Atoll Attraction

Aug 12, 2009 (LBO) – An international boat show to be held in the Maldive islands offers opportunities for Sri Lankan boat builders to cater to the archipelago’s transport requirements, officials said. Maldivian high commissioner Ali Hassen Didi said the water transport requirements of the country with 1,190 islands, almost 200 of them inhabited, were growing.

“Some of the boat builders will be interested in exploring opportunities of building boats that will facilitate that transport system,” he told a news conference to announce the Maldives International Boat Show.

The exhibition, organised by the Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Liveaboard Association of Maldives and the Maldives Exhibition and Conference Services, will be held during October 12-14 in Male.

Neil Fernando, a big boat builder and exporter, said most boats for fishing and island services were now built in the Maldives.

“They build 40-50 boats of around 100 feet in length for fishing, each costing around 300-400,000 dollars with engines,” he told the news conference.

“When resorts come up, they also order a couple of these vessels.”

Imran Hassen, director of the South Asia Exhibi