Enhancing Coastal Safety and Recreation: Male’ Island Seawall and East Coast Artificial Beach

The seawall of Male' Island serves as a protective barrier and the artificial beach on the east coast features several leisure activities.


Extraordinary high tidal waves struck Male’ and its neighboring islands of Maldives in 1987 and 1988. The 1987 event caused damage of around 6.0 million USD (1987). In both incidents, the waves severely damaged private houses and public infrastructure including the old seawall and airport facilities of Male’. From 1987 to 1989, the urgent construction of the southern detached breakwater was conducted as a Japan’s Grant Aid Project.



A feasibility study of seawall for protection of the whole Male’ Island was initiated by the JICA Study Team from 1990 to 1992. Oriental Consultants Global (OCG, formerly Pacific Consultants International) participated in the survey works in joint operation with INA. The preliminary survey activities included a topographic/hydrographic survey, wave observation, current survey, environment survey, hydraulic model test, planning and preliminary design of the seawalls, and a project appraisal.

The west coast seawall was constructed from 1993 to 1994, with OCG and INA jointly involved in providing construction supervisory services. From 1995 to 2002, OCG exclusively provided the construction supervision services for the establishment of the east, south, and north coast seawalls around Male’ Island, where an artificial beach was also integrated into the east coast.



The construction of a strong seawall around Male’ successfully protected the island from the devastating impacts of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, preventing a major disaster. In addition, the artificial beach on the east coast of Male’, serving as an alternative to concrete blocks (tetrapods), offered a unique recreational space for the residents while providing a connection to nature. This artificial beach has also become a symbol commemorated on special edition postage stamps.


Republic of Maldives
Official Title
The Project for the Seawall Construction in Male' Island
Project Type
Seawall Construction
Government of the Republic of Maldives / Japan’s ODA Grant Aid
Project Period

1987 – 2002

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
“Male' seawall protected the island from the worst effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami”
President Gayoom of Maldives