Strategically located off the northeast coast of Malé, the capital of the Maldives, Hulhumalé remains the only island connected to the main aviation hub of the country. Designed to be more than a city, Hulhumalé is on course to become the best place to live in the Maldives. RLI sat down with Mohamed Saiman, Managing Director of Housing Development Corporation Limited, the government appointed master developer of the project to learn more.
Hulhumalé, the “City of Hope” presents a unique urbanisation in a country of limited resources. Phase I of the project began back in 1997 and a total of 188ha was completed by 2002. Tourism was not the main focus, initially the core focus was population consolidation and Phase II was reclaimed in attempts to broaden this focus, realising a number projects in various size and sectors welcoming investments/economic possibilities. Housing Development Corporation (HDC) was initiated by a presidential decree in 2001 to transform the planned city, and the project will now see Hulhumalé become the first smart and sustainable city in the Maldives.

Over the last 12 months, the project has reached many milestones, such as a number of public housing units reaching completion in Phase I, a revised number of public housing units for Phase II was agreed, leading telecommunication companies, international schools and banks all signed up to the project, a multi-specialist hospital was launched, which was the largest investment ever made in the health sector in the Maldives, and a community Center including cinema, restaurant and badminton court was introduced. “When the project began, we envisioned 30,000 people living there, and in the last couple of years we have expanded our target to 80,000 people,” says Mohamed Saiman, Managing Director of HDC. “We are also transforming the idea of Hulhumalé and its concept to what we call our Youth City, which will be made up of different development areas and features.”