In his first presidential address to the parliament this year, President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu of the Maldives outlined a comprehensive plan to bolster the country’s economy and enhance the quality of life for its citizens. His ambitious agenda includes significant developments in tourism, transportation, employment, and social welfare.
The president announced the “Asseyri Tourism” project in Addu City, aiming to diversify and expand the tourism sector. This initiative includes the establishment of a seaplane hub in Addu City, the inauguration of 20 new resorts, and the revitalization of non-operational resorts. The government, collaborating with various ministries and councils, is also working on completing 63 tourism development projects across different islands. Additionally, the ‘Visitor Economy Council’ has been established to broaden tourism services, with a focus on MICE tourism, education, culture, heritage, health, and environmental tourism. President Muizzu anticipates welcoming two million tourists this year, with an expected average annual growth rate of 10.3 per cent in the medium term.
In transportation, President Muizzu disclosed plans to construct two new airports and introduce advanced, secure helicopter services. The ongoing projects for building domestic airports are nearing completion, enhancing the country’s transport infrastructure. Additionally, the national airline, Maldivian, plans to acquire two new wide-body aircraft and introduce seven new international destinations.
Addressing employment and social welfare, President Muizzu proposed increasing the optional retirement age to 75, recognizing the value of the experience and wisdom of senior citizens. The government aims to create a registry of senior citizens and establish dedicated social centres for them. Emphasizing the inclusion of people with special needs, the president announced the allocation of 500 housing units from new social housing schemes and the enhancement of their employment opportunities in civil service and state-owned enterprises.
Overall, President Muizzu’s address painted a picture of a dynamic, forward-looking Maldives, with a focus on sustainable tourism, improved transportation, and inclusive social policies.