Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for development aid, extended a US$50m concessionary loan to the Maldivian government to develop Velana International Airport in Malé.
The Velana International Airport Development Project will help build a new west terminal and maintenance building, and will go toward completing the first phase of works on the south terminal. It also includes the construction of a new 3,400m (11,150ft) runway and the rehabilitation of the old runway.
The loan agreement was formalized in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president, Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai, during the official visit of Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, president of the Maldives.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, executive director of treasury at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, said, “This new collaboration further solidifies the strong and close bilateral ties shared between the UAE and the Maldives.
“Over the past four decades, ADFD has financed infrastructure, telecommunications, transport, housing and energy projects in the Maldives valued at more than AED109m (US$30m).
“Our loan aims to promote socio-economic development in the Maldives through upgrading the airport’s facilities and expanding its operating capacity to 26 aircrafts in order to cope with the steady growth of the tourism sector. As an added benefit, this crucial project will go a long way in creating new jobs and reducing unemployment.”
In September 2017, ADFD extended an Abu Dhabi government grant worth AED18.4m (US$5m) to the Maldivian government. The funds seek to support the balance of payments in the island country and improve its overall economic situation.
Since its inception in 1971, ADFD has financed development projects to the tune of AED77bn (US$21bn) in more than 80 countries around the world through concessionary loans and Abu Dhabi government grants.