The Maldives Association of Construction Industry’s (MACI) annual exhibition concluded today at the Dharubaaruge Centre in Male’, after enduring three days of gloomy weather and a lower-than-expected turnout.
The annual event showcased over twenty construction companies and their newly developed or imported products. Sales people interviewed said that the event was a significant business opportunity each year, and that sales were expected to improve.
“Every year we are introducing new products,” said Ali Shaathir of MUNI Homecare. “These products have a good impact on construction–they are safer, and friendly to the environment.”
Veligaa Hardware representative Muaz Mohamed said that construction would continue to “boom” in the Maldives. “You can always see construction on Male, and Hulumale is just beginning to boom,” he said.
Other companies represented included Humaru Maldives, Polytechnic Maldives, Thilafalhu Industrial Zone, and Habitat. Several observed that resort construction played a significant role in the industry.
One construction sector said to interest resorts is renewable energy. Earlier this week, President Mohamed Nasheed told an international audience in London that the Maldives needs to become carbon neutral.
Renewable Energy Maldives (REM) representative Maufooz Abdullah said that although eco-construction isn’t prominent, it is growing. “People are actually interested here and in resorts, and some are even buying our products,” he said.
REM currently sells solar-hybrid air conditioning units to residents and businesses around the country. These units recover their cost in two years, and are said to be used across Male. Abdullah said that use of REM products could reduce pollution “by 30 to 60 percent”.
“We hope environmentally friendly construction practices grow in the Maldives, it’s catching on slowly but we hope it moves faster.”
Abdullah said the MACI exhibition was valuable to the industry, but wished more people would benefit from it.
“I think it’s a very important event for educating people about the industry, but I don’t see too many people coming in.”
Maldives Income Revenue Authority (MIRA) said that construction was important to the Maldivian economy. Representatives noted, however, that the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, due to become active on 2 October, will “have an effect on wholesale and customer prices.”