The Maldives are building a floating city to be completed by 2027
The mega-project aims to provide a new home for more than 20,000 people just 10 minutes by boat from Malé. Non-locals will be welcome as well.
August 4, 2022
White sandy beaches lined with small islands, palm trees swaying gently in the wind, and the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean glistening in the sun: the Maldives are a picture perfect idyll come true. And they're on top of the list for the many tourists. More than that: they're home to around 540,000 people who live here. But now their living space is threatened. The world's first floating city intends to save it.
Habitat and vacation dream
It was a memorable moment when Mohamad Nasheed, ex-president and now Speaker of the Maldives Parliament, called for much greater efforts to combat global warming at the 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen.
Colorful houses, recreational facilities, cafes, hospitals and more – the floating city in the Maldives will provide a livable refuge for islanders. © Floating City Maldives
Because it's his homeland that is directly threatened by the rising water levels. More than a thousand coral islands, spread over 26 archipelagos, may disappear forever. In addition to global warming, man-made changes to the coastline have further aggravated the situation. For years, people piled up land to build new resorts on the one hand and to create living spaces for locals on the other.
Swimming instead of sinking
Now they're taking action. The natural coastline will no longer be interfered with. Instead, they want to build a floating city. A lagoon just ten minutes by boat from the capital Malé has been chosen for this purpose. The Dutch company "Dutch Docklands" was chosen to build the mega-project. They've already had three decades of experience with floating dwellings. But there has never been a project of this magnitude before. After all, 20,000 people are to find a new home here.
The vision for the new Maldives metropolis is colorful and cheerful. Soon, the first residential units will open. © Floating City Maldives
A network of hexagonal structures is planned. These will float on an approximately 200-hectare expanse of water and serve as support for several thousand houses with up to two stories. Numerous bridges, communal areas, restaurants and cafés as well as leisure facilities complement the ambitious plans. The prices for the colorful houses are quite affordable by European standards. A price tag of €250,000 for a 100-square-meter residential unit with a 40-square-meter roof terrace has been reported. In addition, foreign investors in the so-called "Floating City" will be granted a permanent residence permit.
As of yet, the total cost of the construction is unknown. However, foreign investors are welcome. © Floating City Maldives
Here we go!
Just a few weeks ago, the last necessary signatures were obtained at a press conference. Now, with nothing in the way, construction is about to commence. The first units are expected to open in August of this year, with the entire project to be completed by 2027. The floating city is to leave as small an ecological footprint as possible, not only during its subsequent operation but also during the construction phase.