The idyllic islands of the Maldives are receiving a lot of attention from wealthy real-estate entrepreneurs, property investment firms told CNBC.
Alan O'Connor, director of luxury real-estate group Debutesq, said he's seen a surge in enquiries for private islands recently, in particular from rich Eastern Europeans. In early December, O'Connor met with a Russian billionaire in London whom he described as possessing "a real passion for the Maldives and keen to develop an exclusive luxury resort to rival the best there is."
Several high-net worth individuals seek to profit from the country's booming tourism industry, including 42-year old Czech billionaire Jiri Smejc who opened the Velaa Private Island resort earlier this year, where luxury villas cost $30,000 a night.
Europe-based Debutesq told CNBC that over $1 billion was invested in the country in the past four years, an increase from recent years. Several of the firm's clients are entrepreneurs from Russia and East Asia, with varied business interests including finance and oil.
Global real estate firm JLL meanwhile has brokered six transactions in the Maldives over the past three years, amounting to half a billion in investment volume, also larger than previous years, with interest primarily from high-net worth Asian and Middle Eastern individuals.