MATI not taking sides on proposed resort lease amendments

Proposed amendments to the Tourism Act relating to lease extensions for Maldivian resorts are said to have divided opinion among industry insiders, according to the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI).

MATI Secretary General ‘Sim’ Mohamed Ibrahim told Minivan News that proposals presented to the Majlis yesterday by MP Abdu Raheem Abdulla, if passed, would allow 50 year lease extension payments to be made gradually on an annual basis.  Sim claimed that the decision to support or oppose the amendment had proven difficult for the association, with different resort owners welcoming and opposing the bill.

“MATI cannot take sides on this issue. While we have some people who can pay the money straight away, we know of others [resort owners], who would prefer the amendments,” he said.

According to newspaper Haveeru, Abdulla’s proposed amendment would allow contractors requesting an extension of their existing lease to pay a US$100,000 fee to pay instalments every year over the life of the contract.

Abdulla was reported to have forwarded the amendment over fears that news jobs would not be created in the country if the government received upfront payments from extension agreements.

Sim said that he believed that at present, the government preferred the system currently in use where lease extensions were paid within an 18-month period of a contract being signed by a resort.

A Tourism Ministry spokesperson confirmed that the Government’s official view was that it supported existing tourism laws that supported an upfront fee payment made over a shorter time-frame.

The spokesperson conceded that he had not fully read the proposals forwarded by Abdulla at present and was unable to elaborate on further on the exact changes they may entail for the industry.


4 thoughts on “MATI not taking sides on proposed resort lease amendments”

  1. MATI SG and tourism minister are both extremist in Maldives. They are distorting and sinking Maldives economy!!! Pls save this country from this couple!! Madam zulfa is mad case!! She often make no sense and have no shame to take bribe from the industry at the expense of ordinary citizens!! She enjoys weekends at resorts at the cost of her sponsors with Sarubath!!

  2. So there really is no debate over whether the issue of lease extensions should be allowed or not?

    Is it in the best interests of the Maldivian people to allow the existing business elite to consolidate their hold over the limited resources available in this country? Shall we allow our country to truly become a financial oligarchy like America?

    I am not a left-leaning individual, however, I would like to hear the left's views on this.

    I like the idea of appeasing the business community in exchange for the huge sums of cash the government is demanding as tax. Also, as a decently educated individual, I welcome the decision to open our borders further for Foreign Direct Investments and MNCs to settle down here. I am not concerned for the majority who can barely string two words of English together and who are barely skilled enough to execute the duties of a door-person. However, I wonder if they have the awareness to be concerned for themselves? If so, do they have the means to make their concerns heard? If they do not have neither voice nor power, who will ensure that they are not reduced to second-class citizens in their own country?

  3. Dr.Mariyam Zulfa is the tops... She's doing well as tourism don't get jealous..

  4. This is a surprisingly good proposal. If we had this before, the previous regime would not have been able to sink millions of dollars into a black hole. It became a habit of the government to charge huge sums of money upfront and of course, we have no idea where those sums went.

    This is essentially a credit agreement between the government and the resort lease holder. There is very little risk to the government as it can put clauses into the contract to nullify if payments are not received.

    The greater benefit will be future generations, as an incumbent government cannot just spend the whole lot!

    "I welcome the decision to open our borders further for Foreign Direct Investments and MNCs to settle down here."

    That's a bit too liberal for us. It will take a lot of economic development to happen here before we can do that. We are at a crawling stage in terms of economic dependence on donor countries and favourable bilateral loans. We just barely graduated from an LDC.

    If we open our doors too wide, we will become slaves in our own house.


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