Wherever you want to go in a liveaboard, most journeys begin on the aquamarine blue lagoon of Hulhumalé. It’s very hard to believe that this beautiful island isn’t natural, but manmade, down to every single tree planted all over the island.
In 1997, after much deliberation and drawing of several master plans, Hulhumalé started to take shape as a mound of sand dredged out of the Hulhulé Farukolhufushi lagoon. Where there were just two islands – the airport and the Farukolhufushi Island, which was developed as a resort – there now are three.
This wasn’t just a whimsical development. Malé, the capital island had been gathering population from all corners of the country steadily over the past decades, and desperately needed to grow, beyond the limits to which it had already expanded by reclaiming land from the small lagoon around the island.
Hulhumalé, just 20 minutes away by ferry and 5 minutes by speed boat, was the best solution, after Vilingili to the west, which had already reached saturation. Now, 15 years later, the phase one of the expansion has come to an end. Although most of the policies that govern the development of the island has changed over the years, the main idea is for Malé city to become the pride and joy of the island nation.
Hulhumalé, along with the Gulhifalhu “Eye of the Maldives” Project, is a major part of the Urban Development Program unveiled in late 2010, which involves connecting the capital municipalities with a bridge.
Your arrival into the Maldives will give you a glimpse of Hulhumalé, as it is adjacent to the runway of the international airport. You can either hop onto a ferry to Malé and take the Hulhumalé shuttle from there, or take the bus or a taxi to Hulhumalé, which will travel via the causeway that connects both islands. The latter is of course less stressful especially if you’re travelling with a lot of luggage. Click here to find out more about Hulhumalé.