Dear Members, The Liveaboard Industry has grown from a handful of Yacht Dhonis to well over a100 Liveaboards, ranging from 50ft basic non-modernized standard Safari Dhonis to 85ft Liveaboards. Todayâ€™s vessels are further high-tech modernized Liveaboards of over 120ft in length, with the look of European designed Motor-Yachts and facilitated with air-conditioned cabins, spa facilities and even with Jacuzzis onboard, to list the least. In 2007, some members from the Liveaboard Industry, invited all Liveaboard operators and owners to a meeting to negotiate and communicate with the interest of forming a Liveaboard Association in the Maldives. The main objective of forming an association was to be recognized nationally and internationally as a community on addressing and finding solutions to difficulties and other issues involved in the Liveaboard operations including environmental issues, international promotions and staff development. The Liveaboard Association of Maldives have successfully represented the Maldives and the industry on international Scuba Diving and Boating Exhibitions held in Germany, United Kingdom and Singapore, and have confirmed to participate on many other travel events in the future with the aim of making Maldives a premium destination of Liveaboard Tourism in the world. I would like to thank the members who are involved in the Liveaboard Association of Maldives for their dedication, hard work and continuous support in making this a reality. And I believe that the teamwork always results in productive success. As we still have a long journey ahead, I call upon the remaining members of the industry to sail with us to achieve success for the industry. With thanks and best regards, Moosa Rasheed President 2009 - 2011
02 ISSUE 2010 - 2011 The Liveaboards of Maldives
Situated on the most travelled ocean of the ancient world, the tiny island nation of the Maldives is a treasure trove of a unique collection of idyllic palm-fringed islands, ringed by unspoiled coral reefs, teeming with a kaleidoscope of marine life in warm crystal clear turquoise waters. In a country that is more sea than land Maldives became a seafaring nation where the main economic activity was fishing and trade. The craft of boat-building became a distinctive talent and the Maldivian fishing dhoni is a vessel that is versatile enough for different conditions. Today the traditions of the past are merged into the present as the liveaboard vessels of the tourism industry provides the tourists who visit the Maldives with diving, surfing, and game fishing safaris aboard vessels that combine the features of the traditional fishing dhonis with the comforts of modern technology. In this second issue of the magazine by the Liveaboard Asssociation of the Maldives, stories about the history of boat-building, a tale of how the term â€˜Yacht Dhoniâ€™ came about and why Maldives is a perfect place for marine adventures are told. Maldives has always been one of the most nautical nations of the Indian Ocean and the evanescent nature of the islands, some tiny islands disappear while new islands slowly form, truly makes it one of the seven natural wonders of world that any visitor should explore.
Aminath Ahmed Shihab, PhD
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EDITORIAL Chief Editor | Aminath Ahmed Shihab, PhD Content Manager| Hussain Shiham PRODUCTION Managing Director | Ahmed Razeen Project Director | Hussain Shiham Director Sales & Marketing | Habeeba Hussain Art Director | Ismail Nihad
Marketing Analyst | Sales & Marketing Team Editorial Research | Obscura Publishing (Production Team) Maldives Map | Hussain Asthar MARKETING Director Sales & Marketing | Habeeba Hussain Sales & Marketing Manager| Mariyam Azima Sales & Marketing Executive | Lubna Imad
PRINT PARTNER Times Printers (Singapore) EDITORIAL INQUARIES firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com DEVELOPER OBSCURA PUBLISHING M. Banff Villa (6th Floor) Majeedhee Magu, 20259 Male’ Maldives Tel: +960 330 6908 Fax: +960 330 6907 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.obscuramaldives.com www.theliveaboardsofmaldives.com.mv The Official Publication of the Liveaboards Association of Maldives Published and Developed by Obscura Pvt Ltd ©2010 Obscura Publishing The Liveaboards of Maldives is an annual publication All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any materials in this magazine is expressly prohibited. Publisher reserves the right to accept or reject all advertising matter 06 ISSUE 2010 - 2011 The Liveaboards of Maldives
MEDIA Media Manager | Raimoon Zahir Media Representative | Mariyam Azima LEGAL Legal Counsel | Hassan Shiyam Mohamed PHOTOGRAPHY Photographer | Ahmed Razeen (Camera Obscura) Photographer | Hussain Shiham (Camera Obscura) Underwater Photographer | Azim Musthaq Underwater Photographer | Mohamed Shafraz Naeem LAYOUT AND DESIGN Layout | Ismail Nihad Layout | Samra Saleem Graphics Designer | Hussain Saleem ADVERTISEMENT MAKE UP Stylist | Aminath Fathy TRANSLATOR German Translator |Verena Wiesbaur COVER Concept |Obscura Publishing (Production Team) Render |Mauroof Khalid
Representatives Maldives Scuba Tours Ltd Innovation House, Boldero Road Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP32 7BS England, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1284 748010 Fax: +44 (0) 1284 748011 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.scubascuba.com Maldives Liveaboards Edenberg 6 8262 Ilz, Austria Tel: +43 3385 21522 Fax: +43 3385 21563 Email: email@example.com Website: www.maldivesliveaboards.com World Travel Service Inc C/o Maldives Dive Travel Century Tower, 14th Floor, office 1411 Richardo J.Alfaro Avenue, Panama City, Republic of Panama Tel: +1 315 805 5535, +49 30 8939 1967 Fax: +44 203 004 1592 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.maldivesdivetravel.com Ocean Stripe Pvt Ltd Mr. David Mesnard Peter Hughes Diving 15291 NW 60th Ave. Suite 201 Miami Lakes-FL 33014 USA Tel: +305 669 9391 Fax: +305 669 9475 Mobile: +960 7787670 Email: email@example.com Website: www.peterhughes.com
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Honors Holidays Kyungsuh B/D 5F, #356-3, Seogyo-Dong Mapo-Gu, Seoul, Korea 121-838 Tel: +82 2 325 7007 Fax: +82 2 322 4843 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.honorsholidays.com Seafari Maldives La Buissoniere 27230, Fontaine La Louvet, France Tel: +33 (0) 698 305 5205 Mobile Direct MA: +960 765 4817 Email: Maldives@seafari-int.com Website: www.seafari-int.com Seafari Adventures Srl P.le Padania 4a 20035 Lissone, Italy Tel: +39 039 2455405 Fax: +39 039 4655385 Email: email@example.com Website: www.seafariadventures.it AMA Pte Ltd #205 3-17-13 Nakamachi Setagaya Tokyo, Japan Tel: +81 904 3690926 Fax: +81 035 7583881 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.blueksafari.com.mv Maldiviana 2/15 Maroseika Str, 101000 Moscow, Russia Tel: +7495 105 1111, 624 0610 Mobile: +7495 625 7050 Email: Ibrahim@maldiviana.com.mv Website: www.maldives.ru
Mauroof Khalid (Mconsultants) | Cover Render Ibrahim Arif (Mconsultant) Verena Wiesbauer | Writer, German Translator Arshad Jameel | Writer Mariyam Saleem | Writer Ahmed Ahidh Rasheedh | Writer Mohamed Seeneen (SINDI) | Writer, Underwater Photographer My Maldives | Maldives Info Pack (www.mymaldives.com) Hussain Asthar (THARRU) | Maldives Map (Xdesigns) Ismail Hameed (Isse) | Liveaboard Association of Maldives (Secretary General) Surf Association of Maldives Marine Research Center Kiram (Kiram Studio) Maldivian Maldivian Air Taxi Trans Maldivian Airways Anwar Hussain Muhammed Ali (Philippe Laurella)
SPECIAL THANKS Holiday Inn MalĂŠ Search Maldives Pvt Ltd
Nahu is a surfer who has built a life from his passion by working freelance as a surf guide mostly on safari boats in the Maldives. He is also a surf photographer and is part of Maldives Surfing Association. Nahu has been part of many surfing competitions as a judge in both local and international events including ASP and Japan WQS Pro Junior.
Afra Rasheed, is an upcoming freelance writer who has written articles and produced documents for various publications, and is currently pursuing higher education in the field of Media and Communications.
Thomas Le Berre A qualified coastal oceanographer, (ENSTA, Paris, 1998), Thomas Le Berre has been living in the Maldives since 1998. Having established Seamarc in 2000, he has been involved with the regeneration of the Maldivian reefs since 2003 and continues to work towards his goal of making coral reef transplant projects a mainstay of the Maldivian tourism industry and a mitigation measure to coastal development.
The Diving Association of Maldives (DAM) is a Non Governmental Organization developed to serve the interests of diving. Our goals include promoting diving in Maldives and the local dive industry, to protect and preserve the underwater environment. Website: www.dam.org.mv
10 ISSUE 2010 - 2011 The Liveaboards of Maldives
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Liveaboard Association of Maldives at a glance
What dreams are made of... Maldives
Creating something from nothing
According to Ahmed Adam
AMâ€™s aim was to create professionals to enhance the services provided in this industry...
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very Maldivian resort is housed on a separate island offering a unique blend of modern luxury...
so many incredible things happened to come to this point in history...
Restoring the coral reefs
Maldives A wonder of the world
A Vision of a greener future by the global president
The Maldives is most renown
oncerned by the sharp decline in coral cover around their resort, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa first approached...
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for its breathtaking beauty, in the form of azure blue seas to match the clear skies...
e want to ensure the survival of the Maldives and planet. Climate change is not a distant or abstract phenomenon...
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Up close & personal with the Whale Sharks
“ Woraus die Träume sind...Malediven”
Die Malediven: Wunder der Natur
Maldives is one of the few
Auf dem vierten nördlichen
Die Malediven sind für ihre
places in the world that Whale Sharks can be seen 365 days a year...
Längengrad und dem 73. östlichen Breitengrad erstrecken sich 1190 Koralleninseln...
atemberaubende Schönheit aufgrund des azurblauen Wassers, des wolkenlosen Himmels...
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Liveaboard Association of Maldives at a glance 2009 - 2010
LAM associated with Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Studies to hold the 1st Certified Liveaboard Crew Training Programme during May 2009 LAM’s aim was to create professionals to enhance the services provided in this industry. Hence, LAM requested the Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism Studies to conduct a special Liveaboard Crew Training Programme at a time which was convenient for most of the Liveaboards”.
LAM initiated and associated with Divers Association and Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme to hold the 1st Whale Shark Awareness Programme for Maldivian Liveaboards and Divers during April 2009. “Whale Shark watching is part of each Scuba Diving Trip and the importance of an awareness programme was in need. Hence, LAM communicated with the MWRSP and DAM to hold this event which was successfully held on 16th April at Dharubaaruge”.
LAM appointed Obscura Pvt Ltd to develop the Exclusive Publication “Liveaboards of Maldives” for 2 years (2009 and 2010) during January 2009
LAM launches a Maintenance and Operations Handbook during April 2009.
“The Intention and the Aim of creating a medium of Promotion through a publication was to create the opportunity for LAM members to advertise and promote their products in an affordable way”.
Mr. Abdulla Hameed developed a special safety handbook for the crew members and captains of Liveaboards. The handbook was distributed free of charge to the industry stakeholders.
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Images provided by Liveaboard Association of Maldives
LAM is currently working with the Ministry of Tourism to get a designated harbor for the safe anchoring of Liveaboards.
LAM Launches a Special Safety Hand book “Stay Safe afloat” made by MNDF Coast Guard during April 2010.
LAM has been working closely with the Ministry of Tourism for more than 2 - 3 years about getting a safe harbor for the Tourist Liveaboards. Most of the members prefer staying at Hulhumale’ lagoon due to logistical and maintenance convenience. Hence, LAM has been requesting the Tourism Ministry to provide a designated area for the Liveaboards at Hulhumale’ Lagoon.
MNDF Coast Guard developed a special safety handbook for the crew members and captains of Liveaboards. The handbook was distributed free of charge to the industry stakeholders. This special safety handbook was published by LAM.
STAY SAFE AFLOAT 2009 LAM conducted Safety Awareness Programme for Crews and Captains in association with MNDF Coast Guard and Maldives Police Services. The two-day physical training programme was to ensure the safety and to train the crew in responding to emergency situations. LAM Participates at ADEX 2010 in Singapore from 09 – 11th April. LAM promotes Liveaboard tourism at the largest Dive Expo held in Singapore from 09th – 11th April 2010 at Suntec City Convention Centre, Singapore. The members of LAM represented their boats at this event. It’s the 16th Year of this event and the last time Maldives participated was in 2004.
Liveaboards Association of Maldives (LAM) to host the MNCCI International Boat Show in association with Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry has entered into an agreement with Liveaboard Association of Maldives to jointly host its International Boat show to be held in Male' from 15th to 17th October 2010. The agreement was signed at a ceremony held at MNCCI. The agreement was signed on behalf of Liveaboard Association of Maldives Mr.Moosa Rasheed (President of LAM) and on behalf of MNCCI its EC member Mr. Ali Aiman. The main purpose of the agreement is to involve the respective sector association and NGOs to host the events of the similar nature. The expertise and the network of liveaboard sector will be highly useful for the success of an event of this sort.
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THE MANAGEMENT 2009 - 2011
Mr. Moosa Rasheed
Mr. Mukthar Hassan
Mr. Ismail Hameed
Ms. Shahina Ali
Mr. Abdulla Ibrahim Fulhu
Deputy Secretary General
Mr. Ibrahim Hussain Manik Mr. Hussain Shahudhy
Mr. Ibrahim Saleem
Mr. Ibrahim Shahid
Mr. Mufeed Abdulla
Mr. Ahmed Afrah
Mr. Mohamed Shahid
Ms. Aminath Salah
Mr. Fayyaz Ismail
EXECUTIVE MEMBERS 2009 - 2010
Arnaud Pochat Baron
Aminath Nina Nizar
Ibrahim Hussain Manik
Abdulla Ibrahim Fulhu
SAFETY, SECURITY & STANDARDS COMMITTEE Appointed Head
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“What dreams are made of...Maldives”
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LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY Lying between the latitudes 4 degree 17 North and longitudes 73 degree 50 East, the 1,190 coral islands that make up the Maldives are scattered across the equator over a total area of 90,000 square kilometers in groups of 26 naturally occurring atolls. 200 of these tiny islands are inhabited and around a 100 of the uninhabited islands have been developed into luxurious resorts offering visitors their own private hideaway. The capital of the Maldives is Malé, which is located in the middle of the atoll chain, a small island buzzing with the sounds and activities of more than 150,000 people, which is more than one third of the entire population.
CLIMATE The Maldives enjoys a year round temperature that remains between 25 – 30 degrees Celsius. The weather is mainly warm and humid with pleasant sea breezes to enhance the luxury of the sun, sea and sand.
HISTORY & RELIGION Although archeological finds indicate that the Maldives was inhabited as early as 1500 BC, much of the country’s origin is lost in history. It is believed that the most important factor that contributed to the settlement of people in the Maldives is its geographical location from travellers on the Silk Route and from the Indus Valley Civilisation. Among these travelers were the Chinese historian Ma Huan and the famous Arab traveler Ibn Batuta. The Maldives converted to Islam in 1153 AD and it is most probable that early Maldivians were Buddhists or Hindus migrating from the Indian subcontinent.
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The Maldives is located at an important crossroad in the Indian Ocean and hence Maldivian culture is a melting pot of various influences gathered from visitors who set foot on the nation throughout the times. Bearing resemblances to Indian, Sri Lankan, Arabian, Persian, Indonesian, Malaysian, and African cultural traits, Maldivians have assimilated this throughout the years and has created their own cultural identity.
Tourism is the largest industry in the Maldives with 20% of it's GDP and 60% of the foreign exchange that flows into the country coming through the tourism sector. Also, over 90% of the government tax revenue comes from tourism related taxes and import duties. Fishing is the second leading economic sector of the Maldives with a significant amount of the countryâ€™s income being generated through the export of live fish and other marine products. In 1887, the Maldives became a British protectorate and Maldives gained fully independent status on July 26, 1965 and later changed the government from a Monarchy to a Republic on November 11, 1968. The Maldives had its first multi-party elections in 2008, with the election of the current president Mohamed Nasheed.
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Rufiyaa (MRf) and Laari (L) (1 Rufiyaa â€“ 100 Laaris) Rufiyaa bank notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500. Coins are in the denominations of MRf 2, MRf 1 ,50 L, 25 L, 10 L, 5 L, 2 L, 1 L.
Every Maldivian resort is housed on a separate island offering a unique blend of modern luxury and isolated serenity. With no exception, all resorts have soft sandy beaches, translucent clear lagoons and a variety of marine flora and fauna among everything else you would expect on a tropical vacation.
COMMONLY USED CREDIT CARDS American Express, Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, JCB and Euro Card
OFFICIAL EXCHANGE RATES: US$ 1 = MRF 12.85
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AIRLINES AND THE HULHULE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The Maldives is served by all major scheduled airlines in the region in addition to several charter flights from Europe.
The Maldives is 5 hours ahead of the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
Malé International Airport is located on a geographically separate island named Hulhulé, which is about 10 minutes boat ride from the capital. A ferry service is available from Hulhule’ to the capital around the clock. Transfers to resorts would be arranged prior to arrival by your resorts/tour operators via speedboat or seaplane.
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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS & EXEMPTIONS Visitors of all nationalities in possession of the following would be granted entry into the Maldives: • a valid international travel document issued by a sovereign state’s government • a valid return air ticket and necessary visas to a destination where the passenger has permission to enter • a minimum of US$30.00 per person per day or confirmed hotel reservation for the intended period of stay in the Maldives One or more of the above requirements may be waived for the following personnel: • Diplomats, UN personnel and Persons already approved for employment in the country • Technical and other experts attached to the Maldives Government • Personnel with confirmed bookings in a registered tourist accommodation in the country • Personnel sponsored by Maldivians
PROHIBITED ITEMS Please note that the import of firearms, liquor, drugs, dogs, pigs, pork products and pornography in to the Maldives is strictly prohibited. Alcohol may be imported only with an official license.
TOURIST VISA No prior visa is required to enter the Maldives and based on immigration requirements, a 30-days tourist visa will be granted on arrival. However, an entry permit does not permit visitors to take up employment, set up any business or conduct any professional activities (paid or unpaid) except with the consent of the government and in compliance with pertinent laws and regulations of the Maldives.
Pornographic literature; idols of worship; certain animal products; explosives and weapons; alcoholic beverages are not allowed into the Maldives. Drugs are strictly prohibited; the penalty for importing drugs for personal or other use is life imprisonment. Personal pets apart from dogs can be brought with a special permission and all animals require a veterinary certificate. The following, among other things, may not be exported in any form: Black corals, Stony Corals, Triton Shells, Pearl Oysters, Lobsters, Turtles and Turtle shells. Please also note that following animals are prohibited for collection and fishing: Black Corals, Conches, Giant Clams, Berried and small lobsters, Turtles, Napoleon Wrasses, Dolphins, Whale Sharks and Whales.
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SEA PLANE TOURS The seaplane companies operating in the Maldives offer spectacular flights over the atolls giving you the perfect opportunity to fully appreciate the breathtaking views of the coral reefs, islands and the crystalline lagoons. The services of the sea planes include airport-to-resort shuttles, island hopping and short sight seeing trips. The flight companies also offer sea planes for aerial photography.
CRUISE BOATS Given that the islands of the Maldives are scattered across the ocean, perhaps the best way to explore this unique archipelago is on a cruise boat. The many liveaboard cruise boats operating in the country vary in size from 3 cabin sailing boats to much larger ones and offer facilities and services ranging from modest to exclusive. These vessels are staffed by highly experienced professionals who know the Maldivian waters like the backs of their hands. These cruise boats can take you to some world-renowned dive sites, as well as fishing trips, excursions to uninhabited islands and also to inhabited ones to give you a glimpse into the local way of life.
OTHER WATER SPORTS
All resorts have water sports centers that provide a range of water sports activities which include snorkeling, windsurfing, parasailing, kayaking, kite-surfing, water skiing, jet skiing and catamaran sailing. These centers are well equipped and some even offer beginners and advanced courses in windsurfing and sailing.
The Maldives is acknowledged for some world recognized surf spots and has been host to many World Qualifying Series competitions. The best time to surf in the Maldives is from April to October, with the biggest swells likely to occur in between June and September. The surf generally ranges in size from 3 – 8 feet although bigger ones are experienced occasionally. A great variety of breaks can be found in the Maldives ranging in intensity from the quite mellow shreddable walls to gnarlier hollow pits. There are two major surf areas in the Maldives, the North Malé Atoll (April – October) and the Outer Atolls (February – April).
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For those who would love to see the underwater but are hesitant to take the deep plunge, snorkeling is a wonderful alternative. Since the lagoons of the Maldives are so clear, with just a snorkel mask and fin you can be witness to the activities of the many different species of fish and fauna on the unique Maldivian reefs. You are guaranteed to encounter playful fish and rare corals even on the resorts’ house reefs and perhaps a turtle or some other curious creatures too if you are lucky.
It is not without good reason that the Maldives has acquired a reputation as one of the most enchanting dive destinations in the world. The unique beauty of the Maldivian underwater world is doubly appreciated by divers world over due to the high visibility (sometimes even at depths of 50 meters), the multitude of exotic marine fauna and flora and the warm temperatures (25 – 30 degrees Celsius) throughout the year. All resorts and most cruise boats operating in the Maldives have well equipped dive centers and dive schools staffed by multilingual, experienced professionals. A variety of dive courses ranging from beginners’ to expert PADI certification are offered and all resorts conduct daily boat trips to dive sites around the island throughout the year and sometimes even to famous sites further away.
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30 ISSUE 2010 - 2011 The Liveaboards of Maldives
SOCIAL CONVENTIONS Maldives is a place which invites an informal dress code and it is advisable for women to wear modest clothing in Male’ and other inhabited islands. Female tourists entering mosques are required to cover their entire body, except the neck and the face. If you meet a Maldivian, the best way to greet him will be to shake his hand. Maldives being a Muslim state, the locals fast during the month of Ramadan and eating in public places during this month may offend the local population.
ISLAND HOPPING An “island hopping” excursion means you will get to visit an uninhabited island, snorkel in its clear untouched waters and enjoy a barbeque on the beach, visit an inhabited island which will give you a glimpse of the local communities and maybe visit another resort. “Island hopping” is usually a one day tour.
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VISIT TO MALÉ THE CAPITAL A visit to the small but busy capital is a must as it allows a glimpse into Maldivian urban life which is very different from the lifestyles in the resorts or the other inhabited islands. Among some of the many attractions in male are:
The Islamic Centre is not only the most famous architectural landmark in Malé, but also houses one of the biggest and finest mosques in the Southeast Asian region. The Hukuru Miskiy (Friday Mosque) built in 1656 is another fascinating monument that is an essential stop on any tour of Malé. Medhu Ziyaaraiy is the shrine of Abu-al Barakath Yusuf al Barbaree –the Moroccan scholar believed to be responsible for the advent of Islam in the Maldives. Mulee-aage is the presidential palace. The Fish Market is a bustling centre where local fishermen sell their daily catches. Opposite the fish market is the local market where you would find fruits, vegetables and other products brought in from the islands. Seaside cafe’s are numerous and most are located along the coast of the Henveiru district. Witness the local coffee culture and be part of it as you sip your coffee while gazing at the sea.
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“It is very important to understand how it all began….”
Images provided by Mr. Ahmed Adam
It all started more than fifty years ago when a young boy from Dhaalu Atoll was among the chosen to go to Ceylon for studies. Mr. Ahmed Adam of H. Hikary was eleven years old when the then new President Mohamed Ameen Didi decided to take two kids from each atoll to Male’ for studies. One and half years later he got the opportunity to go to Sri Lanka, at that time called Ceylon. There were many notable names among the people he was close to including the former President of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Abul Satar Moosa Didi, Koli Ali Maniku and Kandi Ahmed Ismail. It was also during his years in Ceylon that he met someone who had an enormous influence on his life in later years; the second President of Maldives, Ibrahim Nasir. Because of the government’s need for people to operate freighters, Ahmed Adam spent four years studying marine engineering and then was sent to England to specialize in engineering and when he came back he was responsible for the power house in Male’. It turned out to be a very challenging period of time in his life as he was responsible for all the technical engineering in the Maldives. In 1967, he recalled that a Swedish oil company came to Maldives and one night while they were having dinner one of them told him, “Adam, I have something surprising to tell you. I see in the near future that this place will become one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world”. And to him it was a surprising thing to be told as during those days there were about only four to five places in Male’ that a westerner can even take residence. But the Swede told him it is not your facilities; it is the natural resources you have.
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How true his prediction turned out to be as five years later in 1972, tourism was introduced to Maldives. Ahmed Adam can be called one of the pioneers of the tourism industry of Maldives as he played a very key role in the development of it. He was the first manager of Bandos Island Resort and he was the first person to convert a local fishing Dhoni (boat) built entirely out of local coconut wood into a safari boat. Something that started out as a hobby became a business that was vastly successful. From 1973- 1978 he introduced eight safari boats to tourism including Sinbad, Ali Baba and Aladeen, one of the most famous safari boats in Maldivian tourism history. Powered by Japanese made Yanmar 2-T diesel engine, it earned itself the nickname Yacht Dhoni, with semi-modern facilities including toilets and sleeping cabin that could accommodate up to 6 people. Out of his eight safaris, three operated diving safaris and five served as game fishing using local fishing methods. Aladeen also sailed the famous German photographer Michael Friedel who took various pictures of Maldives and the yacht dhoni that were published, and to this day people come up to him and ask if they could sail in the famous Aladeen yacht dhoni. Ahmed Adam worked as a safari boat operator for 11-12 years and he was also involved in resort business owning Ihuru, Vabinfaru and Kuredu. These days he is not directly involved in tourism however, for the last 20 years he had indirectly contributed plenty to the industry. Until recently he was the only one doing maintenance work on safari boats and 80 to 90 percent of the safaris in Maldives uses his slipway.
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President Nasir introduced the biggest challenge of his life to him on his principle to “create something out of nothing”. It gave him great pleasure to use his own ingenuity without relying on the proper tools to create something amazing. He praises the Maldivians for being very creative and being great craftsmen as he had seen really great yachts in Europe but to build something like the yacht dhoni without any background was a big achievement. Because of his belief in giving back to the society he opened Vocational Training Center (VTC) in the 60s to educate the youth on engineering and plenty of young people were enthusiastic in participating because it was a time when all the youth contributed to the society from what opportunities they found and what knowledge they gained. Their philosophy was “how much can we do for you” and it was something that came from deep within them as the desire to be creative was inherent in them. According to Ahmed Adam so many incredible things happened to come to this point in history of Maldives maritime and tourism. And it is a very important thing to understand the “chain of events” and how it came about; how fast it went. Ahmed Adam says the generation today should never forget their origins, of who they are. “Always know where you came from so you can learn from things that had forgone before you”.
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Images provided by Seamark Pvt. Ltd.
Restoring the coral reefs of Maldives
The Republic of Maldives has been in the limelight, as the small island state taking the most proactive steps to protect its natural resources and territory in the face of global warming. But with the basaltic foundation of the Maldives sinking, a fast pace of sea level rise forecast, global temperature increase to level beyond the threshold of tolerance for many coral species, what can be done to prevent the islands from disappearing altogether? The answer lies with the coral reefs; and more specifically, their ability to calcify sufficient amounts of calcium carbonate to stay close to the surface and so protect the islands from the wave erosion that eventually threatens to wash them away. The mass coral bleaching caused by the 1998 El Ni単o event further highlighted the problems faced by this archipelago of coral atolls. Protection and conservation of the reefs is a key to a secure future as it is expected that the coral reefs will be gone before the islands. 38 ISSUE 2010 - 2011 The Liveaboards of Maldives
Concerned by the sharp decline in coral cover around their resort, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa (Kaafu Atoll) first approached Seamarc Pvt. Ltd., a local environmental consultancy, in 2001 to see what could be done in terms of coral transplantation using artificial reef ball structures. Meeting little success in terms of coral survival and given the operational difficulties in terms of deployment and logistics in the context of a resort, Four Seasons supported Seamarc in the development of innovative and lightweight coral frames. These new structures, known as coral trays, were used to great effect during the construction phase at Four Seasons second resort at Landaa Giraavaru in Baa Atoll in 2005. In addition to saving a significant number of coral colonies and creating 350 m2 of coral reef in a previously empty reef flat (the shallow area between the shoreline and the crest of the fringing reef) the quantity of fish attracted to and inhabiting the newly created reef exceeded expectations. These reefs are now some of the liveliest areas in the waters around Landaa Giraavaru. In addition, specific coral habitats have been recreated enabling the re-establishment of fish species that had been wiped out or severely threatened locally. Given the successes met during the first coral tray experiment, the resort decided to carry on with the project and more coral trays were deployed using second-generation fragments from the initial reefs. To date, over 1500 m2 of structures covering an area of 1 hectare have been developed at the two Four Seasons property, in Landaa Giraavaru, Baa atoll and Kuda Huraa, North Maleâ€™ atoll, thanks to the support of the resort and guests alike. Over 40 species of corals have been successfully transplanted, with coral colonies already hiding all evidence of the early structures, transforming an empty reef flat into an oasis of diversity. The project has now been expanded to other resorts.
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From a socio-economic point of view, another problem that the Maldivians face is the lack of alternative livelihoods to unsustainable practices. For local youth, it is difficult to find any stable employment in their native islands other than fishing. Seamarc therefore decided to cater for the need for coral frames structures at its associated resorts by establishing a production unit in the small community of Fulhadhoo: an island of fewer than 300 inhabitants in Baa Atoll. Fulhadhoo is currently capable of producing over 200 m2 of coral trays per month. Many more islands could follow suit, should demand increase. Seamarcâ€™s Reefscapers initiative sees resorts like Landaa Giraavaru employing a marine biologist to establish a sponsorship project with the resortâ€™s guests. For each coral tray, such factors as coral survival and growth, pruning possibilities, additional transplantation requirements, fish species attracted, success of different species and tracking of genotypes are all recorded on the database. In addition, pictures are taken and presented to sponsors on the Reefscapers website, www.reefscapers.com. The number of guests visiting the artificial reefs on guided snorkeling tours, number of guests sponsoring coral trays and number of coral tray being deployed are also recorded. 40 ISSUE 2010 - 2011 The Liveaboards of Maldives
The Reefscapers initiative is looking to increase the number of resorts involved and the number of jobs created. In time, by supporting the reproduction of the most successful colonies, it is hoped that the project will also help develop ever more resistant coral offspring, better adapted to withstand higher sea water temperatures.
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Awonder of the world
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The Maldives is most renown for its breathtaking beauty, in the form of azure blue seas to match the clear skies, white coral sand, and vibrant coral reefs. A sure heaven for divers, photographers and vacationers alike, the coral islands provide an array of tranquil and outstanding beauty, unknown in any other part of the world. The first and foremost wonder of the nation lies in its formation. The 1192 small islands are grouped into 26 natural atolls, spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometers. The islands are low-lying, the highest point on any island being no more than one and a half meter above sea level. This feature makes the nation especially vulnerable to environmental hazards, particularly to sea level rising. Signs of erosion are evident on most islands even today, and stringent environment laws have been enacted to delay what most foresee as the inevitable. The word ‘atoll’, which is currently used worldwide, originated from the Maldivian language, ‘Dhivehi’. The language has survived over centuries, and Maldivians continue to take pride in the mother tongue. Due to the widespread distribution of the islands, differences in pronunciation and vocabulary developed over the years. The most significant dialects are spoken in the Southern Atolls. Although the education system is based on English, Dhivehi is used for all administrative purposes, and almost all Maldivians speak the language fluently. Approximately 200 of the islands are populated, scattered into small communities, some being less in number than a hundred. Maldivians thrived on rural life, depending on the seas for food. The first occupation Maldivians engaged in industrially was fishing, utilizing the resource of the surrounding seas to provide food for the communities. Locals manufactured their own fishing vessels, a practice still observed even today. The process demonstrates the craftsmanship and skill of the local boat builders.
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Diving and water sports enthusiasts visit the nation to enjoy the flourishing coral reefs and the sunny seas. Over 1000 species of fish have been identified in Maldives, and over 300 of these species were recorded in Maldives for the first time. Seven species were described as completely new to science, indicating the underwater diversity of the nation. Tourism was introduced in the early seventies, opening the nation to the world. The rich biodiversity of the oceans contribute to the success of this industry, in addition to the tropical climate. Coconut palms and tropical plants are found in abundance on the islands. The tourist resorts have a unique one island, one resort concept, promising total seclusion from the outside world. Safari vessels are also operational if you wish to spend your holidays surrounded by nothing other than ocean and sun. Maldives, with all its unique and distinctive features, offers a touch of paradise. Secluded from the hectic world, the thriving coral reefs guard the pearl islands amidst the oceans. For those who come here, it would be hard to imagine any place more wondrous, while surrounded by tropical nature in all its simplicity.
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Images provided by President's Office
AVision of a Greener Future by the Global President
You’ve been called the ‘Global President’ because of your involvement with the environment. Tell us in a few words what you truly stand for? President Nasheed: we want to ensure the survival of the Maldives and planet. Climate change is not a distant or abstract phenomenon in the Maldives. The affects of climate change are being felt today. One third of inhabited islands in the Maldives are suffering from coastal erosion, which is exacerbated by climate change. Fishermen are complaining that weather patterns have become unpredictable and warmer and more acidic seas threaten our coral reefs.
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We have lived in the Maldives for over 2000 years. I don’t think any of us want to trade this country for a refugee camp. I don’t want to see my children or grand children end up in a climate refugee camp. But we also have to understand its not only going to be us, Maldivians, who are going to be climate refugees. If the world fails to curb carbon dioxide emissions and global temperatures continue to soar, these problems will worsen over the coming decades and affect the rest of the planet. You have stated that the global environment problem is also a human rights issue. Can you enlighten us on that? President Nasheed: Climate change is no ‘soft’ environmental issue. It is increasingly being viewed as a ‘hard’ military threat multiplier. A 2007 report by CNA Corporation, a Pentagon funded think-tank, co-authored by a dozen former American generals, states that unless carbon dioxide emissions are rapidly reduced, climate change will: “create sustained natural and humanitarian disasters on a scale far beyond those we see today.” These disasters threaten to destabilize entire regions, “fostering the conditions for internal conflicts, extremism and a movement toward increased authoritarianism and radical ideologies.” As well is being a security multiplier, climate change could wipe out decades of development in poorer countries and threatens fundamental human rights. Left unchecked, rising temperatures will submerge low lying countries and swamp some of the world’s great coastal cities, killing and displacing millions of people. What’s on the agenda for Maldives’ plans to become the first carbon neutral country in the world in ten years? President Nasheed: We want the Maldives to be the most eco-friendly country in the world. This vision was informed by an eco-plan drawn up by British climate and energy experts Mark Lynas and Chris Goodall in February, last year. Their plan states that the Maldives can achieve carbon neutrality in 10 years by switching its energy production from fossil fuels to renewables. Our carbon neutral plan envisaged the total decarbonisation of the Maldivian economy, largely achieved by shifting from oil to 100% renewable electricity generation and by gradually replacing petrol and diesel boat and car engines with greener technology.
If I go into specifics, our carbon neutral plan calculates that 155 1.5 MW wind turbines, coupled with 0.5 sq. km of solar panels and a back up biomass plant would provide adequate green electricity for the entire country. Tidal and wave power is also a potential energy option. Aviation is trickier. Wide bodied, commercial airplanes need kerosene to fly. So until someone invents bio-kerosene, aircraft will continue to burn fossil fuels. The Maldivian economy is, and will continue to be, heavily dependent on tourism. The vast majority of holidaymakers to the Maldives come from Europe and East Asia. So, reducing the number of flights to and from the Maldives isn’t an option for us. The plan states that emissions caused by international flights to the Maldives, could be off-set by purchasing EU carbon credits.
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We have already begun implementing this plan. We have come to an agreement with another company to build a wind farm in Addu, the southern most atoll of the Maldives. We also have an agreement with a Finnish company to undertake the preliminary work of building a wind farm in Gaaf Alif and Gaaf Dhaal atolls.Going carbon neutral does not mean the Maldives never produces any carbon dioxide emissions. What it means is that the Maldives is not a net contributor to global carbon dioxide emissions. In effect, the Maldives does not emit more carbon dioxide than it absorbs.
We also want the people to come and have a good holiday, but also give them comfort of knowing that they are not going to destroy the environment. In my mind, environmental consciousness of the resorts is going to one of the key selling points of these tourism products to the European market in the future. So it only makes sense for the Maldives tourism industry to be prepared for this.
What is the role of the tourism industry in this endeavor?
President Nasheed: Before the next climate change negotiations in Mexico later this year, world needs to recognize the rights of vulnerable countries like the Maldives to exist. Our right to exist should not be balanced against the rights of other countries to pollute. The right of every country to exist must be sacrosanct. It is inexcusable to condemn a nation â€“ not to mention the planet - to death because some countries want to carry on burning coal.
President Nasheed: We need the support of the tourism industry to make the Maldives a carbon neutral country. I believe the long term future of the industry is becoming more eco conscious. Already some resorts are leading the way in reducing the size of their carbon footprint. In addition to installing green energy technology and environmentally friendly ways of operation, I believe tourism industry can play a major role in protecting our biodiversity and marine life. Carbon neutrality is not just getting green energy sources. Its also protecting our fauna and flora and also marine ecosystem. By pledging to switch to 100% renewable energy in the future, what would be the repercussions of that on tourism? President Nasheed: Public opinion in Europe is steadily leaning towards eco friendly and environmentally conscious lifestyle. This trend is increasing. Most of our tourists come from Europe. So it is important for us to be ahead of this eco curve and develop tourism products that are attractive for the tourists, not just now, but in the future. 48 ISSUE 2010 - 2011 The Liveaboards of Maldives
What do you believe are the next steps the world should take in the battle against climate change?
What is the one piece of advice you would give to the people for a better tomorrow? President Nasheed: I believe our primary focus should be consolidating democracy in the Maldives. We must ensure the separation of powers enshrined under the new constitution has been respected. We should protect fundamental rights and liberties of the people and strengthen press freedom. In the essence, we want to ensure that every single Maldivian have the power to shape their future. We cannot afford to allow another dictatorial regime in this country.
Anautical nation of islands
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The Maldives is a nation of islands that have developed a distinctive culture to live in harmony with the ocean. As one of the most nautical countries of the Indian Ocean, from the earliest times Maldivians have learned to use the elements nature has provided to navigate the seas for fishing and trade with neighboring islands. Boat building became a unique art and skill that Maldivians excelled at and the dhoni was the central kind of boat used and has proved to be seaworthy, as they have been tested over time. Coconut wood evolved into imported hardwood and now some boats are being built using fiberglass. Even though the tools used in the building of dhonis have changed, little has changed of its basic design. Precision Marine was the first company to introduce fiberglass boat building technology to the Maldives. Something that started as a hobby to Mr. Omar Manik, escalated into a business as the demand for it grew. Their boatyard located in Thulusdhoo island was established in 1989 with the intension of bringing new technology and expertise to boat building industry in the Maldives to provide the Maldivian fishing and tourism industry what they required. The company used local laborers when and where itâ€™s required as well as highly trained foreign workers. Their production line includes from 8ft dingies and 37ft hi-speed launches to 45ft passenger diving and cruise boats and 75-87ft fishing, cargo and passenger ferry boats. Their prime objective is to act as an alliance in manufacturing fishing boats.
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The first stage of developing a boat involves creating a stamp of it. This is a process that goes through many trials on the drawing board where the speed of it is considered, the cost involved calculated and how it can run, until a sample is made. After that a fiberglass mold is created from the stamp of the dhoni approved. The mold is a negative image of the boat to be made, so the fiberglass will be applied inside the mold, rather than around it. Once completed and cured, the boat is separated from the mold and the outcome is a boat in the same size and shape. At Precision Marine, the boats are specialized according to what the client requires. The outside does not alter, however, the inside of a boat can be changed from where the equipment washroom is located to how the toilets are designed. Manpower utilization of building a boat are 10 people for 45 to 60 days time from the time the order is placed to the final product. At a certain stage the carpenters come in and another stage the engineers are involved. The maximum duration of a fiberglass boat is 20 years because even though 95% of the product is cured at production stage, the other 5% is cured in 20 years. After 20 years any repairs that may have to be done to the hull or its connected structure must be carried out with chemicals that will be compatible. According to Mr. Omar Manik fiberglass is like baking dough. From baking dough you can make bread, buns, or anything you can shape it into. Fiberglass is also something like that. What makes a fiberglass boat high-quality are its speed, its looks, and its constructional safety aspect. At Precision Marine they carry on the tradition of keeping the image of a dhoni, which the tourists who visit the Maldives prefer. Seafaring is predominant factor of life in the Maldives and as times change the art of boatbuilding has continued to evolve without losing the origins and traditions of the Maldivian fishing dhoni.
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Mr. Maizan Omar Manik Managing Director
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Wave riding Why Maldives?
What makes surfing in the Maldives different? Is it the crystal clear waters with visibility up to 30 meters? Is it the world-class waves that you do not have to share with too many people? Is it the warm tropical environment combined with the beauty of the waves and the swell? Or is it the thrill of adventure in seeking out the perfect waves around hidden spots in different atolls? The answer is quite simpleâ€Śit is all of the above and more. The Maldives consists of 1,200 islands spread across the equator formed into 26 natural atolls. Compared to other countriesâ€™ beach breaks, in Maldives there are reef breaks and has plenty to go around if one has the sense of adventure to hunt for it. The surf season in the Maldives is from the end of February to late October and the peak time is during March and April. Most surf breaks are just one hour from the International airport in Maleâ€™ Atoll and Huvadhu Atoll has one of the most beautiful and challenging waves. The surf throughout the Maldives generally ranges in size from 4-10 feet and there are a variety of reef breaks from intense to smooth for all types of surfers.
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Looking into the history of surfing in the Maldives, Maldivians have been surfing or ‘wave riding’ way before modern surfing came to Maldives. Using boards made out of breadfruit trees the locals have ridden the waves as a time pass, taking a break from the daily rituals of a seafaring nation. Modern surfing came to the Maldives in the late 70s when an Australian surfer Tony Hussein was shipwrecked on the shore breaks of Male’. He discovered the thrill of surfing on the Maldivian reefs and decided to stay in Maldives, married a Maldivian lady and opened his own surf agency. Surfing equipment was brought in early 80s and 90s and slowly a surfing culture emerged in the capital Male’ and Maldives Surfing Association was formed. Now a lot of young surfers are developing in the Maldives as well as surfers from around the world are coming here as they discover the beauty and great surf of Maldives. In recent years Maldives has hosted international surfing competitions in World Qualifying Series of 6 star prime (Association of Surfing Professional’s). It is very important to protect the beauty and the environment of Maldives for future generations and the spread of awareness is crucial to keep the islands as perfect as it is. There are a number of factors that makes Maldives a great surfing destination. The tropical, comfortable environment. The color of the sea, the multitude of marine life and enhanced visibility. In Maldives there are very few people in surf spots hence you get to enjoy the waves without having to share with 200 other people and there are consistent waves so the tourist gets their holidays worth. The point is to play with the waves or teasing it and please…do not leave without surfing the Sultan’s Wave!
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Up Close & Personal with The Whale Sharks
To swim with the Whale Shark is an indescribable experience. Its remarkable size and the grace of its movement would have you at awe. This breath taking experience will leave you begging for more and never will your heart fill of seeing this creatureâ€™s magnificence. The Whale Shark, *Rhincodon typus* is the largest fish in the world measuring up to 12 metres in length. Like its relative, the Basking Shark which is found in the waters of the UK, the Whale Shark is a filter feeder similar to manta rays. They consume the planktons, coral and fish eggs, etc that are in the water. Traditionally, local fishermen caught sharks to extract oil that was in turn used to preserve and protect their wooden fishing Dhonis. It was a very time consuming, tedious and gruesome process to extract the oil from these creatures; and yet the fisherman had no other option to water proof their boats than with the oil. In time, more practical alternatives came into market and this process stopped for good. Since 1995 Whale Shark is protected under the Maldivian Law. During the early days of tourism in the Maldives, in the 1980s, local guides discovered the whale shark's affinity to interact with snorkelers and divers. Through years of interaction and persistence, it is as if a mutual understanding has evolved between man and fish. Consequently, tourists from all over the world are being presented with the opportunity to see these magnificent creations of nature in their own environment without antagonizing each other. The guides developed a commercially viable covenant with the whale sharks of the Maldives.
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Maldives is one of the few places in the world that Whale Sharks can be seen 365 days a year. Ari Atoll and Baa Atoll are well renowned for Whale Shark watching. Although Whale Sharks are seen throughout rest of the Maldives, it is these 2 areas that people visit the most. Whale sharks congregate for feeding at Baa Atoll Hanifaru during the South West Monsoon. In South Ari Atoll it is possible to see them throughout the year. In 2009 the government declared Hanifaru and South Ari Atoll (from Rangali to Dhigurah) a Marine Protected Area. Hanifaru Bayâ€™ popularity is increasing with exposure from TV channels like National Geographic and different publications. Although this popularity is recent, Liveaboards and resorts have been diving there for more than a decade. The protected area at South Ari Atoll (Fenmaadhiguran MPA) is the largest marine protected area in the Maldives stretching up to 42km. It is possible to see these wonderful creatures while both snorkeling and diving. Usually snorkeling works best as these gentle giants are usually seen closer to the surface. They are found by cruising along the reefs. Once a Whale Shark has been spotted the snorkelers can enter the water and approach them. Boat captains maneuver their boats away from the reef to ensure there are no unfortunate close encounters; so the people should acknowledge the decision to do so despite having to make a considerable swim to get close. It is also important to follow the 60 ISSUE 2010 - 2011 The Liveaboards of Maldives
briefings by the dive guides so that the animal is not harassed and everyone has a fair chance of seeing it. As one experienced local dive guide said â€œyou are going to see a creature that is living in its natural habitat as it has been for thousands of years. You are the visitor and hence you should be careful not to disturb it. Also to be careful not to do it any harm.â€? At the time of writing no official whale shark watching guidelines has been implemented by the government but there are several important guidelines that are understood among most. Boats should be well away from the Whale Shark. Snorkelers and divers should not restrict its natural behavior, chase after, harass, touch or ride it. Flash photography should not be used. People should stay well away from the animal (minimum 3m away from the body and 4m away from the tail). Such ethics are important to follow to so that these magnificent animals continue to exist in our world. We humans must learn to exist with nature. Likewise support from the government is needed to ensure their survival such as establishing and maintenance of the Marine Protected Areas. The total ban of shark fisheries and export that would hopefully come this year would be a huge step towards the protection of sharks in the Maldives.
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“ Woraus die Träume sind... Malediven”
LAGE & GEOGRAFIE Auf dem vierten nördlichen Längengrad und dem 73. östlichen Breitengrad erstrecken sich 1190 Koralleninseln, welche die 26 natürlich vorkommenden Atolle der Malediven ausmachen, über eine Gesamtfläche von 90,000 Quadratkilometer quer über den Äquator.
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Nur etwa 200 dieser kleinen Inseln werden von Einheimischen bewohnt, und ungefähr 100 der unbewohnten Inseln wurden vom Tourismus erschlossen und zu exotischen Resortinseln umgebaut, die Gästen aus aller Welt ein Refugium fernab vom hektischen Stadtleben bieten. In Malé, der quirligen Hauptstadt der Malediven, welche sich in der Mitte der Atollkette hervorhebt, gehen mehr als 150.000 Menschen, und somit mehr als ein Drittel der Gesamtpopulation der Malediven, ihren Aktivitäten nach.
GESCHICHTE & RELIGION Obwohl archäologische Funde darauf hindeuten, dass die Malediven bereits 1500 Jahre v. Chr. bewohnt waren, ging der Großteil der Wurzeln des Landes in der Geschichte verloren. Es wird vermutet, dass die geografische Lage der Malediven auf marinen Handelsrouten wie der Seidenstraβe der Hauptgrund für die Niederlassung von Seefahrern, sowie von Reisenden der Indus-Zivilisation gewesen war. Unter ihnen, sagt man, seien auch der chinesische Historiker Ma Huan und der berühmte arabische Reisende Ibn Batuta gewesen.
KLIMA Auf den Malediven erwarten Sie das ganze Jahr über sommerliche Temperaturen zwischen 25-30 Grad Celsius. Das Klima auf den Malediven ist warm und feucht mit angenehmen Meeresbrisen, die das luxuriöse Leben in der Sonne, im Meer und am Strand perfekt ergänzen..
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KULTUR Da die Malediven auf dem Weg mehrerer Handelsrouten im Indischen Ozean liegen, wurde die Maledivische Kultur stark von den vielen Besuchern über Jahrhunderte hinweg beeinflusst. Die Malediver nahmen Einflüsse aus Indien, Sri Lanka, Arabien, Persien, Indonesien, Malaysien und Afrika in ihre Kultur auf und entwickelten daraus ihre eigene, einzigartige und unverkennbare Identität.
WIRTSCHAFT Der Tourismussektor ist die größte Einnahmequelle für die Malediven. Er steuert 20% des BIP und 60% der Devisen, die ins Land fließen, bei. Mehr als 90% der staatlichen Steueraufkommen entstammen von den Steuern aus dem Tourismus und Einfuhrabgaben. Der zweitgrößte Sektor ist die Fischerei. Ein Großteil des Einkommens des Landes stammt aus dem Export von lebendem Fisch und anderen Meeresprodukten. Seit 1887 waren die Malediven Britisches Protektorat, bis zum 26. Juli 1965, als sie ihre Unabhängigkeit erklärten. Am 11. November 1968 änderte sich die Regierungsform von Monarchie zu Republik. Erst im Jahr 2008 hatten die Malediven ihre erste Mehrparteien-Wahl, bei der Mohamed Nasheed zum Präsidenten gewählt wurde.
WÄHRUNG Rufiyaa (MRf) und Laari (L) (1 Rufiyaa – 100—Laaris). Es gibt Banknoten zu 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 und 500 Rufiyaa. Zudem gibt es 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-, 25- und 50-Laari-Münzen, sowie 1- und 2-Rufiyaa-Münzen. DIE AM HÄUFIGSTEN AKZEPTIERTEN KREDITKARTEN American Express, Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, JCB, Euro Card OFFIZIELLER WECHSELKURS US$ 1 = MRF 12.85
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TOURISTENVISUM Bei Ihrer Ankunft erhalten Sie ein 30-tägiges Touristenvisum. Sie müssen sich also vor Ihrer Reise nicht um ein Visum kümmern. Dieses Visum erlaubt es Ihnen nicht, im Land zu arbeiten, Ihr eigenes Geschäft zu betreiben oder fachliche Aktivitäten, seien diese bezahlt oder unbezahlt, durchzuführen (außer mit spezieller Genehmigung der Regierung unter Berücksichtigung der bestehenden Gesetze).
EINREISEBESTIMMUNGEN & AUSNAHMEREGELUNGEN Besuchern aller Nationalitäten wird die Einreise auf die Malediven unter folgenden Voraussetzungen gestattet: •Besitz eines gültigen Reisepasses •Besitz eines gültigen Rückflugtickets und etwaige Visas für das Zielland •Verfügbarkeit von mindestens 30 US$ pro Person pro Tag, oder eine bestätigte Hotelreservierung für den gesamten geplanten Aufenthalt auf den Malediven Eine oder mehrere Regelungen werden unter Umständen für folgende Personen erlassen: •Diplomaten •UNO-Mitarbeiter •Personen, die bereits über eine gültige Arbeitsgenehmigung verfügen •Techniker und andere Experten, die für die Maledivische Regierung arbeiten •Personen mit bestätigter Buchung in einer registrierten Touristenanlage im Land •Personen, die von Maledivern protegiert sind
ZEITUNTERSCHIED Die Malediven sind der Greenwich Mean Time 5 Stunden voraus (GMT + 5).
Jedes Resort liegt auf einer eigenen Insel und bietet seine einzigartige Kombination aus modernem Luxus und Isolation. Ohne Ausnahme besitzt jede Insel alles, was Sie von einem exotischen Urlaub in den Tropen erwarten: ihren eigenen, sanftweichen Sandstrand, eine türkise, glasklare Lagune umgeben von einem Hausriff, das wiederum von einer Vielzahl mariner Flora und Fauna bewohnt wird.
Sie können Sich auf den Malediven leger kleiden, doch sollten sich Frauen in Male‘ und anderen bewohnten Inseln dezent kleiden. Weibliche Touristen müssen in einer Moschee ihren gesamten Körper auβer Hals und Gesicht bedecken. Das Händeschütteln ist die weit verbreitetste Form der Begrüßung. Da die Malediven ein muslimischer Staat sind, fasten die Einheimischen im Monat des Ramadan, daher wird Essen in der Öffentlichkeit unter Tags zu dieser Zeit als respektlos angesehen.
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FLUGLINIEN UND DER INTERNATIONALE FLUGHAFEN HULHULE Von zahlreichen Flughäfen in Europa, dem Nahen Osten und Asien gehen regelmäßig Linien- und Charterflüge auf die Malediven. Der Internationale Flughafen liegt auf einer von der Hauptstadt Malé geografisch isolierten Insel, Hulhulé, und ist in einer nur 10-minütigen Bootsfahrt erreichbar. Rund um die Uhr stehen Ihnen Fähren von und nach Malé zur Verfügung. Der Transfer zu Ihrer gebuchten Hotelinsel wird entweder von Ihrem Reiseveranstalter, oder vom Hotel selbst aus per Schnellboot oder per Wasserflugzeug arrangiert.
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VERBOTENE OBJEKTE Streng verboten auf den Malediven ist die Einfuhr von Waffen und jeglicher Art von Sprengkörpern und Munition, Betäubungsmitteln und psychotropen Substanzen, alkoholischen Getränken, Hunden und Schweinen, Schweineprodukten, religiösen Götzenbildern und pornografischem Material. Alkohol wird nur mit einer behördlichen Genehmigung eingeführt. Illegaler Drogenimport wird mit lebenslanger Haft bestraft. Haustiere, auβer Hunde, dürfen nur mit einer Genehmigung einreisen und benötigen eine Impfbestätigung des Tierarztes. Folgende Produkte dürfen, unter anderem, in keinster Form ausgeführt werden: Schwarze Korallen, Steinkorallen, Schneckenhäuser des Großen Tritonshorns, Perlenaustern, Langusten, Schildkröten und Schildkrötenpanzer. Bitte beachten Sie auch, dass die folgenden Produkte weder besammelt noch befischt werden dürfen: Schwarze Korallen, Schneckenhäuser, "Mördermuscheln" (Tridacna sp.), gravide Langusten und solche unter 25cm Länge, Schildkröten, Napoleon-Lippfische, Delfine, Walhaie und Wale.
EINE TOUR MIT DEM WASSERFLUGZEUG
Die beiden Wasserflugzeug-Firmen auf den Malediven bieten spektakuläre Flüge über die Atolle an - perfekt, um die vielen Inseln, Korallenriffe und kristallklaren Lagunen aus der atemberaubenden Vogelperspektive zu betrachten und zu fotografieren. Sie können solch einen Flug auch anstatt einer Bootsfahrt als Shuttle-Service vom Flughafen zu Ihrem Resort buchen, zum Inselhüpfen, als kurze Sightseeing-Tour oder speziell zur Fotografie.
Aufgrund der Tatsache, dass die Malediven aus kleinen, über den Ozean verstreuten Inseln bestehen, ist es wahrscheinlich die beste Möglichkeit, dieses einzigartige Archipel auf einer Safari-Kreuzfahrt zu erkunden. Die vielen auf den Malediven registrierten Kreuzfahrtschiffe gibt es in verschiedenen Größen - vom 3-Kabinen Segelboot bis zum Luxusliner. Alle haben sie gemeinsam, dass ihre Besatzung aus sehr erfahrenen Einheimischen besteht, die die maledivischen Gewässer wie ihre eigene Westentasche kennen. Die Safari-Schiffe führen Sie nicht nur hautnah an die weltbesten Tauchplätze heran, sondern bieten Ihnen auch Aktivitäten wie Angelausflüge, Exkursionen zu unbewohnten Robinson-CrusoeInseln oder bewohnten Einheimischendörfern, wo Sie das traditionelle Leben der Malediver kennen lernen werden.
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Nicht ohne Grund haben sich die Malediven ihren Ruf als eine der besten Tauchdestinationen der Welt erworben. Diese einmalige Schönheit der Unterwasserwelt wird von Tauchern rund um den Globus geschätzt - natürlich tragen hervorragende Sichtweiten, eine der exotischsten Meeresfaunen und warme Temperaturen von 25 - 30°C das ganze Jahr über dazu bei.
Fast alle Resorts auf den Malediven besitzen ein Wassersport Center, das eine Reihe an Wassersportmöglichkeiten wie Schnorcheln, Windsurfen, Parasailing, Kayaking, Kite-Surfen, Wasserski, Jetski und Katamaransegeln anbietet. Die Basen sind gut ausgestattet und viele bieten auch Windsurf- und Segelkurse für Anfänger und Fortgeschrittene an.
Für alle, die gerne die Unterwasserwelt der Malediven erkunden möchten, ohne gleich den tiefen Sprung ins Wasser zu wagen, ist Schnorcheln eine wundervolle Alternative. Das Meer ist so klar, dass eine Schnorchelausrüstung vollkommen ausreicht, um Zeuge der Aktivitäten in der einmaligen marinen Tierwelt zu werden. Mit Sicherheit werden Sie verspielte, bunte Fische und seltene Korallen gleich am Hausriff Ihrer Insel antreffen, und mit etwas Glück und Geduld werden Sie auch einer Meeresschildkröte oder einem Mantarochen bei ihren Streifzügen durch die Riffe begegnen.
Die Malediven besitzen einige der weltberühmten Surfsports und waren bereits mehrmals Austragungsort verschiedener internationaler Wettbewerbe. Zum Surfen auf den Malediven ist die beste Zeit zwischen April und Oktober, mit den größten Wellen zwischen Juni und September. Zu dieser Zeit sind die Wellen zwischen einem und fast drei Metern hoch, obwohl ab und zu auch schon mal höhere auftreten können. Auf den Malediven gibt es sowohl sanfte Walle als auch exzellente raue Wellenbrecher. Es gibt zwei größere Surfgebiete auf den Malediven - das Nord Malé Atoll (April - Oktober) und die äußeren Atolle (Februar - April).
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INSELHÜPFEN Ein Ausflug, bei der Sie eine unbewohnte Insel besuchen werden, in ihrer klaren Lagune schnorcheln und ein Barbecue am Strand genieβen werden. Bei einem Besuch auf einer von Einheimischen bewohnten Insel können Sie Erfahrungen vom maledivischen Leben mitnehmen. Vielleicht werden Sie auch auf einer anderen Resortinsel Halt machen."Island Hopping" wird normalerweise in der Länge einer Eintagestour angeboten.
EIN BESUCH IN DER HAUPTSTADT MALÈ Einen Besuch in der kleinen, aber geschäftigen Hauptstadt sollte man auf jeden Fall einplanen, als er einen Einblick in das maledivische Stadtleben erlaubt, das doch so anders ist als als der Lifestyle in den Resorts und den bewohnten Inseln. Einige der Sehenswürdigkeiten in Malé sind: Das Islamische Zentrum. Es ist nicht nur die berühmteste architektonische Landmarke in Malé, sondern beherbergt auch eine der größten und feinsten Moscheen in der südostasiatischen Region. Die 'Hukuru Miskiy' (Freitagsmoschee). Sie wurde im Jahr 1656 gebaut und ist ein weiteres faszinierendes Monument, welches oft auf einer Tour durch Malé besucht wird. Medhu Ziyaaraiy. Dies ist der Schrein von Abu-al Barakath Yusuf al Barbaree - dem Marokkanischen Gelehrten, der für die Konversion der Malediven zum Islam im Jahre 1153 n. Chr. verantwortlich gewesen sein soll. Mulee-aage ist der Präsidentenpalast. Der Fischmarkt ist ein geschäftiges Zentrum, wo einheimische Fischer ihren täglichen Fang verkaufen. Gegenüber des Fischmarkts befindet sich der “local market”, wo Sie Früchte, Gemüse und andere Produkte von den Maledivischen Inseln finden werden. Viele kleine Café’s mit Meerblick befinden sich hauptsächlich entlang des Henveiru Stadtteils von Male’. Werden Sie Teil der maledivischen Kaffeekultur und genieβen Sie Ihren Kaffee in absoluter Entspannung direkt am Meer.
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Die Malediven: Wunder der Natur
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Die Malediven sind für ihre atemberaubende Schönheit aufgrund des azurblauen Wassers, des wolkenlosen Himmels, des weiβen Korallensandes und ihrer lebhaften Korallenriffe berühmt. Für Taucher, Fotografen und Urlaubshungrige bieten die Koralleninseln gleichermaβen einen idealen friedvollen und wunderschönen Zufluchtsort, wie es ihn nur selten auf der Welt gibt. Der Zauber der Malediven liegt in ihrer Entstehung. Die 1192 kleinen Inseln sind in 26 natürlichen Atollen über 90,000 Quadratkilometer verstreut. Die Inseln liegen so tief, dass sich ihr höchster Punkt nicht mehr als eineinhalb Meter über dem Wasserspiegel erhebt. Dies macht die Inselnation extrem empfindlich gegenüber Umweltkatastrophen, im Besonderen dem steigenden Meerwasserspiegel. Auf den meisten Inseln ist bereits jetzt Erosion ein sehr ernst zu nehmendes Problem, und strenge Umweltgesetze wurden erlassen, um zu verzögern, was die meisten Menschen als unvermeidbar vorhersehen. Das Wort „Atoll“, das weltweit gebraucht wird, hat seinen Ursprung in der Maledivischen Sprache, dem ‚Dhivehi“. Diese Sprache hat Jahrhunderte lang überlebt, und die Malediver geben sie mit Stolz ihren Kindern und Enkelkindern weiter. Aufgrund der Zerstreutheit der kleinen Inseln haben sich über die Jahre hinweg Unterschiede in Betonung und Vokabular entwickelt. Die signifikantesten Dialekte werden in den südlichen Atollen gesprochen. Obwohl das Bildungssystem auf der Englischen Sprache basiert, wird Dhivehi fuer alle administrativen Zwecke verwendet, und fast alle Malediver sprechen ihre Muttersprache flieβend.
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Ungefähr 200 der vielen Inseln sind bewohnt, liegen allerdings zerstreut in kleine Gemeinschaften verteilt, von denen manche oft nicht mehr als hundert Einwohner besitzt. Die Malediver gediehen lange Zeit als ländliches Volk, das je nach Saison immer gut mit Nahrung versorgt gewesen war. Industriell starteten die Malediver mit der Fischerei durch, mit Hilfe derer sie durch Nutzung ihrer natürlichen Ressourcen ihr tägliches Brot verdienten. Die Einheimischen bauten ihre Fischerboote selbst und machen dies auch heute noch mit unglaublichem handwerklichen Geschick. Taucher und Wassersportenthusiasten besuchen die Inselnation ihrer atemberaubenden Korallenriffe wegen. Über 1000 Fischarten sind von den Malediven bekannt, von denen über 300 hier zum ersten Mal beschrieben wurden und sieben Arten zuvor der Wissenschaft unbekannt gewesen waren, was die marine Diversität der Nation noch zusätzlich betont. Der Tourismus wurden in den frühen Siebzigern erschlossen, was den Malediven das Tor zum Rest der Welt eröffnete. Die reichhaltige Biodiversität des Indischen Ozeans trägt neben dem tropischen Klima natürlich zum gröβten Teil zu diesem Erfolg bei. Kokosnusspalmen und andere tropische Pflanzen findet man in Hülle und Fülle auf den Inseln. Die Hotelresorts bleiben dem einzigartigen ‚eine Insel – ein Resort‘-Konzept treu und bieten somit vollkommene Abgeschiedenheit vom Rest der Welt. Wollen Sie Ihren Urlaub direkt am Meer unter der tropischen Sonne genieβen, steht Ihnen das gesamte Jahr über eine Auswahl an Safaribooten zur Verfügung. Die Malediven mit allen ihren einzigartigen und charakteristischen Besonderheiten bieten Ihnen das Gefühl, im Paradies gelandet zu sein. Abgeschieden vom hektischen Rest der Welt bewachen die blühenden Korallenriffe ihre ozeanischen Inseln wie eine Auster ihre Perle. Für alle, deren Weg auf die Malediven geführt hat, ist ein wundersamerer Ort wo die tropische Natur in all ihrer Einfachkeit seinen Platz gefunden hat nur schwer vorstellbar.
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professional photography service
CameraObscura M. Banff Villa, 6th Floor, Majeedhee Magu, 20259 Maleâ€™, Maldives (P) 330 69 08 (F) 330 69 07 email@example.com www.obscuramaldives.com
Enjoy the pool of pleasure Lavender Travels Pvt Ltd G.Faith, First Floor, Majeedhee Magu MalĂŠ, Republic of Maldives Tel: +960 333 3845, +960 334 0576, Fax: +960 333 3844 Hotline: +960 7775625 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.lavendertravels.com MSN: lavendertravels.@hotmail.com Skpye: lavendetravels
Business Card Section
Your reliable travel partner for all Destinations in Maldives
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Business Card Section
Araaroot Villa / 3rd Floor Maleâ€™, Rep of Maldives Tel: (960) 334 7878 Fax: (960) 334 4711 Email: email@example.com www.secura.com.mv
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Total 52 Liveaboards and 42 registered Member Companies as on 2010
Albatros Top Boat
(39) 032350522, (39) 032350783 firstname.lastname@example.org www.albatrostopboat.com
Allied Insurance Company of Maldives Pvt Ltd (960) 334 1001, (960) 332 5035 email@example.com www.alliedmaldives.net
Indian Ocean Charters Maldives Pvt Ltd
(960) 332 9240, (960) 332 9241 firstname.lastname@example.org www.iocmaldives.com.mv
Innovate Travels Pvt Ltd (960) 330 8081, (960) 330 7988 email@example.com www.innovatetravels.com
Island Pearl Pvt Ltd
Blue horizon Maldives
Island Voyage Pvt Ltd
Blue â€œKâ€? Safari Maldives Pvt Ltd
Maldives Boat Club
(960) 774 6088, (960) 330 2627 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bluedolphin.com.mv
(960) 332 1169, (960) 332 8797 email@example.com www.blue-horizon.com.mv (960) 333 5035, (960) 333 5060 firstname.lastname@example.org www.blueksafari.com.mv
(960) 332 5994, (960) 331 7840 email@example.com www.arkroyalmaldives.com
(960) 330 0811, (960) 330 0812 firstname.lastname@example.org www.islandvoyagemaldives.com (960) 331 4811, (960) 331 4841 email@example.com www.maldivesboatclub.com.mv
Maldives Dive Travel
Capital Travels & Tours Pvt Ltd
Maldives Exhibition & Conference Services Pvt Ltd
(960) 332 1079, (960) 332 5397 firstname.lastname@example.org www.canopusmaldives.com
(960) 331 5089, (960) 332 0336 email@example.com www.capitaltravel.net
(44) 20 3239 1586 , (1) 315 805 5535, firstname.lastname@example.org www.maldivesdivetravel.com
Sailing Tours Pvt Ltd
(960) 332 5468, (960) 331 8997 email@example.com www.sailingmaldives.com
(960) 331 0101, (960) 331 6783 firstname.lastname@example.org www.safarimaldives.com
Sea n See Pvt Ltd
(960) 332 5634, (960) 332 5633 email@example.com www.manthiri.com
(960) 765 4817 firstname.lastname@example.org www.seafari-int.com
Seagull Group Pvt Ltd (960) 777 4654 email@example.com www.seagullmaldives.com
Silver Tides Pvt Ltd
(960) 331 5877, (960) 331 5876 firstname.lastname@example.org www.silvertides.com
Sun Travels & Tours Pvt Ltd
(960) 332 5977, (960) 331 8273 Salesemail@example.com www.suntravels.com.mv
(960) 331 4568, (960) 331 4617 firstname.lastname@example.org www.saexhibitions.com
Trip Concept Pvt Ltd
(44) 0845 1307210, (44) 0845 1307211 email@example.com www.scubascuba.com (960) 777 3393, (960) 334 0556 firstname.lastname@example.org www.maldiviana.com
Vista Company & Travels Services
(960) 333 1811, (960) 331 8815 email@example.com www.desire-maldives.com.mv
(960) 331 4907, (960) 331 4920 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ensiscruise.com
Faunu Travels Pvt Ltd
(960) 333 2868, (960) 333 4765 email@example.com www.faunutravels.com
(94) 1123 74577, (94) 1123 70011 firstname.lastname@example.org www.favouriteholidays.com
(960) 330 6606, (960) 330 6676 email@example.com www.floatingasia.com
Handy Holidays Pvt Ltd (960) 331 0812, (960) 331 0764 firstname.lastname@example.org www.handyholding.com.mv
(960) 334 0055, (960) 334 0066 email@example.com www.honorsholidays.com
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Maldives Scuba Tours Ltd
Maldiviana Pvt Ltd
Muni Travels Pvt Ltd
(960) 778 5836 firstname.lastname@example.org
(960) 331 0945, (960) 331 6153 email@example.com www.tripconcept.com
(960) 332 0952, (960) 331 8035 firstname.lastname@example.org www.vistamaldives.com
(960) 3331512, (960) 333 1513 email@example.com www.muni.com.mv
Voyages Maldives Pvt Ltd
(960) 331 5253, (960) 332 4496 firstname.lastname@example.org
World Surfaris / Go Sea
Nautico Maldives Pvt Ltd Obscura Pvt Ltd
(960) 330 6908 (960) 330 6907 email@example.com www.obscuramaldives.com
Private Vacations Pvt Ltd (960) 332 9028, (960) 330 7772 firstname.lastname@example.org www.privatevacations.com.mv
Radiantheat Travels Pvt Ltd (960) 331 2985, (960) 331 4483 email@example.com www.radheattravel.com
(960) 332 3617, (960) 332 5336 firstname.lastname@example.org www.voyagesmaldives.com
(61)408691025, (61)754444911 email@example.com www.gosea.com