Lands minister hides ownership details of three Little Armier beach concessions

Lands Minister Silvio Schembri also mum on whether the coveted public properties have been traded illegally.


Lands Minister Silvio Schembri has redacted the names on three contracts the Lands Authority entered into for the concession of three beach lidos in Little Armier.

Meanwhile, the Lands Authority refuses to explain how the lidos appear to have changed hands or whether it has granted permission for that to have been as required by the contracts.

Pressed by Opposition MP Rebekah Borg to publish the original contracts for the coveted beach concessions and to explain how they are being transferred to Signature Entertainment Ltd owner Dominic Micallef, Lands minister Silvio Schembri reluctantly published the contracts but redacted all the crucial details about who had initially been awarded the concession.

Redacted in heavy black ink, the contracts tabled in parliament show the three lidos on public property – Baia Beach, Armier Lido and a third unnamed lido – were transferred through a temporary emphyteusis in 2005 and 2012, two for 50 years and another for 25 years.

While the annual ground rent varies from as little as €16,500 to €69,500 a year and is revisable every five years, Schembri deleted the details of those who signed the contracts, including the original concessionaires, in an attempt to conceal the fact that the concessions were recently transferred to other businessmen.

The contracts expressly prohibit the concessions from being transferred to other parties without the Lands Authority’s written permission.

Although The Shift is informed that some of these concessions were later traded and changed hands, it is unclear whether the transfers were done with or without the Authority’s permission and on what terms.

But Minister Schembri refuses to explain.

Dominic Micallef celebrating the Labour Party’s electoral victory in 2013.

According to Planning Authority documents, the Baia Beach concession lists Jonathan Mangion, CEO of pharmaceutical importers A.M. Mangion, as its owner.

The Shift is informed that Mangion was not the original concessionaire of the public land, and it is unclear how he acquired the rights. Questions sent to Mangion have not been answered.

The same transfers appear to have occurred with the other two public concessions.

The Shift reported how, in 2021, Dominic Micallef’s Signature Entertainment Group announced it was “in the process of acquiring the concession of all the three lidos” in Little Armier and that they would be turned into top-notch entertainment venues by 2025.

So far, none of this has materialised.

The PA intervened last summer to stop illegal works at Baia Beach carried out without a development permit. Mangion has now filed a new application to sanction the illegalities even though Dominic Micallef carried out the work.

Again, Mangion refuses to explain.

Micallef’s abandonment of works at Baia Beach last summer coincided with reports that another project of his, the conversion of the Valletta Waterpolo Pitch into another lido, had run into trouble.

The contractor, GP Borg, had pulled out – saying he was owed hundreds of thousands of euro and was not being paid. The project was left at a complete standstill.

Micallef recently also had a permit to build a hotel on Rabat’s Saqqaja Hill, which the court repealed after finding it had been granted irregularly.


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Carmelo Borg
15 days ago

All lura dan il hnizriet taht imnieher il prim ministru ihalli kollox ghaddej qisu xejn mhuxejn. Din bhal l iskandlu tal VITALS ma jaf b xejn. INSOMMA MAFIA SHIHA. TPAXXA POPLU GAHAN MEQ MEQ

Francis Said
Francis Said
15 days ago

Lands Minister Silvio Schembri has much to disclose.
Unfortunately he keeps everything under wraps. That is a clear indication that transparency and good governance are not part of his ethics as a Minister of the Republic of Malta.
This is public land that is being negotiated not his own private property.

Natalie Mallett
Natalie Mallett
14 days ago

Kulhadd generuz bi flus il-poplu u hadd ma juri l-kuntratti ghax ghandu x’jahbi. Hallas it-taxxi poplu ha jkollhom xi jberbqu u jimlew bwiethom bil-flus tat-tixhim.

13 days ago

This is not the first of Silvio Schembis bravadas..he has been signaled out on various occasions, but he just sits back and allows the dust to settle..and then starts again.
A closer look should be given to the many different deals he has been involved in..the most classic was the 34 million rent deal in Zejtun..but gone with the wind..we never heard anythinh more

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