Chairman Chutinant Bhirombakdi, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;
And a very good evening to you all.
It is my pleasure and my privilege to be here at the official opening of Cross Roads.
Cross Roads represents an exciting new direction for the Maldives’ Tourism Industry. Nothing of this ambition has ever been attempted before in this country. As a I look at my surroundings I am truly impressed by the imaginative design and feats of engineering that made this place possible. I applaud Singha Estate for the comprehensive measures they undertook to ensure that the construction of Cross Roads occurred in harmony with the Maldives’ natural blessings, proving that sustainable tourism and large-scale economic progress can occur hand-in-hand.
Spanning nine islands, bringing together several prestigious international brands and boasting a peerlessly diverse array of entertainment and leisure facilities, Cross Roads is the first ever truly integrated tourist destination in the Maldives
Not only does it cater to tourists who seek every kind of travel experience, it also provides them in-house resources to better inform themselves about our country: through the Maldives Cultural Center, which will provide them with a glimpse of the Maldives’ rich history and heritage, whilst promoting our local arts and crafts; and the Marine Discovery Center, which will help better acquaint them with our natural bounty and help them better understand our environmental situation.
Our country’s pristine natural beauty and warm Jazeera hospitality are why guests from all over the world keep returning to the Maldives, taking back with them a lifetime’s worth of Jazeera memories to every corner of the globe. Initiatives such as these will help underscore the paramount importance of ensuring that these assets are preserved well into the future.
Cross Roads is the largest tourism-related project to have been completed in the country to date, and I am confident that it will help boost our economy immensely. I am particular happy that it will provide several employment opportunities to our skilled youth, eager to unlock their professional potential, whilst pursuing a career in the hospitality industry. Among those youth, I hope, will be several young women – because it is the aim of this government to ensure that women are able to participate in all our key industries on an equal footing with men.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s Government remains committed to facilitating projects of a similar scale and vision in the country, in line with its goal of increasing tourist arrivals in the country by several millions in the coming years. Further, we want to diversify the Maldives’ share of the Tourism Market, to include regular guests from every corner of the world. To do this, we will need the help of all our citizens, to showcase the best of our Jazeera hospitality to our visitors.
Tourism remains the Maldives’ most important economic sector and a key engine of national job growth. The health, vitality and dynamism of this industry is inextricably linked to our continued economic prosperity. Further, it is an industry close to my heart, as I myself began my career in the hospitality field twenty-seven years ago today. The Government wants to not only ensure the continued success of this industry but for it to soar to new heights.
That is why this Government remains committed to encouraging visionaries and entrepreneurs from all over the world to pursue business opportunities in the Maldives. As should be manifest by the successful opening of Cross Roads, no project is too large and no vision is too bold to be able to thrive here.
We welcome further Foreign Investment in the country, to build more mutually beneficial partnerships with the Government, to help us in our overarching goal of securing a better future for the Maldivian people.
In ending my remarks, I would once again like to congratulate the Singha Estate on their impressive achievements and wish Cross Roads every success.
Thank you very much.