In an unprecedented move to shore up city finances, the Male' City Council has announced a decision to charge foreigners an entrance fee to two of its premier parks: Sultan Park and Lonuziyaarah Park. The resolution, a bold step to alleviate budgetary constraints, is set to commence from June 15th.
The decision, drawn up during a recent council meeting, seeks to charge foreigners living in the Maldives and tourists alike for entry into these parks. However, the council has taken into account the varied demographic, and thus, different pricing tiers will be established for tourists and foreign residents. The specifics on the pricing structure are yet to be disclosed, with the council expected to finalize the fees in the coming weeks.
Commenting on the innovative policy, Male’ City Mayor Dr. Muizzu pointed out that levying park entrance fees from foreigners is a common practice in numerous countries. Dr. Muizzu seems hopeful that this strategy will help supplement the city's finances and further fund ongoing and future projects.
The move to introduce entry fees is the latest in a series of policy decisions by the council aimed at diversifying its revenue streams and addressing its financial challenges. It's no secret that the council has been grappling with a lack of funds, primarily due to the central government's regular withholding of money, a practice purportedly rooted in political disagreements given the council's opposition majority.
While the new policy is certainly not without its potential controversy, the council hopes that residents and tourists will understand the necessity of these fees and continue to enjoy the city's green spaces, appreciating the crucial role they play in preserving Male's ecological balance and providing spaces for leisure and recreation. As the city prepares to navigate this new chapter, all eyes will be on the success of this bold and inventive approach to public funding.