Island Dreams Come True Vistas of jewelled blue blending with the shimmering sky as far as the eyes can see. Soothing white sands cushioning your feet. Washing away your cares in crystal-clear lagoons. All while being surrounded by one of the most breathtaking house reefs in the Maldives. At Robinson Club Maldives, your dream beach escape in the serene waters of the Gaafu Alif Atoll comes to life. visit www.robinson-maldives.com Robinson Club Maldives 2
For more information, contact us at Tel: +960 300 9095 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org VARA 04
PARADISE IS YOURS AT ROBINSON A haven of dazzling coral reefs, white sands and endless blue sky. On the turquoise waters of Gaafu Alif Atoll, 20 minutes from Kaadedhoo Airport, on Funamadua Island, awaits your own piece of paradise at Robinson Club Maldives. Splendour is for the taking by the shoreline or over water, with palatial villas, bungalows, and suites, set to the backdrop of magnificent vistas bursting with colour. Steps away from perfect white sands, nature at your doorstep, or your own living aquarium beneath your feet. Robinson accommodation fulfils – and exceeds – every expectation. A playground of fun, adventure and relaxation, Robinson Club Maldives offers a range of diversions for every taste. Explore the incredible underwater world with Robinson Dive Centre, or catch the waves on a water-ski. Learn how to surf, sail or paraglide, or take a more leisurely adventure into the nearby islets and lagoons on our glass-bottomed kayaks. For the ultimate relaxation experience, rejuvenate your body and soul at the Duniye Wellfit Spa, sunbathe by the pool, or watch the sunset on your outdoor day bed, the warm ocean breeze grazing your sun-kissed cheeks. In the evening, eat scrumptious cuisines and sip on tropical cocktails as you soak up the 360-degree panoramas, before taking to the sands for a live reggae show. A sanctuary of contemporary luxury, relaxation, and adventure, all rolled into one: there’s always more to see and always more to discover at Robinson Club Maldives.
IN LOVE WITH VITTAVELI
TEA WITH HEDHIKA
I was in love with Vittaveli even before I got there. Writes Royston Ellis. First there was its name; It sounds like a wholesome mineral water. Actually, it has many beautiful meanings.
In the Maldives, no social gathering is complete without the ubiquitous hedhika (short eats).
SAND ART: AN INNOVATIVE TALE
THE DAWN OF TOURISM
TOURISM IN THE MALDIVES: NEW ALTERNATIVES FOR NEW TIMES
VILLINGILI: A LAND OF NO CARS
MALDIVES FIRST NINE-HOLE GOLF COURSE
MALDIVES WHALE SHARK
THE ART OF LIVING AT THE WALDORF ASTORIA
MALDIVES RESORTS GOING GREEN
Sand art - The latest form of art introduced to the Maldives, pioneered by locally renowned artist Afzal Shaafiu Hasan (Afu).
Sarah Harvey shares her experience of dolphin spotting in the Maldives.
WRITERS Aishath Shazra Angel Shuja Donna Richardson John Lancelot Katie Hollamby Mackenzie Barbarossa Mamduh Waheed Royston Ellis Sarah Harvey Thomas Pickard
Afzal Shaafiu Hassan Ahmed Shahid Ahmed Zahid Ahmed Nabeel Atoll Explorer Jumeirah Vittaveli Kesto M. Haleem Kurumba Maldives Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme Mohamed Khumainy Moosa Hassan Roystan Ellis Shaarif Ali Thomas Pickard
TRANSLATIONS Hilath Rasheed
PAINTINGS Hassan Ziyad
MANAGING EDITOR David Kotthoff
DESIGN & LAYOUT
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64 MALDIVES BEHIND THE LENS Photographer Thomas Pickard looks back on some of the stories untold behind the photos he captured during his twoyear stay in the Maldives.
THE DAWN 6
TOURISM ARRIVED IN THE MALDIVES 40 YEARS AGO. IN 2012 THE EVENT WILL BE COMMEMORATED IN KURUMBA, THE FIRST ISLAND TO BE OPENED AS A RESORT. ROYSTON ELLIS TAKES A LOOK AT THE DAWN OF TOURISM IN THE ISLANDS.
OF TOURISM In 1971, an Italian travel agent, George Corbin, met Ahmed Naseem, then a junior with the Maldives Embassy in Sri Lanka who went on to become Foreign Minister of the Maldives, by chance in Colombo. Naseem persuaded Corbin, who was looking for somewhere for Italian holidaymakers to stay, to visit Maldives so he could see the islands for himself. Corbin quickly realised he had found the perfect destination for affluent Italians who liked diving, spear fishing and sun bathing, but there was nowhere to stay and no scheduled airlines flying to the Maldives. He entrusted a young man, Mohamed Umar Maniku, to make all the arrangements for a group of guests, many of them travel journalists, he proposed bringing to the islands in 1972. There was only a small airstrip on Hulhule Island (site of the present international and domestic airports) and no regular flights. So the group, which numbered 22 Europeans,
had to come by an Air Ceylon charter flight from Colombo. They stayed in three houses in Male’ – then a tiny town with sandy streets – and M U Maniku took them to visit a different nearby island every day where they went swimming and spear fishing. The group stayed ten days and when they returned to Italy, they were so enthusiastic about the islands, requests for rooms from other visitors began to flow in. It was suddenly necessary to provide proper
accommodation for this unexpected influx of tourists. M U Maniku and a school friend, Hassan Afeef (now operator of several resorts), got together with the leaseholder of Vihamanafushi Island, a coconut plantation, to build accommodation for tourists. The island was uninhabited at the time and was where the first President of the Maldives, Mohammed Amin, had been buried in 1954. The island was chosen because of its proximity to the airstrip and the capital. Access was either by sailing dhoni or open boat with an outboard motor. There was no jetty (although later one was built on coconut pillars) so guests had to wade through the surf to the beach. Working with friends M U Maniku and Hassan Afeef constructed 30 rooms in blocks of three, using coral stone for the walls, coconut timber for the beams and palm thatch for the roofs. Each had a brackish water shower and a toilet, basic furniture, and access to the beach and sea. Meals were taken as buffets in a makeshift restaurant or as barbecues on the beach.
They called it Kurumba Village after the abundance of coconuts (kurumba in Dhivehi) growing on the island. It opened to guests from Italy on 3 October 1972 and remained fully booked for the next few months. The then president, Ibrahim Nasir, instantly recognised the potential of tourism. The islands of Bandos (which opened in December 1972) Furanafushi, Farukolufushi, Baros, Vilingili, Meerufenfushi and Velassaru were also selected for development. All were within easy reach by dhoni from the airport. The rooms were simple, not like the lavishly furnished, luxurious air-conditioned rooms of today’s resorts. They had plain cement floors, asbestos ceilings, and half-tiled toilets. For bathing and washing, guests used brackish, salt water drawn from the ground; rainwater was collected for drinking. Surprisingly, the basic simplicity appealed to those early wealthy visitors and their enthusiasm for holidaying in the islands helped the industry to flourish.
By the end of 1973, the number of visitors, mainly from Sweden, Denmark and Italy staying on three resorts had grown to 3,790. Five years later, there were 17 resorts and 29,325 visitors but no policy, law or regulations governing the expansion and development of the industry. The new president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, in 1978 set out to transform the industry into something viable and worthwhile in an effort to preserve the natural beauty that attracted tourists to the islands, as well as to make tourism sustainable. The Government began to earn direct revenue from tourism through the leasehold rental charged for the islands,
together with a bed tax (an amount paid by the resort operator to the Government for each night of each tourist’s stay at a resort). The income from tourism quickly matched, and then overtook, that earned from fishing. From 1980 to 1990, 40 new island resorts were opened and visitor arrivals at the end of that decade were close to 200,000 a year. Now arrivals are climbing to the million mark a year and there are over 90 resorts. Recalling those early days of hosting strangers from overseas, M U Maniku commented: “It was quite exciting. We didn’t know what to cook for them or how to deal with them. I had a recipe book in
English which I translated into Dhivhei so the boys could understand. I was cook, gardener and room boy. We had to do everything ourselves.” The young Maldivians who looked after the tourists were often puzzled by their requests. One woman kept on demanding aqua minerale! “We didn’t know what that was,” Maniku recalled. “Someone said it was mineral water, but we didn’t know what that was either. “So I want to a pharmacist in Male’ and asked if could he mix up some minerals in a powder, which he did. My father had a hand-operated bottling machine so we put
the minerals in filtered water, bottled it, sealed it with a marble top, and gave it to the guest. She was delighted.” Initiative and a willingness to learn helped the early tourism pioneers to succeed. “We had nothing in the Maldives then, nothing!” Maniku recalled. “The streets were sand. There were no banks, no proper airport; no telephone, only ham radio or Morse Code contact with Colombo.” With a chuckle, Maniku said, “Even the UNDP experts said tourism would never succeed in the Maldives because we had no facilities, no infrastructure. The experts were wrong; visitors loved the Maldives.
“They came on an extension of a holiday in Sri Lanka. We had to pay highly in commission to Sri Lanka travel agents to get them here, when we needed every cent to invest in the resorts. Tourists built the industry here. We listened to them and gave them what they wanted. At first it was coconut thatch huts, which suited us as it was all we could afford.” Finding financing for the fledgling tourism industry was difficult. “We had to do it ourselves,” said Maniku, who became Chairman of Universal Enterprises, the group that still operates Kurumba. “Fortunately suppliers in Singapore made items available on credit.”
After the first flush of success following its opening in 1972, occupancy dropped but Maniku and his colleagues were determined to succeed. They began to travel to Europe to promote the Maldives and to encourage visitors. By 1974, thanks to their energetic promotion and word of mouth publicity, business began to improve. The momentum picked up in 1981, with the extension of the runway and the addition of terminal buildings at the international airport on Hulhule. This enabled direct flights to Maldives from Europe and Singapore, instead of via Colombo. The spread of tourism transformed the Maldives. The young team who started Universal Enterprises pioneered the marketing of the islands as a tourist destination. At the time, they had no idea that the success of tourism would propel the Maldives to the prosperity and progress enjoyed today. The resort itself has evolved over the 40 years to a distinguished 180-villa property, setting the standards for island accommodation as it has matured into the venerable grand hotel of the Maldives. By instinct, Mr Maniku and his colleagues developed their resorts, like Kurumba and, in 1973, Baros, so that they were compatible with the environment, not by dumping dozens of concrete-block bungalows on a tiny island thus destroying the natural beauty that made them so appealing. Thanks to their foresight, while the thatched huts of 40 years ago have been replaced with timber and sandstone villas of 21st century sophistication, resort vegetation remains lush and well-nurtured, creating the perfect ambience for a holiday in a green and blissful tropical paradise.
THE RESORT ITSELF HAS EVOLVED OVER THE 40 YEARS TO A DISTINGUISHED 180-VILLA PROPERTY, SETTING THE STANDARDS FOR ISLAND ACCOMMODATION AS IT HAS MATURED INTO THE VENERABLE GRAND HOTEL OF THE MALDIVES.
Royston Ellis is a British-born novelist and travel writer based in Sri Lanka who has been visiting the Maldives for over 25 years. He is the author of A Hero In Time, a novel based on the life of Mohamed Takurufaan, the 16th century national hero of the Maldives. He writes regularly for in-flight magazines and international publications, and is the author of the Berlitz, Bradt and Insight guidebooks about the Maldives.
Photo by: Royston Ellis Kurumba Maldives
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I WAS IN LOVE WITH VITTAVELI EVEN BEFORE I GOT THERE. WRITES ROYSTON ELLIS. FIRST THERE WAS ITS NAME; IT SOUNDS LIKE A WHOLESOME MINERAL WATER. ACTUALLY, IT HAS MANY BEAUTIFUL MEANINGS, SUCH AS “VASTNESS OF SPACE” AND “ETERNAL LIGHT” BOTH OF WHICH I DISCOVERED ARE APT, SINCE THE RESORT IS SPACIOUS AND HAS AN ETHEREAL RADIANCE
But what really made me fall for the resort was, having made my booking, I received a charming email requesting the details one normally gives on arrival at a hotel’s reception desk (passport details, date of birth, address, etc) plus questions about my preferences as a guest. The form had 10 dietary or allergy options (including vegan and diabetic) – I chose “gluten free” – and seven choices of cuisine (Seafood, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, South East Asia, European and, just to cover everything, “other.” I was asked to state my minibar preferences and the music genre I wanted on the villa’s Apple Media system.
Next there was a list of items I might want in the villa, so I checked “feather pillow” and “laptop” (so I didn’t have to take my own). In case of mishap, the form also had a space to
IN LOVE WITH
VITTAVELI WITH THE FRIENDLY, POSITIVE OUTLOOK OF ITS STAFF AND MANAGEMENT, THE ELEGANCE OF THE RESORT’S DESIGN, AND THE SOPHISTICATED SYSTEMS OF THE JUMEIRAH BRAND, VITTAVELI LIVES UP TO ONE’S EXPECTATIONS OF AN EXCEPTIONAL, MEMORABLE HOLIDAY
enter blood type, illnesses and medication. It all seemed so thorough and efficient, my heart was won over and I could hardly contain my excitement while waiting for the short holiday there. This request for advance information to help ease a guest’s arrival is, I discovered, part of the credo of the Jumeirah group, Vittaveli’s operators. It is part of the high standards by which the group’s hotels around the world are run. Of course,
certain principles applicable for city hotels have had to be adapted to this property on an isolated island in the Indian Ocean. At Vittaveli, this results in a reassuring combination of relaxed sophistication and rustic luxury. Although the resort opened in December 2011, it already has a distinctive identity and energy of its own, created not only by the elegance and spaciousness of its Beach and Lagoon Villas but also by the confident, positive attitude of its staff. I experienced this as soon as I emerged from the arrivals hall at the Maldives International Airport. The Vittaveli representative was on hand and escorted me to the speedboat for the 20 minute cruise past Male’, the capital island, to South Male’ atoll. During that short ride, one of the boat boys took great delight in answering my questions about the resort and proudly telling me how much I would enjoy it. My expectations soared. I was met at the jetty and driven in a battery-operated buggy along the island’s 750 metre long central sandy pathway to a boardwalk jetty. This gives access to the Lagoon Villas. Guest registration was done in the villa based on the information I had submitted in advance. Since it was late, I opened all the curtains and fell asleep with a view of the moonlight glinting on the waves. I awoke with the dawn to a magnificent vista from my bed of the shimmering sea and cloudless blue sky. The resort has 39 of these Lagoon Villas strung out for 750m over the shallow turquoise water. Each is angled in such a way that no outsider can see inside, so guests can relax undisturbed on the sun beds on the scrubbed wood deck by the villa’s pool. It’s incredible that each Lagoon Villa has its own infinity edged swimming pool where the water seems to tumble over the edge into the sea.
There is also a palm thatch roofed sala on the deck that can be used for lounging on the double mattress placed there, or as a pavilion for on deck dining. The villa’s interior flows from the entrance hall to a huge bedroom where the king-size bed is placed within a circular cocoon of muslin. Doors open onto the pool deck. There is a work desk (with a laptop if
requested in advance) and a maxi bar complete with tea and coffee making equipment and sachets, drawers packed with tins of Jumeirah brand nuts, dates, beans and toys, a fridge with champagne, wines, spirits and soft drinks, and exquisite china and glassware. At the opposite side a huge flat screen television can be used to surf the Internet with its Apple Media complimentary WiFi connection. The living area is enhanced with a glass floor underneath the coffee table for convenient gazing at marine life, and another set of doors opening to the deck. A dressing hall leads to the bathroom where
there is a chunky marble bathtub and an invigorating rain shower, and another door opening on to the deck. The furniture is solid wood with stools resembling works of art; there are wooden-bladed fans as well as smooth airconditioning. With all the doors and curtains open, I felt at one with the sea. Only the reassuring rumble of the occasional buggy rattling along the boardwalk reminded me of the rest of the world. On the island itself there are 36 Beach Villas and a further 8 beach suites. These suites have two bedrooms with one on
the second floor, ideal for children. That is the main attraction of Vittaveli because romantic couples and incognito celebrities who want privacy, can linger undisturbed in their villas, while families happily enjoy the many facilities for children. These are centred on an exclusive family pool area that has two clubs, one for kids and another for teenagers. There is even a special in- villa childrenâ€™s menu and, in the spa, special massage therapies designed for families and teenagers. The Beach Villas are located along the beach on both sides of the long island and each has a swimming pool and scrubbed
wooden deck. The pool is part of the villa’s décor as it is L-shaped flowing from the deck around the side of the villa and resembling a serene water feature. It has its own entrance, as well as access from the open-sided, garden bathroom. Entrance to the villa itself is through an arched gateway into a walled garden with access to the dining or relaxation pavilion, and to the villa’s interior. An entrance lobby leads to the bedroom with French windows opening onto the beach. At the other side of the lobby are the dressing room and the bathroom, bright with sunshine, with a rain shower and tub in a private garden.
The design of Vittaveli enables the resort to cater for all guests; Europeans like the Beach Villas while Asians opt for ocean
privacy. The cuisine is equally imaginative but refreshingly simple so guests feel they are in familiar territory. Hugely popular is the resort’s beach bar and grill, known as MU. Open only in the evenings, with tables and chairs set out on the beach where the surf laps the sand, it specialises in seafood and fish, as well as prime steak, in a typical Maldivian atmosphere.
the tranquil seclusion of their own villas. Vittaveli is like that; there were kids around but I rarely saw them. The central bar pavilion, called Bar-ee, seemed empty in the evening, until I realised there were couples comfortably sipping cocktails or sharing a shisha pipe while reclining on the huge day beds beside the main swimming pool.
For the gourmet, Fenesse is an elegant over water restaurant open in the evenings, with a show kitchen and walk-in wine cellar. Breakfast and all day dining are available at the Samsara restaurant that has both an air-conditioned buffet restaurant and open air dining on deck or on the beach. When I commented that, although the resort was almost full, I saw so few guests around, I was told that many guests prefer to eat in
Uniquely, Vittaveli doesn’t have a reception area, because guest registration is done in the villas. Instead, a pavilion serves as the Lifestyle Concierge office, and there is also a library and business centre with a conference room. The Retail Village is a sand street with some boutique stores on either side, one specialising in Jumeirah products, another in Indonesian fashions, and another in classy souvenirs.
told me she likes working with so many different nationalities as this gives her the experience to deal correctly with guests from overseas. With the friendly, positive outlook of its staff and management, the elegance of the resortâ€™s design, and the sophisticated systems of the Jumeirah brand, Vittaveli lives up to oneâ€™s expectations of an exceptional, memorable holiday.
Royston Ellis is a British-born novelist and travel writer based in Sri Lanka who has been visiting the Maldives for over 25 years. He is the author of A Hero In Time, a novel based on the life of Mohamed Takurufaan, the 16th century national hero of the Maldives. He writes regularly for in-flight magazines and international publications, and is the author of the Berlitz, Bradt and Insight guidebooks about the Maldives. Photos by: Jumeirah Vittaveli
The Talise Spa is one of the largest in the Maldives with five treatment rooms grouped in a circle and a further three built over the lagoon. These are made of wood and modelled on a Maldivian boat, with steam treatment room, a family or couple therapy room, and a sun deck shaped like a boatâ€™s bow. There is also a water sports and diving centre (non-mechanised water sports and snorkelling equipment are free of charge) and a state-of-the art Gymnasium. However good the infrastructure and cuisine at a resort, it needs the personal touch to make it welcoming. Vittaveli excels, with some 16 nationalities, as well as keen Maldivians, on hand to welcome and assist guests. One Maldivian
NEW ALTERNATIVES FOR NEW TIMES
TOURISM IN THE MALDIVES VARA 04
TIME WILL TELL HOW NEW TYPES OF TOURISM, BOTH SHAPE AND ARE SHAPED BY THE COMPLEX MALDIVIAN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL LANDSCAPE. THOUGH ONE THING IS SURE, INTEREST IN THE MALDIVES AS A DESTINATION REMAINS STRONG, AND NOWADAYS PEOPLE TRAVELING ABROAD ARE SEARCHING FOR NEW AND CREATIVE WAYS TO ENGAGE WITH THE PLACES THEY VISIT.
Over the past fourty years Maldives has worked for and earned its image as an exclusive and luxurious tourism destination. To some it appears unattainable; hence the need to offer alternative options like mid range and budget accommodation has been identified. In the past few years much has been made of this need to diversify the tourism product, along with the opportunities it will present to Maldivians when the tourism business is opened up on a domestic scale This goal is now being implemented, to varying degrees, both in the capital Maleâ€™
and on several inhabited islands. There are, however, ongoing challenges. Some are synonymous with the development of Maldives tourism itself, and others speak of wider ongoing and recent socio - political and religious developments. It is apparent that whilst exclusive luxury resorts on their own private islands will remain the hallmark of the Maldives tourism experience, a healthy alternative market will be mutually beneficial to these resorts, as well as the economy, environment and society that surrounds and supports their existence. At the end of June 2011, there were 119 existing resorts and an additional 72 resorts in development in the Maldives. In comparison, the handful of guesthouses on local islands, some of which have existed since the seventies, have seen very little development and has been on the decline until recently. This is understandable, as they are in not in line with the brand and the unique Maldivian concept of, ‘one island one resort.’ However growing interest to have an alternative Maldives experience indicates tides are changing.
overseas. Thus there is confusion, dissatisfaction and envy amongst many locals, who want the proverbial ‘piece of the pie’ they feel entitled to, as residents of this geographically blessed nation. Ironically it is these geographical conditions along with official governmental policy that while facilitating the experience of privacy that the Maldives is famed for ensures that visitors are kept separate and largely ignorant of the realities of the Maldivian society. Most Maldivians with the exception of resort staff have limited contact with tourists, apart from their hastily chaperoned local island visits, or day tours of the touristic areas of the capital Male’. It is not surprising that there is not a strong 1
When the first Maldives resorts were built in the seventies, it was a ‘golden time’, for the adventurous Europeans who were the first to arrive, and for the handful of Maldivians who secured an easy and long standing foot hold in the market. Here was a place unlike anywhere else on earth, that fast became, and remained the quintessential exclusive island destination. Strong echoes of the structure of land ownership and leasing that was put in place then still exists today, and has become a point of contention and potential obstacle to creating a more equal, socially and politically - dare I say democratic - tourism based economy.
The constant talk of tourism as the harbinger of wealth to the Maldives hides an important fact; that this wealth is not distributed evenly amongst Maldivians and their communities. A very small percentage of Maldivians benefit directly, whilst others are left wanting. The international resort conglomerates that hold long-standing leases on island properties siphon much of the profits
feeling of tolerance and acceptance. This level of disengagement is not possible in any other tourism-based economy. With the Maldives population growing rapidly, an emphasis on social aspects of tourism will help shape the tourism industry to a more healthier, more sustainable industry. Cultural tourism may provide a solution at this crucial point in the nation’s development. Maldives gained fame worldwide with tourism, and uses it as a platform for interaction with the outside world. So it makes sense that that the management and direction of its development may hold the key to tackling the challenges faced by Maldivian society at present.The increasing effort that the more conscience and responsible resorts are making to ‘give something back’ to 2
consciences sated, as part of the five star packages. Not a bad thing at all, and indicative of the potential to market these ideals on a larger, more independent level. Commendable as these resort initiatives and projects are, they largely overlook less marketable but perhaps ultimately more influential approaches that would integrate tourism into the promotion of inter-cultural tolerance and positive social change, namely, ethical and cultural tourism. This type of tourism has not yet been developed properly. Though cultural tourism takes many forms it generally involved a more direct, less contrived or ‘pre-packaged’ interaction between tourists and local people. Many countries that are known for cultural tourism, such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, South America, and so on, operate on the premise of tourists
the surrounding communities and the eco friendly and sustainable practices being adopted shows an awareness of the responsibilities to the wider community. Many resorts have adopted CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) schemes; these include initiatives such as facilitating and funding educational and community development projects on nearby inhabited islands. These initiatives are also partly driven by new consumer demands for alternative products. Ethical, ecological and environmental tourism sells. Increasingly, amongst the high-end resorts, these new approaches are actually becoming the unique selling points that distinguish resorts from their competitors. Consumers can now have their ecological 4
interacting directly with the cultures they are visiting. Staying with the locals in their living environments and sharing activities undertaken in their daily lives. Even though this interaction is still based on economic terms, as the experiences are being ‘consumed’, there is arguably a much more direct and spontaneous human interaction, within the mediation of say, a resort or tourism company. In turn, these cultures are being exposed to foreigners, and in most cases, becoming more aware and tolerant of them. Mutual awareness and understanding is established that reaches far beyond the level of service in an isolated resort context. For the politically savvy traveler with a social conscience, seeing the ‘real’ Maldives is an attractive option for many reasons. Having a truly unique, uncontrived, and authentic experience with genuine interaction with people from another culture is to many, priceless. The ‘real’ Maldives cannot remain hidden for much longer, political upheaval, as well as many of the changes common to countries transitioning into democracy, have thrown it into the spotlight. People will continue to visit Maldives for the reasons that they always have; its unique geographical appeal, breathtaking atolls, small exclusive islands, and clear waters, however, more moves towards ‘opening up’ through constructive cultural and ethical tourism is essential. Programs that include learning traditional Maldivian arts and crafts and cooking, as well as artists retreats, workshops and cultural exchanges are being developed to bring a ‘new wave’ of interested travelers to the Maldives. Increasingly, guest houses and hotels and local islands are creating opportunities for locals to work in their own communities, as well as offering visitors the chance to come learn, share, experience and observe Time will tell how new types of tourism shape and are shaped by the complex Maldivian political and social landscape. Though one thing is for sure, interest in the Maldives as a destination remains strong, and nowadays people traveling abroad are searching for new and creative ways to engage with the places they visit.
REVERIES DIVING VILLAGE: GAN, LAAMU ATOLL
Photo1: Children learning to recite Quran in an Island Photo 2: Local Islander collecting wood Photo 3: Tourists visit the local Market and engage with the locals selling the home grown vegetables and fruits. Photo 4: An old couple cooking the the local speciality â€œGarudiyaâ€? in an traditional kitchen. Photo 5: local woven rope brought to market ready to sell. Photo 6: two men work on boat building in an island. Mackenzie Barbarossa is a travel writer and social commentator based in the Maldives, interested in culture, arts, and promoting a healthy tourism industry
Photos by: Ahmed Zahid Reveries Diving Village
As the administrative center of the Atoll, Gan houses a navy base, a school and a hospital. Gan as common to other islands in Laamu Atoll, posses geographical features that are rare in the Maldives such fresh water lakes and fertile soil. Gan is one of the longest atolls in the Maldives, stretching for 7800 meters. It also has an intriguing cultural heritage that is not well documented, but would be fascinating for visitors to discover. Majeed a local entrepreneur in Gan is optimistic about opportunities for budget and cultural tourism in the island. His hotel Reveries Diving Village was opened in February this year; it’s the first of its kind on a local inhabited island. Though many small budget guesthouses exist on inhabited islands, none exists on the scale of Reverie with its 30 rooms, luxury amenities, pool, gym, conference center, restaurant, and dive school. Majeed has extensive experience in resort business as he helped build five star resorts with this construction company and feels that his hotel Reverie will be beneficial to the community of Gan as well as surrounding local businesses.
in Maldives tourism having worked in dive schools in five star resorts prior to their post in Reveries. They are optimistic about the future and feel the opportunity to dive in remote, undiscovered spots in the Maldives at a cheaper rate will very attractive to adventurous divers. This has previously only been available on chartered boat safari tours at much higher costs. “Reveries will attract the kinds of
people who see themselves as travelers, not merely tourists” Harvey reflects. As travelers become more adventurous and aware of the impact they have on local communities places like Reveries will attract more visitors. However the success of guesthouses and hotels on local inhabited island in the Maldives will depend on the successful integration of the businesses with the local communities.
REVERIES DIVING VILLAGE: GAN, LAAMU ATOLL
The island of Gan in Laamu Atoll, is a 55 minute flight on Maldivian Air from the capital of Male.’ In the last twenty years the island has had a population boom going from 2000 islanders in the early nineties 15000 residents now. Natural population increase has been complimented by migration to the island from neighboring islands and atolls because of the better infrastructure in Gan and the employment opportunities it offers.
“WHEN I ARRIVED IN GAN FROM MALE’ AND BEGAN DEVELOPING REVERIES, I DID NOT APPROACH THE LOCALS OR TRY TO IMPOSE MYSELF ON THEM, INSTEAD I WAITED FOR THEM TO APPROACH ME, I WAITED FOR THEIR APPROVAL, AND EVENTUALLY, WHEN THEY SENSED THAT I RESPECTED THEIR WAY OF LIFE, THERE WAS MUTUAL TRUST’ HE SAYS. HE HAS BOTH INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL STAFF ON HIS TEAM. SOME OF HIS STAFF IS YOUTH FROM GAN AND NEIGHBORING ISLANDS IN LAAMU ATOLL AND THEY WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN HOSPITALITY TRADE SKILLS WHILST LIVING IN THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITY. Majeed a local Entrepreneur in Gan
Resident dive school managers Judith and Harvey from France and New Zealand have vast experience
A NOVICE’S GUIDE TO CHOOSING HEDHIKA
In the Maldives, no social gathering is complete without the ubiquitous hedhika (short eats). Even for marriages, friends will ask when the celebratory tea (with short eats) will be held, rather than asking after a party. As the most common form of social gathering in the Maldives is having the proverbial sai or tea, its accompaniment hedhika occupies an important role in Maldivian society. These popular snacks are the Maldivian equivalent of finger food. Versatile, this array of short eats can grace the table of weddings, kids parties, social gatherings, be served as snacks for workshops or even be your accompaniment to evening tea or breakfast. In the numerous teashops dotted around Male and the inhabited islands, one can even discuss something an inconsequential a neighborâ€™s extra martial affair or grave issues like
the decline of fishing while munching on these delicacies. Though the traditional teashops remain the domain of men, in recent years in Maleâ€™, teashops that cater to mixed clientele, either in the southwest harbor area or the carnival area in the northeast, have made these cheap and delicious dishes popular for youth outings also. For the uninitiated, here is a guide to choosing your hedhika.
Round in shape, these bite sized hedhika can either be rice flour or wheat flour based. The rice flour option is known as handulu gulha and is harder to the bite while the wheat flour one, fuh gulha is softer. The fillings are a blend of grated coconut in a mélange of Spanish onions, lemon juice, chili, and smoked tuna with curry leaves. This filling is wrapped in Maldivian dough made with flour oil, salt and hot water and rolled in the hand to a ball shape. Traditionally it is deep fried in oil, but the health trend has finally caught up with Maldivian hedhika and now one can find oven-baked gulha. Though the quest for healthiness has been achieved to the detriment of its shape, as oven-baked gulha is flattened a bit to allow it to bake in the oven evenly.
These are savory triangles, not to be confused with samosa, which are larger in shape and not Maldivian. The bajiya is a blend of sautéed onions, Maldivian curry blend, curry leaves, dried coarsely ground tuna, wrapped in Maldivian pastry dough and deep-fried. The healthy variety is baked in the oven, but the oven-baked bajiya keeps its flat triangle shape.
Aishath Shazra is a Maldivian freelance journalist. She writes extensively on Arts, Culture, Tourism, Environment and Social issues.
Photos by: Ahmed Nabeel Mohamed Khumainy
The fact that a hedhika escaped the Maldivian love for tuna is an amazing thing by itself. Biskeemiya holds the distinction of being practically the only hedhika without any tuna. Sautéed onions, curry leaves, chili along with the main ingredients cabbage and chopped boiled eggs make the filling of biskeemiyaa. It is then wrapped in thin square shaped Maldivian dough and deep-fried.
The tried and tested tuna connotation is wrapped in Maldivian dough, boiled in water and tossed in a curry sauce and voilà you have curried dumplings or the Maldivian version of gnocchi.
This is the Maldivian fish pie or fish cake. Again it features tuna, smoked this time with the usual blend of spices along with ground rice flour. Baked in the oven or the old fashioned way over a stove, a good boakiba is slightly moist and tastes amazing. It is usually served sliced into bite sized squares.
This is a hedhika made with crepes A blend of mashed potatoes, canned tuna with Spanish onion and chili is wrapped thinly in the crepe and fried à l’anglais, coated with egg yolks, breadcrumbs and deep fried. A healthy alternative of the rolls has yet to see the day.
MAGIQUES, MERVEILLEUSES, MALDIVES.
Plages pour rêver. Croisières de plongée uniques. Lune de miel au paradis. Hôtels exclusifs. Croisières en voilier inoubliables. Wellness par excellence. Bonheur en famille pour grands et petits. Snorkeling à grand spectacle. Saveurs culinaires pour gourmets. Tombez sous le charme des Maldives.
Informations et réservations: tél. +41 21 329 01 00 VARA 04 firstname.lastname@example.org · www.manta-voyages.ch
VILLINGILI A LAND OF NO CARS VARA 04
Despite the obvious lack of cocktails and sun loungers, Villingili, an inhabited island, 10minute ferry ride from Male still has a resort feel. Perhaps it is because Villingili used to be a resort until 1990, when it was turned to a residential village to solve overcrowding in Male’ city. With its open sandy streets, green foliage and decent house reef, Villingili is the perfect antidote to the congestion of the capital city.
From the moment you step onto the island, you are astounded by its greenery and quaintness. Although easily accessible from the capital, Male’ still feels a million miles away, making it appealing to those tourists obliged to spend part of their holiday in the capital, awaiting transfers to resorts. There are two beaches to choose from for your picnic. One faces the house reef and the other faces the skyline of Male’. Upon arriving at the ferry terminal one can stop and grab a drink and snack from the open air shop, before moving to your right and emerging to the bustling port with its trade ships, small dhonis and occasional safari boats. One of Villingili’s main attractions is its excellent house reef, a haven for snorkelers. Onwards from the harbour area you can enjoy one of the best house reefs of an inhabited island. The underwater is teeming with colourful fishes, graceful green turtles and exotic marine life. If it is sunbathing you want, you have to be mindful of the clothes you wear as no bikinis are allowed and even strappy tops can cause a scene. This is a local island, and going against clothing traditions can even prompt a call to the police - as one American journalist found when she tried to sunbathe. Make your way through the jungle outcrop you can see locals going about their life and the skyline of the colourful capital in the distance. Locals are curious about foreigners and might say a friendly hello but, beware, the local boys can be a pest towards lone Western women. Local women wade into the sea fully clothed some with their veils when they go for a dip in the sea. Within a spade of a decade, a new generation of Villingili youth has been born and it is amazing that
even here you can feel that a culture unique to the village has evolved differentiating itself from its neighbouring city. This is evident enough when natives of Villingili sometimes refer to residents of Male’ as ‘those people that live in Male’. After more then a decade of Villingili being a residential area, some of the jungle style vegetation has disappeared, however the remaining trees on the island gives Villingili an interesting mix of rural-suburban, a mix between Male’s urbaneness and remoteness of the outer lying islands. There aren’t many cars here apart from a few licensed taxis. Successive governments banned the use of motorized vehicles, so people walk instead. For an island less than two kilometers wide this is not too hard and makes it quite pleasant.
If you opt to live in Villingili it has its advantages, cheaper rent and a quieter life has lured many families specially those with children to move here from the capital.
The spaciousness of Villingili continues to be a big draw for day trips, from the expats and locals who live in the city. Many islanders spend their time in the swinging udholis (a suspended swing, with ropes), while children run around playing in the streets, teenagers play football while wild cats roam around. The island has a smattering of shops, schools and also the Maldives only orphanage.
Of course there are drawbacks too. The infrastructure of Male’ intrudes into this little paradise. Villingili is less then a few kilometers by sea from Thilafushi (Rubbish Island) where all the waste is incinerated. Unfortunately, at certain times of the day there are plumes of smoke reminding how close Villingili is to Thilafushi.
The occasional foreign object also washes up on the beach, reminder of local’s attitude to waste and the problem of waste management Maldives faces. The smoke from Thilafushi also acts as a reminder that the Maldives’ luxurious Robinson Crusoe tourism produces a lot of waste that has yet to be disposed in a fitting way. As a satellite town to its older and congested sister Male’ (and the fifth district of the capital), there are plans to link the two islands via a causeway. Male’ has become so congested that pedestrians are no longer given right of way by motorized vehicles. Yet Villingili is a return the real Maldives of sand, sea and palms, where walking down the middle of the road feels a natural thing to do.
HOW TO GET THERE? A single journey costs 3MRF or 6MRF for a return trip. Villingili terminal is located on the far western side of the capital close to the Indira Gahndi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).
HIGHLIGHTS: Snorkeling, greenery and trees. A chance to see local life on your own terms
Donna Richardson is a Freelance journalist and travel writer Photos by: Ahmed Shaahid
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ISLAND CRUISING 38
THERE ARE MORE THAN 60 LIVEABOARDS (OR SAFARI BOATS AS THEY ARE KNOWN IN THE MALDIVES) GIVING VISITORS TO THESE ISLANDS A DIFFERENT HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE. ROYSTON ELLIS TOOK AN ISLAND CRUISE.
Liveaboards are perfect for scuba divers and snorkellers who want to explore reefs that aren’t crowded with visitors from nearby resorts These boats follow a set course, or can pick up guests at regional airports for a cruise in little-dived waters in atolls an hour’s flying time from Male’.
THE FIRST SIGHT OF ATOLL EXPLORER AS SHE LIES AT
However, not all holidaymakers who would like to cruise through the Maldives are divers or snorkellers. It was to cater for those guests, many middle aged or simply keener on getting a suntan than viewing fish and coral, that a dedicated inter-atoll cruise vessel was introduced in 1996. Atoll Explorer was the first ship to offer first class cruising in the Maldives, and it has remained in operation ever since.
HAS ALL THE FINE FEATURES AND FACILITIES FOR A
ANCHOR SOME 20 MINUTES BY SPEEDBOAT FROM MALE’ INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, IS MISLEADING. SHE HAS NONE OF THE SLEEK LINES OF A YACHT OR SAFARI BOAT. HER SQUAT APPEARANCE IS DECEPTIVE; ON BOARD SHE LUXURIOUS CRUISE.
While Liveaboards can accommodate as many as 20 guests in double or family cabins and the newer ones have king-size beds as well as bunks and comfortable facilities, they are intended for an informal and active holiday for the young at heart. The idea behind Atoll Explorer, which is run under the aegis of Kurumba, the 40year old “grand hotel” of the Maldives, is to give guests the luxury of a cruise, as well as a chance to dive, snorkel and explore uninhabited islands. The first sight of Atoll Explorer as she lies at anchor some 20 minutes by speedboat from Male’ International Airport, is misleading. She has none of the sleek lines of a yacht or safari boat. Her squat appearance is deceptive; on board she has all the fine features and facilities for a luxurious cruise. Converted from a supply boat built over 30 years ago, she has 20 cabins, two of which are at the stern with large balconies. A further three on each side have smaller balconies while another 12 cabins on three decks have picture windows. The cabins are small but shipshape with every necessity, including free Wifi and lots of power sockets. A few have twin beds while the others feature double beds that are dreamily comfortable with lots of plump pillows. Since the ship anchors off a different island every night instead of cruising, sleeping is easy as the gentle swaying of the vessel
and splashing of the sea is soporific. Each cabin has a compact bathroom with a fine selection of up-market toiletries. Cabin boys service the cabins twice a day and keep them immaculately clean, as in a posh cruise ship. A restaurant has been created on the open deck, now roofed with canvas and with screened sides that open to the breeze. Meals on board are presented as buffets with several choices of roast meats, not just the ubiquitous fish dishes, while the breakfasts are ample and prepared on demand. On one evening of every cruise there is a beach barbecue while a picnic lunch
is served on the beach of an uninhabited island on another day. Every day guests are taken to one or more deserted islands to snorkel or sunbathe. On one night there is a Night Fishing Excursion with any catch especially prepared for guests. An evening of every cruise is dedicated to Maldivian culture with Maldivian food and free-form dancing to some lively Bodu Beru drumming and chanting, played and sung by the crew. Another evening is set aside for the Captain’s dinner, with favoured guests being invited to eat at the Captain’s table. Atoll Explorer has become very popular with regular guests, and a special club has been formed for those who have cruised on her more than three times. A wooden fish painted with the guest’s name is hung on the restaurant wall and repeat guests are treated to a special dinner one night, with their cabins decorated with leaves and flowers wishing them “Welcome Back.” Camaraderie quickly builds between the passengers, who are of many nationalities although usually most are British. The advantage of Atoll Explorer over smaller safari boats is that she has plenty of space for guests’ privacy, with two sundecks, fore and aft, and even a pair of Jacuzzis. The saloon, with its neat bar and a smart barman dispensing classy cocktails, which are included in the fare, is the evening rendezvous.
Visible through a picture window behind the bar is the diving deck where a fully
fledged licensed dive school operates. There are two guided dives every day at different locations, and a senior dive master conducts classes for beginners and advises the experienced on fascinating dive sites. A separate diving dhoni accompanies Atoll Explorer and is also used as a ferry to enable guests to visit islands. A new cruise begins every Sunday and, after passengers have boarded in the afternoon, there is a safety briefing conducted on the sun deck by the genial Maldivian ship’s master, Captain Fulhu. There are two cruise itineraries with one visiting North Male’ Atoll and the northern, more developed part of Ari Atoll. The second cruise concentrates on uninhabited islands, calling first at the tiny island of Maadhoo in South Male’ Atoll and crossing to southern Ari Atoll. A visit is
made to the village island of Maamigili for shopping and sightseeing with the boat’s first officer as guide. I was surprised at the number of gift shops built along the sandy main street, and even more impressed with the intensity of classes at the island’s school, where I saw an explanation of The Kinetic Theory of Matter chalked up on the blackboard. “Divers should avoid swimming into the shark’s mouth,” warns the compendium in the cabins on Atoll Explorer. It refers to a possible encounter with whale sharks, a highlight of the cruise for many passengers. The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the largest of all fish species, feeds on plankton, and can grow to 40 feet and weigh up to 47,000 pounds. It’s a favourite among scuba divers and snorkellers due to its enormous size and
calm, docile nature. During the cruise I took, when these sharks were spotted off the reefs near the farming island of Ariadhoo, the divers, snorkellers and swimmers plunged in to the sea to follow them. The non-divers like me declined, being content to watch dolphins gambolling around the ship and the spout of distant whales on the horizon. The last afternoon gave passengers a chance to shop in Maleâ€™ and I purchased a few cans of local tinned tuna and a kilo of sundried Maldives fish for the home kitchen. Strange souvenirs, but those lazy, tranquil days cruising to uninhabited desert islands, and the camaraderie of the crew and passengers, made for a memorable carefree break, and an enjoyable Maldives vacation with a difference.
AN EVENING OF EVERY CRUISE IS DEDICATED TO MALDIVIAN CULTURE WITH MALDIVIAN FOOD AND FREEFORM DANCING TO SOME LIVELY BODU BERU DRUMMING AND CHANTING, PLAYED AND SUNG BY THE CREW.
Royston Ellis is a British-born novelist and travel writer based in Sri Lanka who has been visiting the Maldives for over 25 years. He is the author of A Hero In Time, a novel based on the life of Mohamed Takurufaan, the 16th century national hero of the Maldives. He writes regularly for inflight magazines and international publications, and is the author of the Berlitz, Bradt and Insight guidebooks about the Maldives. Photos by: Roystn Ellis Atoll Explorer
Guests at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives are in for a delight with the opening of the country’s first nine-hole recreational golf course at the resort on 27 March 2012. Designed by ShangriLa Hotels and Resorts, the Villingili Golf Course sits on seven and a half hectares of previously undeveloped land at the southern end of Villingili Island. “We are excited to offer a new experience to the Maldives traveller,” said Rene D. Egle, general manager of Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives. “Apart from our other recreational options, the Villingili Golf Course will add a new and unique activity for our guests – a game of golf amid expansive views of the Indian Ocean and the tropical landscape.” Spectacular sights await guests at each of the nine holes, mostly par three and averaging 123.4 yards in length. Designed to be a fun course for golf aficionados and beginners alike, the Villingili Golf Course was developed with the island’s natural beauty in mind, enhancing existing flora to highlight the gleaming ocean and turquoise lagoon along a scenic walking path. A diversity of palms, pandanus and various
exotic plants are dotted along sandy beach coves on the east and west shorelines. To mark the event, the resort offers an introductory golf package valid from 15 March to 9 May 2012. For a minimum stay of four nights, guests can enjoy the following benefits: •
One complimentary green fee for two persons for bookings in a Pool Villa, Deluxe Pool Villa, Water Villa, Ocean View Villa or Beach Villa
Waived daily green fee for bookings in a Tree House Villa, Two Bedroom Beach Villa, Villa Muthee or Villa Laalu
The golf course is exclusive to guests of Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives. Facilities include a clubhouse, refreshment bar and a pro shop carrying an assortment of golf apparel, gear and merchandise. Shoe and equipment rental services are also available. The introductory green fee of US$80 per adult includes a golf set, golf balls and unlimited rounds per day. Children play
free on golf activities scheduled by Cool Zone, the children’s club at the resort.The resort’s offers can be booked online at www. shangri-la.com. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact the resort directly at telephone (960) 689 7888 or e‑mail reservations.slmd@shangri-la. com. Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages 72 hotels under the Shangri-La, Kerry and Traders brands with a room inventory of over 30,000. Shangri-La hotels are fivestar deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in Canada, mainland China, India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Turkey and United Kingdom. For more information and reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at www. shangri-la.com.
SHANGRI-LA’S VILLINGILI RESORT AND SPA, MALDIVES UNVEILS COUNTRY’S FIRST NINE-HOLE
Cristina Acenas Assistant Communications Manager Shangri-Laâ€™s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives Tel: (960) 689 7888 Fax: (960) 689 7999 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.shangri-la.com Photo by: Shangri-Laâ€™s Villingili Resort and Spa
We Maldivians remember our grandparents going through their daily chores, wearing traditional Maldivian clothes. Today, however, these distinctive garments are not worn on a daily basis, their appearances limited to national events and spectacles. While traditional clothing is a visual identity that is unique to every country, in most cultures it is the attire of the women that showcases the native craftsmanship. These garments not only showcase the intricate handiwork but acts as a canvas recounting stories about the people and history of a country.
It could also denote ones class and place in society as in the case of ancient Maldives. There was even a time in the Maldives when only royalty and people of noble class were allowed to fully clothe or richly adorn
themselves in accessories of gold and silver. In this article, we look at three traditional dresses of Maldivian women that still makes appearances in one form or the other in present day.
LIBAAS â€“ THE TRADITIONAL MALDIVAN WOMENâ€™S DRESS
In the olden times it was mostly high-class women that wore the karufehi libaas. It is a dress that reaches just below the knee with long sleeves, while a black cloth called the feyli is worn underneath the dress. The feyli has three white horizontal stripes at the hemline, and in itself is a garment that was worn by men as well.
The highlight of the libas is the local embroidery done on the neckline and hems of the sleeves. This intricate handiwork is meticulously woven with gold and silver threads and the threadwork differed at various times in history. The woven neckline is called the Kasabu bovalhu and it is mostly women that weave it.
Gaafu Dhaalu atoll is famous for these weavers and one can still stumble across a woman sitting in the courtyard of her house weaving the delicate threads on a globular surfaced called the gathaafai. Unfortunately the number of skilled weavers is dwindling.
Whilst fabric is always imported from neighboring countries, women commonly wore organic colors such as red maroons and rich greens. As Maldivian merchants travelled extensively, the metallic threads were supplied from neighboring India. However women from the island of Giravaru in Male’ atoll who claim to be the original aborigines of Maldives, wore a completely different version of the libaas with white bands on their neckline instead of the gold and silver embroidery. The constant application of bands in the dresses either embroidered on the neck or found on the hemlines is reminiscent of the cultural influences from some of the earliest settlers in Maldives; like India, Sri Lanka and Egypt.
When it comes to the libaas, accessorizing plays a huge part in completing the look. Ulha, thick gold bangles and fattarubai, a long elaborate necklace worn by the royalty was crafted using imported gold and silver by skilled local goldsmiths. The look is completed with a neat side bun covered by a ruma falhi a starched handkerchief that was folded as a cap and dyed in red maroon color.
diminished, during the 1980s and 90s it was mostly the elderly who wore the dress. In recent years with the adoption of the veil even older women no longer opt to wear the libaas as it is deemed too revealing with its wide neckline. Instead it has been relegated to the back of the wardrobe for special functions.
THERE WAS EVEN A TIME IN THE MALDIVES WHEN ONLY ROYALTY
Over time, red emerged as the favorite color for a libaas, while the garment continues to undergo countless changes and modification to suite its appearances in functions as diverse as cultural plays, dances, national events and even as a take home souvenir for tourists looking for an authentic Maldivian wear.
AND PEOPLE OF NOBLE CLASS WERE ALLOWED TO FULLY CLOTHE OR RICHLY ADORN THEMSELVES IN ACCESSORIES OF GOLD AND SILVER.
HEDHUN BURI- THE TEENAGERS’ CHOICE 4
Whilst the libas continued to be used in different forms, the lower class in the society donned a less elaborate and simpler outfit. Ibn Batuta, an Arab trader who settled down in the Maldives during Queen Rehendhi Khadeeja’s reign in the 14th century, documented that most women chose to wear only a kandiki a simple black cloth worn like a sarong – leaving their breasts bare. Ibn Batuta tried unsuccessfully to get women to cover their tops. Even earlier, Moroccan Muslim geographer Al Adrisi’s documents of the 12th century reveal that it was only the Royal family that reserved the right to wear footwear in the Maldives. The ruling Queen of the time wore gold slippers, while the citizens were forbidden from wearing sandals.
Hedhun buri - this frock like top was worn with a simple black cloth called kandiki that was tied around the waist. While mostly older women donned the libaas, it was teenagers and young women that wore the hedhun buri in the islands.
With time the class differences diminished, and women of all ages were able to wear the libaas and adorn themselves with gold and silver jewelry. However overtime the desire to wear the libaas as daily attire also
One common sight immortalized in paintings and photos are that of young girls returning from their trip to the mosque to fetch water from the well. Attired in colorful hedhun buri, balancing large pots
on their heads or holding them on their hips, this had become a timeless classic scene that captured Maldivian life before modern, Western and Asian attire came into fashion.
DHIGU HEDHUN - THE PRESIDENTIAL DESIGN This dress has the distinction of being the latest national dress in the nationâ€™s history. Dhigu hedhun (also known as Faas kuri hedhun) is a bit like the libaas, though elongated with a more demure neckline minus the embroidery. It was created after Maldives became a republic for the first time in 1953. The first President of the Maldives Mohamed Amin Didi started many modern changes to a society that still preferred to remain as subjects to the royalty. He was also one of the first to focus on educating women. His frequent visits to France and Europe were well documented, where he described the beauty of young women in France; it is speculated that this was the inspiration for the design of a new national dress- the dhigu hedhun. We can see the resemblance to the 50â€™s era of European dresses â€“the fitted bust and nipped waist. Its first appearance was in a Miss Maldives competition in 1953. Around 20 petite Maldivian women competed for the title and boldly climbed onto the stage in colorful saris while others wore a floor length dress, long sleeves with flapped collars and a lace veil covering the hair the dhigu hedhun designed by the president himself.
elderly. The traditional Maldivian wear has been replaced by international clothing styles. Furthermore, the popularity of the burkhaa or headscarf has also grown and women in large numbers opt to wear full black attire foregoing the Maldivian penchant for wearing colors. Where traditional clothes go, aspects of culture also seems to follow and there is a danger of loosing both unless Maldivians try to revive these traditional wear and our fading traditions.
Main Photo:Early day Women and children wearing the traditional dresses Photo 1-2 : Present day Libaas Photo 3:Royal class women in Libaas Photo 4:Children wearing Hedhun Buri Photo 5: Painting of women dancing cultural dance wearing Hedhun Buri Photo 6:Dhigu Hedhun in the Early Days
Angel Shuja is a fashion designer, illustrator, who also writes extensively about fashion and beauty for magazines. Her design work and illustrations are regularly featured on www.famushu.com Photos by: Shaarif Ali, Kesto M.Haleem, Hussein Ali Manik and Angel Shuja
One of his intentions in designing a new outfit for women was to abolish the differentiation of classes. The dhigu hedhun was believed to be a fashionable piece, and hence in the beginning it was young women who mostly wore it. Eventually the dhigu hedhun became popular and with the introduction of different textiles. The dress came in floral prints, bright and fancy colors. Simple accessories such as a floral brooch, gold or silver chain was used to compliment the dress, as was a lace hair veil, kept in place with decorative hairpins. Similar to the libas, the dhiguhedhun has almost disappeared as a daily wear but can still be occasionally seen in some islands, worn mostly by married women or the
SAND ART An Innovative Tale
A fistful of white sand is thrown in the middle of a glass surface in no particular shape. A thumb clears out an area, leaving a little outline of sand and a profile of a face appears, a little drop of sand and it becomes an eye. A swipe of the hand and the emptiness becomes the body of the person, while the thumb flicks to create an outline of sleeves with sand. In front of your eyes the sand seems to be morphing into a painting, a play between sand and empty space to bring a picture to life. You can only look on amazed as the form of an old man takes shape, complete with little details like a clenched fist holding a cane. This is the latest art form introduced to the Maldives, and the pioneer of this sand art is locally renowned artist Afzal Shaafiu Hasan (Afu). Afu is not a stranger to art, having painted since childhood. “At the age of 18, I joined the Post Office as a stamp designer. That was when I started taking art as a serious profession,” says Afu. He was responsible for creating 90 stamp designs during his 13-year tenure at the Post Office, going on to do a three-year diploma course in graphic design and multimedia in Malaysia. Afu says his inspiration has been famous local artists such as late Maizan Hassan Maniku, and Maizan Adam Maniku, Ahmed Abbas, Maizan Asif and Hassan of Pink Coral. “The journey is a tough one with so few avenues to learn from,” says Afu, citing his lack of background in fine arts. However one can only marvel at the fact that despite limitations, his artwork is constantly pushing boundaries. From stamp design, to painting in oil, watercolour, acrylic and mix media, to installation art and his latest venture sand art, Afu seems to be constantly innovating and experimenting.
Afu explains how he got the idea for this latest venture in art. “I saw the sand animations on YouTube - they were
brilliant. I was toying with the idea when choreographer Mohamed Munthasir (Munco) asked if I could do something like that for the Official Banquet held by our President for the 18th SAARC summit held in Addu City.” “SAARC Summit was my very first experience, but it was just a backdrop for a music performance so there were people dancing and acting in front of the animation.” Afu says he was extremely nervous but his sand art still managed to wow the audience. Afghan President Hamid Karzai was so intrigued he walked over to Afu for a closer look and asked if it was really sand he was working with.
Afu says he put in a lot of practice before his first attempt, after creating the platform for it: a light table with a glass top. “A light is put beneath the table so it leaves a silhouette image when sand is put on the glass.” In his performances the image is projected onto a screen so that a wider audience can look at it closely. The thickness of the sand gives shades and hand technique uses both positive and negative space to create the images. He says the challenge is to tell a story instead of just drawing an image. To this effect, his sand art is a piece that constantly moves and morphs. Part of a veil of a women sitting at her sewing machine, with a flick of the fingers might become her profile when she looks out of the window. The background
buildings give way to shapes of countless men, under the expert hand of Afu. Despite the effortlessness he portrays he says it is not that simple. “Just as any animation, this requires proper planning, drawing key frames, the transitions, speed, and most of all making the animation interesting to the viewer,” he says. While he says drawing with hands is as easy as doing it with other tools, there are certain limitations. “The thickness of lines, size of the table and even the size of the grains of sand influences the image, and despite practices it is impossible to arrange the sand in the same way twice.” He has an unlikely tool to help do the finer details in the drawing - a long fingernail grown just for that purpose. “It is like a small brush,” he laughs. Each performance also includes musicians; imperative, he says, to enhance the effect: “together, they create magic.” Since his first performance late last year, he has fallen in love with the medium. “This combines drawing, creative story telling, skill and performance.” Afu reckons that sand art has a bright future as it can be commercially used in resorts and can work as pure art as well. “ There is so much more we can do in terms of art compared to what we have in the Maldives now.” Local recognition has come swiftly when thousands watched Afu perform
live at Raalhugandu area last month as part of an artists’ drive for democracy. “Being noticed is a blessing but it brings along pressures as well,” he says. His Raalhugandu performance went viral on Maldivian social media. Afu’s latest sand art platform is an exhibition held in the National Art Gallery entitled ‘Breathing Atolls.’ It features a video of “a sand animation based on a traditional Maldivian fisherman’s life. It is called A Maldivian Tale.” Despite the different mediums Afu uses, there is one thing that is evident in all his artwork: his love for the environment, local traditions and culture. His oil paintings and sand art showcase the simple lifestyle of Maldivians in the past, while ancient scripts often weave in and out of his paintings. Afu has taken Maldivian art in a new direction; the stunning white sandy beaches of the Maldives have become a medium for an equally stunning innovative art display.
Aishath Shazra is a Maldivian freelance journalist. She writes extensively on Arts, Culture, Tourism, Environment and Social issues. Sand Art from a Maldivian Tale by: Afzal Shaafiu Hassan
THE HIGH LIFE ON THE HIGH SEAS
It all seemed extremely decadent. There we were, reclining on soft cushions on the roof of a beautiful wooden boat, glass of chilled champagne in hand, while waiters dressed in white offered us trays of canapés. So much for slumming it on the high seas – this was living the high life without a doubt. We set sail on a traditional Maldivian ‘dhoni’ just before sunset. The Maldives obligingly didn’t fail to disappoint with a natural light show of the kind you think only happens in movies. The enlarged golden orb of the sun slowly dipped into the ocean turning the sky crimson and pink, fading to purple streaks at the edges. The spectacular sunset seemed to last for an eternity and it was all too easy to get lost in gazing at the sky but on this occasion we couldn’t let it be an overarching distraction – we were on a mission to scan the waves for signs of dolphins. Many of the resorts in the Maldives offer dolphin-spotting cruises. There’s never a cast iron guarantee of seeing dolphins as they’re wild creatures of course, but more often than not you’ll see them eventually. The packages all vary slightly in the details (you might go on a speedboat, not a dhoni, you may not get champagne, dinner on board may be included) but at
I WONDER WHETHER DOLPHIN-SPOTTING COULD IN FACT BE A MUTUALLY ENTERTAINING PURSUIT FOR BOTH PARTIES – ‘HEY LOOK, SOME HUMANS!’. WELL, IT CERTAINLY SEEMED THAT WAY FROM THE OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF EXCITED SOMERSAULTS WE WITNESSED FROM THE DOLPHINS THAT EVENING. I’M SURE WE SAW MORE FLIPS AND JUMPS THAN I’VE EVER WITNESSED WILD DOLPHINS DO BEFORE.
Kanuhura they provide a sophisticated, elegant dolphin-spotting cruise at sunset with the five star frills you’d expect from a resort such as Kanuhura, like unlimited champagne refills and canapés. A further addition to the cruise was a small bodu beru band. Bodu beru (which means big drum in Dhivehi) is a form of traditional Maldivian drumming, with echoes of the country’s ancient African influences. The drummer sat on the main deck of the dhoni and rhythmically beat the drum, while his companion sang an emotive sounding tune in Dhivehi. Not only did this provide further entertainment for the guests while we scoured the open ocean for any sign of dolphins, but it was also a clever way of drawing the attention of the dolphins to the boat. Dolphins enjoy cruising along on the waves made by the prow of boats and they also seem to respond to noises made by people. Often people who encounter dolphins at sea are encouraged to whoop and clap in order to attract and sustain the attention of dolphins. Bodu beru was a clever and classy way of doing this, with extra points for injecting a bit of Maldivian culture into the guests’ experience.
observation going on between the guests and dolphins, I noted as I watched the dolphins at the prow turn their heads slightly to one side to look at us with their expressive eyes. I wonder whether dolphin-spotting could in fact be a mutually entertaining pursuit for both parties – ‘Hey look, some humans!’. Well, it certainly seemed that way from the overwhelming number of excited somersaults we witnessed from the dolphins that evening. I’m sure we saw more flips and jumps than I’ve ever witnessed wild dolphins do before. But perhaps I was just feeling so elated by the combination of the picture-perfect sunset, champagne and the atmosphere of excitement from the guests on board. Time seemed to stand still for the rest of the cruise, as the colours of the sunset clung to the sky and the dhoni sailed to and fro, with various pods of dolphins appearing and disappearing on all sides to the sounds of the bodu beru.
Sure enough, after around 20 to 30 minutes of cruising we were delighted to hear cries of ‘Dolphin! Dolphin!’ from the staff (who were clearly better than we were at picking out the grey-blue shapes of dolphins from the panorama of grey-blue wave tips). The bodu beru band seemed to increase in volume and intensity as the guests rushed to one side of the boat to see a small pod of dolphins cruising by, and several guests let out excited exclamations upon seeing dolphins in the wild for the first time. One or two of the dolphins almost seemed to be showing off for the guests; repeatedly doing flips and jumps as if he were as excited to see us as we were to see him! Then another group of dolphins suddenly appeared at the prow and everyone suddenly rushed forward to take snaps of the beautiful animals swimming effortlessly alongside the dhoni. They were so close that it seemed as if we could almost touch them. There certainly was a quite a lot of mutual
Sarah Harvey is a Maldivesbased travel writer
Photos by: Sarah Harvey
It is a glorious blue bird day. The sun is blazing overhead and the azure coloured waters passing alongside the diving liveaboard I am on, is so tempting, all I want to do is dive in and escape the intense tropical heat of the day. Instead I stand watch with my newly made scuba diving friends on the top deck of our vessel, scanning the clear turquoise waters beneath us, hoping to spot a solitary whale shark. Half an hour turns into an hour and still nothing – just an endless ocean expanse with some deserted islands off in the distance. The only thing that has changed is the number of dive boats - the ten or so boats cruising up and down the southern edge of South Ari Atoll is now down to two or three as the captains’ of each vessel give up on their quest to find a whale shark and head elsewhere. Another half hour slowly ticks by under the equatorial sun. Scanning the surrounding waters I realise we are now the remaining vessel. Just as our Dive Master informs us we have 15minutes left to find a whale shark, I spot what looks like a large shadow just beneath the surface, off the starboard side of our boat. It is the tell tale sign of a whale shark. Like a drill sergeant our Dive Master yells at us to get in the water. Without a second thought we grab our snorkel, mask and flippers and dive into the inviting waters. Surfacing we don our gear and quickly catch up with the slowly moving whale shark. Swimming alongside this majestic animal, I feel dwarfed by it proportions. At around 7-metres in length our whale shark isn’t the biggest around (they grow upwards of 10-metres), but it is big enough to make me feel insignificant. Our whale shark has a mouth so big it could easily swallow a swimmer and tail so powerful we give it the respect it deserves. Despite the photos I’ve seen of people swimming with whale sharks, nothing comes close to the real thing. Being able to swim alongside such a large animal in its natural habitat, just a few metres away makes me feel like I am in my very own episode of National Geographic. Ten-minutes after entering the water, out whale shark rises slightly, then dives
into the depths beyond the capabilities of our feeble lungs, leaving us on the surface chatting excitedly about our brief encounter. Later that night I pen these words in my diary “whale shark encounter today – a once in a lifetime experience. Go the Maldives!” Technically speaking, whale sharks aren’t sharks at all. They are the world’s largest living fish. Semantics aside, whale sharks are a big draw card for visiting divers and snorkelers coming to the Maldives. Once widely hunted in the Maldives for the shark’s oil, whale sharks have been protected in the Maldives since 1995. Despite their immense size, whale sharks are known as filter feeders, sieving zooplankton as small as 1-mm in diameter through the fine mesh that makes up their grill-rakers. While whale sharks can be sighted all year round in the Maldives, they are usually found from December to March off South Ari Atoll and from May
to November in Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll. Both sites are ideal feeding areas as they contain plankton rich waters. Given how long whale sharks have been around, not a lot is known about them as a species. To help further research into whale sharks, Marine Conservationist and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer – Brad Norman – set up ECOCEAN in 2000. Set up as a non-profit marine conservation organisation, the first thing ECOCEAN did
was to develop a tracking system to help facilitate whale shark research. Based on software technology created by NASA to map stars in the night sky, the technology was modified to identify the white spots on the side of a whale shark, which are unique to each animal. Recognising that there is far more tourist encounters with whale sharks, than researcher encounters, the ECOCEAN web site allows any person with a relevant photo of a whale shark (see side bar for details) to upload it to the online photo identification database. The site cross checks the uploaded image against existing images in the database and if a match is found, the submitter will receive an email notification with information on the identified whale shark and a sighting history. Not only does such an approach help everyday people become more involved in the ongoing conservation of whale sharks, it provides researchers with specific information relating to local, regional and global populations. Such information is vital to the decision making process for international conservation policies and practices and helps researchers further their understanding of these unique animals.
Despite whale sharks formidable size they are listed as a ‘Vulnerable’ species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, with a declining population. To put such a listing in perspective, it is one step below an ‘Endangered’ listing and two steps below a ‘Critically Endangered’ listing. Various countries have historically hunted whale sharks for their meat, oil, liver and fins. And while the large fins are of low quality, they have been reportedly used as signboards outside of some restaurants in Asia to attract patrons. Though many countries have stopped the practice of hunting whale sharks, researchers believe that the over harvesting of whale sharks in the last two decades is one of the primary reasons for the low population numbers today. While the hunting of whale sharks has been declining globally, the rise in whale sharks as a tourism industry has been on the increase in Mexico, Belize, Honduras, the Philippines, south-eastern Africa, Australia and not surprisingly, the Maldives. Researchers agree that the value of a live whale shark in terms of attracting the tourism dollar, far outweighs the dollar amount gained from hunting a whale shark for its meat. The rise in popularity of whale sharks as a tourism attraction in the Maldives, has not been without its problems though. In early 2011 reports in the Maldives local paper - the Minivan News - began to surface of problems between some safari boat operators and the local Maldives Whale Shark Research Program (MWSRP) group. Some safari boat operators alleged that the tagging practices of the MWSRP was driving whale sharks away from their natural habitat around Maamigilli off South Ari Atoll. MWSRP countered with photos and film footage shot by a BBC film crew, showing a whale shark being surrounded by too many safari vessels and with too many swimmers in the water. The article served as a reminder of how popular whale sharks have become as a tourist attraction in the country and the importance of creating a regulation framework within the industry, for the protection of whale shark populations.
Further north in Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll - declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2011 - the Maldives Government responded to rising pressures of unregulated tourist encounters with whale sharks, by implementing the Hanifaru Management Plan. Implemented just this year, the plans mandate is to regulate the number of safari vessels allowed into Hanifaru Bay and the number of people allowed to swim with whale sharks at any one time using a permit system. Further work around providing the necessary mooring and jetty infrastructure for visiting safari vessels is all centred on helping protect the migratory whale sharks that come to Hanifaru Bay to feed on plankton each year. Such an approach seeks to balance the well being of whale shark populations by placing limitations on the number of vessels and the number of swimmers in the water at any one time. A regulatory approach is inevitable given the rising popularity of whale shark encounters within the country. Not only does it allow people to continue to experience the wonders of swimming alongside such amazing animals, it helps protect the whale sharks themselves. Ultimately, the increased protection of whale sharks through an enforced regulatory framework should go a long way in helping ensure that the whale shark tourism industry continues to exist for many years to come in the Maldives.
Photo 1: Diving crew getting ready to sail on their quest to find a whale shark. Photo 2: Now technology can detect and identify the white spots on the side of a whale shark, which are unique to each. Photo 3: whale shark being surrounded by too many swimmers in the water. Photo 4: Whale shark fins left to sun dry. Photo 5: Tourist encounter with a whale shark. Photo 6: Researchers take measurements of a whale shark. Thomas Pickard is a writer / photographer and former Maldives resident. He will never forget his encounter with a whale shark.
ECOCEAN BEST PRACTICE WHALE SHARK ENCOUNTER GUIDELINES •
No more than 10 swimmers in the water interacting with a whale shark at any one time
Enter the water gently and swim quickly, with a minimum of splashing, towards the animal
Take a position along the side and behind the pectoral fin
Do not attempt to touch or ride the whale shark
Remain at least 4 metres from the tail of the shark; and 3-4 metres from the head
Do not duck dive near or in front of the whale shark’s head
Do not use scuba equipment under or near the head of the whale shark
Do not use scooters or flash photography during an encounter
Read the complete guidelines at the ECOCEAN website - www. whaleshark.org
PHOTOGRAPHING A WHALE SHARK FOR ECOCEAN ECOCEAN provides specific guidelines on what and how to photograph a whale shark for inclusion in their global identification database. If you are interested in submitting photos, make sure you read the Photographer’s Guidelines at www.whaleshark.org before you head out.
GET INVOLVED The Maldives Whale Whark Research Programme has a volunteer program providing whale shark lovers with an opportunity to be involved in every part of the whale shark research programme. Visit www.maldiveswhalesharkresearch.org for more details.
Photos by: Moosa Hassan Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (www.mwsrp.org)
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....IN SILENT SPACES
Hassan Ziyad began to seriously consider a career in the visual arts in the late 1990s. Leaving from school grade , the only formal art education he had were the lessons he was given in the art class at school. In the mid- 1990s, Ziyad together with a friend who was also involved in the production of souvenirs, submitted one of his paintings to a charity art exhibition and competition organized by a primary school in Male where Ziyadâ€™s wife worked. Some of the judges of the competition included the established Maldivian artists Naushad Waheed and Hussain Afeef as well as art teachers from the schools of Male. Ziyad had made a painting for the competition which was selected for the exhibition, from which it was purchased by Naushad. He later offered Ziyad to work in his souvenir production studio and offered Ziyad the monthly wage of Mrf 7000/-, which was a relatively high amount for the time (early â€˜90s).
When he accepted the offer, Ziyad was employed by Naushad in his studio where Ziyad’s main task was to do the backgrounds of hand-painted t-shirts for the tourist souvenir market. However, after months of Ziyad beginning to work, Naushad’s studio was shut down as Naushad was arrested as a political prisoner due to an artwork he had made - this was a time when freedom of expression was severely limited in the Maldives and those who chose to engage in any form of art faced serious risk of arrest and torture if they did not tow the line of the government in what they expressed. Ziyad then began working from home where several of his friends joined him to produce hand painted t-shirts for the souvenir market as well as large scenic paintings for resort interiors. He later registered the label ‘Quadro Studio’ (Italian for painting) to facilitate the logistics of his growing practice which included billing and receiving payments from customers and clients. Ziyad received many large orders from souvenir retailers for his products which went on to include t-shirts, hand-painted tiles, mugs and glasses.
Although Ziyad was doing well commercially, he wanted more and more to be making work that would allow him to improve his skills as a draftsman and painter, which led him to paint more than produce the other items he was making for the souvenir trade. Mostly working from photographic references, Ziyad’s paintings mostly feature sceneries which include beaches and seascapes as well as coconut palms and other trees and foliage found in the Maldives. Additionally, he also paints mosques – old ruins of mosques as well as picturesque views of mosques presently used for praying. And most recently he has
also introduced mosque interiors as a motif in his works; the meticulously detailed rendering of the interior of Hukuru Miskii (or Friday Mosque) in Male, which is one of the oldest in the country is a good example of this. A very striking aspect of his work is also how Ziyad handles light and its intricate reflections on objects. And throughout most of his works there is a sense of deep contemplation of nature and forces stronger than anything human. In one of the paintings exhibited in the inaugural exhibition of the National Art Gallery, Maldives Contemporary 2005, the painting ‘Tsunami’ shows the destructive power of this force. A house where once people lived is destroyed to rubble. The painting of this scene is a detailed depiction of the destroyed house, with rays of light reflected on the once standing structure now reduced to pieces of brick and cement. In the paintings where nature is depicted as a life-giving and positive force, for instance the thick vegetation and coconut palms, the sense of contemplation even borders on something akin to reverence. And it is all the more impressive when we know that Ziyad’s detailed and highly realistic paintings – which are often layered to produce the desired effects including the right shades and hues of colors, are produced using acrylic based poster colors which are quick to dry and difficult to correct mistakes with unless an entire area of the painting, or sometimes the whole of it, has to be reworked.
Ziyad had his first solo exhibition ‘In Silent Spaces’ at the National Art Gallery, Maldives in 2007 and since then he has exhibited his work in Male as well as in Zanizar. And he continues to receive commissions both from the Maldives and overseas.
Mamduh Waheed is a writer on Maldivian art and has written several reviews and essays for catalogs. From 2004 - 2009 he was the curator at the National Art Gallery. Paintings by: Hassan Ziyad
THE ART OF LIVING
WALDORF ASTORIA MALDIVES 76
MARCH 2012 MARKS THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE WALDORF ASTORIA MALDIVES. THE WALDORF ASTORIA IS ONE OF THE MOST RENOWNED AND LUXURIOUS PROPERTIES IN THE MALDIVES AND IS STEEPED WITH THE ICONIC HISTORY OF THIS LAVISH INTERNATIONAL BRAND
March 2012 marks the second anniversary of the Waldorf Astoria Maldives. The Waldorf Astoria is one of the most renowned and luxurious properties in the Maldives and is steeped with the iconic history of this lavish international brand. Just as the traditional bolimalaafaiy neshun dance reflects the warm welcome of the Maldivian people towards their guests, it is at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, that the promise of Maldivian hospitality is found. Millions of years ago, a mountain range stood in the heart of what is now the Indian Ocean. Over the ages as the oceans rose, those mountains became submerged, leaving behind mysterious yet stunning land formations that would be called the Maldives. Made up of almost 2000 coral islands, the Maldives is one of the most exotic and unique holiday destinations in the world, with stunning coral islands, endless turquoise waters and white powdery beaches. Situated in the northernmost atoll is Waldorf Astoria Maldives, part of the prestigious Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts. Travel across the ocean on their scenic seaplane and arrive at this luxury resort, which offers true Maldivian experiences,
complemented by a rich heritage of service and excellence. A true haven for those who appreciate beauty and life.
THE ART OF [LIVING]
The Maldivian way of life revolves around embracing strong family traditions and nature. Respect for the community means respect for the environment, the very principle from which the Waldorf Astoria Maldives was created and its hospitality extended. Just as the Maldivian people call their own country Dhivehi Rajje, the Island Kingdom, each of the 83 villas is a celebration of their affinity to their home and to nature. The smooth lines, elegant curved roof forms and breezy open spaces that define Maldivian architecture blend seamlessly into the landscape, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the environment. In keeping with the love of the outdoors, floor to ceiling doors open up to invite the stunning views and soothing sounds of the ocean. The thatched roofs, indigenous and fragrant wood paneling and timber columns are a reminder of the island’s humble resources. The luxurious comforts provided serve to complete the sensory experience of the Maldives.
To help celebrate this anniversary, the hotel looks at some of its achievements. Since Alan Stocker, General Manager arrived at the hotel a mere six months ago, he has peered into every corner of the resort and given it a complete facelift, rejuvenation of all glorious teak wood around the resort has been transformed to its former glory. The carpentry team has been working relentlessly throughout the day and night with varnishes and sanding tools to bring the beautiful wood of the furniture and decking back to life. So far the Grand Beach Pavilion, Grand Water Pavilion and King Ocean Villa rooms have been completed together with Amazon, Medium Rare, Saffron and Saltwater outlets. Lots of bright Maldivian colours have also been added to the soft furnishings in the villas, restaurants and bars complementing the vibrant hues of nature in the Maldives, splashes of orange, blue and pink which welcome you to the resort the moment you step on the island. The hotel has recently been buzzing with excitement as award winning photographer Ross Grieve from the UK has been taking stylish new images of the resort that are suited to the front covers of Tatler and Vogue magazines. The new images will complement the already wonderful gallery of the island. A brand new activities timetable has also been introduced by the spa to keep guests of the Waldorf Astoria Maldives fit and healthy. The resort’s new personal trainer, Joji has prepared all kinds of health and wellness activities, from meditation sessions on the yoga deck in the spa area, pilates, yoga and pranayama, to circuit training in the gym, table tennis and billiards tournaments in Play and water aerobics in Amazon. Cyrielle, the PR and Marketing intern is also passionate about sports and the island and takes guests running three times a week at sunrise through the tropical pathways and along the beach whilst the air is still cool. There is plenty going on during the day for guests to choose from if they have time in their tanning schedule! To help the Waldorf Astoria celebrate the resort is offering some fantastic presents to guests who are new or returning:
THE ART OF.. [LOVE] Enjoy your once in a lifetime getaway at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives and escape to paradise island and relax with an indulging spa treatment or feast your eyes on the Maldivian marine life. Waldorf Astoria Maldives offers its honeymooners: Fruit Basket and 1 bottle of Champagne in the villa upon arrival. One half-day excursion for the people on selected excursions. USD $200.00 Spa Credit per couple per stay to be used for the Spa treatment of the Guests’ choice. Romantic turn down with Champagne and Chocolates on the night prior to departure.
Please note that in order to be entitled for the above benefits, your reservation must be for a minimum of 4 nights and you will be asked upon check-in to present a copy of the marriage certificate of less than 12 months. A minimum of 4 nights stay and a copy of the marriage certificate to be presented at check-in to qualify for the offer.
THE ART OF… [SAVING]
Book at least 90 days in advance and make a saving of 30%, therefore valid for all bookings made from July until 23 December 2012.
Katie Hollamby, Cluster PR and Marketing Manager, Waldorf Astoria Maldives and Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort and Spa
Photo by: Waldorf Astoria Maldives
HILTON MALDIVES IRUFUSHI RESORT & SPA INTRODUCES THE BUBBLE LOUNGE Featuring only the finest selection of champagne and sparkling wines, the Bubble Lounge will stock a minimum of 50 varieties at any time, ten of which including Dom Perrignon - will be available by the glass. The extensive champagne list will include Grande Marque champagnes amongst other fashionable brands and limited edition vintages. â€œThe Maldives is synonymous with celebrations, and what better way to celebrate than in the first, and only dedicated champagne bar in the region. The new concept will represent sophistication
within an inspiring, over water venue and with our expert knowledge, we are able to deliver an exceptional service and product, offering even the most exceptional champagnes by the glass,â€? said General Manager Jean Sebastien Kling. With an existing five restaurants, three bars, an over-water Wine Cellar and unlimited tailor-made private dining options, including 24-hour in-villa dining, the Bubble Lounge will contribute to the widest choice of food and beverage options in the Maldives, offering something for every taste.
GOING GREEN MALDIVES RESORTS
EMBRACE ENVIRONMENTALISM The Maldives is world famous as a super-luxury, exotic and beautiful beach destination. The upper echelons of the country’s tourism industry reads like a Who’s Who of the world’s best hotel brands: Four Seasons, Six Senses, Per Aquum, W, Conrad, Hilton and One & Only, to name but a few.
The ferocious competition between the nation’s 100 or so resorts has created an everimproving tourism product. In the 1980s and 90s, resorts started to introduce swimming pools as a way to differentiate themselves from their peers. In the 90s and 00s, over-water rooms became de rigueur. In recent years, resort improvements have gone from the sublime to the extravagant: from private villas with plunge pools, to hotels with underwater spas, restaurants, and, most recently, a nightclub. In this world of heady luxury, environmental concerns might seem an anathema. But lately, a number of pioneering resorts - and not just the most luxurious - have started to think seriously about softening their environmental impact and providing guests with ecofriendly options.
“Our guests keep telling us that they want to see us do something to protect the environment. It doesn’t really matter what we do, but people want to see that we’re making the effort,” says Manih Ahmed, explaining his company’s recent decision to cover the top of their Mookai Suites hotel in Male’ with solar panels. He points out that in another of their properties, Embudu Village in South Male Atoll, they are retrofitting guest rooms to make them energy efficient. Other resorts concur with this green philosophy. Soneva Fushi resort in Baa Atoll wears its environmentalism on its sleeve. The resort is part run on solar power, uses predominantly locally grown and sourced produce, and bottles its own drinking water. Guests pay a small premium on their room bill, to fund community projects on neighbouring island communities. At a symposium hosted at Soneva Fushi last October, Sir Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin Group, summed up the essence of this trend towards all things green: “people don’t want to feel guilty [about the environment] when they go on holiday,” he said. Branson went on to outline Virgin Atlantic Airway’s plans to slash its carbon emissions over the next 10 years by replacing jet kerosene with biofuels.
Other resorts focus less on carbon emissions, which drive climate change, and more on marine protection. Four Seasons Landaa Giravaaru, also in Baa Atoll, sponsors a manta ray research project that has been instrumental in helping to establish a new marine protected area for the giant rays in neighbouring Hanifaru Bay. The Maldives Conrad resort sponsors a team of international researchers studying the behaviour of whale sharks, which are frequently found off the nearby island of Maamagili. Consumer’s increasing awareness and concern for the protection of the environment appears to be driving much of this change. But increasingly, the shift towards using green energy, particularly solar power, which works well in the tropical Maldives, is driven
less by environmentalism and more by economics. Maldivian resorts are powered almost exclusively on imported diesel. With the world oil price now routinely topping $110 a barrel, and likely to continue to increase over time, renewable energy is cost competitive with diesel. Renewable Energy Maldives (REM) is a Maldivian company, based in Male’, which supplies solar power. They have started a project, part-financed by a German development bank, to supply five resorts with enough solar power to provide 50% of their daytime electricity needs. The project is expected to save participating resorts tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars on their energy bills, as well as cut carbon pollution. As goes the resort industry, so goes the country. REM has also signed a contract with a local utility company to provide solar power to six islands in and around Male’. The unit cost of the electricity produced by REM’s solar panels will be cheaper than electricity produced by the utility
company’s diesel power generators, so makes economic as well as environmental sense. “A key problem for the Maldives is that it is horribly exposed to the price of oil,” says Mike Mason, an Oxford-based energy expert who has provided extensive advice to the Maldivian government on its energy policies. “The economy is run almost exclusively on imported oil and has no insurance should the oil price rise,” Mason adds. He points out that oil price increases in the past 12 months alone are costing the country $200,000 per day in extra fuel bills.
environment, and rising oil prices, will likely push more resorts to act. In future, we will likely seem increasingly numbers of resort eco initiatives, as well as many more solar panels. Maldivian resorts may start to compete with one another, not just over who has the best plunge pool or water villa. A new area of competition may emerge: on which resort can you enjoy the lap of luxury, and be eco friendly at the same time?
While resorts and local utility companies showing increasing interest in renewable energy, change has been slow to come. A key impediment to change is the lack of engineers and electricians in the Maldives with experience of working with renewable energies such as solar power. With guest paying an average $500 per night for their
stay, resort operators are also cautious about introducing new and untested power systems. Change may be slow in coming but it does seem inevitable. The twin forces of increasing consumer concern over the
John Lancelot has lived and worked in the Maldives for the past three years. Photos by: Soneva Fushi by Six Senses
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egcmwzirUt egEjcaWr idwa ,Enemih irwTok 180 IkwTOsirea Iaea cnwtea udwaim .evekeTOsir EdiawLwawDnwk uDnwgcnim .evekeTOsir egcnidnwscaum ,Wvcnegibil ufwrwx
ejcaWr cnitwmcnutcnut iaWncnutwkcawswm wrub egcnuLufEbea irWfwyiv csevWkcaenwa iawg 1974 ,cnehIvIvcTOmorcp .eveaiSef cnWvuLwgnwr
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cnegevurutia cnuawa cnuTcsirUT cSwDob emcnea cnutogea ImWvcgwaclwniawb egEjcaWr iruh iawgEluLuh ,iawg1981 Iawyid iawgcTOpWaea idwa iaWmurukWLuf cSwrutia Evcnwr egcTOpWaea .evencnegiLug Wmuruk cfwrWawt cawtclwnimWT urutia ,iawgulwdwb egumuawa cnugwm ubnuLok ,cnubwbws egumwkim ejcaWr WdIs cnurUpwgcnis iaWpwrUy cSwncnuTcsirUT .eveawyidcnegevihwf ugwm egumuawa
eg "cDiawg cTekop czilWb ,"cscviDclOm" Ikwacsilea cnwTcsiaor ukwaWtufwh cnutogELug Wmwkirevurutwf iawgcTiawscbev egWnEa .evefincawsum .eveawvcauyil caearwTelcsuain urwhwf caea .evedIxwr utwlcaih IvcaedcSokWmwjurwt cSwhwbihevid cnuhwbisErignia idwa ukinwm ilwa cniaesuh ,cmIlwh .cmea ITcsek ,Ilwa cfirWx :OTof .Wjux clejcnea
cnegevulwdwb ejcaWr iLum cnubwbws egumuvWLuf cmwzirUT cawtWrIzwjim iawgutog egcaelizcnwm uTcsirUT .eveawyid cswsiawrcprwTcnea clwsWvinuy uriaea ISef cnwruk cTekWm iaWbIzuhwt Ekedim ejcaWr udwaim .evencnumIT cnWvuz iSef ,cSwmwk enWncnwa cSwaejcaWr cnubwbws egcmwzirUT ,Igcawrwt .eveaerukun csevcaeaih uriaea cnumIT ea iawgEret egurwhwa 40 Ivim csevcSwjeliv Wbnuruk urWhim cnutogea .eveawfcsiawa caekwtulwdwb iteDob Inwv
iawgWkcnwlIrcs Iawa ejcaWr cpUrcg uTcsirUT wmwtwruf" cnehea caeLokcswvudurutia uhwfcSwmulcSokwdEh ITcauC cSwncnemuDnwguLwa .iawgumunEb egumulcSokwdEh iawgcaelizcnwm uDob cSwrwv cSwnuTcnejea egWkcnwlIrcs iawkwTcSwmwkim unuhej csev IkwairWlOl emcnok cniaea .cnEd csevcaenwximok WvcnunEb (cSwaejcaWr) cSwLokim cnwruk Igcawrwt uTOsir cmwzirUT egEjcaWrim cnubwbws egcnirevurutwf .Wsiawf Wnub cnuhImea cnemuDnwguLwa .IvIgcawrwt IrTcswDcnia wmwhiruf cawtcnwk Edea cnuhImea idwa cniheauDwa caeCcaea .cnukwtcmUr Wviawfeyiv cnunwf ISef wmwtwruf .cninidcSok .urwvctoa cneveruk udwrwh cnwncnemuDnwguLwa uriaea Iaea ctwaWnis egumwkirevurutwf iSef cnukwkwtuLwvwyif idukiduk csevcnkea .cSwkwmwkitwd IvcnudOh Wsiawf cSwmuruk Igcawrwt ukinwm .Uy .cmea ."cSwncnemuDnwguLwa Inuhej cnwruk ibit iawgurUpwgcnis cnukwbIswn csevwmwn" .eveaivuLWdiv cSwncnemuDnwguLwa cSwTiDerck cnukwtctWrwf EdcSokiawlcpws egcswsiawrcprwTcnea clwsWvinuy urWhim ."irukUd itekwt IkwaclwsWvinuy .eveaivuLWdiv ukinwm Wvcawruk cnwkcnwmWaeC .eveNcnufcnuk Wgcnih cjeliv Wbnuruk csevidwa Wbnuruk iawg 1972 iawgutog eguTOsir wmwtwruf cswnubil caebWyimWk uDob cSwrwv WnwtunuvuLuh cjeliv Whea cTEr Iscnwpuaikoa iawgukwtcswvud iawa cned Iscnwpuaikoa eguTOsir cnumwkcnehim .eveaivun caeLwgnwr ctwkcawswm ukeaWaWnea IaWaukinwm iawkwTcSwmuTcaehegen ,cSwmuvulisWv cSwgwm egubWyimWk ,cnukwtctWrwf ivcaeruk ejcaWr cnirevurutwf cnutogea .eveaivcaelcaerwvctih urutia cSokurutwd cSwpwrUy iawkwTcSwmunid urwvcvih cSwmuawa .eveaiveTcaef ctwkcawswm egumuruk cTOmorcp ejcaWr iawgunwtea
iawgutog Wvcawruk cnWdnwh urWhim cnemukinwm egurumua evcnWriawh cnuhImea cnukwtcawtcnwk Edea uriaea cnuTcsirUT Iawyid cnumedea ukwnehcnwa caea ,cSwkwlWsim .evetwgiawDwv cSwkwncnemuDnwguLwa" .eveSwmunid "clwrenim Waukwa" ukinwm .Uy .cmea ."caemwk caeCcaea cnok Iaea EgnEn ) rwTOv clwrenim Iaea Inub ukwkea" .eveaivcaediawyik csevIaea idwa csevwmwn ,cSwmwk (cnef irukudcnwb iawgILuf evcnehim .EgnEn cSwkwncnemuDnwguLwa caemwk caeCcaea cnok .cSwkwawrWhif csEb iruh iawgElWm Iawyid uDnwguLwa .cSwmunid iawfcSokinuhcswm caeLok clwrenim Inudeacned WrukcTErwpoa cnutwa ivcauLugcneg wpcawb eguDnwguLwa uriaea uLokclwrenim wlwkcaea evcnehim .caenixem Wrukudcnwb iLuf cSwaiLuf cned .cSwnef iruk urwTclif ILea cnemuDnwguLwa WnEa Inid cSwaWyirevurutwf ea uhwfcSwmuruk udcnwb WLwa ."Iruh cnulwfua cSwrwv
urWhim .eveaivurutia cSwa200000 ukwrwhwa udwdwa iawa WrukctWg Wacnwailim caea ukwrwhwa IneLua ctwbcsinea iawgEjcaWr uTOsir wnig eruv cSwa 90 idwa .eveSwkwdwdwa .eveTcauhwbea urWhim ukinwm .Uy .cmea cnumwvcawrukWa cawtcnWdnwh egIruk .caenWmwz Wvcnegiruf cnuguawx cSwrwv Iaea" InwvuLWdiv iawkwTcSwncnuTcseg ukwriaea EgnEn cSwkwncnemuDnwguLwa utWlwmWaum iaWncnuhImea idwa .caemwk caeCcaeacnok InEdWkcawk isErignia iawgutwa uDnwguLwa .EgnEn csevcaetog enWruk cSwscaevid caetof Ipiser egIheCcaeaWk ctoa cnuhwb .cnutog egcaeaIhea cSwncniduk EdcSokctWgctwa IrukWmwjurwt irwtok idwa ,WhIm WTcawhwlwb WCIgwb idwa ,Wkcawk IkwDnwguLwa Inuhejcnwruk csevcaemwk Whiruh .emcsevWjcauk WrukufWs ."cSwawlcaimwa cnemuDnwguLwa cnWvuz ivcauLua cnegevulWvwh WncnuTcsirUT uriaea
cnuTcsirUT cnutogea .eveaiveTcaef ctwkcawswm egumuruk cawtcnwk wncnwa cnegeruh cnwkirevuguawx emcnea cSemekea egutogim iaWSwmuruk ctwyWmih iSevWmit egEjcaWr WvcSwmwk ctwkcawswm cSwmuruk Igcawrwt IrcTcswDcnia cnitwm caeaWdiawf uLwgnwr cnIrcTcswDcniaim Iaea .eveaiveTcaef cSwairuk cSwkwtog ivineTcaehemed ctwaWnisim ,iawkwTcSwmudOh .eveaemcsev cSwmuaidcneg ISef cnwruk Wdiawf WdIs cniacmwzirUT cSwrWkurws csckeT udnea idwa iaWmugen iluk umib cnukwtcTOsir ,IkwacsckeT udnea .evencnubWsih Wmuruk cfwrWawt Wgwn cSwkwaer emcnok WrukwdEh Wyirevurutwf iawguTOsir ,cSwhwvwa idWd Wsiawf iSefcnebil cnumwzirUT .evekeacsckeT .eveairukwmwhiawf WaWdiawf EbilcnutwaWnis egumwkirevcswm Wa 1980 cnutogea .eveawyid WLwawnwhwf ukwtihWsia idwa cnuTcsirUT ,vuLuh uTOsir 40 urutia ,udemed Wa 1990
irubnea idwa .eveairukwdEh cswvud 10 iawgEjcaWr cpUrcg ea egcaemwkirevuguawx Iv udemWaejcaWr ,uhwfcSwmuaid cSwaIlwTia cawtcTcseaukir egcnirevurutwf cnehea ,cnumwkuDob iSefcnebilim cSwkwtogWrukunIh ,cSwkwailcauk .eveaiSefcnebil cSwncnirevurutwf wdwfim cnubwbws egcnirevurutwf cnwtcnwt enEbit wtwvun cnwxEDomokea enWvcnegiSwkea .eveaivurUbujwm cnwscawjwmwh ctwgiawDwv evWmid WaWnea cnulUkcs iaWaukinwm .Uy .cmea cTOsir egcaedwdwa wnig urWhim ,WvcSwmwk iretctwmuhwr iSufWnwmwhiv cnegiawDevireviawb ufIfwa cnwswh WvWgcnih cnutog egumwkirevuDnwd uriaea Iaea .eveaivepcaih cSwycauk cnuhIm IkwSwrea uriaea .evekeSwr Wdcawh caur ihevid idwa .evekeSwr WviawfWscawjwmwh iawgutog egcaeSwr ELUnirid ,cnImwa udwmcawhum csIawr wmwtwruf egEjcaWr IkwSwrea cnuTcsirUT iawgunwtea .eveSwr unuvel unWdcswf iawg1954 .eveaivcaeruk ctWrWmia cnemukinwm cnwtcnwt enEbit elWm cSwrirev ,IkwSwrwa Ivcaeruk urWhituHia iSufWnwmwhiv .eveawmIv cSwkwSwr ctoa iawgIriawk WTOpWaea EluLuh iaWa cDObcTuawa wtwvun iawgInOd ulwyir Inwncnwa cneved cSwSwrea cnumuten caeaITej iawguSwr .eveawginOd iLea unIjcnia iawfWlcniaeretuliv Inehej cnwrwa cSwSwr cSwncnuTcseg cnegcSokcnunEb iDukwl egukur ihevid .evencnegireacSwdUm .evenudeh caemwlWf cnuhwf
egumwkirevuguawx iTcawjwb cSwaejcaWr cnuhImea .evemwk uDob cSwrwv cnwfih iawgiawv IrcTcswDcniaim cnumwkuDob .eveaivcSwkwaIhea udwdwa egcnuTcsirUT iawa ejcaWr uriaunumin 1973 cnutogim .eveawgcaeTOsir 3 Ibit cnuhImea .eveairea cSwa3790 egIlwTia idwa ckWmcneD ,cncDivcs Iawnig iawgEret egEa 1973 ,cnuhwf urwhwa 5 egEa idwa .evencnuTcsirUT idwa .eveairea cSwa 17 udwdwa egukwtuTOsir uriaunumin .eveaivurutia cSwa29325 udwdwa iawa cnuTcsirUT egutog EnWruk Igcawrwt IrcTcswDcnia im uriaea csevwmwn caeawfivelWvwlukea caenUnWg wtwvun caediawvwg ,aetwsWyis cnegiawDwv cSwmwkirev cSwlwa uriaea cnumwkcnehea .eveten evulWvwh WmWgwm ,cmUycawg cludcbwa cnUmuawm ,csIawr uhWlcsia IrcTcswDcnia iawg 1978 uhwfcSwmutwgiawDwv
eguTOsir csev urwscawlev idwa iSufcnefurIm ,iligniliv IkwSwr Whiruhim .eveaivemcnin cSwmuruk Igcawrwt iawgutog iawgIriawk ,Eved cniawhEswf iawgInOd cnuTOpWaea csev .evekekwtcSwr ctoa .eveaWdWsWdIs cSwrwv cawtirwTok Ebit cnuTcseg uriaea cawtctwmwdih Irwzcgwl wlwhwkwncnuh urWhim Inwncnuh csevcaerwCInurwf uDobugwa idwa .evenUn caeawfivelukea .eveawfWhwj itcnemis Inwncnuh iawgItwmcnib .eveaeruhun iawgukwtWnWhWf idwa .evencniawlif itcnemis Inwncnuh cnilIs .eveawgcaeawbikwv Inwncnuh iawfWhwj iSumiSwt csev Iawa cnumwruk cnunEb cnuTcseg cnwrukWnwhWf iaWSWrwvcnef Evelukea urwswa egunol cSwkwrwv csevemcnok ,Wgwn cnumib .evenef ErWv Wgwn cnumuhev ErWv Iruk cnunEb cnOb .evenef iawa uriaea caemwkirevurutwf WdWs Whim ,InehejcnWvcnWriawh wyidumwk cSwrwv cSwkwtcnuTcsirUT idnwscaum wmwtwruf
cnumwvcawruk ctwkcawswm ukeaWncniheTcawr csevcniLum .eveaivcauLea irwTok 30 iawguSwrea ufIfwa cnwswh iaWkinwm Iruk cnunEb cnwnWr cawturWf .eveawgcaekolcb cnit Iaea idwa .evencniDukwl Ideh uDnwgcnwDwv .evelwg wkwrum .eveaigcnwf Wviawfeyiv cnunwf ukur ihevid ILea iawguLWruf egiawdWa emcnea iaWkwaWnWhWf iawgcaeairwTok emcnok cnumib Inwrwvcnef cnuTcsirUT .evenuTcaeheb urwCInurwf Wvcnegivelukea urwswa egunol cSwkwrwv csevemcnok ,Egen cSwSoduDnog ILea csev caeairwTok emcnok .evencnunef Itugwv Iscaejwmwh cnuaek .eveSwtog enEved cniawhEswf .evencnegiawdwh Efub ,iawgcaeTcnwrOTcser ideh cnutog .evencnegiawvcaWb uaikebWb iawguCIb InUn ihevid iawguSwrea Inid cnwn egcjeliv Wbnuruk cSwSwrea InuvuLuh cTOsir ea cSwncnirevurutwf .evencnumwk wnig caur cawtea iawa cnegihej idwa .eveawg 1972 urwbUTckoa 3 .eveawfiveruk ckub cSokcluf Itoa uTOsirea csev iawgcaehwm cmwzirUT ,cSwrisWn cmihWrcbia ,csIawr eguriaea ,cned evcnehim .evetwgiawDwvincsiv Wdiawf iruh iawgIrcTcswDcnia cDcneliawa csoDnwb unuvuLuh iawg 1972 urwbcmesiD ,csorwb ,iSufuLokurwf ,iSufwnwruf cnurutia eguTOsir
iaWkwnwt enEbit ,uriaea csevwmwn .evemwk enWv cSwkwlizcnwm wmwhiruf cSwrwv ejcaWr cSwncnuTcsirUT IlwTia "cSwmurevcnef enWvcnunEb cSwpUrcg egcnirevurutwf egIlwTia ,evcnehim .eveaedWn csekwtcTiawlcf cSwaejcaWr cnegcSok cluaidex idwa cSwaejcaWr cnibOk .eveaWaukinwm urwmua udwmcawhum WvcSwmwk caenWvuz uriaea ,IrukulWvwh cnibOk cSwmuscaejwmwh cawtcmWzitcnia wtwvun cnirevcsUn Wyil cnutog EhebWmurukurutwfurutwd Inunemih cniawnig iawgEret cpUrcg iscaejwmwh cnwncneg wmwtwruf .eveawg1972 WvcSwmwk urwhwa iawa cnegihej Iscaejwmwh cSwmuawneg ejcaWr cnuhImea .evencnuTcsilwnOj clevercT
.evekeaEvcnwr wDukwDuk Inwncnoa uriaea iawgEluLuh Enemih caekwtcTOpWaea Idcawhwrws idwa ImWvcgwaclwniawb egEjcaWr urWhim caeTObWdcnitwm egcnOlis rwaea cnugwm ubnuLok Inuhej cnwncnwa ejcaWr cnuhIm 22 egcperUy ununemih iawgupUrcg ,evcnehim .evekeaItcswb Wrwacsufwrih uriaea IkwaelWm .eveawgcaeaeg cnit egcnihevid Ibit csiawa ejcaWr cnuhImea .evencnegcSok urwTWC cnuhImea cnwgiawDwv cSwSwrcSwrea .evetwgiawDwv cSwkwSwr utWfwt ukwhwvud emcnok ukinwm .Uy .cmea cnegiawvog cnuhImea .evenuLua cnegevulUacswm iawgumuhej uDnwgwd cSwhwm iaWawgumutef
,cnibOk cjOj WvcSwmwk caeTcnejea clevercT egIlwTia cnuhwf .eveaivulwdcawb iaWaumIswn udwmuhwa iawg1971 uriaea IkwmIswn ivcaeruk cnwkurwTcsinim cnirof egEjcaWr rwainUj cSwrwv egIswbcmea ihevid wncnuh iawgWkcnwlIrcs egIlwTia Iawa cnumwruk ctwkcawswm cnibOk .evekefwzcawvum ,evcnehim .eveSwmudOh caelizcnwm enWd caekwtcnirevurutwf cSwmuliawlwb cawtWrIzwj egEjcaWr csiawa ejcaWr cnibOk .eveaivcaed urwvctih umIswn ,Inuncsiv csev cniawmwtwruf cSwacnibOk ukeaWmuawa ejcaWr cnivwa" idwa iaWSWhwj uDnwgwd cSwhwm iaWSWruk cviawD
cnulivilwa cSwmwzirUT egIm Iawa cmwzirUT cSwaejcaWrihevid wgwhWf cnwkim .evencniruk urwhwa 40 iawg 2012 Inwviawfihejwmwh cSwmuruk Iaea .eveawguTOsir cjeliv Wbnuruk .eveaemcsevuTOsir wmwtwruf wgEjcaWr csilea cnwTcsiaor iawgcTOpirim cmwzirUT cSwaejcaWr InwvcawlWvuLwailwa .eveSwCcawm egutog cnulivilwa
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ulUbugwm iawgcaeaWriaWd WLuf cSwrwv cnudehugid cnuhwf emcnea eretea itof egcaetwvWb wnig cSwmwk caebwbws egEa .eveaiv cnitof egiawlukwluk ilwa cnudeh ugid .evenunemih cnuruk "Wjwm" .eveaiSef cnwhwf csevcnitof ihejWm .eveaiSef cnwhwf egcsIrwsesckea .eveaiSef cnwhwf csevcniawlukwluk cnutogea .eveCcaekwt WdWs cSwrwv IrukcnunEb iawgutog caelwm ,uhwfcSwmuLea iawgurwk caeSwf egIhir wtwvun cnwr csEl idwa .eveaenWfcSok cnunEb caeCcawdWhwjwgEm WviawfWhwj cnukwtitwd Whwj iawgulob ,iawLwa uLokitofulob iawgulob cnitof .eveawTcawhwfih iawguDnwgiSwtcsia uLokitofulobea umcaWa urWhim csevcnudeh ugid cniawdwf csWbil ihevid .eveaejcawgnih cnegilcaeg cSwkwDwgctWg cnumuLuairid .eveaenef csevidwa cnuSwrcSwr caeawb cnudwmudwm csevwmwn cnegednia iaWncnuhIm Inwncnef cniawnig cnwtwncnuh iawfWl IfWgws .evencnuhIm Ivcswvud cnurumua iaWncnuhIm ELua ImWvugwa clwniawb Inwviawfevulwdwb udwaim cawtcnudeh ihevid Inwv csevcnuLea Wgurub cnurutia egIm .eveSwkwtcliawTcs WyWdWa wncnuh cniruk cnihevid cSwawlukk .eveawfev ulUbugwm uLwk cSokcaea ,iawlcSokUd urWhim cnwkirevuguawx ufWlih .eveawnig csevudwdwa egcnunehcnwa Wlcnudwh caeawb cnutwfWgws ihevid Ikwmuaid cnegiten cnudeh IfWgws cawtcnwk ed im evcnehim idwa .evemuaid cnegiten csev cnumwk cnehea .evetoawbea urWhim csevurib egumulcaeg iaWmudeh ihevid Wdcnumelcaeg ,Wncsiv cnihevid Wmwkim .evekemwk umcaihum Ikwmuvurid cnulwa Ikeaukea ctwfWgws
idwa Whwruk ,cSokWmurwf cnudeh IkwaWjux clejcnEa cawtunUmuzwm EhebWmwkiretctwnIz iaWmuruk Wmurwf cnudeh .evekenWvuz Wvcauyil cSwkwtWlcawjwm utwlcaih IvcaedcSokWmwjurwt cSwhwbihevid cnuhwbisErignia .evedIxwr cniaesuh ,cmIlwh .cmea ITcsek ,Ilwa cfirWx :OTof .Wjux clejcnea idwa ukinwm ilwa
- cnudeh ugid cniawziD IsWair Imuawg cnuhwf emcnea iawguKIrWt egEjcaWr ihevid Iaim cnudeh ugid .evemudeh Imuawg unuLeawDnwk cSwkwmudeh cSwrwk IkwtWfwt csevwmwn .eveaWkwhWbil InWvurwtcawv wncnuhun iawfiverukIrwj ,uriawncnuh iawfWfih caeLokcnwt .evemwk ejcaWr ihevid iawg 1953 Inuveruk cfwrWawt cnudeh ugid wmwtwruf egEjcaWr .evencnuhwf ivulwdwb cSwkwaWycairUhcmuj InWmwz cSwawmwtujum ihevid cnImwa udwmcawhum csIawr .eveaivcaeruk caetwkcawswm cawtea cSwmuvencneg cawtulwdwb .eveawgulWh ibit cnuhIm idea cSwmuaid cSwSwd egcaemwkcswr cSwmunid umIluawt Imcswr cSwncnunehcnwa IkwaWnEa .evekwkea cniaeret egcnuhIm wmwtwruf ivcaeruk ctwkcawswm cnehea egcpwrUy iaWSwscnWrcf cniawnigwnig cnImwa udwmcawhum iawfiverukcDOker iawguKIrWt cawturutwd ivcaeruk cSwkwtumuawg cnWvuz isEscnwrwf InwvWnEa cnutogea .eveTcauhwbea Wa .eveawfWvcaedcSok whEd cnwkitIr egcniduk cnehcnwa egumuvcaeruk cfwrWawt - cnudehugid - caemudeh Imuawg .eveaeveleb cSwmwk cnubWsihim csevItwgiawDwvibil ulWyih iaWkwtcnudeh unuLua Wl iawgukwturwhwa eg 1950 iawgcpwrUy cnutogea .eveaeveruk wgwhWf cnwkurwtcawv cnudeh ugid .eveaeverukwgwhWf cnwkurWb cSwTcawkirwa iaWSwCcawmEm iawg 1953 Iawyid cneginef wmwtwruf cnudeh ugid egumuvoh cnInWr egItIr wmwtwruf egEjcaWr ihevid ivcaEb 20 cSwmWgwmea .eveawg "cscviDclOm csim" ctWrWbum Ibit ukwywb caea .eveail itwmiruk cnufItwlcauscnij ihevid Ibit ukwywb caenwa uriaIvcSwmwk cnegiawLwa iLWs wdwgwluk csWbil iLeauLwvOb idwa ,ugidctwa ,wncnwa cSwawmwh Wywf cnukwCcaof wlwhwk itof csEl cnegiawl caemudeh eguDWf WdIs .evemudeh ugid Iaim .evencnegiawLwa uLokitofulob .evemudeh ugid ivcaeruk cniawziD csIawr
cniawziD caemudeh Wa cSwncnunehcnwa cnImwa udwmcawhum Wviawgudem egcnuhIm ikea Ikwdwsugwm caea egumuvcaeruk .eveSwmuvcaelWtcawn cawtcnuruk utWfwt egItcnwf IaWmitujia cnwxef Wgnih emcnea Inuveleb uriaea cnudeh ugid cnWvuz ISef cnWlea cniawnig evcnehim .eveawgumwk csev .evencnunehcnwa
egEa .eveawfWvcawruk ctwkcawswm wnig cSwrwv OtErukWvin IfwrcgOj cmilcsum egOkorom iawgunurwg wnwv 12 ,cniruk InwviawfevuLWdiv IsIrcdia clwa WvcSwmwk caeairevumclia IHWx inwkeawmwh Inwncnoa wdcauh cnurea cSwnWviawf InWr ivcaeruk cnwkinwr uriaea .eveSwmwk inwkea cSwaWliaWa cnutiycawr umcaWa .eveSwkwLokcnWviawf cnwr ItwgiawDwviawrwa .evelwnwm cnurea cSwnWviawf cSwncnumcaWa cnulcsWbil ukeaWmuvulwdwb cnWmwz csevwmwn csevcnuviretctwnIz cnihir iaWnwr idwa .eveaivwdcauh wmwh csevwmwn .eveaiv cSwmwk caemwk uLwgnwr emcnea emcnok iawgumuLuairid egiawdWa cnehiawa ulwdwb cSwnWmwz idwa .eveaiSef cnWvudwm cnul csWbil ulWvud ukwhwvud cSwkwturwhwa eg 1990 iaWkwturwhwa eg 1980 csog cnehim Ivcswvud cnurumua inwkeawmwh Inwl csWbil uria unuLea iaWmuvurutia cnuLea Wgurub csiawa cSwkwhwf .evencnuhIm .eveawa cSwkwmuTcauh cSwkwDnwgctWg cnul csWbil cnegiLug cnumwkcnehea .evencnumwkuDob uLwvurwk eguhWbil Ikwbwbws iawgukwtutwbwsWnum wscaWh inwkeawmwh IkwhWbil urWhim WviawfWvurof Wl cSwtwhwf emcnea egIrWmwlwa iawkwTcSwmul .evekemudeh cnuhIm wnig cSwkwawlukwnig eguhWbil ,cnehivutEv cawtcsud WkwtWbwsWnum ikea urWhim .eveawlukctwr ISefcnwncnwgiawlwb utWfwt cSwrwv Everukun udwdwa Wnug Inwd cSwhWbil cSwtogELug ,iaWkwturwviLuk IfWgws .evencnumwncneg cawtulwdwb ikea cnuTcsirUT idwa iaWkwtulWfituhia Imuawg iaWkwtcnuSen Wdcneg iawgutog egcaenWdnwh cnwdcneg cSwr Wrubnwa cniawziD cSwtogctog ikeaikea Inwncnuh csevcawtcsWbil .eveawfiveruk
urwvWruf - irubcnudeh cnuvoh egcnunWvuz InWncnuh iawfednwa cnirit .evekepoT egcaerwv wDuk Iaim Inwl cniawnig csWbil .evekeaikiDnwk egiawlukuLwk iawguSufcSwr Inwl irubcnudeh ,uriaWvcSwmwk cniLukcsum .evencniduk cnehcnwa egurwvWruf InWncnef cnukwtcnuheruk iaWkwtOTof urwhwf wnig cSwrwv cniduk cnehcnwa cnWvuz iawfcsog Wlwbcnef cawtikcsim ,cnegiawlcSokcscneleb WyiDnwb iawgItwmOb .evenwt wncnwa iaWgnwLuh egunWmwzim ,Ikwrwzcnwmim wncnwa iawgIrubcnudeh cnuLuairid egcnihevid cniruk egumuawa cawtcnudeh egWyixEa .evemudeh Ediawvukcawd
Evenub cSwmwkirevcnwzwv wmwtwruf iawgEjcaWr csevwmwn utWfwt cniLum eguhWbil InuLua iawl cnuhIm urevWrig Irwj uLwvOb ubwswk iawgulwdwb egIhir iaWnwr .evekerwtcawv .evencnidor uduh Inwviawfiveruk iaWawguLwvOb cniawdwf urcsim idwa WkcnwlIrcs WyiDcnia wmwtwruf egEjcaWr Iaea cnumed ugnor iawgiawbcswf cSwmwk ctog unuLua Wl cnudeh cnuhIm ivirevcnwzwv .eveaeveleb cawt "csIrwsesckea" wnig cSwrwv iawgumul csWbil caekwtcawtcnwk Edcseneg cnwkwmwhiruf urutia wtwvun cnuLea iawburwTcawf iaWaWLua cnwr iteDob cnutogea .eveaev iaWnwr Wviawfiveruk eretea cnurEb IkwywburwTcawf .eveaenemih egWliaWa IhWx cniretctwkcawswm iretctwa ihevid cnihir cnurukurut csWbil .evekeCcaea Ediawdwh cSwncnurwbcnem cnitwm egEa ,WhwjiLuh iawgulob InEvelebcSwmwk ivwmwhiruf ,egiawlukctwr wdwg IkwaiLwfWmur .evencnumuLea caeaiLwfWmur .evekeLokitof WviawfivelWhwjctwf cSwtog cnehcaelwhikWt egItcnwf uSwd emcnea ,uriawncnuh cawtctwvWb ikea eguhWbil caeLokcnwt Iaea .evetWfwt csWbil unuLua iawl cnuhIm idcneher iawgunurwg wnwvwdWs .evekehWbil WdWsWdIs ibwrwa ivirevcnwzwv iawgEjcaWr iawgumwkinwr egWjIdwh wnig iawgutog Wvcawruk wgwhWf WtUtwb uncbia Wyirevurutwd Iaea .eveaikiDnwk inwkeawmwh InuLua iawl cnunehcnwa .evekeDnwgitof WviawfivelWLoa iawgiawg cniawdwf caeDcnum uncbia .eveSwawmWh Inwncnuh itwmwrua cnubwbws egumwkim itwmwrua egcnuhImea cnunehcnwa ihevid Inwv WtUtwb
IfWgws wncnwa cnumwrukurut csevidwa cnunehcnwa ihevid cnukwtog caenwa InUn cnukwtogcaea Inwliawlwbim iawguTrOpirim .eveSwCcawm egcaemudeh cnit
cnudeh IfWgws egcnunehcnwa ihevid :csWbil .evencnunehcnwa ihevid egItcnwf Itwm emcnea cnutog IaWmitujia inwkeawmwh Inwl "csWbil iLefurwk" iawgunWmwz iLukcsum uLwk InWncnuh iawfWl cnuSwd cnudeh .eveSokugid InWncnuh ctwa .eveSwairit caeLokcnwtwDuk eruvcSwlukwk InWncnuh cnudehea iawl csevcnunehirif iawgutog egcaenuawncnwa ikwv IkwycaEf .eveaevugnor cnit egiawlukuduh iawgiawbcswf egIlEf .evekeycaEf .evekeCcaea unuLua
,cswyivcSwmwk cnukwtumuawg urEb Inuhej cnwrukeretea cnWrEf egiawluk ihef wdwg iaWtwr wdwg Iawa cnunehcnwa ihevid cnirevirWfwyiv ihevid .evencnumwrukurut cawtcnudeh cniaWyiDcnia idor enWvcnunEb cSwbwswk Iawyid .evencnumwrukeretea
.evekebWsih urUhcxwm IkwLotwa .dg cSwmuyiv uLwvOb ubwswk cawturwzcnwm WLwaubwswk iawguLwvOb cnegcSokcnunEb ctwfWtwg iawgWDcnef egEg .eveaenef csevurWhIm cniaegEg eguLotwaea csevwmwn .evenwtWdcSwyiruk cnegiaWtwkcawswmim cnunehcnwa cnumwvudwm .evekencnwf Wdcnumelcaeg cniaejcaWr urWhim Iaim .evekerwnuh wncnwa
iaWLwvurwk Ikwmwk Everuk wgwhWf emcnea eguhWbil ihevid Inwncnuh iawfcSokIrwj .evemwkwncnuh iawfcSokIrwj iawbcswf ihevid cSwtog EverukIrwj .evencnidor egIhir iaWnwr iawfcSokIrwj .eveaeviawfcsiawa cawtulwdwb ikea iawguKIrWt .evea "uLwvOb ubwswk " Inwyik cSwLwvurwk wncnuh .evencnunehcnwa Inwruk ctwkcawswmim
: cnudeh IfgWs w
egcnihevid Wdcnumelcaeg cnwkwtcnwvwlcaimwa
csevwmwn .evemISud cnemerwhwa urwzcnwm unuLuacSok cawtctwkcawswm egumuLuairid eguhwvud iawgumudeh IfWgws ,cniawfWk iaWncniawmWm egcnemerwhwa Inwncnef iawgcaetog umcaWa urWhim cawtcnudeh wdwfim .evenUn caeCcaekwt wncnef cnumuLuairid egulWvud iawgcaetog umcaWa Ikwkwtcnudeh IfWgwsudwaim cniaim ,uriaWvcSwmwk cnwkwtcnwvwlcaimwa uDob emcaea wncnuh wncnef iawgcaemuawg ea Ikwmudeh IfWgws .eveawgukwtWbwsWnum ikwaikea iaWkwtulWfituhia Imuawg Ediawncnwgnua cawtwkwhWv iaWkwtWsidWh ikeaikea eguKIrWt egcnutiycawr iaWmuawg Iaim idwa .eveaediawvukcawd csevcnwkirwvuncnwf egcnutiycawr egcaemuawgea .eveketwfWgws cnihircnwr idwa iaWmurukWvin uDnwgiSwh iLum .evekemwk Ediawvugcnwa itcnwf iaWmitujia egcaehImea Ikwmudeh cnutogiruh wdWkwdWa egEjcaWr iawgunWmwzIruk iawguKIrWt egEjcaWr csevcaenWmwz iv cSwmwk cawtcnwk wdcauh cSwncnuLufEb iaWkwtWliaWa IhWx inwkeawmwh Iaea cnuLea cnudeh Wviawfiveruk Irwj .eveawyid 105
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RESORT HOTEL MALDIVES Lily Beach Resort & Spa
A Member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World A Member of the Responsible Hotels of the World Best Small Hotel Maldives 2011 - Awarded by International Hotels Award Certificate of Excellence 2011 - Awarded by Tripadvisor Best Spa in a Beach Resort 2010 - Awarded by Senses VARA Indian Oceanâ€™s Leading Villa 2009 - Hideaway Palace - World Travel Awards