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Maldives Floating City – Finalist Mipim Awards. View here


Brain Coral: Concept Inspiration for Maldives Floating City

Maldives Floating City is the first development of a new era in which Maldivians return to the water with resilient eco-friendly floating projects. The city has a nature-based structure of roads and water canals resembling the beautiful and efficient way in which real brain coral is organised. The idea of having brain coral as the leading concept is that the goal of living with nature and learning to improve and respect natural coral is at the heart of the development, which leads to new knowledge emphasising the responsibility Maldives takes as centre for coral protection in the world.


  • A development of Dutch Docklands in joint-venture with the Government of Maldives

  • Lagoon close to the capital Male and the International Airport

  • Lagoon over 200 ha (more than 500 acres)

  • Several thousands of housing units, all floating, all waterfront

  • Mixed-use community: residential, hotels, shops, restaurants

Sales will start soon and expressions of interest can already be made on this website.

Maldives Floating City, a benchmark for vibrant communities beyond the waterfront.

It is the first floating city with thousands of houses that has full governmental support, based on a legal framework and title deeds for the owners. It also offers the unique possibility to obtain a residence-permit with the purchase of a house, inviting the international community to live here (semi) permanently and enjoy the Maldivian lifestyle, mixing green values with a sense of place based on centuries of experience with living with the sea. And then the perfect weather and tropical surroundings…

Maldives Floating City is based on the local culture of this sea-farers nation. Maldivians have a strong relation with the sea, so living on water is aligned with their culture and history. The city characterizes as a boating community, using the canals as main infrastructure for logistics and gateways, and by doing so reducing land-based movements to walking and biking on natural white sand roads. No cars are allowed, only bicycles and electric noise-free buggies/scooters.

Developer Dutch Docklands and the architects of Waterstudio have conceptualized a next-generation sea-level rise-proof urban development, bringing safety and development space to the Maldives with a mix of green technology, safety, commercial viability and a healthy new lifestyle, which will be the backbone of future floating cities. By doing so, the Maldivians will rewrite their destiny from climate refugees to climate innovators.

Located on only ten minutes by boat from the capital Male and the international airport, the Maldives Floating City is a dynamic, flexible city with a smart grid that can respond to dynamic demand, weather and climate change. It uses innovative sustainable development technologies and applies ecological best practices to protect, preserve and enhance the pristine marine eco-system. This concept is a world first and a will be the benchmark for future developments around the globe.

It is a unique city, both above and underneath the water surface, creating blue habitats projecting and stimulating coral growth. Artificial coral banks will be attached to the underside of the city, which will stimulate coral to grow naturally. The submerged and protected coral reefs of the lagoon will provide a natural wave (reduction) breaker that, in combination with the interrelated grid of floating structures, provides comfort and safety for the residents.


10 Requirements

01. Legality

A floating city must be part of a legal framework of a city or country. This gives the inhabitants a legal status. The floating homes and other structures must be labelled as real-estate, like in Maldives, in order to make finance and insurance possible.

02. Construction modularity

A city consisting of thousands of units can only be build when infrastructure and units are built from a modular system in order to ensure quality, standardization, certification, short construction time, cost control and efficient maintenance.

03. Accessibility

A floating city needs gateways for inhabitants and visitors to reach the city easily. Modern cities have hundreds of entrance points, a cruise ship has only a few. A floating city with canals provides multiple access points.

04. Power supply

Power and utilities are the backbone of a floating city. The reduction of energy consumption and production of green/blue energy in a smart grid where each unit shares and uses the surplus of available energy is an essential element for a viable floating city.

05. Supply and waste management

The healthy viable metabolism of a floating city is depending on the supply and distribution of goods, storage and controlled waste treatment and disposal. Supply and waste management must be integrated in the urban planning. A healthy floating city starts with the metabolism structure.

06. Environmental impact

Shadows caused by space covered with floating structures must be in balance with the amount of sunlight that can reach the seabed. Large floating structures must provide enough open space. The floating structures must enhance underwater life, instead of causing any negative effects.

07. Mooring, stability and safety

Forces of nature, waves, extreme weather, and sea-level rise for a 100-year prediction must be engineered in advance. Rigidity versus flexibility and a mooring system that can divert all the extreme forces are the base of a floating city design. Single structure city foundations act as huge mega ships, which have to handle enormous forces. By dividing the city in elements these forces can be handled in a more effective way with minimal risks.

08. Defence, law and order

A floating city needs law and order as well as a defence system. Once the floating city is part of an existing law and order framework, this will enable inhabitants to live in a safe and protected environment.

09. Community based city

A floating city must be a dynamic city, which means its structure must have ability to be adjusted, appended and updated as building for change is the only way to response to unknown challenges of the future. A city with a growth model existing of smaller structures will provide this flexibility.

10. Flexibility and response time

A floating city is more than just the sum of the built structures. Community-based developments are based on culture and common liveability goals, and will be the backbone of a healthy and feasible city.

Residence Permit

Foreign buyers of a house in Maldives Floating City can apply for a Residence Permit in Maldives. More information will follow soon.

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