Three parties expressed interest in running outlets at a new F&B complex at the Maldives main Velana International Airport, state airport operator Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has announced.
MACL has earlier announced that it was in talks with regional franchisees of top fast food brands to set up their outlets at the new waterfront F&B complex, which is being built at the waterfront of the airport. Some of the franchise brands in the January announcement include McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts and Hard Rock Café.
A top official from MACL told local daily Mihaaru that the three interested parties include local and regional franchisees of world-renowned fast food brands. Agreements would be signed with the franchisees this month, he added.
“The complex will open with about five outlets,” the official said, declining to give an opening date.
Assembling the steel structure for the 14,000 square feet building, which will house the new F&B complex, is underway. The two-storey building was brought in from China, and is being assembled by a Singaporean contractor.
“The building will also be completed this month,” the official said.
MACL will also allow the franchisees to open outlets in the new terminal of the airport being developed.
Velana International Airport already features a number of international fast food franchises, including Burger King, The Coffee Club, Thai Express, The Pizza Company and Dairy Queen. The franchises are managed by Thailand-based Minor International, which also operates five resorts in the Maldives.
Apart from these additions and minor improvements, a separate USD 800 million mega project has been launched to expand and upgrade the airport. The project involves building a brand new runway, an international passenger terminal and a seaplane terminal as well as other support facilities, including a fuel farm that can store 45 million litres and a 120,000 tonne cargo facility.
The airport is a key infrastructure that supports the Maldives multi-billion dollar tourism industry. Expansion of the airport is expected to boost tourist arrivals to the island nation as it aims to attract at least two million tourists by 2020.