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Sinamalé Bridge

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Sinamalé Bridge
ސިނަމާލެ ފާލަން

China-Maldives Friendship Bridge
An aerial view of the bridge
Coordinates4°10′24″N 73°31′28″E / 4.1733°N 73.5245°E / 4.1733; 73.5245
CarriesMotor vehicles and Pedestrians
CrossesMalé, Hulhulé
Official nameSinamalé Bridge
Maintained byChina Harbour Engineering
DesignCurve bridge
Total length1.39 km
Width20.3 m
Constructed byChina Harbour Engineering Company
Construction end30 August 2018
Opened7 September 2018
Inaugurated30 August 2018

The Sinamalé Bridge (Dhivehi: ސިނަމާލެ ފާލަން) links the islands of Malé, Hulhulé and Hulhumalé (through Hulhulé') in the Maldives.[1] The 1.39 km long bridge has two car lanes and separate lanes for motorcycles, and pedestrians,[2] and opened on 30 August 2018. It was originally called the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge due to funding received from the Chinese government.[3][4] It is the first inter-island bridge in the Maldives.[5]


The idea of a bridge between the two islands of Malé and Hulhulé was first raised in 2007[6] and was widely discussed in 2008 following the pledge on constructing a bridge by the then president Maumoon during his presidential campaign.[7][8] Mohamed Nasheed, another presidential candidate, and the opposition criticized the idea at the time.[7]

The project was officially started by president Abdulla Yameen in 2014[9][10] and was inaugurated in 2018.[11]

The total cost of US$210 million was mostly funded by a US$126 million Chinese government grant and US$68 million Export Import Bank of China loan.[12] China Harbour Engineering (CHEC) is the main contractor and had been praised for the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge in Malaysia.[13]


Controversy surrounds the large amount of debt borrowed from China to finance the construction of the bridge.[14] The construction of the bridge stands as just one among numerous significant ventures completed during the tenure of Abdulla Yameen, a president aligned with China, who assumed office in 2013.

In 2014, Yameen undertook the commitment to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), thus facilitating the participation of Chinese enterprises in funding vital infrastructure undertakings within the Maldives, notably exemplified by the construction of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ SinaMalé Bridge/China-Maldives Friendship Bridge Opened to Traffic. IndraStra Global. 5 September 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2020 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ ""China-Maldives Friendship Bridge" project launched". Maldives Independent. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  3. ^ ""A new metropolis links up"". The Business Report. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Sina-Male' Bridge: No tolls until September 23". Maldives Times. 3 September 2018. Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  5. ^ Macan-Markar, Marwaan (20 September 2018). "Maldivians head to presidential election in China's shadow". Nikkei Asian Review. The most visible is the Chinese-Maldives Friendship Bridge, the first cross-sea link in the country and built with aid from Beijing is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.
  6. ^ Abdulla, Ahmed Adham (2007). In-depth Technology Needs Assessment on transport sector. Male', Maldives: Ministry of Environment and Energy. p. 40.
  7. ^ a b "Bore hole drilling begins for Malé–Hulhulé bridge survey". Minivan News – Archive. 20 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Imagine a bridge like the Oresund bridge connecting Male' to Hulhumale'". Dhivehi Observer Maldives News. 8 July 2008.
  9. ^ "President of China concludes State Visit to the Maldives". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 16 September 2014. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Maldives, China eye bridge project for Male airport". The BRICS Post. 2 December 2014.
  11. ^ Zalif, Zunana (30 August 2018). "President Yameen inaugurates Sinamale Bridge". raajje.mv.
  12. ^ Mundy, Simon (10 February 2019). "The Maldives counts the cost of its debts to China". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  13. ^ "Witnessed by the President of China and the President of Maldives, CHEC Signed the MOU for Maldives Comprehensive Infrastructure Project". CHEC. 16 September 2014. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018.
  14. ^ Ethirajan, Anbarasan (17 September 2020). "China debt dogs Maldives' 'bridge to prosperity'". BBC News. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  15. ^ "China's sustained influence in the Maldives".