Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has sanctioned $50 million (AED183.65 million) concessionary loan to develop the Velana International Airport in Malé, Maldives.

The project includes the construction of a new 3,400m runway with a breakwater and rehabilitation of the old runway.

Additionally, the loan amount will be invested to build a new west passenger terminal at the airport and a maintenance building, while completing phase-1 works on the south terminal, reports World Construction Network.

ADFD director general Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi said: “This new collaboration further solidifies the strong and close bilateral ties shared between the UAE and the Maldives. Over the past four decades, ADFD has financed infrastructure, telecommunications, transport, housing and energy projects in the Maldives valued at more than AED 109.

“Our loan aims to promote socio-economic development in the Maldives through upgrading the airport’s facilities and expanding its operating capacity to 26 aircrafts in order to cope with the steady growth of the tourism sector. As an added benefit, this crucial project will go a long way in creating new jobs and reducing unemployment.”

The latest loan also covers phase-1 of the cargo loading and storage areas expansion to about 600m2, relocation of existing infrastructure outside the project area, in addition to the construction of private jet facilities, a civil defence station and a mosque.