In 1997 the government of the Maldives contracted the American firm Abonmarche to build a large resort and marina there, to attract tourism. Later, the government redacted this contract in 2000 and, finding no other bidders, awarded it to another firm called "Energy Tours" to build a smaller resort. Energy Tours defaulted on this contract.
In 2005 Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom contracted Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, a Hong Kong-based company, to build the first luxury resort in Addu Atoll. The resort is being developed by Addu Investment Private Limited (70%) and the Maldivian Government (30%). The resort will cost an estimated USD 150 million and is expected to open in early 2009. Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa will feature a range of 142 villas including two Presidential Villas.
The island is also notable for having the highest natural elevation in the Maldives, an unnamed location of about 2.4 metres / 8 feet above sea level. This is the world's lowest national high point.