Fushidhiggaru lagoon is being reclaimed.

Fushidhiggaru reclamation begins; 'Ras Male an example to world'

Tthe city developed as Ras Male at Fushidhiggaru lagoon would result in the reclamation of 1,150 hectares of land.

18 December 2023

By Ahmed Naif

President Mohamed Muizzu on Monday inaugurated Ras Male, marking the commencement of the Maldives' most extensive land reclamation project ever undertaken.

The commencement of the Ras Male project was held at Fushidhiggaru lagoon Monday afternoon. The Fushidhiggaru lagoon, which is located near Gulhi, is accessible via a 17-minute speedboat ride from capital Male.

Highlighting that the city developed as Ras Male at Fushidhiggaru lagoon would result in the reclamation of 1,150 hectares of land, the president reaffirmed his pledge to complete the project within eight months of commencement. It would generate a land mass approximately three times the cumulative area of the two phases of Hulhumale, becoming the nation's most extensive land reclamation project ever undertaken, he added.

The city is being developed two metres high on the edges and three metres high in the middle to protect it from the impacts of climate change, the president said.

The president noted:

  • An airstrip will be established in the lagoon near the island once it is reclaimed; it will be linked to Ras Male by a bridge

  • 65,000 housing units including land and flats

  • The city will be promoted to the world as the Maldives Eco City

  • The city will be served by a modern high-speed ferry system; the ferries will be equipped with wave and ocean-resistant technology

  • The city will provide energy generation and transportation services in an environmentally friendly manner

“This is a project that will solve the housing problem in the city forever,” the president said.

"This will be a doorstep, a job destination and an income generating destination. It will be an inclusive development”.

Sri Lanka's Capital Marine and Civil Construction (CMC) has been awarded a contract to reclaim land from Fushidhiggaru lagoon, the flagship housing and urban development project of the new government, despite the opposition-controlled parliament budget removing the funds for the project from the 2024 budget.

The budget proposal for next year included MVR 400 million for the project, but the MDP-controlled parliament approved the 2024 state budget without the funds.

The government has proposed to spend MVR 1.4 billion for the next three years:

  • MVR 400 million for 2024

  • MVR 600 million for 2025

  • MVR 350 million for 2026

The plan to start the dredging of the lagoon is part of the government's first 100-day pledges.