The Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC) has recently announced its search for a new contractor to manage the Baresdhoo Island in Laamu. This decision comes after the halting of a major integrated tourism project in the area during President Abdullah Yameen’s administration.
Baresdhoo, known for its natural beauty and approximately 10,000 trees, is being offered for management at a minimum rent of MVR 20,000 per month. The selected contractor will be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the Island, including the three rooms built for local inhabitants, the port, causeway, and buildings. The mandate also includes preserving the area’s natural beauty and maintaining the cleanliness and care of the Island’s trees. Additionally, the contractor is required to facilitate access to the island with the company’s permission and settle four people in the island.
The island of Baresdhoo Laamu has a notable history, gaining fame from the “Rogue One” Star Wars film. It was initially developed during President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s tenure by then-Minister Ilyas Ibrahim. The island, spanning approximately 75 hectares, was maintained by the government, and various indigenous trees were planted. Later, Gasim Ibrahim took over the management and introduced a fish business in Maandhoo.
The island experienced various lease arrangements and saw its largest development project announced during President Abdulla Yameen’s term. MITDC aimed to develop the island with a guest house concept, connecting it to the adjacent Mahakanfushi via a causeway. However, this project was ultimately unsuccessful due to corruption. Subsequently, during President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration, Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail announced another project in the island, the status of which remains to be updated.