Mellieħa ([məˈliːhə], or il-Mellieħa) is a large village (pop. 7,221 in Dec 2008) in the northwestern part of Malta. It is a popular tourist destination during the summer months. Mellieħa as a village developed under British colonization after the British encouraged people to settle in the area by giving leases to the population. For two centuries previously, the area was abandoned due to fear from attacks of corsairs and Saracens. Before that, only a few villagers lived in the area.