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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

ADFD gives $50m loan to develop Maldives airport

Project includes the construction of a new 3,400-metre runway with a breakwater

Tourists at the Male Atoll. Abu Dabi Fund for Development has will give the Maldives $50m to help develop the airport there. Reinhard Krause / Reuters
Tourists at the Male Atoll. Abu Dabi Fund for Development has will give the Maldives $50m to help develop the airport there. Reinhard Krause / Reuters

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, the leading national entity for development aid, has awarded a US$50 million concessionary loan to the Maldivian government to develop the Velana International Airport in Male.

The development project includes the construction of a new 3,400-metre runway with a breakwater and rehabilitation of the old runway. In addition, the funding will help build a new west passenger terminal and a maintenance building, and complete phase-1 works of the south terminal, according to the state news agency WAM.

"This new collaboration further solidifies the strong and close bilateral ties shared between the UAE and the Maldives," said Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, the director general of ADFD. "Over the past four decades, ADFD has financed infrastructure, telecommunications, transport, housing and energy projects in the Maldives valued at more than Dh109m.

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"Our loan aims to promote socio-economic development in the Maldives through upgrading the airport’s facilities and expanding its operating capacity to 26 aircraft in order to cope with the steady growth of the tourism sector. As an added benefit, this crucial project will go a long way in creating new jobs and reducing unemployment."

Mohamed Saeed, the Maldives minister of economic development, acknowledged the UAE’s sustained support for the national development goals of the Maldives. Furthermore, he commended ADFD for its strategic approach to development and for its efforts in tailoring funding mechanisms across key socio-economic sectors to drive lasting growth in developing countries.

Moreover, the loan covers expansion of phase-1 of the cargo loading and storage areas spanning approximately 6,000 square metres, relocation of existing infrastructure outside the project area, as well as the construction of private jet facilities, a civil defence station and a mosque.

In September, ADFD extended an Abu Dhabi Government grant worth Dh18.4m to the Maldivian government. The funds seek to support the balance of payments in the island country and improve its overall economic situation.

Since its inception in 1971, ADFD has financed development projects to the tune of Dh77 billion in more than 80 countries around the world through concessionary loans and Abu Dhabi Government grants.