Welcome to Hulhumale

Hulhumale is essentially an extension of Male proper on the far side of the airport island, where 1.8 sq km of reef has been built up to create a manmade island – the first phase of an ambitious project to relieve the pressure caused by population growth on Male. Sand and coral were dug up from the lagoon and pumped into big heaps on the reef top.

Hulhumale is essentially an extension of Male proper on the far side of the airport island, where 1.8 sq km of reef has been built up to create a manmade island – the first phase of an ambitious project to relieve the pressure caused by population growth on Male. Sand and coral were dug up from the lagoon and pumped into big heaps on the reef top. Then bulldozers pushed the rubble around to form a quadrilateral of dry land about 2km long and 1km wide, joined by a causeway to the airport island. It’s built up to about 2m above sea level to provide a margin of protection against the possibility of sea-level rises.

This utopian project began in 1997 and now most of it (about three quarters of the island’s total area) is a fully functioning town, complete with rather Soviet-looking apartment blocks, a school, a pharmacy, an array of shops and a huge mosque – the golden glass dome of which is visible from all over the southern part of North Male Atoll. There’s even a surprisingly attractive artificial beach on the eastern side of the island. When the first-phase land is fully developed by 2020 it will accommodate 50,000 people and have waterfront esplanades, light industrial areas, government offices, shopping centres, boulevards of palm trees, a marina and a national stadium. The basic layout has been carefully planned, but the details are still flexible, allowing for some natural, organic growth through multiple private developments. The second phase, for which building is currently underway, involves reclaiming a further 2.4 sq km of land (engulfing all of Farukolhufushi, formerly the Club Faru resort) and bringing the total population potential of Hulhumale to around 100,000 people, equalling that of Male.

To visit Hulhumale from Male, take the ferry (Rf5.50, 20 minutes, every 15 minutes) from the Hulhumale Ferry Terminal. There’s also a speedboat service (Rf25, 10 minutes, every 30 minutes) that leaves from the dock where the airport ferry departs. On the island there are several bus services that connect the ferry terminal to the rest of the island, but it’s an easy 10-minute walk if there’s not one waiting when you arrive.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/maldives/hulhumale/introduction#ixzz45e4ShF82