The Maldivian government has sparked concerns among the public after it was revealed that Dutch Docklands, a Dutch company claiming to be developing a floating city in the Maldives, sold one of the lagoons given to them by the government for free, for a mere USD 5000.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, the government had given five lagoons from prime locations in the Maldives to Dutch Docklands for free. Under the agreement signed between the company and the ministry on 8th May 2019, Dutch Dockland reserves the right to sell or lease the lagoons and even dredge them.
The revelation came to light after a local newspaper submitted a right to information request to the ministry and obtained details of the floating city project. The ministry also disclosed that they sold another lagoon to the company for USD 100,000 (1.53 million Rufiyaa), however, they did not reveal the date of the sales.
Many people are already skeptical about the legitimacy of the floating city project, as Dutch Docklands is a paper company in the Netherlands and has never conducted a floating island/city project anywhere in the world.
The news of the sale of a lagoon for a mere USD 5000 has only added to the concerns and sparked criticism of the government's decision to give away prime locations for free to a foreign company with no proven track record.