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Work has started on a new multi-island resort destination in the Maldives. Thai investor/developer Singha Estate Public Co. Ltd. is spearheading the Emboodhoo Lagoon leisure/recreation development, which will extend across nine islands in South Asia. The $311.5 million first phase will be comprised of a three-island resort concept—including a Hard Rock hotel—as well as an island Township.

Singha Estate and Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism have partnered with several developers on the project, including Hard Rock Intl. on what project backers describe as a “new DNA” resort concept with the brand’s Rock Star suites; U.K.-based marina management company Camper and Nicholsons on a 50-berth marina at the Township; and beach club operator Café Del Mar on a venue whose details have not yet been disclosed. A travel-centric retail concept and an upscale lifestyle resort featuring water villas are also in the plans.

Overall, the project will have 1,300 rooms. Its initial phase is slated to be complete by the third quarter of next year, while a second phase is expected to be finished within the next five years.

“The overall development which, when fully completed, will ultimately extend across nine islands, has been conceived to meet the leisure-destination desires of the world’s large and rapidly growing medium to upscale leisure segment,” says Singha Estate chairman Chutinant Bhirombhakdi.

Singha Estate says it’s also pledged to support the Maldives’ ecological environment. As part of the project, the company will establish a Maldives cultural and Indian Ocean marine learning center, which will introduce marine conservation initiatives aimed at preserving the biodiversity of the islands’ marine ecosystem.

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