MPL Announces Plans for Yacht Marina in Uligan

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Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) has announced its plans to establish a yacht marina in Uligan, Haa Alif Atoll, the northernmost atoll of the Maldives. This development aims to enhance the docking facilities in a location that has become a popular anchorage destination for international yachts.

Uligan has gained recognition as a preferred stopover for yachts from countries including Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and Malaysia, as they traverse towards Europe via the Red Sea. Each year, from January through April, 100-150 yachts anchor in Uligan, but the island has struggled to provide adequate services for these vessels.

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MPL’s CEO, Mohamed Wajeeh Ibrahim, shared with local media that alongside the project to establish international bunkering services in Haa Alif atoll Ihavandhippolhu, the company also envisions developing a yacht marina in Uligan. Wajeeh stated, “[We] have acquired the land [to build a yacht marina] after negotiating with the council. Efforts to acquire some permits for the work is ongoing right now. [We are] expecting the work to begin within this year.”

The project has attracted interest from Chinese and Turkish companies, and although it will commence under a contractor financing scheme, Wajeeh assured that MPL will operate the yacht marina themselves. This initiative is expected to bring significant benefits not only to Uligan but to the entire Haa Alif atoll.

In parallel, MPL is advancing its international bunkering project in Haa Alif atoll Ihavandhippolhu, undertaken by the State Trading Organization (STO). MPL has acquired land in Ulimagu to establish offices for Maldives Customs and Maldives Immigration to support these bunkering services. Wajeeh explained, “The resources required by Customs and Immigration for bunkering services will be established by MPL. And MPL will also directly offer crew change and pilotage services as well.”

MPL is also exploring additional revenue streams through the developments in the northern atolls, including the potential establishment of a cruise line terminal to service passenger cruise liners visiting the Maldives.

These strategic developments by MPL signify a substantial boost for the northern atolls, enhancing their capabilities and contributing to the overall economic growth of the region.

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