Dubai-based port operator DP World is in talks to develop an international port in the Maldives through a joint venture with the Maldivian government, according to local media.
Maldives President Mohamed Waheed Hassan held discussions with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE, during a stopover in Dubai on Sunday, according to haveeru online.
Presidential spokesman Masood Imad said the Maldivian government had held previous discussions with several levels of the UAE government. President Waheed had wanted to develop an international port in the Indian Ocean archipelago since coming to power in February last year.
"This is the first time talks have been held between the two leaders. In order to make it real, we have to have discussions at a technical level and specify the location of the port," Imad was quoted as saying.
Imad said the president and Sheikh Mohammed also discussed establishing a financial hub in the Maldives, developing the country's e-government portal and how Dubai can help improve the archipelago’s health sector.
When contacted by Arabian Business, a DP World spokesperson said the company did not comment on specific negotiations.
“We constantly explore opportunities in markets around the world. However, we don't comment on any specific opportunity unless there is something to announce,” the spokesperson said.