The Republic of Maldives has signed a memorandum of understanding for design and survey work for a bridge between the two ends of an atoll.

The crossing will link Hithadhoo and Hulhudhoo-Meedhoo, two communities on the atoll of Addu, the southernmost of of the Maldives’ islands and home to Gan International Airport.

President Dr Mohamed Muizzu selected the Arab Contractors Company, which is one of the largest state-owned Egyptian companies, for the work. The bridge will be funded by grants and the president intends to start work this year and complete it within four years.

The Maldives is the world’s lowest lying country, with an average ground elevation of just 2.4m above sea level.