Villingili is situated just eight minutes west of Male’ city and in recent times is considered part of the greater Male’. Villingili’s inhabitants were wide and varied. It was once used as a torture prison and later used as a luxury resort. After the resort was abandoned, in the mid nineties, the island was turned into a village settlement. At the time, very basic amenities were available to the community.
Villingili was populated with the grand purpose of developing the island under a master plan. There were plans for huge buildings, jetties and sea walls. When the first settlers came to Villingili, 95% of the island was covered with flora and fauna, there was a huge reef teaming with fauna, and a seasonal huge wave unbeatable by the Male’ waves at Raalhugandu. Throughout the years, buildings rose, roads were made, jetties and boatyards were build and land was reclaimed. A power house and telecommunication towers were build and huge land masses were leased to companies.
The population estimate of Villingili is between 12,000 – 15,000 people. The island now being the fifth ward of Male’, has all amenities available in Male’.. The beaches of Villingili are used by locals and foreigners, including expatriates and tourists, residing in Villingili throughout the week and on weekends. Locals and expats from Male’ and sometimes Hulhumale’ use the beaches on the weekends for picnics. During the weekdays there is always a steady flow of tourists who come for a bit of sun and sand.