The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) will cease using the ‘Urbanco’ brand name, it has been confirmed.

HDC was rebranded ‘Maldives Urban Development Corporation’, hence Urbanco, and announced the major shift on 1 April 2023 as part of the SOE’s 22nd anniversary celebrations.

The SOE attributed the change towards being more actively reflective of the company’s wider role which included assets at Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi — the HDC acronym, in its first iteration before taking on the moniker of Housing Development Corporation, was Hulhumalé Development Corporation.

While the company launched the Urbanco rebrand, it has, as a legal corporate entity, still remained HDC. With the rebranding, the SOE had spent heavily on a publicity push with promotional materials that included flags, display banners, branded pens, notebooks, and water bottles, as well as employee uniforms and other related paraphernalia. At the time, HDC estimated the complete cost of the new brand launch at MVR 1.7 million.

However, according to local media sources, HDC will announce their decision to side-step the expensive brand name on Thursday and subsequently remove the ‘Urbanco’ branding from all company communications and assets.

Initially a unit established in 2001 and overseen by the President’s Office to carry out the reclamation and development at Hulhumalé, HDC came into existence when, in 2005, the unit overseen by the President’s Office was dissolved and functions moved to an SOE — the Hulhumalé Development Corporation Limited. The SOE’s name was changed to Housing Development Corporation on 19 March 2009.

In addition to Hulhumalé, the company also manages development at Thilafalhu, Gulhifalu and Kudagiri Picnic Island; all within the Greater Malé Area. HDC is also responsible for the safari dock development near Malé as well as the current administration’s Ras Malé housing project at Fushidhiggaru.