Emboodhoo Lagoon in the South Male Atoll is being touted as the biggest tourism project in the Indian Ocean destination’s history - the multi-island complex will combine a township and marina with hotels, shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.
Construction on the first phase of the project, costing $311.5 million, started earlier this week and will include a marina, Cafe del Mar beach club, restaurants and bars, Camper and Nicholsons marina, wedding venues and several hotels.
The first hotel brand to confirm a property at Emboodhoo Lagoon is Hard Rock International, which will be opening a new concept resort featuring ‘Rock Star’ suites.
Phase one of the development is due to be completed in the third quarter of 2018 with the second phase scheduled within the next five years.
The development will eventually feature 1,300 hotel rooms including a resort with “highly-exclusive” water villas.
Moosa Zameer, the Maldives’ minister of tourism said: “This new world-class leisure development is set to further enhance the Maldives’ international reputation as one of the world’s top tourist destinations.”
The Emboodhoo Lagoon project is being developed by Bangkok-based Singha Estate Public Company.
Chairman Chutinant Bhirombhakdi said: “Singha Estate sees a great opportunity in creating the company’s biggest and most exciting project to date in the Maldives.
“The overall development which, when fully completed, will ultimately extend across nine islands, has been conceived to meet the leisure-destination desires of the world’s large and rapidly-growing medium to upscale leisure segment.”
Upon the completion, the project is thought to be able to provide more than 5,000 job opportunities and "to re-ignite and stimulate the country’s tourism economy", its developers said.