You have questions, we have answers!

Purchasing a vacation home on private land in the Maldives as a foreign buyer is a brand new venture that Atoll Homes is helping to introduce to the world for the very first time.  As a Maldivian owned company, we are your bridge between cultures, and as such, perfectly positioned to be your guide throughout the entire process – from selecting a plot of private land to designing and constructing your Maldivian retreat.

You probably have a lot of questions about the process of buying your holiday home in the Maldives. Browse our list of frequently asked questions below. If you still can’t find what you need to know, email us your questions directly. Our friendly and informative staff is standing by to assist. 

Atoll Homes will take care of every aspect of purchasing private land on your behalf, from negotiating the best price right through to completion. The typical process is: 


  1. You pick the region and your preferred island choice from the Atoll Homes catalogue.
  2. We then deploy a local scout to inspect available private plots and revert to you with a detailed report, including land surveys.
  3. You choose from a selection of plots and rank them according to your preferences.
  4. We then complete negotiations with the seller on your behalf and send you the purchase agreement to sign.
  5. Upon receiving your signature, we begin the legal formalities with the seller to secure ownership of the land.
  6. Once the sale is complete, we’ll send you originals and copies of the land registry and any associated legal documents to demonstrate your ownership.
  7. The process normally takes one to two months, although there can be slight variations in duration. 

Currently, there are no mortgage options in the Maldives for international buyers, but this may change in the future. Our homes are bought outright by cash buyers but we break down the payment into goal-based billing as the project progresses.

Ownership of a private residence by an international buyer in the Maldives is structured on a leasehold basis over a 99-year period (subdivided into two consecutive 50 and 49-year leases), pursuant to regulations regarding the long-term leasehold of privately-owned lands under The Land Act (Law No.: 1/2002).


  1. LONG-TERM LEASEHOLDS: Foreign parties can have a long-term leasehold under the terms of The Land Act but are subject to a constitutional restriction that stipulates foreign parties can only be granted for a maximum term of 99 consecutive years. Pursuant to the sale being approved by the Ministry of Economic Development or (if it involves tourism activities, the Ministry of Tourism), the terms of a long-term lease are as follows:


    • LAND ACT: The Land Act (Law No.: 1/2002) governs land on populated islands (islands which haven’t been designated for resort use or as public ‘picnic islands’). Land governed by the Act can be divided into two main classes:


      1. State-owned land issued to Government Ministries – No restrictions placed on the term of a long-term lease, so foreign parties can have a total maximum term of 99 consecutive years.
      2. State-owned dwellings issued to private parties, and privately owned land – The maximum term of a long-term lease is 50 years.


For additional security, we will also provide you with a means of dispute resolution via foreign arbitration. Even though the Maldives is not a party to the New York Convention, foreign arbitral awards are enforced under Section 72 of the Arbitration Act (Law No.: 10/2013). Our preferred location for all arbitration is the United States of America.


  1. ARBITRATION ACT: Recognition and Enforcement (72)
    • An arbitral award made in a foreign country shall be recognized and enforced in the Maldives as long as the award was not made in contradiction with the procedures of this Act. The enforcement of an arbitral award shall be mandatory in the Maldives.


Additionally, we are prepared to discuss and accommodate extra measures so that you feel comfortable in entering into this agreement, such as referring you to an independent solicitor. Our aim is to foster trust between all parties involved.

The design process could take one or two months but the precise duration shall depend upon various factors such as whether you have specifications and requirements for your vision of your property or would like to see proposals from architects before you decide, and when the designs are approved by the appropriate authority. There are certain restrictions in the Maldives on which types of designs are acceptable, for example, on inhabited islands (excluding Male’ and Hulhumale’) dwellings must not be built any higher than the tallest tree on the island so as to not affect the island’s aesthetics. Any designs must comply with the requirements of the Maldives National Building Code.


Our designer will work closely with you on all aspects of the process, from the type of construction materials and building style (e.g.: prefabrication, brick, stone or timber etc.). The designer will be able to inform you about how your design decisions will affect the construction timeline and cost. If you use construction materials that are readily available in the Maldives such as brick or recycled coral stone, it will take less time than using imported materials such as tropical hardwood. 

The construction period typically takes between six and twelve months of work (depending upon the complexity of the project) which covers sourcing the materials, importing materials if necessary, mobilizing the construction workers, construction, staged billing and your sign-offs on work. The handover of the property to you will follow immediately after you or your legal representative accepts the completed work.


The processes during the development timeline of the project would be as follows:


  1. Sourcing of materials
    1. Locally from the Maldives
    2. And/or Imported from overseas
    3. The first stage of billing - each construction stage will be billed upon completion
  2. Mobilization for construction
    1. Equipment
    2. Manpower
    3. Building materials
    4. The second stage of billing - each construction stage will be billed upon completion
  3. Construction
    1. Land clearing
    2. Foundation
    3. Structure
    4. Walls
    5. Interior finishes
    6. Exterior finishes and landscaping
    7. The third stage of billing - each construction stage will be billed upon completion


Final billing - each construction stage will be billed upon completion
Client sign-off
Handover - you receive your keys!

Atoll Homes provides a property management service. This includes taking care of maintenance work for you. You don’t even need to be present on the island for this. Just post a request directly on our website and we’ll reach out to our network of specialists to carry out the tasks for you. Whether it’s replacing light bulbs, clearing gutters or tidying up the plants and shrubs in your garden we have it covered. You can submit every request via our handy proprietary concierge dashboard.

We can take care of this for you too. We will apply for and obtain a ‘guesthouse permit’ for your property which will allow you to host paying guests there. Our sales experts can find bookings from guests who want to rent your property. You simply block off the dates when you want to be there on our concierge dashboard and we’ll work on filling it in your absence. We can also send in housekeeping staff to empty trash, change sheets and make it presentable for the next arrivals. Any earnings from renting out your property are subject to Maldivian Business Profit Tax at 15% of your annual rental income.

Last updated on August 7th, 2020