Our story began with the inception of Hulhumalé – a city that rose in the late 1990s from a vacant lagoon 8km off the Northeast coast of the capital City Malé, that went on to become a beacon of hope for the people of Maldives. What merely began from a small unit under Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, is now the leading urban developer of the Maldives.
Housing Development Corporation launched Urbanco as the official brand name to reflect the new scope of the company. From a developer of housing, Urbanco has diversified to become the leading urban development partner of the government adding Hulhumalé, Gulhifalhu, Thilafushi, Kudagiri, Urban Isle and Greater Malé Region to its portfolio.
Powered by the best teams in urban development, Urbanco is here to create a better future, a world of better tomorrows for generations to come. Inspiring and sharing the knowledge of city development across all regions of Maldives.
1995 – Formation of committee by President’s Office to address the Malé housing crisis that led to the initiation of Hulhumalé development project
2001 – Creation of Hulhumalé Development Unit with the mandate of carrying out Hulhumalé development project
2005 – Formation of Hulhumalé Development Corporation
2009 – Diversified to Housing Development Corporation by shifting the mandate from developing Hulhumalé to carry out housing projects around the whole country
2015 – Total 244 hectares of Hulhumalé Phase II reclaimed within 77 days and inaugurated
2018 – Launch of Open Access Network (OAN) project to create Asia’s First 100% Gigabit enabled city in Hulhumalé
2019 – Urbanco handed over social housing segments of Hulhumalé development to Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation Ltd, pivoting Urbanco’s focus towards developing infrastructure & commercial projects
2020 – Housing Development Corporation Merger with Greater Malé Industrial Zone Limited (GMIZL), granting Urbanco the authority to develop Thilafushi, Gulhifalhu and Hulhumalé under one umbrella
2022 – Integrated tourism island project Urban Isle officially launched by Managing Director, Ahmed Athif
2022 – Thilafushi masterplan launched by Minister of Economic Development, Uz. Fayyaz Ismail
2023 – The ultimate urban getaway of Maldives, Kudagiri Picnic Island officially opened by HEP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
2023 – Urbanco brand launched with new additions to mandate, paving its way to a world of better tomorrows.
“A leader in redefining quality living”
“To be a pioneer in establishing higher standards of living through intelligent, innovative and sustainable development in the Maldives”
Sale of bare land or land with developed property in full/part to a buyer without any expiration date.
Lease of bare land or developed property in full/part to a lessee for a period of time.
Urbanco transfers the right to develop real estate on a bare land plot to a developer with the right to lease the developed property in full/part to end customers.
Urbanco transfers the right to develop real estate on a bare land plot to a developer with the right to sell the developed property in full/part to end buyers, and whereby Urbanco will transfer a freehold/leasehold title to the said end-buyers/customers.
A business arrangement where Urbanco would be contributing land leasehold rights and the developer/investor contributes the necessary investment fund to undertake the project. In a JV model, both parties will share the profit and risks earned from the venture.
Hulhumalé consists of three types of housing – social, mid-range and luxury. Urbanco uses three business models for sale of the residential properties - End user financing, lease to own and outright sales.
The owner buys the property through the support of financial institutions. The ownership of the property is transferred immediately.
Urbanco signs a lease agreement with the buyer which allows the buyer to live in the property while paying monthly installments. At the end of the lease, the ownership will be transferred to the buyer.
Council housing units are owned by the government, and the units are available for the public based on a lease model only.
The ownership will be transferred to the buyer after receiving the full sale amount of the property.
The Island’s commercial zoning is determineded after undertaking a comprehensive analysis to identify the most required commercial usages within Hulhumale.
Our procedure includes Direct Allocations and Request for proposals (RFP). In direct allocations, selected parties are invited to a bidding process where the winner is awarded the unit after carrying out the required evaluation process. RFP is an announcement for a focused project, calling out the interested parties. At the end of the process the contract is awarded to the proponent who achieves the highest points after the proposal evaluation process, based on the preset evaluation criteria.
Commercial units in Hulhumalé are leased using two business models – lease model and minimum monthly guarantee model. Lease terms can be unique retrospective of the tenant and the Corporation’s requirements. The main objective of allocating commercial spaces is to fulfil the needs of residents and build a strong commercial lease clientele, while enhancing the overall brand identity of Hulhumale’.
It is a payment for a right to use the place for the usage identified by Urbanco, for an agreed period between Urbanco and the commercial tenant.
The tenant agrees to pay the Minimum Monthly Guarantee lease or the percentage agreed on the net revenue, whichever is higher, to Urbanco as the monthly lease. Lease rate offered under this model is considerably lower than the rates charged under lease model, minimizing the risks.
Property management is responsible for the daily oversight, monitoring and management of the real estate properties at an operational level or capacity. This includes tenant liaison and communications, rent collection, procuring and managing service contracts (cleaning, security, maintenance, insurance etc) and monitoring of properties.
As the driving force behind Urbanco’s smart city initiative, Urbanco has been working on establishing a city-wide digital infrastructure, including a GPON network that is essential to cater current and future demands in Hulhumalé.
Under Urbanco’s GPON network, three main types of services are provided:
Urbanco also laid a seven-way duct network, which is a main duct with leasable subducts which service providers can lease, without having to install their own duct networks. A cellular tower project is also underway in Phase II of Hulhumale’ with the aim of enhancing mobile coverage within the city. The towers would be used as shared infrastructure by operators to install their equipment and provide services. With four towers currently up for service, Urbanco offers the affordable lease rates for these towers. Urbanco plans to install more towers, street poles and rooftop poles across Hulhumale’ Phase I and Phase II.
In order to address the challenges faced in Hulhumalé, Urbanco has planned smart city solutions, whereby there will be a wide array of smart products and services targeted for various sectors including waste management, street light control, smart parking, smart homes and buildings, health and education, governance, mobility and public transport, ecommerce, etc.
The Tourism Island is set to become the Maldives’ first cityside resort in Hulhumalé metropolis that will be complemented by a number of upcoming urban tourism attractions in the city such as the Heritage Island, Water Theme Park, Yacht Marina and Cruise Terminal. Diversifying the Maldives’ exclusive one island one hotel concept, this urban resort will present a collection of lodging types and amenities that sets to celebrate and welcome every traveler.
If you are interested in booking an event space in Hulhumalé, an application form will be available for download from our website, Media center. Make sure to download the guidelines for lease of event space and lease rates for further information.
With technology advancement and emergence of smart cities, high street advertising in cities has been continuously changing. Urbanco has been working on enhancing of the current advertising spaces within the Hulhumalé, and increasing the number of ad spaces and digital signage placements in the city.
The form to request for buying sand, blocks & curbs will be available for download from our website, Media Center. After the completed form is submitted to Urbanco reception and the obligatory fee is being paid, Hulhumalé Operations will release the requested product (sand, blocks & curbs) for collection.
Urbanco caters to a variety of sectors including urban planning and design, real estate, hospitality solutions, Digital technology and smart solutions, greening, infrastructure developments, recreational facilities, community-based developments, commercial as well as industrial developments. As the leading master planner and city developer, Urbanco demonstrates humble, thoughtful, modern and sustainable masterplans cultivating a smart future for the people of Maldives. Today, Maldives future growth predicts resilience and creates a sustainable vision of redefined quality living and industrialization momentum that has never been explored in the island nation. Years of expertise in developing cities from scratch has taken the corporation from Hulhumalé and beyond to support & innovate Islands across the country, with Thilafushi, Gulhifalhu, Urban Isle and Kudagiri Picnic Island as the latest addition to our portfolio.