Maldives Ports Limited to Develop Uligan Yacht Marin

Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) has announced efforts to establish a yacht marina in Uligan, Haa Alif Atoll, located in the northernmost atoll of the Maldives. Uligan is a well-known docking hotspot for international yachts traveling towards Europe, with many vessels passing through from countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and Malaysia.

Uligan sees a high volume of yacht traffic, especially between January and April, with around 100-150 yachts anchoring there annually. Despite its popularity, the island has struggled to provide sufficient services to these vessels.

In a recent interview with Mihaaru News, MPL CEO Mohamed Wajeeh Ibrahim shared that the project is part of a broader initiative to develop the northern atolls, including the establishment of international bunkering services in Haa Alif Atoll Ihavandhippolhu. Wajeeh highlighted that MPL has already negotiated with the local council to acquire land for the yacht marina and is in the process of obtaining necessary permits, with work expected to begin within this year.

Wajeeh emphasized that the development of a yacht marina in Uligan would significantly benefit Haa Alif Atoll as a whole. He also mentioned that companies from China and Turkey have expressed interest in the project, which will commence under a contractor financing scheme but will be operated by MPL.

In addition to the yacht marina, MPL is working on facilitating methods to generate additional income through the international bunkering project being developed in Ihavandhippolhu by the State Trading Organization (STO). MPL has secured a land plot in Ulimagu to establish offices for Maldives Customs and Maldives Immigration, which are essential for providing bunkering services.

"The resources required by Customs and Immigration for bunkering services will be established by MPL. MPL will also directly offer crew change and pilotage services," said Wajeeh.

Furthermore, MPL is exploring other avenues to financially benefit from the developments in the northern atolls. Wajeeh revealed that MPL is considering the development of a cruise line terminal in the north to service passenger cruise liners visiting the country.

The establishment of a yacht marina in Uligan, along with the international bunkering services and potential cruise line terminal, reflects MPL's commitment to enhancing the maritime infrastructure in the northern Maldives. These initiatives aim to boost the local economy, improve services for international vessels, and diversify the country's economic activities.