President Mohamed Muizzu met with Sultan bin Abdul Rahman Al-Marshad, the Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), on Thursday.

At the meeting, President Muizzu expressed his gratitude to the SFD for its continued support and assistance for the Maldives’ prosperity and development.

“Discussions during the courtesy call focused on expanding the existing relationship between the Maldives and Saudi Arabia, as well as the ongoing initiatives in the Maldives supported by the aid of the Saudi Fund,” the President’s Office said in a statement.

On Thursday, Al-Marshad also attended the official inauguration of the bridges and channels in Hulhumalé, a project funded by the SFD. These infrastructural developments, connecting different phases of Hulhumalé.

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Ibrahim Fazul Rasheed, the Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC). Rasheed acknowledged the SFD’s contribution to developing the harbour, beaches, channels, and bridges on Hulhumalé and expressed his gratitude for the support and developmental assistance provided by the SFD.

Al-Marshad, speaking at the event, stated that the development of the channel and bridges stands as a testament to the developmental assistance SFD is prepared to provide for the development of Hulhumalé. He also described the projects as milestones that highlight the 47-year-old close relationship between the Maldives and Saudi Arabia.

Though the bridges and channels between Hulhumalé phases I and II were officially inaugurated on Thursday, they have been in use for a couple of years. The completion of the channel deepening work between Hulhumalé Phase II and the urban island is currently progressing. The bridge and channel project, costing US$80 million, is a significant step towards infrastructure development in Hulhumalé.