The Browns group subsidiary, Palm Gardens Hotels PLC (PALM), is to become the latest entrant to the Maldivian tourism scene with the company planning to construct three resorts in the Indian Ocean archipelago with an investment of US $ 110 million.
For this purpose, PALM subsidiary, Bodufaru Beach Resorts (Pvt.) Ltd, has completed the reclamation of three islands in a lagoon acquired in the North Male Atoll in the Maldives.
“The total reclamation is 75 acres and the company expects to build a complex of three resorts comprising 470 hotel rooms of star class in this destination, which is strategically located in a place that can be reached in 35 to 40 minutes from the Male airport by speed boat,” PALM said in a stock exchange filing.
The company also said China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), a fully-owned Chinese government enterprise, is in negotiation with them to be the joint venture (JV) partner and also the main contractor of this project.
“The details of JV terms have not yet been finalized and the parties are in mutual agreement to finalize such terms within the next two months,” the filing said.
Sri Lankan conglomerates John Keells and Aitken Spence have extensive hospitality operations in the Maldives and recently the Hayleys group also announced its entry to the archipelago. Despite the bullish approach by Sri Lankan conglomerates towards the Maldivian tourism market, tourist arrivals from China, the archipelago’s main source market, have been on the decline.