The government of Maldives has terminated the development of the boutique surf resort —The Patina Thanburudhoo in Kaafu Atoll, home to world-class surf spots; Sultans and Honkeys.
The Tourism Ministry cited slow development in canceling the contract with Singapore-based Telos Investment. “This will allow local surfers, surfers from around the world and organizers of surf competition to use the island in the best possible way,” noted the Ministry of Tourism, and pledged to keep the island open to the public as a “surf heritage site.”
The Maldives Surfing Association (MSA) fought the decision to build a boutique surf resort in Thanburudhoo Island. Local surfers stood up against surf exclusivity, warning that developing a surf resort on the island will halve the number of breaks open to local surfers and particularly impact safari operators due to the limited access. The Maldives government is planning the construction of a bridge in Malé’s Raalhugandu, and the MSA has no doubt it will destroy the atoll’s best surf breaks where 90 percent of Maldivian surfers ride their share of waves.
Thanburudhoo island, which is 30 minutes away from the capital, is owned by the Maldives National Defence Force’s (MNDF) Welfare Company. It was leased to Telos in August 2012. Local surfers have welcomed “the end of surf exclusivity.”
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