Gables villas are a popular tourist attraction and have long been considered an important part of the Maldives’ cultural heritage.
But they have been undergoing major renovations to be more environmentally friendly, as part of a $25 million renovation effort announced Thursday.
In 2017, the Maldivian government said it planned to renovate the villas, including adding more shade, adding trees and improving the energy efficiency.
“We are trying to achieve a more sustainable future,” said Vidal Mohamed, deputy minister for the environment and biodiversity.
“I’m very proud of the work we are doing in these villas.”
The renovations are expected to be complete by the end of 2020.
For the next few years, the villa’s gardens will also be renovated and the buildings will be converted into office space.
Mohamed said the renovations will include building a public toilet in each villa and upgrading the power supply and heating system.
“The villas have always been a place where we are very connected,” he said.
“Our connection to nature, to nature’s beauty and to the earth is very strong and it will remain so for the next generation.”
In addition to beautifying the homes, the renovations also include the addition of a swimming pool and a gymnasium.
“For this project we have made sure that the water will be safe, the water quality is good and the electricity will be reliable,” Mohamed said.
The renovations will be completed over the next three years.
The Maldives has a population of about 30,000, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
According to the Maldive Chamber of Commerce, a population growth rate of 20 per cent or more is expected to occur over the coming decades, with the population of the island projected to increase from 4.2 million to 9.9 million by 2050.