Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed has unveiled plans to develop a monorail network connecting Malé to the proposed Special Economic and Financial Services Zone on Funadhoo Island in the Kaafu Atoll.

Minister Saeed revealed to the press on Saturday that the agreement, signed between the Maldives’ government and the Dubai-based International Free Zone Authority (IFZA), includes the establishment of a monorail network between Malé and Funadhoo.

“Funadhoo will be linked to Malé and Hulhulé through a single-track monorail. We have secured a partnership to finance this project, which will be executed by IFZA,” according to the economic minister.

Highlighting the crucial role of physical infrastructure in facilitating financial services, Minister Saeed disclosed that the development of physical infrastructure on Funadhoo Island has been entrusted to a yet-to-be-disclosed party. Detailed architectural drawings for the planned developments on Funadhoo are currently in progress, he added.

The government earlier revealed that the project aims to connect Funadhoo to Malé and Hulhulé, home to the Velana International Airport (VIA), through the construction of bridges. Plans are underway to transform Funadhoo into a financial hub within the next five years, with the support of IFZA funding, said Saeed.

Amidst these developments, efforts are being made to move the State Trading Organization (STO) fuel farm on Funadhoo Island to a new location. “The relocation process is expected to be completed within 18 months, coinciding with the finalisation of detailed project drawings for Funadhoo’s financial hub,” said Saeed.

The government earlier established the Maldives International Financial Services Authority to ensure effective oversight of the Special Economic and Financial Services Zone project on Funadhoo.