• A Dutch developer is building a sprawling, floating city in the Maldives.
  • The city is slated to house 20,000 people in a web of 5,000 floating buildings.
  • These buildings will include homes, shops, and even schools — all located 10 minutes away from Male.

A Dutch architectural firm is on a mission to create a floating city located just 10 minutes away from Male.

The Maldives Floating City, designed by Dutch firm Waterstudio, is an expansive mass of modular floating platforms in the pattern of a brain coral.

Koen Olthuis, the founder of Waterstudio, the architectural firm behind the city, told Insider that the project is a collaboration between the Dutch Docklands, a local developer, and the local government in Male. One of its aims is to free up more room for housing on the mainland.

Olthuis told Insider that building the floating city would also offer a solution to the threat of rising sea levels for generations to come.

“It will be a walkable city with floating streets, utilizing boats for the transport of goods and people within the city, and to the capital city of Male,” Olthuis said.


He added that the cost of living in the city itself would be comparable to local land-based developments in the Maldives.

“In 2027, we should have 20,000 people living in 5,000 houses,” Olthius estimated.

A mock-up image of the Maldives Floating City
A virtual mock-up of the Maldives Floating City shows azure seas with boats used for transporting residents from module to module, and to the mainland. 
Waterstudio.NL/Dutch Docklands

According to CNN, the city will be opening up its first units for viewing this month, with prices starting at $150,000 for a studio apartment, and going up to $250,000 for a family home. The developers expect residents to begin moving into the island in early 2024, with the whole city due to be completed by 2027.

Per the developer’s press release, the city will comprise modular, hexagonal segments connected to an outer ring of barrier islands. The bottom portion of the city will be attached to stabilizers that buttress it against the waves while also keeping the buildings and structures safe against the current.

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Click here for the project