The China Maldives Friendship Bridge or the Sinamale Bridge is a 2-kilometre long bridge connecting the capital city Male to the airport island of Hulhule and by extension, Hulhumale Island. The bridge was made as a part of the Belt and Road Initiative and is largely funded by China, strengthening the ties between both the nations. The project was launched in 2014 and has reached its completion in July 2018. This 200 million USD project is said to be one of the most progressive projects of Maldives with around 6 lanes to the bridge, of which 2 are car lanes while the others are devoted to bicycles, pedestrians, motorcycles, etc.
Need for the Bridge
The China Maldives Friendship Bridge was built for the main purpose of road connectivity. The Maldives has always heavily relied on transport between the islands through Jettys and waterways which can be highly unreliable due to the change in weather conditions. The bridge running from the airport island to Male makes it a million times easier for tourists, as well as the locals, to transfer back and forth and access both islands. Aside from this, the overpopulation of Male has become quite a concern in recent years. With the connectivity of the bridge to not only Hulhule but also Hulhumale, the government is finding it easier to convince masses of people to shift to Hulhumale and remove some of the burden of the overpopulation from the capital city.
Wedding on China Maldives Friendship Bridge
On the occasion of the newly made China- Maldives Friendship Bridge, the Maldivian Government granted Maldivian couples to tie the knot on the very bridge on August 31st 2018. The Government arranged to pay for not only the decorations but also organise the theme. The to-be-married couples filled a form in which the theme choices included - Traditional Maldivian, Floral, Sunset, Vintage, and Chinese in light of their strengthened ties. The weddings seem to be a symbolic way of new beginnings that will eventually lead to the betterment of The Maldives.
Things to do in Male
The Sinamale Bridge connects the capital city of Male to the Hulhumale Bridge. While visiting the bridge, there are several things individuals can do no matter which direction your heading. If Male is your destination, be ready to indulge yourself by soaking in the local island culture. From the Grand Friday Mosque whose golden dome can be seen way before you actually reach the island, to the centre of Jumhooree Maidan where the mosque is located, the Islamic culture flourishes on this island. Visiting the market is a must to pick up some exotic fruits that can only be found in the Maldives. Another must visit is the Sultan Park which offers the tranquillity and serene atmosphere that can often be difficult to find on this island.
Things to do in Hulhumale
Connected to the airport island of Hulhule is the artificial island of Hulhumale. Created to reduce the congestion in Male, which now seems like a possibility due to the bridge, Hulhumale is an island lined with pristine beaches and even more beautiful flora and fauna. The island is home to Central Park which is a prime spot for locals and tourists alike, to enjoy the peace that being amidst nature offers. Aside from this, the island is mainly considered as a haven for all individuals that have to catch a flight or have just landed in Maldives. This said the white sandy beaches in Hulhumale, as well as the marine life, which makes snorkelling and diving a delight, have to be almost unparalleled and definitely worth a look.