Crossroads, Maldives’ first integrated tourist destination, celebrates official opening
Crossroads Maldives, the largest integrated leisure and lifestyle destination in Maldives by Thailand’s leading real estate developer, Singha Estate Public Company Limited, has finally opened its doors on its two of the nine islands.
After two years in development, Crossroads was inaugurated at a ceremony on Thursday. Vice President Faisal Naseem, tourism minister Ali Waheed, science and technology minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, and fisheries minister Zaha Waheed attended the ceremony.
Vice President Naseem congratulated Singha Estate on the visionary project and said Crossroads provices resources to better understand the Maldives: the Maldives Cultural Centre is a place to catch a glimpse of Maldives’ rich history and heritage, and promote local arts and crafts, whilst the Marine Discovery Centre will help visitors understand the environmental situation.
“Initiatives such as these will help underscore the paramount importance of ensuring that these assets are preserved well into the future,” he said.
Expressing confidence that the project will help boost the economy, the vice president identified that it will provide several employment opportunities to the youth who are eager to unlock their potential by pursuing careers in the hospitality industry. He also expressed his hope that women would take up the employment opportunities at Crossroads.
“It is the aim of this government to ensure that women are able to participate in all our key industries on an equal footing with men,” he said.
The ceremony also celebrated the rich history and the prestigious nature of the island nation through various captivating performances including one by popular local singer Mariyam Maeesha, screening of History Channel’s short documentary, “The Making of Crossroads Maldives”, a light and sound show, and an aerial silk show.
Crossroads, a deeply sustainable development owned by Thailand’s leading developer Singha Estate, encompasses nine idyllic islands fringing the Emboodhoo Lagoon in the South Male Atoll. Two of the islands have been used for the first phase of the project.
The first island is home to the vibrant lifestyle district and heart of the mega project, The Marina @ Crossroads — an 11,000sqm retail and entertainment space.
Due to its proximity to the capital city, the attraction serves to inspire the meeting of cultures between locals and visitors, very much the same way the country had done in the past, catering to a variety of lifestyle inclinations including luxury shopping, fine dining, a state-of-the-art event hall, and PADI-certified water sports and dive centre.
A transit hotel, SAii Lagoon Maldives, a Curio Collection by Hilton, targets short-term visitors who can utilise the facilities at the town centre during their stopover for connecting flights.
The sustainable development aspect of the project can be seen through the efforts made at Maldives Discovery Centre, an interactive educational-centre-cum-museum that promotes environmental conservation and Maldivian local arts and crafts. Another is Marine Discovery Centre, one of the region’s most advanced marine life laboratories, that hosts biologists who carry out research and longitudinal studies on sea-life and coral propagation through a Junior Coral Curator programme and a clownfish release initiative that span within the area of 64,000 square meters.
The second island is Hard Rock Hotel Maldives, developed and managed by Singha Estate’s hospitality arm, S Hotels & Resorts. The hotel introduces memorable music-inspired stays featuring a full range of signature experiences and facilities for all ages. Hard Rock Hotel Maldives is also the brand’s first Maldivian outpost.
Crafted under the tagline “Crossroads: Where Cultures Meet”, world-renowned architects, Bensley Design, honours the Maldives’ historical greatness as a crossroads of ancient maritime trade routes between the East and the West. The creation of Marina @ Crossroads is a glorious marriage of old-world French designs, traditional Arabic themes, as well as design concepts from Portugal, China, and Britain.
“With Cross, we are making history. The project has been an exciting and challenging venture to plan and implement for all parties involved: Thai, Maldivian, and international. And today officially marks our first outstanding achievement. By being the largest integrated leisure and entertainment destination in the Maldives, Crossroads will help maintain the notable and continuously rising tourism markets such as China, India, and the Middle East, and attract new market segments of family and locals to the Maldives,” Chutinant Bhirombhakdi, Chairman of Singha Estate, said.
“Crossroads is going to redefine vacation experience in the Maldives and the entire Indian Ocean region whilst also being deeply sustainable and considerate of its environment, history, and culture.”
Naris Cheyklin, Chief Executive Officer of Singha Estate, said that whilst setting sight on promoting tourism and the local economy, Crossroads is also committed to its mission of “building big, protecting the small” — fashioning a mega project whilst promoting the livelihoods of its inhabitants.
During the construction, there was no concrete mixing and no plastering. Singha Estate commissioned all of the projects’ mega structures to be made in Thailand before being shipped to the Maldives in giant container vessels to avoid harming coral reefs and sea-life.
Crossroads also will be home to the Eight New Wonders of the Maldives, consisting of a coral village, iconic tuna sculptures, sunset point, and Emboodhoo canyon, amongst others.