Those arriving in the Maldives will come across a captivating sight of a huge bridge that provides a key link between islands and here’s what you need to know about it.
What is This Bridge?
This structure is called the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge and spans around 2 km, connecting the nation’s capital, Male with the island of Hulhule. Also known as the Sinamalé Bridge, it was officially inaugurated on 30th August 2018 and is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The project which cost an estimated USD 200 million was largely funded by China by means of discounted loans and direct aid to the Maldives.
A Boon for Tourism
Tourism is a primary contributor to the local economy and such infrastructure is adding to the convenience for travellers planning holidays to the Maldives. Beach resorts on private islands including the likes of Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives continue to be a big draw and thanks to this bridge, visitors can look forward to easily exploring Male too; this overwater connection means that the capital is now just five minutes away from Hulhule and the Velana International Airport.
An Ideal Alternative
The positive impact of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge has been felt by the locals too. Keep in mind that travel between nearby islands is generally relegated to boats or ferries; however, such transport can be time-consuming and is sometimes suspended due to factors like bad weather or rough seas. With the bridge, however, locals can easily get about their day-to-day activities be it for school, work, or recreation.
New Business Opportunities
The bridge has also proved to be beneficial for Maldivian businesses that are seeing new opportunities emerge as well. Areas like the reclaimed island of Hulhumale are home to various restaurants and cafes that are now easily accessible from the Male. Due to such convenience, there is a more regular and larger customer base too that is helping to boost the local economy as well.