Sri Lankan conglomerate Aitken Spence Hotels and Resorts has announced its decision to sell its lease rights for Raafushi – an uninhabited Maldivian island located in Noonu Atoll.
Aitken Spence has operations in South Asia, Middle East, Africa and the Pacific. Sri Lankan press reports the company, in its annual general report, has announced plans to sell the lease rights to Raafushi for USD 5.38 million.
Aitken Spence’s subsidiary, Ace Resorts acquired lease rights for 45.25 acre Raafushi for an acquisition cost of USD 3.77 million in 2015.
It was the sixth island acquired by the company, which, at the time, announced it planned to build a 250-villa resort on the island.
The company, however, carried out no work to develop the island.
Raafushi is a picturesque island with white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters which neighbors N. Velidhoo.
The island was previously leased to locals for agricultural purposes, and was a picnic spot for residents of neighboring islands.
According to Aitken Spence, it made its decision to put Raafushi up for sale due to a shift in its policy from developing and managing resorts on its own to opting for management contracts to run such properties.
The company reports its new model is far more profitable.
Atiken Spence has announced it plans on running new tourist properties in Sri Lanka, India and Oman this year.
The company, when it acquired Raafushi in 2015, also acquired R. Aarah – which is being run as Heritance Aarah – a luxury resort.
The company currently operates seven resorts in Maldives under its brands Heritance and Adaaran.