplanes sometimes hold in the air for about 30 minutes. Other times private jets have been sent to a neighboring country due to lack of overnight parking space.
    The airport need to change its design as per ICAO Annex14 to get aerodrome certification from the ICAO. Runway need major repair. need more space on the apron.
    Estimated 300 million dollars is needed to undertake a major upgrading program.My question is where would this money come from. with all due respect, Is Qasim Ibrahim or Yameen willing to invest the money. Can the Maldivian government secure a loan worth 300 million dollars. Think about it

  9. Look, we have to accept realities. Maldives government was unable to run this airport to the standard of a real international one. In fact this airport was running at a loss. Who does Gasim Ibrahim thinks he is? He has no educational background to claim that he is the best economist in the Maldives. He is not. He was the Finance Minister in Golhaabo government because Golhaabo wanted such an illiterate person to be his Finance Minister. Just because Gasim's signature is in the 500 Rufiya note, it does not mean he is a genius. He became rich because of his connection with Golhabo and Endherimaage family. I know him very well. Nasheed government is doing what is best. This airport should be managed by a competent person or persons. And definitely it is not the Maldives Airports Authority.

  10. National Security my a## 🙂 ... typical ultra nationalist socialist rhetoric...reminiscent of Hugo Chavez or Evo Morales... If they are so against foreign investment, then show us how they could raise such a capital within Maldives...well Gasim Ibrahim ?...didn't have enought money to match with these bids? :)...a green eyed monster after all... not to forget the AIMS debacle ..hmm how many airports was this local consortium able to build ...good guess ..none...( it think the furthest they went was to make a website )After all this local consortium had to rely on the "evil" foreign debtors , to build any airport.

    So all in all ...let say no to these Commies

  11. Few years back Dubai World win international bid to manage some of US ports, the minute its was announced US congress and Senate reject the bid and it was not honored. Where is Maldives Parliament when these shady deals are done behind doors, who are these GMR to win every major project in Maldives.

  12. Gasim will surely protest bcos under the deal it is very clear no private airport will be allowed to operate.

    However USD 78 Mill is a good deal. This will help president Nasheed some breathing space till 2013. Who cares after that.

  13. $70 million would be just enough to fund MDP's council election campaign. Good timing.

    While we are at it why don't we also privatise President's Office?

  14. For the Maldives extremists are probably a worse threat than airport going being operated by a foreign company. Why does Gasim not do anything about that.

    Gasim is making a big deal of this because he wants the airport. He thinks he can manage such a place. Gaasim beynunvannee eyna finance Ministara kah hure Raaje' dharuvaali gothah raaje baahvan. Eyrun nennu meehun eyna ah salaan jahan annanee. then he can feel like a great benevolent leader.

    People who think the current set up can run the airport should visit the airport toilet. Even the cheapest apartments in Male' will have better toilets.

  15. Come on guys!

    You are kidding only yourself by talking about shady deals, 70 million and MDP's council elections.

    Unfortunately, it cannot happen.

    Here's the news. The ACC is running after each and every digit that the current government puts down on paper or says.

    Besides, the Khaleel TV, Champa TV and Radio, Gasim TV and Siyam Radio is busy working on every rumor and creating rumors of their own.

    And guess what? It's a good thing. They help the current government put the bad guys on track.

    And there are "independent" commissions headed by DRP dickheads.

    They also have some twisted idiots as MPs trying to figure out a way in which the parliament can run a government in a presidential system.

    So shady deals and usage of government money by MDP is not likely to happen in this government. We have a green constitution now and free media.

    Gayoom is no longer in power ruling the country according to how he said was in the blue constitution. Have you read about the Island Aviation and DRP court case for eg?

  16. Deal closed. Nothing can be done now.Zaki will be rich. Raazee and Ali Hashim will get the duty frees for 25yrs. Good for them.

  17. How does Gasim and Yamin propose to raise the money to upgrade the airport...this country is in great debt as it is I guess the govt is out of the picture...Maldives Airports they ...or infact any other Maldivian company has an international credit rating for one? could be a bit tricky

    So Gasim ? Yamin ? With your expertise and experience in economics ?

  18. What a shame !!!! we all will be sold out till we have nothing left !!! still we the humble and well behaved people will remain silent .

    How often do we hear these words now " Iraadha kereh vihyyaa " from the caption ..

    So shall I wish " Iraadha kureh vihyaa mi lobuvethi vathan hus vumuge kurin, mi vathan ge dharin mihaaru thibi nidhin hey jeheyne " Aamin.

  19. We can save hundreds of millions of $$$$ if CORRUPTION is stopped.

    Putting the whole nation on JUMBLE SALE will not SAVE or solve anything, apart from filling the pockets of a few MDP activists!

    Look how adamantly MDP is trying to SELL OFF our AIRPORTS to foreigners as if they were fungus infested water-melons harvested by ANNI the farmer from Thoddoo!

    ANNI won’t even BOTHER to wait and see if any one single of these ventures would become a success!

    Another issue of great concers is that if you look at the available details of the SHADY DEAL so far, it is OBVIOUS that ANNI/MDP has just considered the short term monetary benefits rather than looking at the big picture.

    I have a strong suspicion that this is going to be a ROCKET which ANNI is preparing to blast off to get hold of the money needed to win local concil elections by bribing islanders in the GUISE of various development opportunites which might not even be realistic in the LONG RUN!

    APPOLLOS and LOLLIES may lull babies. RED WAVES may daze the superstitious, BUT not us!

    MY government is a @$$ SMOOCHER! I STAND against SMOOCHING!

    Especially if my @$$ is involved!

  20. there are many succusess stories. Dehli, Istanbul, Hydarabad..etc...

    some idiot parlimentarians/rich oligarchs (BURUMA QASIM) are trying to play politics
    Visit GMR website:

  21. REVISE THE BID to say that the lease will be OVER in 2013. We don't want this MADNESS to be dragged to our future generations!

    UNTIL 2013 - we can tolerate the nonsense! Do what you have to do within this TERM. NO MORE!

  22. All of you can shout, but in the end this bid will be gone to the Indian party in the bid. Anni will sell the whole Maldives to India before leaving his presidency.

  23. Thieves will always think like thieves. This is why DRP and PA think that there are shady deals going on. They are thinking of what THEY would be doing if THEY were in power, i.e. taking bribes and doing dodgy deals.

    They cannot get out of their mind, that someone else actually can make an honest deal of this size.

  24. I fully support the governments privatisation programme. However, there is a BIG PROBLEM. When President Nasheed says that the government should not be running businesses, he fails to mention that the current government does earn a lot of money from some of those businesses including the airport.

    Before you turn off that tap, the government has to find another way of plugging the whole. That is TAXATION! Without a comprehensive taxation system that can finance government expenditure, we will be bankrupt before the next election.

  25. @Ahmed

    In addition to the upfront money, the airport PPP allows for a percentage of the total profits (1% till 2014, and 10% from 2014) as well as from fuel sales. Also, a full scale reform of the taxation system has been proposed with GST introduced, fixed bed tax would be replaced by a percentage (so the really high end resorts would be paying much more), and the business profit tax. I should add that the profit tax would apply to the company managing the airport so that's another source of revenue to the govt. It is resort owners in the Majlis and the opposition that are holding up these tax bills and thus denyng the state revenue it badly needs. But eventually the bills will pass, as even they realise we can't go on like this forever, and we will have a comprehensive system of taxation.

    It seems to me that the government that takes over in 2013 will get a pretty good inheritance.

  26. Tell Buruma Qasim, STO was built by our fathers' forefathers; why the hell did he become a tycoon with Ilyas Ibrahim's influence..

    This guy Qasim:

    1. Eats up all our money for 30 years
    2. Brings in the "alleged" Taliban to Cabinet
    3. Now wants to ruin what we have left.

    Chase this guy out of this country.

    We love Yamin

  27. Why do i feel that our assets are being sold and we are just standing here looking at them being sold?

    Can someone please tell me why we need to privatize our only international airport?

    I already I feel like a Palestinian from Gaza!

  28. @ heck

    "REVISE THE BID to say that the lease will be OVER in 2013."

    What a great idea!
    Absolutely agreed.

  29. @ROBIN...
    u are sick dude. privatizing and selling it is too different things... all the security measures are taken by MNDF...guys this is 21st century. do u know what that means?? even afgan Iraq war is being privatized.. god knows how dumb the people of this country are. u are ready to belive a person who has taken a loan from BML of about 1 bilion rufiyaa..and a person who got a world band loan for giving a guarenty by the government but not the new administration.. my god..sick of u

  30. total revenue from the proposed departure tax of $US25 per traveler comes around MRF321mil. Last year airports company paid more than MRF250mil to the government. Which makes roughly a whopping MRF570mil.
    The annual US$45 which mr. nasheed is expecting to get totals to MRF553mil.

    There is simply no advantage in terms of net profit in giving this contract. If we start taking this $US25 on our own airports company can also pay the government the same amount of money annually.

    The truth is far from what u see with that US$78mil.

  31. Guys! Do you know what's going on?

    ANNI/MDP is badly in need of some EASY cash to keep the public LULLED to his party's NANA HUVAFEN!

    It's like trying to steal away the KIDNEY of the nation while the patient (MALDIVES) is ANAESTHETIZED !

    When we wake up one of OUR kidneys will be GONE!

    Wait till these dirty docs leave us HOLLOW ??

  32. Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don't know.. Bring back Gayyoom... Let us all build bridges together...

  33. Seems the little minds of Maldivians either don't understand "Globalisation" or want to live in denial.

    The truth is that Gasim Yamin, and other DRP/PA crooks want to keep the state companies, so that THESE CROOKS can pocket the profits. Privatising them means these crooks will no longer have any way of pocketing deals out of state run companies.

    I salue the government's hard work in bringing about this deal. It's a wonderful example of "Maldives is open for business". The government cannot and shouldn't be running businesses. The private sector has the expertise and capability to do that.

    Whether the airport is run by an Indian, Chinese or Outer Mongolian Company doesn't matter as much as that company's ability and reputation. Wake up guys and open your eyes. Globalisation has finally reached the Maldives and we will be better for it!

  34. The government needs to "educate" the masses about the global economy and how interlined the world has become. Educate them on the benefits of globalisation.

    That will be the best way to counter the opposition agenda to scupper the development goals of the government. The opposition DO NOT want ANY kind of development in this country under this government!

    Educate the public. The President should use his weekly address to educate the nation more along these lines. Hell, I think the President ought to run a weekly seminar on educating the public.

  35. How about NGOs running seminars in every part of the country, explaining the REAL economic hole we are now in and HOW to get out of it.

    Also educate the general public about the fact that the opposition has no interest in doing anything beneficial to the country.

  36. ANNI thinks he can DO this, just like Tony Blaire went to war with IRAQ against the will of whole Britain !
    He was asked by a reporter before he sent British troops to IRAQ "Why won't you LISTEN?", to which his simple answer was "British people will thank me for this later, so I have to take this political decision!"
    Well! IS ANY Briton THANKING HIM today?!
    I think he was kicked OUT! Is that thanking?

    Blaire's excuse was "WEAPONS OF MY @$$ DESTRUCTION" !

    ANNI's excuse is "WEAPONS (money) FOR FAST DISTRACTION" !

    He is trying to distract the public by EASY money, for which we will have to pay dearly, later on.



  37. @Ahmed


    Business as usual is better than Globalisation !

  38. normally its not good to counter comment, however I would like to defend the phrase "little minds of Maldivians" mentioned in a previous comment.
    Maldivians are NOT against "Globalization". Privatization and Globalization if done right should propel a country to new heights. However being a Maldivian I do not think its possible to evaluate 3 bids for leasing management of Male International Airport for 25yrs, in 3 days?????? This is the issue. Developing such a contract in 3days and trying to sign overnight. And also what should have been done together with announcing the winner is to disclose the full forecasted financial advantage(Net Present Value) for privatizing the management of Male Airport to the public.

  39. @shiyam

    You may be right! We are NOT against globalization. We are against Maldives being CANNIBALISED by hungry wolves!

  40. @ hollow man

    "u are sick dude. privatizing and selling it is too different things… all the security measures are taken by MNDF…guys this is 21st century. do u know what that means?? "

    I am afraid, NO!
    Care to explain what that means?

  41. @ hollow man

    “… god knows how dumb the people of this country are.”

    What else but dumbness can you expect when at least some ‘men are hollow’ in this country!

  42. Dear Minivan News,

    Please delete my comment at Mon, 28th Jun 2010 4:21 AM.




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