The administration plans to fast-track 25 tourism development projects that have been stalled or are progressing slowly, Minister of Tourism Ibrahim Faisal has revealed. This initiative aligns with the government’s broader objective of bringing 20 new tourist resorts into operation this year, a plan previously outlined by President Mohamed Muizzu in his inaugural presidential address.

In an interview with a local media outlet, Faisal underscored the importance of these projects, primarily located on islands and lagoons leased for tourism development, for their revenue generation potential.

“Among the 63 projects presently in different phases of development, a considerable proportion are experiencing slow progress or have reached a standstill due to an array of challenges,” Faisal explained. Some of these leases date back 20-25 years, and the administration aims to open approximately 25 of these projects where construction is currently underway, he added.

Faisal identified the access to finance as the primary obstacle facing contractors and resort developers. He stated that the Economic Council of the administration has pinpointed the reasons behind the stalling of these projects and has made decisions to assist in expediting them. These decisions will be proposed to the cabinet shortly, he said.

Tourism is the highest income generator for the state and stalled tourism development projects pose a significant challenge to further increasing revenue. According to a report published by the Ministry of Finance, the state is losing around US$ 1.7 billion annually in income due to delays in completing islands leased for tourism development.

The preceding Ibrahim Mohamed Solih administration had also instituted measures to mitigate the difficulties encountered by developers of islands and lagoons leased for tourism development. In 2021, the Solih administration absolved developers of 18 percent of the fines accrued due to delays in remitting tourism rent, specifically for projects impeded due to various reasons.