Corporate Maldives | Issue 3 - October 2020

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October 2020 Corporatemaldives.com




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Managing Director Akhmeem Abdul Razzaq Chief Executive Officer Dr. Hussain Sunny Umar Creative Director Nashaath Director Ibrahim Areef Director Mohamed Khoorsheed Manager Ahmed Nasir Assistant Manager Fathimath Maisaan Photography - DYNAMYST Design Direction - CREATIVE TUNA Zaya Ahmed Moothi Hamdhoon W. Asthu Shahindha Fathmath Zuhura Ismail Marketing Ali Sageef Ibrahim Mariyam Inaya Ubedhullah Copyright c 2019 Orca Media Group. All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited. Opinions expressed in the articles are of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or publishers. While the editors do their utmost to verify information published they do not accept responsibility for its absolute accuracy. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced, whether in part or in whole, without the consent of Orca Media Group.

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Foreword Welcome to the third issue of the Corporate Maldives Print Edition. Launched in 2016 by Orca Media Group, Corporate Maldives is the most read English-based business news portal which is dedicated entirely to the business community of Maldives. The print edition of Corporate Maldives will cover special reports on different segments of the business community along with expert insights and opinions. This issue has a collection of stories on banking, trade, aviation, health and technology which are all must-reads. Our cover story is on the guesthouse industry of Maldives. It gives an insight into the history of guesthouses in the country, the various activities carried out to promote the industry and its predicted future. Corporate Maldives organises the "GOLD 100 GALA" annually which is the gathering of all leading business in Maldives & celebrates their contribution to the economy. We have hosted the second edition of the "Business Expo" by Corporate Maldives — the premier business networking and trade show in Maldives. Business Expo will attract over 3,000 professionals and 150 business exhibitors, which is focused on targeted learning, networking, building valuable new business relationships & finding partners that help business owners to take their business to the next level.

Thank you.


Content

08

14

28

History & Guesthouse Industry Overview

Government

Tourism

38

46

54

Education

Technology & Infrastructure

Fisheries, Agriculture & Environment

60

66

72

Real Estate

Banking & Finance

Products & Services

86

90

92

Health & Fitness

Food

People

108

110

114

CSR

Islands

Sports & Recreation

116 Shipping


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History & Guesthouse Industry Overview

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

History & Guesthouse Industry Overview

Guesthouses in the Maldives started prior to 1984 and was stopped by the then president of the Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. It was reignited in 2008 and the bill was passed in the year 2009. The first guesthouse was opened in the year 2011 in Maafushi, named White Shell Beach Inn (registered in the Ministry of Tourism in 2010) by the current Governor of the Maldives Monetary Authority, Mr. Ahmed Naseer. In 2016, Maldives imposed a Green Tax of $3 on all guesthouses, a huge burden on top of crippled marketing assistance from the government. In 2015, the world’s largest budget airline, AirAsia started its flights to Maldives from Kuala Lumpur and extended additional routes from Thailand in 2017.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

History & Guesthouse Industry Overview

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History of Marketing & Promotion of Guesthouses Maldives Getaways – the leading Marketing and PR firm in the Maldives - started the initiative in 2014 under the flagship "Guesthouses of Maldives" at a time when only a handful of guesthouses were in operation. Guesthouses of Maldives was the only initiative that promoted the guesthouse industry and helped the local community to promote islands as well as the properties.

Role of Maldives Getaways & Challenges Guesthouse Magazines Magazine/ Local Island Tourism

6 Editions

Videography & Photography

80+ islands 500+ guesthouses

Guesthouses Maldives Conference

2 events

Promoted Fairs

2015: 8 fairs 2016: 9 fairs 2017: 12 fairs 2018: 10 fairs

Organized Fairs

AirAsia Malaysia AirAsia Thailand

PR & Media Coverage

2015: 10 media partners invited to Maldives 2016: 20 media partners invited to Maldives 2017: 40 media partners & bloggers invited to Maldives


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History & Guesthouse Industry Overview

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

2014 Inception of Guesthouses Maldives; Launching of Guesthouses Maldives Magazine

Initiatives organized & promoted by Maldives Getaways

2015 Launching of Guesthouse Maldives Conference; Ban the Bags Campaign: AA Bodufolhudhoo and later Keyodhoo and Ukulhas

2016 International Partnership - UNWTO, UNDP, AirAsia, Expedia, Booking.com, American Express, Axisroom.

2017 International Campaigns & Promotions - UK, Malaysia and Thailand. Assistance to formulate the Guesthouse Association of Maldives.

2018 Maldives Getaways Affiliations in India, Sri Lanka & Netherlands office

Both the Guesthouses Maldives magazine and the accompanying website (www.guesthouses.mv) were launched in 2014 to expose the Maldives budget market to the world. Guesthouses Maldives was first marketed at the Arab Travel Market (ATM) in 2015 – third biggest tourism fair in the word and promoted in 7 other destinations, namely: NATAS Singapore, MATTA Kuala Lumpur, IITM Bangalore, HALAL EXPO Abu Dhabi, PATA Bangalore, DIVE EXPO Birmingham, MATTA Zurich and WTM London. Subsequently, the second edition was launched in September 2015 when there were a mere 140 guesthouses in operation. From 2014 to present, Maldives Getaways has promoted the guesthouse industry in over 35 cities. The year 2016 demonstrated a significant growth to the guesthouse industry. This was the year Maldives Getaways had a string of partnerships with global affiliations. Maldives Getaways partnered with UNWTO - the biggest international institution for world tourism – to promote and excel the industry in global institutions. A statement was released by the Executive Secretary and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific UNWTO, MR. Xu Jing on the importance of developing the budget market of Maldives. The then President Mr. Mohamed Nasheed also congratulated the initiative and praised the growth of the industry. Furthermore, Maldives Getaways partnered with American Express to promote Maldives budget segment to its 120 million card holders. Unfortunately, the initiative was taken out and diverted to the Tourism Ministry which never happened that year. The first Guesthouses Maldives Conference was launched in September 2016 at Dharubaaruge with over 220 guesthouse owners controlling some 400 guesthouses in 70 islands. The Conference was attended by the leading travel OTAs including the likes of Booking. com, Expedia, representatives from Agoda and AirAsia. The conference invited leading PR firms and media including the likes of Travel News Daily, TTG Asia, Breaking Travel News, TTN Middle east, Eturbo News, Hotelier LK, and so on. The initiative was soon captured by the mass media and agents started contacting guesthouses. The second edition of Guesthouse Conference and 3rd Guesthouses Maldives magazine were subsequently launched in the year 2017. Maldives Getaways had to overcome massive challenges in the year 2016. For instance, Maldives Getaways was disbarred from promoting guesthouses in the biggest travel fair in the world, ITB Berlin, without any notice by MMPRC. It was later found that the removal was executed by the Ministry of Tourism. Following the incident, Maldives Getaways had to abide by stringent rules and new regulations formulated by the Ministry. Special indications had to be drawn on the magazine pages, prior notifications had to be given to the Ministry on any new initiatives and termination of bookings to host the Guesthouses Conference in Dharubaaruge. However, with huge support from the industry and the local community, the initiative has been continued till this day.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

History & Guesthouse Industry Overview

Guesthouse Industry & Future The budget market, regardless of the country, is deemed to grow as the world market is dominated by budget travelers. Maldives Getaways forecasts significant growth in the next 5 years with the assistance and support from the government.

100,000+ guesthouse properties

120+ islands

10,000+ beds 500,000+ visitors

Industry Marketing & Promotion Almost all the marketing and promotional activities from the day of inception to present day in the guesthouse industry have been organized and promoted by Maldives Getaways. However, as a private firm, Maldives Getaways is very limited in terms of funding and government support. The industry is in dire need of significant promotional activities to develop each atoll and island separately. Despite the magazine and the conference, the truth is that there is much more that can be done to promote the industry and it needs immediate attention. A holistic approach should be formulated and an inclusive brand and marketing policy should be communicated. This includes providing special packages to guesthouses to attend travel fairs and exhibit and PR support on international magazines. A nationwide campaign including the major islands and attractions has been missing. This is a key area for research and development. Special consideration should be given to sustainability. Campaign such as ‘Ban the Bag’ to stop using single-use

plastic bags, created a massive impact on the islands and community of Bodufolhudhoo, Keyodhoo, and Ukulhas. However the campaign needs to be expanded to other islands and atolls. Campaigns that needed special attention but were ignored include: shooting of Star Wars in the Maldives in Laamu atoll Baresdhoo. The movie gave the island a unique name ‘Scarif’ which could be a key ingredient for promotions. Additionally, Adidas (in association with Parley) produced a special edition sneaker that was manufactured using ocean plastic. Real Madrid and Bayern Munich played a friendly game wearing jerseys made from ocean plastic that was collected from Indian ocean. Hublot and Cheval Blanc Randheli unveiled their latest collaboration, a new Classic Fusion special edition. This new timepiece is a tribute to the colors surrounding the atoll, where the ocean’s dark blue contrasts beautifully with the limpid turquoise of the lagoon, all a reflection of the clear blue skies above.

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History & Guesthouse Industry Overview

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Contributions by Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) is the government body mandated with the promotion of Maldives as one of the top travel destinations in the world. Every year, MMPRC promotes Maldives in multiple fairs, exhibitions and roadshows with targeted campaigns among multiple other activities abroad and home. These include joint partnerships with travel agents and major airlines. In 2019, several successful activities took place including 37 roadshows with a lot of visibility campaigns. The goal of this is to promote the beauty, culture and traditions of Maldives. While Maldives has been positioned as an exclusive destination in the global market, for the first time in 2019, destination marketing strategies included promotion of the functional features of the destination – resorts, guest houses, liveaboards and hotels. In line with the national strategic action plan, great emphasis was given to promote local island tourism and the guest house sector in the year 2019. To start with, a brochure on all 4 products was compiled and key information on guest houses was given out to interested parties during these activities. Guest houses have been introduced, explained and showcased in almost all of these events and activities. MMPRC ensured that the Guest House Association was able to participate in and represent the sector for free in all marketing activities undertaken by the corporation. In 2019’s marketing calendar, these fairs were included to further aid in the promotion of guest houses: 1. Visit Maldives Travel Expo – Malaysia, 5th to 6th July 2019 2. NATA’s Travel Expo – Singapore, 2nd to 4th August 2019 3. MATA Travel Expo – Malaysia, 6th to 8th August 2019 4. ITB Asia – Singapore, 17th to 19th October 2019 Along with promotion of guesthouses in travel trade fairs and road shows, MMPRC also provided the opportunity for visiting international media groups to visit guest houses in the Maldives. MMRPC also hosted training programmes for the guest house sector to assist them in marketing their products better. From March this year, as the world was in almost total lock down, most activities MMPRC carried out were merely based on online and digital campaigns. Several webinars and visibility campaigns were carried out with many more planned for the upcoming months. The main aim of the Rediscover Maldives campaign which was launched on 1st September is to focus on the experiences found in the Maldives. A Dozen Must Do Experiences were launched with experiences such as fly above the islands, exquisite underwater dining experience and live like a local. These experiences will give an additional boost for promotions of the guest house sector as well.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Conclusion The Guesthouse industry of the Maldives will grow with the support from government, especially through vibrant policies and marketing. Global tourism growth will have a substantial impact on Maldives tourism and guesthouses. Guesthouses will play a vital role by reaching 2 million visitor arrivals mark by 2020. Guesthouses, as indicated and campaigned by the elect- president HEP Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, will benefit the local community as well as the economy. It will prosper the life and wellbeing of the local people. Maldives Getaways is keen and ready to provide any assistance necessary for the development of this industry

History & Guesthouse Industry Overview

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Government

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Issue of Foreign Residency - The Corporate Resident Maldives Scheme Launched in 2015

Recently, the Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed proposed a bill to grant residency visas to foreigners married to Maldivian nationals and any foreigner who has invested MVR 100,000 on a business with the approval of the relevant authorities. Further, the bill states that any foreigner who has rented a property in the Maldives for over ten years will also be eligible to apply for residency visa. This resulted in great concern from the public, as some feared the amendment would impose a threat in the country’s sovereignty. However, is this a recent issue or did it commence years ago? In 2015, during President Abdulla Yameen’s government, a Corporate Resident Maldives Scheme was introduced to provide foreign investors in the Maldives with privileged and fast-track services. The former president had said that the government was seeking "to attract net worth high-value investments." Former President Yameen stated that the corporate resident visa holders will belong to "a privileged, elitist club." Cardholders will have permanent residency and will not have to wait in queues at immigration. "This is the only way we believe third world countries, small countries like the Maldives, can prosper and transform our economy." While the Corporate Resident Visa (CR Visa) issued under the Corporate Resident Maldives scheme, will provide superior

services to investors at the point of entry into the country, the Corporate Resident Card will guarantee streamlined and hasslefree services, during their stay in the Maldives and in conducting business operations. In order to apply for the Corporate Resident Maldives scheme, investors are required to: - Have USD 50 million or more invested in the Maldives - Maintain a deposit of USD 1 million at a Maldivian bank for a period of not less than 2 (two) years or who has invested in a financial security - Invest at least USD 1 million in real estate, approved by government authorities. Speaking at the parliament committee on national security and foreign relations, Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail revealed that 27 individuals who meet the criteria have been issued a corporate residence visa by the Economic Ministry. Although the Minister said that there is no point in issuing a residency visa to those who rent properties in the country, changes need to be brought to the required investment amount in the criteria for eligibility.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Government

MIRA Recovers State Assets by Freezing Bank Accounts

Sovereign Development Fund Collects MVR246.4 Million

Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) stated that the authority has obtained MVR 2 million by freezing numerous bank accounts. This act was part was the efforts, executed to recover government assets.

Sovereign Development Fund (SDF) collected MVR 246.4 Million. This fund was created to ease the payments of loans issued to the Maldivian government.

The quarterly report for the first quarter of 2020 published by MIRA states that the authority has acquired MVR 169.3 million from payments that were unpaid. According to MIRA, the authority has obtained MVR 2 million by freezing bank accounts, MVR 61.1 million by dunning policies, and MVR 71.2 million from reminder calls and emails. The authority has also obtained a further MVR 6000 from the legal actions taken. According to MIRA, 52 individuals were made arrangements for installment tax during this period. The authority also states that 140 individuals have been provided with notices to pay taxes of value MVR114.6 Million. According to the statistics published by MIRA, the first quarter has been registered with 31,738 individuals in order to pay income tax. While 2,086 individuals registered for TGST, 12,342 have registered for general GST. MIRA further declares that 1,168 individuals have signed up for green tax while 45 registered for airport charges.

A report published by the finance ministry reads that this fund has collected MVR246.4 million till the 16th Day of 2020. This amount was at MVR770.1 million at the same time, in 2019. According to the Finance Ministry, the fund had a balance of USD181 Million (MVR2.7 billion) until August 2019. This report shows that MVR600.1 million was paid for loans till date, this year. However, this amount was at MVR96.1 million last year, till the 16th of July. The government has included MVR2 billion in the budget as loan payment for 2020. SDF is a fund that assists the country in times of emergency. This fund also helps to pay back the loans taken for the countries’ development projects. SDF was founded in 2017 and is operated through the finance generated by the changing of prices in the services provided by VIA.

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Government

A Study Show 26% of Women Lost Jobs: COVID-19 The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has published statistics that reveal, more than 26 percent of women working in the private sector had lost their jobs and methods of earning due to the pandemic. A study that has been conducted by NBC in collaboration with United Nations Women reveals that numerous women who lost their employment due to COVID-19 are struggling in paying the rent of the living space and in handling other daily expenses. The study has also made a note of women having to remain at home due to lack of employment after lockdown, as a problematic issue. The study further concludes that women spent a major part of their time during the lockdown on cooking and home chores. While 30 percent of the women spent their time cooking, 26 percent were occupied with cleaning and other household chores. The study also reveals that young girls spent their leisure time after completing school tasks on helping their family members with the works. In addition to this, women have also faced challenges in acquiring medical care and assistance due to the lockdown imposed as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. The study further publicizes that 71 percent of women had trouble receiving medical treatment and obtaining hygiene products. 61 percent of women suffered physical and mental health issues due to the lockdown.

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

State-owned Companies’ Dividend Decreases by 46% Finance Ministry reveals that the dividend issued by the stateowned companies has decreased by 46%. According to a report published by the Finance Ministry, stateowned companies have issued MVR 249.7 million till the 16th of July in 2020. This amount for 2019, was at MVR 464.3 million last year. Hence, the state-owned companies record a 46% decrease in the dividend issued this year. The state has submitted a budget of MVR 1.3 billion for expenditure. The state-owned companies have been bearing loss and economic downturns as a result of the Pandemic. There are about 21 state-owned companies in the Maldives and not all companies pay the allocated amount of dividends to the relevant authorities. Finance ministry has brought amendments to its company bonus policy, to encourage the payment of dividends by state-owned companies. The dividend is paid by the state-owned companies in July every year. Among these companies, Bank of Maldives (BML), Dhiraagu and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) are the companies that pay the most amount of dividends.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Government

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President Attends Virtual Independence Day Reception for Diplomats and Delivers Remarks

Every year the Maldives welcomes diplomats to take part in an Independence Day Reception. The annual event symbolizes our commitment to strengthen international ties. This year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maldives is continuing this tradition virtually. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today, to take part in this year’s virtual Independence Day Reception for diplomats and deliver remarks. President Solih acknowledged that this year’s Independence Day – which occurred on the 26th of July – fell during extraordinary times. The world is still feeling the effects of the virus and the Maldives is no exception. COVID-19 threatens to undo the socio-economic strides we have made since independence and has forced us to make difficult decisions, including closing our borders for months, despite our heavy reliance on tourism. The President expressed that early and comprehensive government interventions have enabled the Maldives to enter the recovery stage. He stated that the support and goodwill of the international community remain vital to the Maldives’ national resilience efforts. He stressed in particular that the Maldives needs visitors to reinvigorate our tourism industry, and highlighted the many precautions the Maldives has implemented in our self-contained island-resorts, to prioritize the safety of our guests. Reiterating the promise he made in his inaugural address, the President pledged to keep working with the international community to solve global issues, including recovering from COVID-19 and solving climate change. He emphasized that while the Maldives cherishes its independence we equally value being a contributing member of the global community. Ending his remarks, the President expressed his hope that all the dignitaries virtually present at the reception, can be soon welcomed on the Maldives’ beautiful shores.


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Government

Income Support Expenditure Raises to MVR 27.2 Million The income support expenditure by the government of Maldives for the individuals whose income has been negatively affected due to COVID-19 has raised to MVR 27.2 million. According to statistics, this amount has been spent on 6,638 individuals. MVR 5,000 was provided to every individual who was left unemployed or was receiving a salary lower than MVR 5,000 due to COVID-19, by the government. The payments are issued through NSPA and were commenced from March onwards. A notable amount of employees faced struggles of job loss, wage reductions, no pay-leaves which has risen after March when the community spread of the virus began in Male’ City leading to a strict lockdown. Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer said that the payments were issued starting from May 20, and covered payments for April, May, and June.

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Government Plans to Consider Second Home Residency for Foreigner in Maldives Economic Minister, Fayyaz Ismail has revealed the Maldives government has plans to consider second home residency visa project for foreigner in the Maldives, during the parliament committee Meeting. He had also said that the Ministry is was working on formulating a bill regarding corporate residency, which would assure investor rights in Maldives. During the parliament meeting, Minister Fayyaz said that the government had a new idea about the residency visa. Government has a plan to start a pilot project in H. A. Dhapparu which the government would operate as a secondary home project. Under the project , Villas and apartments will be constructed H. A. Dhapparu. Foreigners who purchased villa or apartment would grant the lessee a residency visa. According to the minister Fayyaz this in no way meant that the individual would be granted ownership of the land nor citizenship. Many countries in the word successfully operated second home residency programs, which helps to attract foreign investors to the country and it generated additional economic benefits to the country. Countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Australia has second home program for foreigners.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Economic Ministry Dismisses Nearly 4,924 Inactive Companies Ministry of Economic Development has dismissed nearly 4,924 companies which have not paid annual fees for several years. The Economic Ministry had announced 4,924 companies that have been dismissed under the order of the Registrar of Companies Mariyam Visam, in accordance with Clause 75 of the Companies Act. The ministry revealed the companies were dismissed after completing the due process for dismissal as stated in the Companies Act. According to Economic ministry, 6,050 companies were initially selected for dissolution, after being recorded as inactive due to failure to pay annual fees for several years. The ministry stated the companies were given a timeframe to submit the required documents in order to keep the company active, during which 111 companies responded. The economic ministry also revealed a timeframe was given to provide information on any outstanding debt or charges against a company selected for dissolution, during which information of cases against 1,017 companies was submitted to the ministry. The ministry stated the dismissal process of such companies will be carried out through court, as stated in the Companies Act. The Economic Ministry has published the names of the dismissed companies on its website. The ministry has requested individuals who wish to clarify any information regarding a dissolved company to contact the ministry through the designated email.

Government

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Government

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

SDFC Issues MVR198 Loans for Businesses Operating in Maldives

Finance Ministry issued a loan of 1MVR 198 million via SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) directed at the small businesses operating in the Maldives, under the government’s recovery scheme. This includes small businesses, middle-class businesses, and self-employed people. Under the stimulus package of MVR2.5 Billion, announced by the government, SDFC issues loans for small and middle-class businesses that earn less than 10 million on average per year. One of the conditions of this loan prohibits the termination of employees. According to the information posted on the website of the Finance Ministry, 2983 business personnel have applied for the loan till last Monday. This amount divides into 1618 small businesses and 1365 self-employed people. The total budget for this amounts to MVR 485.4 million. While the Ministry decides on issuing the loans for 1663 businesses, 1427 businesses have already been provided with the loan. The amount for this totals to MVR198 million. That is MVR185.6 million for small businesses and MVR.12.4 million for self-employed people. This loan has been issued with a 6% interest rate for 3 years.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Corruption and Asset Recovery Commission Submits Preliminary Report to President The Presidential Commission on Corruption and State Asset Recovery have submitted its preliminary report to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The Commission also shared insight relevant to the progress of their ongoing investigations with reporters, during a press conference held this evening at the President’s Office. The President of the Commission, Ahmed As’ad, shared details relevant to the Commission’s investigation of the grand corruption case involving the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC). As’ad revealed that 37 islands and 12 lagoons were fraudulently leased for tourism purposes, resulting in a massive financial loss to the State. He stated that the Commission is active pursuing 30 separate cases in relation to the MMPRC corruption scandal; of these, two have already been forwarded for prosecution, and five will be sent for prosecution in the near future. The Commission’s President also added that they are pursuing corruption investigations pertinent to the construction of Dharumavantha Hospital and Fushi Dhiggaru. He explained that new evidence has come to light which the Commission is duty-bound to pursue, despite these cases having been concluded earlier. The Presidential Commission on Corruption and State Asset Recovery were established on 17 November 2018. The Commission is tasked with recuperating state assets lost from 1st January 2012 till 17th November 2018 and to ensure that all responsible authorities carry out their legal duties in investigating corruption and abuse of power within state and government institutions.

Government

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Government

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Supreme Court Decision: What’s Next for MIRA?

Supreme Court decision in the matter of Moosa Naseer v MIRA is a watershed decision that has identified a significant gap between administrative prudence and legal permissibility.

Court’s Findings It is undisputed that the Tax Admin Act clothes MIRA with collection and enforcement power over tax and related fees. In initiating court action against Mr Moosa Naseer, MIRA stretched that power in October 2011 to recover lease rent and fines due under an agricultural lease he had with Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture.

amendment required all those payments to be collected under the direction of an Act – unless another Act said otherwise. The amount claimed from Mr Naseer was neither enabled nor directed to be paid under an Act to MIRA. 3. Where MIRA collects a payment on behalf of a government agency under an agreement, the exercise would sit outside its prescribed role of a tax collector. Therefore, MIRA cannot take enforcement action against non-payment of those payments.

Extent of Impact

The decision of the Supreme Court crystallizes three key points: 1. MIRA did not have legal authority in October 2011 to initiate court action against Mr Naseer over amounts due in lease rent and fines. MIRA’s powers over enforcement measures were exercisable only in respect of amounts due in tax and related fees.

The impact of this decision is enormous. It torpedoes MIRA’s ability to collect a wide range of payments in the form of lease rent, fees and fines for and on behalf of several government agencies. It negatives MIRA’s power to take enforcement action or court action in respect of those payments. It puts into question the legality of several payments it has collected the past decade in the form of fees and fines under threat of enforcement action.

2. Even when MIRA was subsequently given enforcement power (via an amendment to the Tax Admin Act in December 2011) over a host of payments (in section 35 of the Tax Admin Act), the

A cursory look at the MIRA website shows that it collects a catalogue of non-tax payments: lease rent and fines together


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

with construction period extension fees for resorts, lease rent and fines for agricultural islands, "varuvaa" fee for uninhabited islands, registration and annual fees for companies, registration and annual fees for vessels and vehicles. Even if not listed on the website, it is common knowledge that MIRA collects several more in other fees.

Evolution of MIRA It is evident that MIRA was created under the Tax Admin Act to perform the singular role of tax collector of the Maldives. The parliamentary debates over the enactment of the Tax Admin Act signify that legislative intent. It is common knowledge that Maldives collects a wide variety of payments outside the ambit of tax – lease rent, license fees, registration fees, processing fees, administrative fees, service fees, just to name a few. MIRA has today evolved to be the address to collect most of these payments. The constitutional definition of tax is an exclusive definition so crafted to segregate tax from other fees and payments.

Government

agency that approaches MIRA to invest it with revenue collection responsibilities is equally certain – that the law directs MIRA to be the collector for those payments. This may not be achieved simply by adjusting MIRA regulations. The basis for collecting these payments (laws and regulations applicable to government agencies who prescribe these payments) would have to be corrected to direct payment to MIRA and clothe MIRA with appropriate authority.

Conclusion This decision educates us all on a significant clinical point – legal obligation of MIRA is neither assumed nor discharged via an MOU or official correspondence with a government agency. In order to bridge the gap between law and prudence, all focal points occurring in the chain of command (from a policy decision to impose a certain fee by an agency to the actual act of collection and subsequent enforcement of that payment by MIRA) should be an uninterrupted series of processes adequately captured in law.

It is appreciated that within a very short period of time after its formation, MIRA has caused a sea change to collection of revenue in the Maldives landscape. The hardware, the software, and the humanware it has built is truly admirable. The capacity, effectiveness, transparency, speed, reliability, credibility of MIRA – put simply – its culture – has become the unparalleled inspiration. About the Author: While MIRA prospered in its performance and reputation, as a force to reckon with, many government agencies continued to be burdened with allegations of corrupt practices, malpractices, mishandling and misappropriation of funds within their domain. In order to steer away from such labels, instill a degree of confidence in the exercise, and bring about a method to collection, the logical decision was to divest individual agencies of the power to collect payments and invest that role in MIRA – the reputed collector in town. This was achieved mostly by entering into memoranda of understanding with MIRA. Inch by inch, MOU after MOU, MIRA slowly but surely, grew into the assumed role of the revenue collector over and above the prescribed role of the tax collector – and continued to exert its unparalleled authority across the country as the synonym for revenue collection. The trajectory behind MIRA’s ever expanding authority was flawless until the country’s apex court decided to put MIRA under the microscope in the Naseer case. The outcome is collected in the decision of the Supreme Court.

Next Steps Legislative intervention in the form of amendments to the Tax Admin Act has been indicated in the Supreme Court decision itself. Therefore, it requires no further comment. However, it is hoped that instead of offering a Band-Aid solution, MIRA and government agencies would give this matter deeper and meticulous thought to list out some robust next steps so that the authority and legitimacy of MIRA as a state institution, to collect revenue is never put into question – ever again. It is important that each government agency that collects nontax revenue in the form of rent, fees, and fines is clear that the authority to collect those payments is set in law. Similarly, each

Nasheed & Co Law Firm is one of the leading corporate and commercial law firm in the Maldives, established in 1997. They are an efficient, convenient, and responsive firm of professionals providing a client-centric legal concierge service offering the full spectrum of corporate and commercial law advice assistance and support.

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Government

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Parliament Approves Recommendation of Gulhifalhu Land Allocation for Housing

The Parliament has approved to request the government for the allocation of land to build at least 6,000 housing units in the newly reclaimed area of Gulhifalhu. From the parliament, 65 members voted in favor of the environment committee’s report, proposing to allocate land for the construction of housing units. No members reportedly voted against it.

committee proposed to allocate 15 percent of the reclaimed land to build housing units to ease housing issues in the capital city. The report also highlighted that the land allocated for the purpose must be adequate to construct 6,000 housing units.

Villimale’ MP Ahmed Usham proposed an amendment to the report in order to raise the number of housing units to 8,000. However, the amendment was not included in the report as 58 members voted against the amendment and only 6 members voted in its favor.

In the report, the committee further proposed to instruct the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) into continuing to take steps to minimize the environmental impact of the project. It also called to establish a temporary committee to oversee the steps taken to minimize the environmental impact. The committee would convene once a week, the report further proposed. The discussions that ensue during the meetings, and its conclusion must be publicized following every meeting, the report recommended.

The land in Gulhifalhu is being reclaimed with the purpose of shifting Male’ Commercial Harbor to the area. The reclamation work of Gulhifalhu has caused the nearby Villimale’s lagoon to become clouded from the mud. The Environment Committee has assessed the issue and has presented its findings in the report.

The report further called for the government to decide on the furthest depth that can be reclaimed as reference for future projects, and proposed to give the green light for projects that do not require an additional budget to protect the environment from any negative impacts that may stem from the project.

The report states the project has environmental impacts and instead of focusing on the one project alone, socioeconomic aspects must be added to the project to justify it. While neighboring Male’ is heavily congested and overcrowded, the


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Government to Repatriate 20,000 Undocumented Expatriates Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has made a statement revealing that the government hopes to repatriate at least 20,000 undocumented expatriate migrants in the Maldives before the end of the year, 2020. The government evaluates that more than 70,000 illegal migrant workers reside in different areas of the Maldives from which 90% of the workers are believed to be residents from Bangladesh. The government suspended bringing in any additional workers from Bangladesh last year. Speaking at the Parliament, Minister Fayyaz said the adjournment of bringing in blue-collar workers from Bangladesh was effective in stopping the illegal entry of Bangladeshi citizens, which in turn decreased the number of undocumented migrant workers in the Maldives, on Monday. Approximately 1,000 skilled laborers entered the country, all of whom had already requested and been granted permission for entry prior to September 19, After the suspension became effective on September 19, 2019. No other Bangladeshi workers have entered the country since then, said Fayyaz. The minister had highlighted the government’s regularization program organized to register undocumented and illegal expatriate workers was well received, and that numerous workers are cooperating with the repatriation opportunities provided by the government as a result of the program. Regarding this, over 4,000 laborers have been repatriated to date, said the minister. "We hope to repatriate 20,000 undocumented expatriates with their cooperation. We do not wish to repatriate them against their wishes. The government’s attempts to regularize undocumented expatriates paved the way to a smooth transition – had we forced them to leave the country, the response would not have been as cooperative," said the minister. Minister revealed that Maldives come across serious migrant issues and that it would take time to solve the matter appropriately. Regardless, whichever action that is taken now to address the issue will be taken, assured the minister.

Government

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Government

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Companies Require Adequate Time Before Implementing Minimum Wage Policy – MATI & MACI

Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) and Maldives National Association of Construction Industry (MACI) stated that the companies require an adequate amount of time before implementing minimum wage policy. This was stated by MATI and MACI in a panel discussion of the People’s Majlis Committee. Board Member of MATI, Iyaz Waheed stated that new research shall be made to again decide on the amount for Minimum Wage due to the pandemic. He also stated if the Minimum wage Policy is implemented immediately, companies might have to suffer a loss, and hence, the companies shall be provided with an adequate amount of time to prepare for it. He stressed that he is not speaking against the implementation of Minimum Wage, and is only concerned about the amount being decided and the time provided for the companies to prepare for minimum wage policy. Board Member of MACI Abdul Muthalib stated if the minimum wage policy is implemented immediately some businesses might face bankruptcy which in turn initiates the consideration of providing time for it. According to Muthalib, Infrastructure Companies will not face the negative consequences of the minimum wage policy if implemented during the year 2020. Implementation of a Minimum Wage policy for the Employees in among the 100 presidential promises of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. However, several parties suggest that this is not the right time to implement the Minimum Wage policy.



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Tourism

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

20% of Businesses in Tourism Sector Continued Without Dismissal of Employees: MMA

Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) stated that 20% of the businesses operating in the tourism sector continued its operations without dismissing employees or cutting wages due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. MMA has published its business survey report for the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 revealing that the employment index had declined to -74. This represents layoffs in employment. MMA further stated that the percentage of businesses with no reported change in employment level stands at 26%. According to the report by MMA, the index for wages and other labor costs decreased from 75 points to -78 for the second quarter of 2020. This decrease in points indicates salary reductions. Due to the temporary suspension of businesses and the decline in demand, businesses have quickly reacted to the significant fall in revenue generated within the industry, resulting in lower levels of employment rate. The average room rate has also significantly declined during the first quarter of 2020 from 20 points to -98. Also, the index for the

payments made by businesses have dropped to -57 while capital spending, further fell to -68 points. According to the reports by MMA, the revenue for the tourism sector is expected to rise in the third quarter (Q3) of 2020. The authority also expresses uncertainty by reflecting on the current situation of the tourism sector amid pandemic. The expected indexes for employment, wages, capital spending, financial situation, and the overall business situation has accounted for a negative outlook for the third quarter of 2020. This is expected asuch due to the border restrictions from around the globe. The global pandemic has severely affected the economic growth of the country with a numerous amount of employees in the tourism sector being dismissed from their positions/put on no play-leave. These actions have output financial struggles for the families of these employees.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Is the Olialia International Airport Maldives a Hoax? According to Olialia World, The Maldives Government shortlisted Olialia to build, operate and transfer Olialia International Airport Maldives for 50 years. However, the Deputy Minister at Maldives Tourism Ministry has declared that no such agreement has been done by the Ministry. Olialia announced on their website (www.olialia.com) that the International Airport shall be developed on existing Fushifaru Island land and reclaimed land from Fushifaru lagoon (Shaviyani Atoll, Upper North Province of Maldives). According to them, the Government of the Republic of Maldives has agreed that International Airport built on Fushifaru Lagoon will be named as ‘Olialia International Airport Maldives’. "As per the proposed BOT (Build, Operate, Transfer) model by the Tourism Ministry of Maldives, Olialia will be constructing, owning and operating the airport for 50 years, after which it will be handed over to the Government of Maldives. Olialia World will be responsible for full funding of International Airport project through its Joint Venture Partners, nominees or consortium," read the statement by Olialia. Nevertheless, with the statement by the Deputy Minister, the question has now risen whether this project is legit or fake. Olialia World also announced that a luxurious island resort will open in the Maldives in 2020. The construction of the project commenced in 2018. According to the project plan of the resort, the shape of the island resembles women’s high heeled sandals. Tourists will arrive and depart the resort on a specially designed charter airline called ‘Olialia Air’. Olialia also stated that a worldwide competition for the position of the island’s manager will be announced.

Tourism

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Universal Donates 2 PCR Machine Universal Enterprises Pvt. Ltd has donated 2 PCR machines to the Health Ministry. This is the first time a private company donated PCR machines to the Maldives. However, PPE kits, test kits, and ventilators have been previously donated by some private companies. While it has been 4 months since the Maldives experienced its first COVID-19 Case, PCR machines have been in use since late February to test its patients for COVID-19. At the time, these tests were being carried out by Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH). The process further broadened allowing Police Laboratories, ADK Hospital, and Senahiya to test the patients for the global virus. Apart from these tests, anti-body tests have also been carried out by these places. According to the Health Ministry, the ministry is working hard to increase the number of tests being made per day, in order to classify the number of positive cases daily. HPA states that the Maldives has so far, seen 3506 positive cases of COVID-19 and 929 patients are under treatment. 2547 patients have been recovered from the disease while in the past 24 hours, Maldives has reported another 137 of positive cases.


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Tourism

Over 5200 Tourists Arrive in the Maldives after Border Re-opening The Maldives has seen tourist arrivals of over 5,200 from around the world after the destination reopened its borders on 15th July. According to Maldives Immigration, from 15th July to 15th August, a total of 5,245 tourists arrived in the Maldives. From this, 3476 tourists arrived in August and 1,769 arrived in July. The statistics show that tourist arrivals to the Maldives are increasing over time. Within 17 days of reopening borders, the popular destination received 1,769 tourists from around the world. In fact, on the very first day itself, the Maldives welcomed a total of 80 tourists. The greatest number of arrivals within those 17 days were from the United Kingdom, which was 258 tourists. Even before the country reopened borders, it was informed that there were tourists who were ready to return to the island nation. Due to its unique geography, people felt safe to visit the Maldives. The one island one resort concept prevents the spread of disease from one island to the other. The resorts have also established various health and safety protocols to ensure tourists have a safe and worry-free holiday when they return.

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Maldivian to fly to Maavarulu from 1st July The national airline of the Maldives, Maldivian has announced that they are scheduling flights to G.Dh. Maavarulu airport starting from 1st July 2020. According to Maldivian the ticket fares for Maavarulu valued at MVR 827. With the opening of the new airport, G.Dh and G. A. Atolls combined will have three airports where the Atoll is considered to be one of the biggest in the country geographically. Test flights were initiated for the new airport on 11th March 2020 as all of the works were completed and were scheduled to be opened on 20th March. However, due to COVID-19, the scheduled operations of the airport was not initiated. The airport consists of a 1200 meter long runway, parking area, taxi-way, and the terminal where the project valued at MVR 57 million was contracted to Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) during the year 2018.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Tourism

Lease Rent Penalty Reduced 3 Âł

In a noteworthy move, the Ministry of Tourism has today reduced significantly the penalty payable in respect of delayed lease rent payments. This policy change is reflected in the 4th Amendment to the Tourist Resorts, Tourist Hotels, Tourist Guesthouses (Payment of Lease Rent) Regulations. The thrust of the amendment is that it has altered the penalty rate from 0.5% per day to 0.0493% per day.

default, and if penalties they have to pay would now be subject to the new lesser rates. It is understood that the general rule for these changes is that they would all operate prospectively – into the future. But given the significant number of overdue amounts, and a large number of defaulters, it is hoped that the government may arrive at a favourable policy decision to provide the benefit of this amendment to all parties who currently have unpaid lease rent amounts to pay.

The effect of this amendment is serious. In case there is a delay in lease rent payment, the fines will now be levied at the rate of 0.0493% per day on the amount of lease rent outstanding – causing a sizeable difference in the amounts payable. By way of example, under the previous regime, if there is an amount of US$100,000 payable in overdue lease rent, the old rules would have asked for a daily penalty of US$500 per day. However, under the new revised rate, the daily penalty would be just US$49.30 per day which is a significant reduction/saving of US$450.70 per day (which in percentage terms is 90.14%). This amendment has come into effect today on 3 August 2020 and is published in the government gazette. It is unclear from the amendment itself, if the benefit of this amendment may be available for those that are already in

About the Author: Nasheed & Co Law Firm is one of the leading corporate and commercial law firm in the Maldives, established in 1997. They are an efficient, convenient, and responsive firm of professionals providing a client-centric legal concierge service offering the full spectrum of corporate and commercial law advice assistance and support.

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Tourism

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

HRS – Multinational IT Company in Maldives

Maldives’s geographical location has a long history of commercial endeavour, and is comfortably positioned to help businesses establish themselves, successfully among its many islands. Reputed for its picture-perfect and scenic background, many luxury hospitality brands look to Maldives when opening luxury-scale hotels and resorts properties. The Maldivian hospitality standard also spares no expenses when it comes to spoiling their guests who hail from all the world. To support an international standard of customer service, the operating back-end environment of most hotel properties is equally important, with most hotel operators recognizing this. As such, most hotels prefer to adopt solutions and services that meet international standards. Since 2017, HRS has been serving the Maldivian hospitality community. As an international company with an unrivaled reputation for service, HRS Hospitality & Retail System is a leading supplier of IT solutions for the HoReCa and retail sectors. Being a global part of Oracle Hospitality has allowed HRS to share its 30 years of industry experience in every new market we go into. We currently have market presence in 76 countries globally. Our core focus has always been in providing world-class consulting services to the hospitality industry. This is further backed by its local team of staff with international experience, who understand the needs of the hospitality IT community running luxury-scale hotel and resorts. Steven Lee, Managing Director for Asia Pacific shares "HRS has always put the customer first. We ensure that we speak

their language, understand their requirements and meet their expectations. Our goal is to help make our clients stronger and more efficient, enabling them to build successful businesses which are productive, profitable and sustainable." Founded in 1990, HRS was created to offer a superior customer experience, both to service industry companies and their clients. Now in its 30th year, HRS provides innovative management solutions for hotels, restaurants, retail chains, stadiums, spas and fitness clubs. The company has acquired an excellent reputation for providing quality services and a strong global presence. HRS has established itself not just as an IT solution provider but as an innovative and proactive contributor to the hospitality industry, in Maldives, and globally. In choosing HRS you have engaged a reliable, responsible and stable partner who cares about you and your business. HRS at a glance: - 30+ years market experience - The largest Oracle Hospitality Platinum Partner worldwide - Comprehensive regional and local branch network - Strong team of certified professionals with international experience - Corporate agreements with many international chains - Highest levels of service and support - Over 3000 clients worldwide - 50+ solutions in the product portfolio


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

MMPRC, Tourism Ministry Partners Maldives Virtual Tour Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), along with the Ministry of Tourism, has partnered with Maldives Virtual Tours. The future of tourism is to change forever which could have a big impact on the Maldives tourism industry in the next few years. The impact of virtual and augmented reality software on the travel industry is growing rapidly. maldivesvirtualtour.com enables travelers across the globe to take a breathtaking virtual tour of discovery through the Maldives. A sister brand of Travel Trade Maldives (TTM), this project is set to host over 2000, 360 VR panoramic tours (video /photos) of more than 150 islands. "We believe that this project is a unique way in promoting the Maldives tourism industry and will assist to advertise this country as a top tourism destination," Tourism Ministry stated. "Most importantly, this project will be a vital step towards promoting our islands." Highlighting the importance of virtual reality in the future of tourism marketing, MMPRC in support of Maldives Virtual Tours said, "This project will assist Maldives tourism industry to reach new heights in the global travel industry with over 2000, 360 VR panoramic tours accessible to a global audience of travelers to experience the Maldives at its best anywhere across the globe." Moreover, MMPRC Managing Director Thoyyib Mohamed also added that the Maldives need to go on virtual platforms. "We need to become stronger in digital marketing," he said speaking at the press conference held on 24th June. Maldives Virtual Tour is a product of Orca Media Group, one of the leading media and marketing companies in the Maldives.

Tourism

Maldivian Connects North, South with Direct Flights | Resumes Domestic Operations The national carrier Maldivian is connecting Haa Dhaalu Atoll in the north and Addu Atoll in the south with direct flights. The airline has also resumed domestic operations in the country. Maldivian will operate 2 weekly flights: from Kulhudhuffushi City to Addu City every Thursday, and vice versa on Saturdays. The flights will make 20-minute stops at Velana International Airport en route for refueling. Passengers will remain onboard the flight during the refueling. Ticket fares start from MVR 1,444 for one-way flights and can be purchased via Maldivian’s website at maldivian.aero or its mobile application. Maldivian has also resumed domestic operations in the Maldives from 1st July 2020. Passengers are advised to take precautionary measures in accordance with the guidelines by Health Protection Agency (HPA) and island councils. Passengers are required to quarantine themselves at home on the island after traveling from Male’ as per the guidelines by HPA. They also have to register themselves in ‘Haalu Belun’ portal before traveling. Travel restrictions imposed by the Maldives and other countries to curb the spread of COVID-19 resulted in all local airlines, including Maldivian, Manta Air, and Villa Air Flyme, to suspend all of its operations and ground its fleet from late March. However, Maldivian continued to operate repatriation flights for Maldivians stranded abroad due to the pandemic.

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Tourism

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Decreases in Tourism Land Rent; Does this Ensure a Boost in Tourism? While the charges for different areas of Maldives vary, an average rate of US$ 2 will be charged per square meter. Tourism land rent makes up a large percentage of the country’s revenue. Last year, MVR 1.6 billion was collected by the state as tourism land rent. "I find rates are the same as present-day private leases. If this is an incentive to promote GH tourism on inhabited islands and for beginners, this rate should half," said, the Former MD of MIFCO responding to the land rent decrease.

The Maldives government has recently announced, they had decided to decrease the land rent charged on islands leased for tourism purposes in the Maldives. Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail, who is currently leading and administrating the Tourism Ministry, had tweeted revealing the government’s decision to reduce land rent in a bid to progress tourism in the atolls, on Monday. The decision will target more investments and development to the atolls, said the minister. According to Minister Fayyaz, the new change puts a cap on the maximum rent that can be charged for islands leased from southernmost Addu atoll and Fuvahmulah at US$ 800,000. The maximum land rent for islands in Haa Dhaalu and Haa Alif atoll is US$ 1 million. The maximum land rent for islands in Shaviyani, Gaafu Alifu, Gaafu Dhaalu and Laamu atoll is US$ 1.5 million. The minister also said that amendments will be brought to the lands which have been eased for tourism purposes from inhabited islands. However, land in inhabited islands of Baa and Kaafu atoll, where local tourism is flourishing, will not be included.

Does this Ensure a Boost in Tourism? Talking about this with Corporate Maldives, an Exco member of Guesthouse Associations highlighted that this decision will bring a boost to the Tourism Industry as a whole. "This decision will contribute to the boost in tourism depending on the investment and operation policy although, on the flip side, this may limit the guest house tourism", he stated. Many personnel has expressed both in favor and against this decision. In light of this, Mohamed Didi, Vice President of Addu Meedhoo Constituency stated, "this is a very useful decision which was due a long time ago. Had this been decided earlier, there would’ve been many people who invest in both Addu and Fuvamulah City".

The tourism Industry without a doubt is the main sector that generates an economic inflow within the country. The decision to decrease the land rent charged on islands leased for tourism purposes had the public community wringing out their perspectives about the matter as well. An advocator for economic issues stated "Maldives tourism industry is one of the best in the world, yes, it is expensive but worthy. Our natural beauty and its finest weather is expensive & also peaceful nature made it more expensive. Sir cannot agree to reduce costs on rent. Even with higher rent, we can boost tourism in these areas. If we are looking for cheap tourists who do not spend much on our economy could lead to the destruction of our strong brand." The advocator highlights an important aspect, but is that it? "This will just devalue our high-end tourism further. We have a comparative advantage in high-end tourism. We shall find ways to preserve the status quo. Flooding the market with cheap tourists will be destroying the advantage we have." He added. Some other industry professionals have been taking note of what can be done to improve local tourism alternatively. There had been people who highlight the importance of lowering local ticket price, and people who think the Farming and Fishing Industry should be subjected to development instead. A fee of USD 1 per square meter will be charged for facilities in Addu City and Fuvahmulah City with a maximum rental of USD 400,000 per month while the fee charged in Haa Alifu Atoll and Haa Dhaalu Atoll is USD 2 per square meter with a maximum rent of USD 500,000 per month. Rent in the regions of Shaviyani Atoll, Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Thaa Atoll, and Laamu Atoll is USD 3 per square meter with a maximum land rent of USD 800,000 per month. The proposed land rental in all other islands is USD 4 per square meter, with the highest monthly rent of USD 1 million. The government has decided to decrease land rent in islands leased for tourism purposes at a time the land rent of all resorts has been deferred for a period of six months amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The decrease in land rent will exponentially increase the growth of tourism. This may result in an increased infrastructure of hotels and inns for tourists, consequently outnumbering the proportion of tourists to locals. This may in turn result in socio-cultural impacts on society. But on the other hand, this decision could flourish the economy of the country. The real consequences are left to be discovered.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Tourism

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Maldives Nominated for 10 Prestigious Award Categories at Annual World Travel Awards

Maldives has been nominated in 10 prestigious award categories at the 27th World Travel Awards 2020. The award, established in 1993 acknowledges, rewards, and celebrates excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries and is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence. The red-carpet event will take place at Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC), Nairobi, Kenya on 3rd October this year.

Along with the pristine natural beauty, Maldives has continued to provide impeccable services to the tourists. As the voting season has begun across the world, it has given the opportunity to show our love once again to Maldives – one of the best worldclass holiday destinations. Please cast your vote for Maldives at this year’s 27th Annual World Travel Awards 2020 in the link below, before 22nd August 2020, 04:00 AM (Maldives time). https://www.worldtravelawards.com/register

The destination has been nominated for the following exciting Indian Ocean’s Leading categories this year;

Maldives has secured multiple awards in various categories over the years. In 2019, Maldives won the prestigious Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Destination, Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination, Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Destination and World’s Leading Beach Destination at the Annual World Travel Awards 2019. The destination had also won the famed Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination award 12 times within the past 16 years.

– Indian Ocean’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination 2020 – Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Destination 2020 – Indian Ocean’s Leading Cruise Destination 2020 – Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination 2020 – Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Destination 2020 – Indian Ocean’s Leading Green Destination 2020 – Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 2020 – Indian Ocean’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination 2020 – Indian Ocean’s Leading Tourist Board 2020 – Indian Ocean’s Leading Wedding Destination 2020

As Maldives is reopening its borders on 15th July 2020, the prestigious nominations at the 27th World Travel Awards will aid in strengthening the image of the country


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Tourism

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Developing Picnic Islands in Maldives – How Important Is it to Save Uninhabited Islands?

Did you know that around 200 islands in the Maldives are uninhabited, deserted islands? However, the majority of these have been developed as resorts and currently, there are over 150 resorts in the island nation. The reducing number of uninhabited islands has been a concern for locals for several years. One example is the Kuda Bandos, also known as Picnic Island. For years, Kuda Bandos was accessible for local picnickers on weekends and public holidays, free of charge since 2008. Kuda Bandos was offered to Al Nabeel Mohamed Waheed Deen, a pioneer of Maldives tourism. However, Malahini Holdings Pvt. Ltd paid the acquisition cost of the island and decided to convert the island to a tourist resort retaining the local picnic concept. The Malahini Holdings Pvt. Ltd was established, which is a joint venture company with a 10% share of the government for the purpose of developing and operating Kuda Bandos as a resort. This was stated in the Environmental impact assessment for resort development in K. Kuda Bandos issued in 2014.

Uninhabited islands were used by locals for picnics on holidays. It was a part of the Maldivian culture. But this has become rare due to the resort developments on these deserted islands. The development of Kuda Bandos led to many debates as there was no other nearby island for the capital’s 100,000 plus citizens. But the developer of the resort decided to allow public access to the island for picnics. Several resorts in the Maldives feature a sandbank or excursions to uninhabited islands. Further, there are travel agents and tour companies who also arrange trips to these islands for locals, not just tourists. Hence, it is important that not all uninhabited islands are developed and transformed into resorts.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Maldives Resumes Tourism with Launch of “Rediscover Maldives: The Sunny Side of Life” To commence the reopening of borders for all nationalities in Maldives, and to launch the "Rediscover Maldives: the sunny side of life" campaign, Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has hosted a virtual press conference on 15th July. Top international media from 21 countries including the main source markets, China, Italy, India, Germany, Russia, UK, France, Saudi Arabia and Japan, participated in this live conference with almost 300 attendees in total. The campaign aims to strengthen the market presence to welcome back tourists once again. All marketing activities will be carried out under one campaign tagline; "Rediscover Maldives: the sunny side of life" for the rest of 2020. In the opening statement, Mr. Thoyyib Mohamed, the Managing Director of MMPRC spoke about how the government and private sector have been working hard to ensure safety and hygiene standards for travelers in the new normal. He also mentioned that the Maldives is fully prepared to welcome back tourists and that safety of tourists and staff are top priority. The remarks were followed by further statements from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Abdulla Shahid. According to Honorable Abdulla Shahid, responding to COVID-19 has been tough but we have come back stronger as Maldives is a safe destination for all tourists and staff. Minister of Health, Honorable Abdulla Ameen mentioned a sense of relief and excitement as we welcome back tourists. He also gave the reassurance that proper health and safety measures have been put in place around the country to ensure an enjoyable vacation for visitors. The virtual press conference was also translated into three languages in real time as it was carried out; Chinese, Russian and Korean. The conference ended with a Q&A session where the speakers clarified enquiries of journalists from around the globe. The day also marks the arrival of the first tourists since the closing of borders on 27th March 2020. Connecting from various countries, 107 foreigners arrived on the first commercial Qatar Airways flight to land in Maldives since borders closed. The event and the campaign are amongst the first initiatives to promote the destination once borders are reopened. With the onset of tourism adapting to the "new normal" and under proper safety precautions, MMPRC has a variety of activities planned for the year. H.E President Solih has announced a target of 850, 000 visitors by the end of 2020.

Tourism

Air Travel Not Expected to Recover Until 2024 – IATA Global air travel is recovering more slowly than expected and it will take until 2024 to return to pre-pandemic levels, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced. That’s a year later than the airline body’s previous projection. IATA pushed back its prediction by one year due to the slow containment of the outbreak in the U.S. and in developing countries. The industry is seeing a rebound from the depths of the shutdowns in April, but the bad news is that any increase "is barely visible," IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce said during an online briefing for journalists. Pearce said that air travel is not rebounding along with rising levels of business confidence in Europe, the U.S. and China. Traffic was down 86.5% in June from the same month a year ago, compared with a drop of 94.1% in April, measured as revenue passenger kilometers, or the distance traveled by all revenue-generating passengers. That improvement is "nowhere near the increase in business confidence," Pearce said. China is bouncing back more than some other places, while an upturn in the U.S. has been knocked back by the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases in a number of states. Besides renewed outbreaks, travel is also being held back by weak consumer confidence and constrained travel budgets at companies that are struggling. "Furthermore, there is little sign of virus containment in many important emerging economies, which in combination with the U.S., represent around 40% of global air travel markets," IATA said in a statement. "Their continued closure, particularly to international travel, is a significant drag on recovery." Despite parking many of their planes, airlines are struggling to fill seats with enough people to make money. Planes were only 62.9% full on domestic flights around the world, well below levels at which airlines make money, and an abysmal 38.9% for international travel. The U.S. is seeing more coronavirus cases after some states moved to lift restrictions on public life and business. The summer vacation season in Europe has seen more people move around. There has been a rise in cases in Germany, which had earlier done better than many other countries in mitigating the outbreak. Germany has issued a travel warning for three regions in Spain and the U.K. has imposed a 14-day quarantine for travelers returning from Spain, a popular holiday destination.

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Education

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

2 # Âł 4 R Tips for Parents would contribute greatly to providing adequate confidence to confront life realities. Parents should give aid to teens in building a stable foundation from a very young age. In my view, self- satisfaction of a teenager should not be the number of likes they get for a picture on social media or how many in her same age crowd would acknowledge her way of life. Such cases would naturally result in a lack of self-confidence in the long run because the acceptance of a child is never attained by merely looking out for more friends of the same views. As an educator in the field for the last 19 years, I have come across lots of teenagers with various kinds of confidence issues. By talking to their parents it dawned on me that most problems kids face during their teenage have roots in the very beginning of their childhood. Often we witness that, parents try to build a confident child by showering the kids with unearned praise. On the other hand, some of them keep on showing the wrong in everything kids attempt by hoping that kids will learn from it. As I understood, it does not work either way. Collecting from my experience with teenagers and their parents and many of the academic readings here I will highlight 7 ways to build confident teens.

Number 1: Unconditional love

The motive and dream of every parent is nothing but to raise their kids as successful adults. As many have affirmed, the most important ingredient for a kid to be successful in life is confidence. All would agree that a crucial time which parents face during this process of growth is their teen years. A confident teen, as the term indicates, has the power to think outside the box and the courage to experiment with new things. They would acquire an outlook that accepts failure, also if need be, they will never be hesitant to renounce from it with grace, by always taking the situation as an opportunity for them to learn and grow. I wish how easy it would be if parents could gift the confidence to every kid, wrapped in a box along with the birthday cakes on their special 13th Birthday. However, the fact is that it cannot be bought but must be nurtured in the hearts of every kid. I assume, if nurtured well confidence would provide the ability to face life, especially the cruel world outside the comfort zone of their patents, in a better manner. In addition, it would grant them the courage to tackle life challenges, disappointments, failures and ups and downs in a much-refined manner.

Parents role in increasing self Âł We are well aware of the fact that in the life of a kid parent are the most influential figures. So they are naturally entitled to bear the responsibility of raising confident teenagers. As for a teenager, the support and the way parents handle each incident

Parents love their children naturally and there is no doubt about that. But my point here is specifically, do parents always show that love to the kids. It is easy for parents to show their love to the kids when the kids are in their best behaviour and exactly behaving how the parents want them to be. However, it is common to see that, parents withdraw their love and pretend they do not love the kids when they fail to show certain desired behaviour and as a result, they end up feeling unloved and rejected. It is essential to know that, kids are bound to make mistakes more times than they are seen in their perfect behaviour. Loving kids unconditionally does not mean we cannot be unhappy with them or must avoid telling them they are wrong. Rather it means, the kids need to be sure of the fact that parents love them "no matter what". When parents find a situation where kid’s behaviour must be corrected that is the time to love your kid most. And believe me; kids understand the language of love more than hate. Just be committed to love and show the love to the kids through all the ups and downs. They will be more confident in their behaviours and would definitely show high self-esteem.

Number 2: Failure is okay The tricky fact about failure is this, failure is part of anyone’s life and the sooner kids accept this the easier life will be for them. As many would say failure is not the end of anything but it is, of course, the beginning where anyone can learn and start all over again. If not handled well mistakes can crush the self-esteem and confidence of anyone. That’s why, at any point where things do not happen as the desired way, it is the parent’s voice the teen would look for. A gentle voice that affirms us again that "this is not the end".


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

When a kid faces a failure in life, whether it is their grades or an extracurricular activity, is the best time for a parent to start a positive conversation with the child. A conversation which will lead the teen towards a "growth mindset" where they will look for improvements rather than believing this is the end. Disappointment is a regular aspect of life and how much ever we protect our kids from these disappointments that will never be done. Furthermore, the worst part to accept is that parents will not be there forever to guide them or protect them from every disappointment in their life. So from the very beginning, parents must provide their kids with the tools to deal with the punches of life with grace. Early experience with failure and dealing it with a positive mindset will make a teenager more confident in both during their teenage years and later in life.

Number 3: Discover new skills Teenage years are a very important part of a child’s growth. It is also a time they go through lots of mental, physical and emotional developments. Also, these are especially the years when kids would become more conscious about their developments. In my view, this is a time they need lots of assurance about the things which happens to them and the thoughts they are going through on a daily basis. Most importantly, it is a time they can be guided to discover them and embrace new skills and talents that they may have never thought existed before. And parents are the ones who can guide and help the teens most during this important phase of their life. If not attended properly or left to struggle they would surely end up lost and feeling less worthy. During the times they may feel they are not performing to the expectation, they must be assured of the fact that all are different and all have different skills and talents. So every failure or a difficult situation need to be taken as an opportunity to explore more and attempt new things so that the kids can find what their real talents are and what they love to do in life. Remember, acceptance and assurance from parents during such situations will boost the confidence of kids.

Number 4: Teach assertiveness

Education

But never forget that it is only when kids are given the freedom to learn through their own efforts and take the decisions of their life they will grow as highly confident teens.

Number 6: Participation in family matters It is not advisable for parents to pretend that everything is perfect at all times. Parents can openly discuss the challenges they face as a family and ask to suggest their views, ideas and how they would deal with the issues. Kids’ participation is not only limited to asking them but also listening to them and accepting their ideas when deciding on things that affect them as well. This way kids learn skills of effective communication, decision making and gradually grow confident as they feel the sense of belongingness.

Number 7: Praise the effort, not the outcome It is very natural for parents to get very excited about the medals and trophies kids win. When parents end up celebrating only the success, students start relating it to self-worth and begin to think that they are worth only if they can win. This can have adverse impacts on students’ self-esteem. Parents should constantly praise the efforts kids put in achieving any task rather than the outcome they get. Personally, the mantra I follow with both my kids and students is "target to be number 1; do your best and forget the rest". This works really well as a parent as well as an educator. I never show them disappointments during a failure but would approach it with a conversation like, what went wrong? What could be done better next time?. This way kids become more confident in taking risks and they will grow into more confident teens. They won’t be scared of failure but rather will take up every failure as an opportunity to grow and learn to be better.

Teaching assertiveness to kids as they grow into teens is absolutely necessary. It teaches kids to stand for themselves when it demands, without hurting the person in front. They must know the importance of "no" when it is needed. When kids learn to be assertive they become confident and direct in dealing with others without really spoiling their relationships. This helps kids to build self-esteem as they get the ability to stand for their own rights without violating the rights of others.

Number 5: Freedom with guidance From birth to 2 to 3 years parents let their kids learn on their own with their own efforts. It is when a kid learns to cry for their needs, slowly learning to crawl and then to walk, it is also the wonderful moment of parents to see their kids learn to babble and then to talk. During this process parents happily let the kids make mistakes and learn from them. But from a certain point of their life, every parent starts becoming their shadow. They gradually begin to guide them even when they do the smallest task in life. From the time of eating, studying, choosing books, doing homework to their choice of extra activities tend to be decided by the parents. Even after kids tell they have an exam next day parent will call the teacher to ensure it. Unfortunately, through this we make the kids feel that they cannot be trusted and they are not responsible enough to take any decisions in their life. Parents really must change this attitude if they want to raise their teenagers with high self-esteem and confidence. Parents can always be the listener and the guide in the kid’s life.

About the Author: Dr Asiyath Mohamed Didi is the Principal of Hithadhoo School, Maldives. Her major expertise is personal and professional development, teaching and learning and leadership (especially educational leadership).

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Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Embrace the next Generation of Living – Co-living!

The world is getting populated. The size of the earth remains precisely the same. 55% of the world’s population lives in urban cities and expected to increase to 68% by 2050. The growing demands to create space combined with refined lifestyle needs are enormous issues. Where do we find a solution for this? The resounding tested, and the proven answer is the co-living phenomenon. Co-living is interpreted in many ways that are far from what it is. Thus, the real estate industry has been predominantly expensive. It is creating a massive gap between landlords and people looking for affordability and sustainability. Co-living is not just shared living. It is not dormitory or hostel living, nor is it student dormitory-style apartments with gyms, eateries, or swimming areas. Co-living homes are more than just shared living spaces. Community building is vital in the homes to create, harmonious

environment by bringing individuals together to build a supportive and diverse community. Co-living homes are shared homes aimed for affordability and sustainability. And creating sustainable homes is more important in this Generation more than ever; to develop shared communities that help create a support network for jobs, collaborations, and renting more extended periods significantly and even for life.

4 Âł I When COCID-19 seized the world, the most resilient housing sector have been co-living, globally, and in the Asia Pacific region. Demand for looking for spaces to have a safe, and affordable home, spiked on an overwhelming level Groups such as The Weave allocating SGD359M in Singapore, during the lockdown, is proven that co-living is a tested and proven model for the Next Generation of living.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Education

Many operators in the market still are new, and testing boundaries. Urban cities such as Male’ often have "matchbox size" units that are in undesirable quality and size and extremely expensive. With the current living models, they create social and economic problems that are hard to solve with the existing housing systems. A studio flat is a little out of reach for the vast majority of graduates and young professionals on entry-level salaries. Even if it was within reach financially, the questions are: Is it sustainable to force people into tiny spaces? Is it economically, socially sustainable for entry-level workers to rent out from these current living spaces for their life? Is it a realistic longterm solution?

What tech can bring to the housing crisis The co-living industry and its pioneers have the next Generation mindset. Therefore, Technology, AI, and AR are massively used in property management solutions in most of the co-living projects. As it is proven, Technology and AI can solve a big problem here, because AI can take house-sharing beyond scrolling through an endless list of bedrooms, signing tenancy agreements based on hope and crossing your fingers for friendly flatmates. There are existing AI solutions that pair people to house shares based on lifestyle preferences and personality to create house shares that become long-term, functional homes. Technology creates a stable ship with consistent returns for landlords, while this provides the opportunity to have a home, rather than a room for tenants —a win-win for both landlords and tenants. While some of us are more social than others, we are ultimately social creatures that need interactions and care to feel happy. For people moving from further afield, a lonely house share can lead to unhappiness, which impacts our mental health and our productivity amongst a multitude of other things. On the flip side, a house share full of friends offers a stable foundation for us to build happy lives in, whether we were born in the city or came from further away. These are missions to finish the days of spare rooms by providing a hassle-free, secure, and reliable rental service. With this refreshed approach, we can bring like-minded people together rather than just allocating people to spaces. We urgently need to create more co-living options for people living around the world, to suit all budgets and lifestyles, and tech is the only way to make supply meet demand. The supply of urban housing is scarce worldwide: 54% of the world’s population of 7.2 billion live in cities, and by 2050, this is expected to increase to 66% of a predicted world population of 9.6 billion – according to data taken from the United Nations global urbanization report. One of the solutions co-living platforms are developing is to offer ways to create properties specifically for functional, practical, and homely co-living. And perks of a home are the people you live with, rather than having your bedding changed once a week by a ghost cleaner. People are the most crucial part of any economy and essential to the country’s development. Urban cities have become unaffordable around the world.

Housing is becoming increasingly expensive across the world. More people continue to rent for the long term. Therefore, affordable housing is not just a consumer product or a lifestyle; it’s a critically important piece of national infrastructure, and a key to economic options for tens and millions of people who are looking for an affordable/sustainable living environment. Co-living is an indispensable part of making a living an achievable goal for the Next Generation and Sustainable for the increasing urban populations.

About the Author: Aana Zaady is the Co-founder of Rouf, co-living based in Singapore .She is also an ambassador of Singapore to international co-living industry Colive.

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Education

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

- $ $ Âł 4

Motivation is a handy word that has been thrown around for good measure in management literature for the past 80 years. Psychologists, especially organizational psychologists, have studied the reasons why people work and how we can enhance/amplify these reasons to make people produce more. More recently, employee engagement has been touted as a silver bullet solution to increase productivity. Both motivation and engagement, as social sciences suggest, will be very much context, situation, and individual dependent. There will never be a one-size-fits-all solution to motivation and engagement. We are irrational and fickle by nature. Very few things can be true across the board all of the time. One thing however is quite clear – none of us like uncertainty. Our lives have been on hold for a while now. We all need a new direction, greater clarity, a nudge, a pat on the back to get us going again. This is an attempt at unpacking the wisdom of some of the most popular writings on motivation in recent times and a distillation of insights that can be applied to keep teams going in a time of uncertainty like this.

Provide clarity of purpose In his book, The Power of Human, Adam Waytz of the Kellog Management School discusses what he calls the ‘human-powered’ motivation. He draws on multiple studies by other psychologists. His claim is that people are driven by a sense of duty to others.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

People like to do things that are beneficial to other people. This is consistent with a number of other studies that Nava Ashraf and colleagues did in parts of Africa to find out how prosocial behavior motivated teachers and healthcare workers. The practical insight here is to give people a deeper connection with the consequences of their work – be it a product they help develop or the lifestyle their families can afford as a result of their work. This can be done with subtle nudges or more overt and explicit communication with individuals and teams. People love their work when they find purpose and in the notable study that Amy Wrzesniewski and colleagues did with hospital cleaners further confirm this. One of the greatest contributors to anxiety and stress is our ability to imagine things. Ironically, this is the same ability that makes special as a species and makes us creative. In a time of uncertainty, people stress over what will happen next. Managers and leaders need to help their teams stay focused during times like these and help them connect with the future in a positive manner. Discuss plans and show them the silver lining or the light at the end of the tunnel.

Instill, encourage and promote integrity According to Professor Schwarz, work is more often a source of frustration than one of fulfillment for nearly 90 percent of the world’s workers. Think of the social, emotional, and perhaps even economic waste that this statistic represents. Ninety percent of adults spend half their waking lives doing things they would rather not be doing at places they would rather not be. Ever since McGregor’s Theory X, some managers have always put people in ‘boxes’ and labeled them. Knowing that they are not trusted by the owner or the manager can demoralize and alienate people. People need to be trusted and given as many opportunities as possible to show their integrity. Building a culture of trust is important for any team. Human beings have an endless capacity to do good and the assumption that they would want to do good should be the rule and the opposite the exemption.

Give as much autonomy as possible The basis of Deci & Ryan’s Self-determination theory is that the need for growth drives behavior. People want to learn and develop skills, connect with other people, and do things on their own. Daniel Pink suggests that mastery of tasks is what a lot of humans strive for. These are universal psychological needs and facilitating the right atmosphere for this to thrive is of utmost importance. This is a great opportunity for individuals to gain additional knowledge, learn new skills, enhance existing ones, and gain mastery as there are plenty of virtual learning courses and programs available online.

Incentivize with unexpected nonmonetary rewards Money and financial rewards get people through the door but surprisingly, they are not much of a help in keeping them in and making them productive. As Dan Ariely recounts some of the experiments that he has conducted, an unexpected reward of pizza from the manager had a much greater impact on productivity. In a nutshell, more acts of appreciation and

Education

recognition are what make people go the extra mile. That said, financial compensation up to the point of ‘fair pay’ is an absolute must to keep teams and individuals from thinking about the greener pastures on the other side. Show more appreciation, find more reasons to recognize and reward teams and individuals for their contribution.

Let individuals experiment and try out new ideas and learn new skills Job crafting is one of the ways that individuals derive meaning from what they do. More often than not, except in the creative fields, those who enjoy what they do, deviate from what is prescribed for them in the job description. This was one of the outcomes that Amy Wrzesniewski and the team discovered with the hospital cleaning crew. Those who enjoyed their work as hospital cleaners did more than cleaning. They changed paintings in patient’s rooms, read to them, and helped the elderly cross the parking lot – all these without been told by their supervisors. They get a genuine sense of fulfillment by helping and making themselves useful to others. People paint their offices and decorate their tables and workspaces to their liking and this can increase their sense of belonging. According to David Epstein, author of Range, insight from LinkedIn data over the last 15 years suggest that those who make it to the CEO positions experience a broad range of many different things in their careers. It is therefore important to encourage individuals to experience new things. instead of becoming an I shaped, where we gain really deep knowledge in just one area, it is always more beneficial in the long run to become T shaped where we have a good understanding of a broad range of things and depth of expertise in one area. Better still, M shape should be the ultimate career goal for young people to gain competency in multiple areas. Balancing life is important for good mental health hygiene. Covid-19 has pushed the pause button for many of us and given us the ability to reset everything if need be. Use this opportunity to review and revise your workplace so that it becomes conducive to healthy, productive, and fulfilling.

About the Author: Hassan Saeed is a career hotelier with over 25 years of experience in Maldives tourism and resort operation. His specialties include strategic HRM, training and development, service operations, and continuous improvement. He is passionate about behavioral economics and how concepts like ‘Nudge’ can be applied in service settings. Hassan identifies himself as a lifelong learner. He currently holds the position of Resort Manager at Dhigali Maldives.

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Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Education as a Matter of National Security

The second noteworthy point is, the evident responsibilities carried by a nation in educating its citizens. Given any sector, requirements are mutual when it comes to educating the public in the ongoing and outgoing affairs to or from the country. It is obligatory for the government authorities and other protective forces to make explanations on what they execute, the operations carried out and its consequences to the individuals of the society considering it their utmost priority (Skaggs, n.d.). At this point, even the organizations, administrations and authorities have to become teachers of their specialized fields, which brings us to a common point – Education. A country gains its ability to protect, progress, and harmonize its actions in compliance with the sector-specialized people in its society. In this era of global competition, every country is in the fight for progress. This advancement is namely achieved by the level of educational attainment of a country, which can further be simplified to the proportion of the workforce of a country in accordance with the postsecondary-credentials. Education has without a doubt, come to pervade every aspect of our lives. The converged view of education in pertainymy to national security weighs towards the formerly mentioned area. Education! From my standpoint, the financial budget for the education sector should be heavier than the budget for national security, and my choice is placed after a careful consideration of the belowmentioned reasons. One of the main reasons which may win the major support of the topic is, the fact that the government involves learned behavior. The structure of a government and its working mechanism is extremely complex. For a country to acquire a strategic system of national security, it requires ensuring the protection of the state’s fundamentals and needs. This is taken from protecting lives, maintaining sovereignty, and its values (Skaggs, n.d.). Citizens are not hard-wired genetically. A complex structure requires complex education and learned behavior. It will be hard for us to imagine a city without relevant credentials and experience ruling a strategic system. Hence, working mechanisms need to be taught and learned, and this comes with proper education.

Another cruciality of education comes with the expectations of society. Education without a doubt is the critical predictor of economic strength. The policymakers and community as a whole always had higher expectations from educated personnel. Especially from those who are in higher education and from those with postsecondary credentials. This will in turn result in better communication, useful negotiations, and wise decisions. Developing an understanding through education is the key to problem-solving. When this becomes a basic necessity, it is convincing that more money should be invested in the educational field to build a better nation, as a country with an underperformed educational system would reflect a major decline in progress. The future of a country truly depends on how well the education system prepares its citizens to deal with the practical working environment while protecting and serving the nation. The factually possible way to compete in a new global era is to gain knowledge and to nurture one’s self. As education is the essential cornerstone for what our reality revolves around and as it is what drives the induvial curiosity and nature, upon contemplating on the above-discussed reasons, if we are to minimize our losses and to maximize our gains; it should not be challenging for us to realize more money should be invested in education than in national security. Note to reader: This is a persuasive essay written to persuade the importance of education.



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Technology & Infrastructure

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Ooredoo Maldives Turns 15 Years, Introduces Exciting Offers for its Customers

In 1st August 2005, Ooredoo started its journey in the Maldives under the name Wataniya and revolutionized the telecommunication industry in the Maldives. Today, Ooredoo Maldives celebrates its remarkable success, growth and many milestones achieved in the past 15 years. Ooredoo has provided its customers with an improved network, affordable and competitive prices and continue to enrich the lives of its customers and the people of Maldives with continuous introduction of leading-edge technologies and telecommunications solutions, connecting the community with new opportunities and enabling the businesses, entrepreneurs and the youth to greater heights. "Today we have reached another milestone, we celebrate 15 years of service and we cannot be more excited about our journey here in the Maldives. As we mark this prosperous occasion, we thank our beloved customers for the continuous support which drives us to continue to provide world class internet services and bring new technologies to establish a digital Maldives. We hope that our customers will enjoy this little gift, to celebrate this wonderful milestone with us." Managing Director & CEO, Najib Khan. As part of Ooredoo Maldives 15th Anniversary celebration and to thank its customers for the continuous support throughout the 15 years, Ooredoo has launched an exciting anniversary promotion offering up to 50% bonus data to its Prepaid customers, 20% Extra Data on all Postpaid monthly data packs, 15% bonus data on all recharges for new Faseyha Mini customers, and 15% discount on IDD rates for all SAARC nations.

Up to 50% Extra Data on all Monthly Data Packs All Prepaid customers can enjoy up to 50% extra data when activating any monthly data packs throughout the month of August. To activate visit: http://ore.do/app

20% Extra Data on Monthly Data Packs All Postpaid customers can enjoy 20% Extra Data on all monthly data packs for the month of August. To activate the monthly data packs, visit: http://ore.do/app

>Bo " $ K & - Âł

Customers who activate a Faseyha Mifi device during the month of August can enjoy 15% Bonus Data on all recharges made throughout the month. To activate visit: http://ore.do/app

15% Discount on IDD rates Customers can enjoy staying connected with friends and family with 15% discount on IDD calls to all SAARC nations. To enjoy the discount, customers should dial 011 before the country code when making the call. This anniversary promotion is available to all Ooredoo customers starting from today till end of 31st August 2020. Customers can easily subscribe to these products at any time, from anywhere via Ooredoo App: http://ore.do/app For information, please visit: http://ore.do/15yrs


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Ooredoo Generates 0 ³ -62 E; Million in Q2 Ooredoo reveals that the telecommunication company has generated a profit of MVR 80 million in the second quarter of 2020. According to the quarterly statistics published by Ooredoo, the company has generated a total of MVR 409.6 million in Q2 2020. Ooredoo stated that the company’s total income has shown a significant decrease this year due to the Pandemic. The company highlights the decrease in the income generated from data roaming. This is due to the ban on traveling in several countries as a safety measure against COVID-19. In Q1 2020, Ooredoo has generated a gross revenue of MVR 410 million. This means the revenue of Q2 2020 has decreased by 24.6% and by 16.7% if compared to the revenue generated in Q2 2019. During Q2 2020, Ooredoo Maldives has provided MVR. 2.5 million to the government, as an effort to support the economic status of Maldives in the ongoing global pandemic. It has now been 15 years since Ooredoo operates in Maldives.

Technology & Infrastructure

MTCC Begins Road Development Project of B. Eydhafushi Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) has initiated the construction and development of major roads of Baa Atoll Eydhafushi. The project involves the development of 17 main roads of 17,785 sqm, a stormwater management system to prevent flooding of roads for a clean and safe environment along with gravity pipe networks, cement stabilized base course, and installation of street lights, speed breakers and marked road lines. Moreover, pavements and sidewalks will be developed on both sides of all main roads while it is planned to plant trees on both sides of the main roads. During the development of the main roads on the island, MTCC urges the public to provide full support such as not parking vehicles on roads that are under development where discussions were also made with the council. The overall project valued at MVR 38.3 million was contracted to MTCC on 1st April 2019. The company stated that the construction of tar roads is estimated to be completed within the next 45 days.

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MTCC Commences Dh. Hulhudheli Harbor Upgrading Project Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) has started the harbor upgrading project of Dh. Hulhudheli on 25th June 2020. The project was approved by EIA on 30th April 2020 which involves the design and build of Dh. Hulhudheli harbor upgrade. In addition, the project also includes dredging and excavation of 45,585cbm, construction of a 277m long breakwater, a 432m quay wall, 60m groynes and a 60m revetment along with the construction of 2160sqm of paved area. The project valued at MVR 39.8 million was awarded on 10th December 2019 and estimated to be completed within 362 days.

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

MTCC Begins Phase Two of Kelaa Habour Construction Project Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) has initiated phase two of the Haa Alif Kelaa harbor construction project on 29th June 2020. Phase Two of the project also involves the installation of mooring buoys of the harbor of Haa Alif Kelaa with the completion of dredging works. The overall project consists of 12,768 cubic meters of dredging, a 30-meter breakwater, 220 meters of revetment, along with 1,445 square meters of paved area works. The project valued at MVR 17.4 million was handed over to MTCC on 30th July 2019 where the project was initiated during September 2019. The project is estimated to be completed within 410 days.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Every 3 in 1 Maldivians Use Multiple Mobile Connections Data Portal has revealed the statistical details of digital users in the Maldives, under a report named #Digital2020. This report discloses the data of internet and social media users, along with the data of mobile connections in the Maldives. According to Data Portal, there are approximately 380.0 thousand internet users in the Maldives during January 2020. While the number of internet users in the Maldives increased by 10 thousand (+2.7%) between 2019 and 2020, internet penetration in the Maldives stood at 71% in January 2020. Just as the number of internet users, Maldives contained 380.0 thousand social media users in the country, during January 2020. The report also highlights that this amount has hiked by 12 thousand extra users (+3.2%) between April 2019 and January 2020. The percentage of social media penetration in the Maldives stood at 71% in January 2020. Data Portal also makes notes on the mobile connections in the Maldives. This amounts to 888.5 thousand mobile connections in the Maldives during January 2020. While the population of Maldives remains at 540 thousand, the fact that 888.5 thousand mobile connections lead us to a conclusion of every 1 in 3 people having multiple devices. The mobile connections in the Maldives have decreased by 9875 (-1.1%) between the month of January 2019 and January 2020. According to the report, the number of mobile connections in the Maldives in January 2020 was equivalent to 166% of the total population.

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MTCC Projects’ Progress in N.Fohdhoo, Sh.Feevah and R.Rasmaadhoo MTCC has announced the successful completion of the work on the design and build of coastal protection structures at N. Fohdhoo on 26th July 2020. The project, which is aimed to solve erosion issues faced by the island; involves laying of geo bags along a 180m area and sand backfilling works of 5,000cbm. The project had a cost of MVR 7.6 million. The work on Sh. Feevah Harbor is well underway, with an overall 52% project progress. Harbour basin dredging and breakwater construction works are currently ongoing with 88% and 66% completion respectively. The estimated value of the project is MVR 69.3 million. Meanwhile, to commence the practical works of R. Rasmaadhoo Harbor project, the site has been mobilized on 26th July. The project entails an outer sea wall of 377 meters and a 9000 cubic-meter harbour with the installation of harbour lights, mooring buoy and 600 square meters of pavement. The project worth MVR 18.7 million was awarded to MTCC in December 2019.


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Technology & Infrastructure

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Dhiraagu Fibre Broadband Launched in R. Maduvvaree

Dhiraagu has launched its high-speed Fibre Broadband in R. Maduvvaree. With this new expansion of our Fibre-to-the-home, we are allowing the island community to enhance their digital experience and join the largest and the fastest fibre network in the country. Dhiraagu launches the service at a time where high-speed internet connectivity has become essential to our everyday lives. Whether it is to stay connected, access to remote education or simply stay up to date with the current affairs, a reliable network is necessary. With Dhiraagu Fibre Broadband, we are allowing our customers to choose from a great variety of packages and enjoy the biggest data allowances available in the market. "It gives us immense pleasure to further expand our Fibre Broadband network, introducing our high-speed connectivity and providing a quality stable connection to new communities. We aim to deliver on our brand promise and empower our customers to ‘take on tomorrow’" stated Mohamed Mirshan Hassan, Senior Manager Brand and Marketing Communications at Dhiraagu. As a result of our continued investments, high-speed Fibre Broadband service is now available to 75% of national households making their lives easier, smarter, and more rewarding. Our Fibre Broadband network is the largest high-speed data network in the nation, which provides an unparalleled experience to communities in 61 islands across the country. Dhiraagu continues to play a pivotal role in enriching lives and empower people through building strong, inclusive digital communities.

"It gives us immense pleasure to further expand our Fibre Broadband network, introducing our high-speed connectivity and providing a quality stable connection to new communities. We aim to deliver on our brand promise and empower our customers to ‘take on tomorrow.’" Mohamed Mirshan Hassan Senior Manager Brand and Marketing Communications at Dhiraagu


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Technology & Infrastructure

Dhiraagu Launches Fibre Broadband and DhiraaguTV in L.Maavah

Dhiraagu has launched its high-speed Fibre Broadband and DhiraaguTV service in L.Maavah. In today’s digital age, a secure and reliable internet connectivity is essential to stay connected, access quality educational content, stay up to date with the current affairs and accelerate every aspect of our everyday lives. With Dhiraagu Fibre Broadband, residents of L.Maavah can now choose from a great variety of packages that has been developed to cater different customer segments. They can also enjoy the biggest data packages available in the market in order to enhance their digital experience. Additionally, with this expansion, the island community will be able to subscribe to the best entertainment bundles with DhiraaguTV. The service is launched at a time where the popular STAR channels have been added to the portfolio offering an even greater variety of entertainment. " Our business has a clear strategy which focuses on providing a superior experience to our customers. With this new expansion,

we are pleased to introduce our reliable high-speed connectivity allowing communities to stay connected" – stated Mohamed Mirshan Hassan, Senior Manager Brand and Marketing Communications at Dhiraagu. As a result of our continued investments, high-speed Fibre Broadband service is now available to 75% of national households making their lives easier, smarter, and more rewarding. Our Fibre Broadband network is the largest highspeed data network in the nation, which provides unparalleled experience to communities in 60 islands across the country. Meanwhile, DhiraaguTV has been the first and only IPTV service provider in the Maldives to extend digital IPTV service to 73% of national households. With more than 100 quality channels in its fully digitized network, DhiraaguTV service is now available on 54 islands and has also piloted collaboration with private networks to roll out services to islands that lack fixed broadband services. Dhiraagu continues to play a pivotal role in enriching lives and empower people through building strong, inclusive digital communities.

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Technology & Infrastructure

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

ROL Introduces Electronic Learning Management System for Tutor

Raajje Online (ROL) has introduced an electronic learning management system for tutors.

creative arts and lifestyle enthusiasts to establish and foster an online learning culture.

It was a long-standing initiative of ROL to uphold child welfare and education in the community through various programs, the decision to host its own Learning Management System and provide support to the community stemmed amidst the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and the necessity created by the pandemic, to establish safe online solutions and systems for continued education for our children.

The various features of the ROL LMS-TUTOR are designed to make teaching easy and interactive. With features such as video conferencing, PowerPoint presentations, electronic whiteboard, video recording, and user management, tutors can utilize their skills and explain lessons easily and in detail to the students just like in a physical face to face environment but at the comfort of their home or own space.

Hence, ROL offers an E-LMS (Electronic Learning Management System) solution for local schools, colleges, universities, and education institutes.

The benefits are not for the tutors alone, students can take advantage of digital content sharing, online research, and group interactions for information and resource sharing not to mention the ease of online connectivity from anywhere, anytime on any type of device.

Its new E-LMS for private tutoring, ROL LMS-TUTOR, is aimed at local academic subject and class tuition teachers, Tutors, instructors, and experts organizing various creative arts and personal welfare, practical, and lifestyle classes.

Since our E-LMS is hosted locally, tutors and students on the ROL network can use the service without any deduction from their subscribed ROL package allowance.

Some applicable users include: - Academic subject teachers - Quran class teachers - Cake making course teachers - Hairdressing course teachers - Fashion designing course teachers - Gym teachers and more.

ROL offers a free 14-day trial for any interested party and a free demo session for the introduction of the system features and experiences a Locally developed & hosted E-LMS solution, with fast & secure cloud connectivity. Using LMS will leave you satisfied with its ease & simplicity, of its functionality, performance & value.

The aim of this new, first-to-market initiative is to facilitate tools and platforms for easy online academic learning and providing innovative support to the education sector, learning institutes,

If you wish to experience ROL LMS-TUTOR, visit https://tutor.rol. net.mv/ to learn more about the product and its many features, or call our customer care hotline at 133.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Technology & Infrastructure

53

Dhiraagu Introduces Star Channels On Dhiraagu TV

Dhiraagu has introduced star channels on Dhiraagu TV. DhiraaguTV, the pioneering IPTV service provider in the Maldives rewards its loyal customers with its latest association with the Star India network. Effective 10 July 2020, DhiraaguTV customers can start enjoying a wide variety of originals, blockbuster movies, premiers, and exclusive content via the Star India network’s channels, namely Star Plus, Star Gold, Star Jalsha, Star Vijay and Asianet. Fans across the country have been eagerly waiting to see their favorite bouquet of channels to be featured on DhiraaguTV. This gives the perfect opportunity for DhiraaguTV customers to enjoy the daily soaps, dance and singing competitions, reality shows, and much more on their loved Star India network’s channels. With the pandemic affecting the reality and entertainment industry across the world, Star India network will be bringing back fresh episodes of the much-awaited, renowned dramas featuring the most popular names like Mr. Bajaaj from ‘Kasauti Zindagi Ki’ to Aman from ‘Yehh Jadu Hai Jin Ka!’ starting 13 July 2020. "We are excited to welcome one of the top household entertainment brands to our DhiraaguTV family. It gives us immense pleasure to associate with a company that has a legacy

of creating iconic characters that have entertained millions of audiences for decades. We are hopeful that this collaboration will enrich the lives of our customers by giving them access to everyday entertainment" stated Mr. Mahmoud Dasser, Chief Marketing Officer of Dhiraagu. "We are delighted to collaborate with DhiraaguTV in their endeavor to bring the best entertainment and most relevant stories to Maldivian audiences by providing our world-class channels across four languages – Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Bangla. We hope viewers will enjoy a large variety of entertainment – from the biggest blockbusters to the most popular format shows and immersive series," said a Star India spokesperson. With more than 100 quality channels in its fully digitized network, DhiraaguTV is the first and only IPTV service provider in the Maldives to extend digital IPTV service to 73% of national households. DhiraaguTV service is now available on 53 islands and has also piloted collaboration with private networks to roll out services to islands that lack fixed broadband services. DhiraaguTV thrives to bring quality entertainment using the best of technology to the Maldivian community and promises to remain as one of the key priorities of the Company. For more information, please visit Dhiraagu TV.


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Fisheries, Agriculture & Environment

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Maldives’ High Dependency on Food Imports – Incapability or Poor Utilization?

The Maldives, composed of 1200 islands and a population of about 5 hundred thousand people, is highly dependent on imports, mainly for necessities such as food. However, it’s concerning that regardless of having a tourism-driven economy that earns over $3 billion annually, the island nation depends on other countries for an alarming percentage of necessities. According to the monthly statistics by Maldives Customs Service in May 2020, food items were the largest import category with 373 million imported (excluding alcohol, pork, tobacco). From the necessities imported a majority percentage was taken by staple foods (MVR 358 million) followed by potatoes, onions, and chicken. While total imports for the period (Jan-May 2020) amounted to MVR13.6 billion, the exports were just MVR991 million and total revenue was MVR1.1 billion. Considering the international trade statistics of the country, worrying over the financial performance of the economy would be justifiable. In fact, the total Government debt outstanding as a percentage of GDP is 75.6% in 2020, an increase of 14.5% from

2019, as per data compiled by the Maldives Monetary Authority, Ministry of Finance, and National Bureau of Statistics. However, is the country truly incapable of supplying the necessities such as food products to the population? The Maldives is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world with 1.9 million tourist arrivals in 2019 and one of the most highly dependent economies on tourism for its revenue. The MIRA annual report 2018 shows that tourism contributed to 62.2% of GGST and 15.9% of the total Business Profit Tax. While the economy has a successful industry, what could be the reason for the excessive value of imports? The Maldives is rich in agricultural resources, with the land that can be utilized for various food products. The country also has the potential to improve its human capital in the field by investing in training, education as well as the latest technology. It is highly important that an economy isn’t overdependent on other countries, which was clearly seen from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Fisheries, Agriculture & Environment

HDC Collects 42 Tonnes of Litter from Hulhumale’

Government Declares Farekede as a Protected Area

HDC stated that 42 tonnes of litter were collected the past week. This was revealed in a post by My Hulhumale’ on social media on the 11th of July, 2020.

The Environment Ministry has declared the South Eastern Farekede region of Fuvamulah City as a protected area.

My Hulhumale’ states 42 tonnes of litter were collected from different areas of Hulhumale’ and from the highway which is connected to the bridge. This event was carried out in association with HDC’s municipal team. The information was shared on social media under the hashtags #farudheezimma #MyHulhumale’ #SaafuHulhumale’

The decision to protect the Farekede area was announced in February of 2020, by the President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Farekede is an area where sharks come together to breed and a variety of other marine organisms such as rays, and whale sharks are often witnessed by divers in the area. Species seen in this area are under the threat of extinction, which in turn initiated the government to decide on the move to declare the area as protected. Environment Ministry declared the area as protected, starting from 22nd July 2020. As a protected area, boats will not be given permission to place anchors in the area, barring certain exceptions. The capture of marine animals and disposal of waste in the region will also be outlawed. Although, the area can still be visited by the public and the tourists under a special policy. A total of 11 regions across the Maldives was declared as a protected area last year, under the government pledge to designate at least one island and reef in every atoll of the country as a protected area.

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Fisheries, Agriculture & Environment

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

#Fishfortomorrow Campaign Secures Public Support for Protection of Vulnerable Species

The #FishForTomorrow campaign, led by the Maldives Resilient Reefs project by Blue Marine Foundation, has secured public support for the protection of giant grouper and all species of parrotfish in the Maldives. Over 27,000 people — more than five percent of the population — responded to the campaign’s online polls that ran in the final week. 78 percent of Maldivians said that they would now release a juvenile grouper or snapper if they caught one. 85 percent said they would release a berried lobster, which is a national law. 78 percent of people said they believe #FishForTomorrow has helped them better understand reef marine life, and 70 percent supported legal protection for giant grouper and parrotfish. Riyaz Jauharee said "Parrotfish are one of the most important groups of fish on coral reefs. Overfishing of them has devastated reefs in many countries and those reefs have never fully recovered. The Maldives must act now and ban fishing of Parrotfish before it is too late." FishForTomorrow was developed in response to the emergence of photos showing illegal fishing of nationally protected giant clams and unsustainable capture of other important species like parrotfish in the Maldives. Healthy populations of such fish on coral reefs are crucial for the Maldives’ fight against climate change. The campaign aimed to familiarise and educate Maldivian people about the biology of particularly vulnerable reef species to ensure they understand why some species can be easily overfished and require such careful management. Maldives Resilient Reefs used interesting facts about local fish species, like "Red snappers can live up to 55 years – longer than a

bear", to shock people into changing their perceptions about fish. Shaha Hashim, Maldives Project Manager says "We are already experiencing climate change impacts such as unprecedented storm surges and mass coral bleaching on a non-El-Nino year. We need to prioritize the management of reef fish populations so that they could provide the essential ecological functions for us to be able to live on these islands safely". During the four-week campaign, nearly 40,000 people — just under 10 percent of the Maldivian population — visited the website and played the campaign’s "higher or lower" game where players were required to guess the answers to questions like "Which of these species can you legally fish?". The campaign also started a viral trend for fishermen to post Instagram Stories of themselves releasing juvenile groupers and snappers. The campaign was supported by a variety of "reef hero" advocates and influencers including popular band Detune as well as Ahmed Saeed (Gahaa), Riyaz Jauharee, and Shaziya Saeed (Saaxu). Ahmed Saeed (Gahaa) said ‘"‘The campaign and its messages served as an eye-opener and tickled our conscience, certainly. I believe this probably is the first educational campaign about vulnerable reef fish in the Maldives. I consider it a great success and wish to thank the Maldives Resilient Reefs team for their efforts to educate the public and make people aware of sustainable fishing which is so crucial to the future of our country. I am definitely delighted to be a part of this noble venture." Find out more about vulnerable species: fishfortomorrow.maldivesresilientreefs.com/

http://www.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Maldives to Ban Use on Single-Use Plastic Imports From 2021 Parliamentarians in the Maldives are proposing to ban the import of single-use plastics from 2021. The amendment to the Import Export Act has proposed taxing single-use plastic items such as straws, disposable film and plates for the rest of the year. This act will be followed by a complete ban from January 2021. The parliament passed a resolution to ban single-use plastics in Maldives from 2025, in2019. The government also has a similar target. Statistics reveal that an estimated 8m metric ton of plastic waste enter the oceans each year. The problem is found in every known ecosystem and at every level of the food chain. If current marine pollution trends continue, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by the year 2050. Plastic waste is a well-documented issue in the Maldives as well, with ocean plastic regularly washing up on its pristine beaches. Known internationally as one of the world’s best scuba diving destinations, the Maldives has an abundance of dive sites with a unique underwater beauty to explore. The islands of the Maldives have consistently warm waters with outstanding visibility throughout the year, and consist of exhilarating dive sites such as vibrant thilas, exciting channels, coral-filled overhangs and fascinating wrecks. Maldives’ world-renowned coral reefs play a fundamental role in food production, shoreline protection, and tourism revenue, but ocean plastic threatens the survival of shallow coral reefs. Preservation of the reefs has become crucial than ever. Preventing plastic pollution is key to the conservation efforts.

Fisheries, Agriculture & Environment

21,000 Tonnes of Fish Bought from Fishermen: MIFCO The Managing Director of MIFCO, Ismail Fauzy has revealed that 21,000 tonnes of fish have been bought from fishermen so far in 2020. This is 44% of the fish bought in 2019 by MIFCO, which totalled to 48,000 tonnes. Ismail Fauzy, who stated that fishing in the country is going well similar to 2019, informed that there is MVR 18 million owed to fishermen. The company is facing difficulties in paying the fishermen on time but the amount will be issued within 2 weeks, he said. MIFCO has issued around MVR 420 million to fishermen so far. According to Fauzy, after the works of boat loading in Kooddoo concludes, the remaining payment can be made. He further revealed that MVR 70 million, which was owed to fishermen before the lockdown period, has been repaid during the lockdown. The remaining MVR 18 million is the payment of the past 9 days. To repay loans taken from the banks, MVR 5 million is repaid per month by the company and the full amount will be repaid within the next year. After this, the company will be able to finance more materials and strengthen operations.

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Fisheries, Agriculture & Environment

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

MoFMRA Reveals Provision of ‘Dhanduveri Nafa’ Loan to 25 Individuals

Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture has revealed the provision of ‘Dhanduveri Nafa’ loan to 25 farming individuals to assist farmers to deal with the financial downturns faced by the industry and to broaden the economy. This was stated in a meeting held with Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, Zaha Waheed, in the parliament Government Oversight Committee. She stated the government has been working on providing financial assistance to the individuals specialized in the industry. In this meeting, she has highlighted ‘Dhanduveri Nafa’ loan program, which was introduced by the SME bank, which means to provide ease for the farmers who wish to invest in the field and to further broaden the economy. 25 individual farmers have been provided financial assistance which amounts to MVR 7.3 Million, she said. Ministry reveals importance is given to executing urban farming when providing loans under ‘Dhanduveri Nafa’. Projects such as urban agriculture, protected agriculture, vertical gardening, polytree, and developing nurseries will get financial assistance from this loan. While this loan is provided with an interest of 6%, individual farmers can claim a loan between MVR 75 thousand and MVR 500 thousand. Companies and corporate farmers can claim a loan between MVR 75 thousand and MVR 2 million, according to the ministry. Farmers who obtain a loan of MVR 75 thousand shall pay it back within 3 years and the grace period for this is 6 months while the grace period for farmers who obtain a loan between MVR 75 thousand and MVR 500 thousand is 6 months. They shall pay back the loan within 5 years. Loans above MVR 500 thousand receive a grace period of one year and shall be paid back within 7 years.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Fisheries, Agriculture & Environment

59

Maldives Fisherman Association Holds ‘Discover Huvadhu’ Event to Promote the Beauty of Huvadhu Atoll

An event named ‘Discover Huvadhu’ will be carried out by the Maldives Fisherman Association to dive in every gulf of Huvadhoo Atoll. The event, scheduled from 29th July to 3rd August, is an initiative targeted to document, discover, disseminate, and promote the unique environmental, cultural, social, and scenic beauty of Huvadhu atoll.

Huvadhoo Atoll is the biggest coral atoll in the world. The atoll also holds the prestigious record of having the greatest number of islands in one atoll. Along with stunning natural beauty, reefs and islands that are specially known for attracting birds, Huvadhoo Atoll is also included in the Deep South diving that is popular among tourists.

With the help of UNDP and Australian Aid, the Discover Huvadhu event by Maldives Fisherman Association will also consist of activities to make divers and fishermen aware of the various occurrences that take place when diving. And along with research on the dive sites, a special documentary will also be produced.

Discover Huvadhoo provides an opportunity to explore the dive sites and carry out research on marine life there. The research is to be conducted according to the instructions by the experts. Further, the dives will be carried out with the highest level of safety measures and precautions. Experienced diver instructors will be taking part in the event. The dive will be carried out with the divers selected by the Maldives Fisherman Association.

The awareness campaign will include the precautions that need to be taken when diving for the bait used by fishermen and the importance of taking a dive course. The campaign has been arranged to take place virtually with the participation of experts in the field.

Partners of the event are Marine Equipments, Apnea Maldives and Bank of Maldives. The event will be organized by Turquoise Lab


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Real Estate

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Construction Industry Activities Decreases by 76% in Q2: MMA

The activities by the construction industry have decreased to 61% in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020. The quarterly business survey of the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) reveals that this is a 76% decrease compared to the first quarter (Q1) of 2020. The global pandemic has affected almost all the industries of the economy. MMA prepared its quarterly business survey report with careful consideration of perspectives from the industry experts. This survey states that the construction industry has faced a lot of challenges in Q2 when compared with Q1. While the activities carried out by the construction industry was at 15% during Q1, this amount has decreased by 76% during Q2 of 2020. The report claims that this decrease marks the biggest challenge faced by the construction industry as a whole. According to the survey report, businesses in the construction industry has also decreased to a huge extent. When compared to the first quarter of 2020, the second quarter reflects a 66% decrease in construction-related businesses. While the amount of construction projects awarded has decreased in Q2, numerous workers from the industry have lost their jobs due to pandemic. A total of 45% of employees have lost their jobs in Q2. Industry experts suggest that the statistics for Q3 of 2020 will show an improvement given the resumption of work and eases to lockdown. 45% of the people who participated in the survey suggested that businesses will improve in Q3 while 26% of the people suggested the industry will experience a further downfall.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Real Estate

Development & Sale of Mixed Residential Buildings in Hulhumale’

HDC to Conduct a Research to Determine Housing Market Situation in Maldives

Housing Development Corporation Ltd. (HDC) has announced that the Corporation is seeking parties for the "Development and Sale of Mixed Residential Buildings in Hulhumalé".

Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has decided to conduct research to determine the situation of the housing market in the Maldives, in order to provide shelter to its people. According to HDC, an MOU has been signed with the Maldives National University (MNU) to conduct research on the current housing market of the country. HDC also stated that, in association with MNU, the corporation will be conducting several types of research and this could arguably be the first research of the series.

Development S1-1 consists of a plot area of 24,098.22 square feet with 14 floors (47 meters). S1-1 is of 142,179.49 square feet Gross Floor Area (GFA). Development S1-3 consists of a plot area of 30,047.97 square feet with 14 floors (47 meters). S1-3 is of 177,282.99 square feet in Gross Floor Area (GFA). Development S1-4 consists of a plot area of 26,969.06 square feet with 14 floors (47 meters). S1-4 is of 159,117.45 square feet in Gross Floor Area (GFA). Development D10-3B consists of a plot area of 12,284.10 square feet with 10 floors (35.2 meters). D103B is of 77,329.86 square feet in Gross Floor Area (GFA). Additional information regarding the submission of proposals will be available on the Request for Proposal (RFP) uploaded on our website www.hdc.com.mv and properties.hdc.com. mv.With respect to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, details of the proposal opening time and process shall be shared with the registered parties only. For further information and clarification, please email the queries before 27th August 2020, 13; Q0hrs to the mail address given below. The answers to the queries will be uploaded to the HDC’s website www.hdc.com.mv and properties.hdc.com.mv.

This agreement has been signed by the Managing Director, Suhail Ahmed, on behalf of HDC and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Mohamed Shareef on behalf of MNU. HDC states that under this project, they aim to get the statistics of shelter and real estate business in the Maldives, and to train employees for different researches and works related to this profile.

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Real Estate

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

The Dangers in Hiyaa 7000 Housing Project- Planning, Design & Safety

Architects Association Maldives has published an Observation Report upon completing the AAM Visits to the "Hiyaa 7000 Housing Project" in the newly developed Phase 2 of HulhumalĂŠ. In the observation report, AAM covered 4 main areas of concern; planning, design, fire safety, and security.

Planning

for children. Further, there are also dangers associated with the way service pipes were established in the basement parking. People living are likely to find difficulties in accessing the lift since there are only 3 lifts that carry a total of 14 people. There were also safety issues regarding the windows of rooms in some units. On top of that, the waste system is also not complete since people can only gather waste on the ground floor, which is against the Guidelines.

According to the report, a large number of people living in the same building can lead to many social, health and safety issues. The privacy and security problems associated with the design and many people having to stay on one floor adds to such issues and it can create a congested environment. It is also important that if there’s a plan to plant trees in the space between the towers, it is implemented before people start living.

Fire safety

Design

Security

The railing of the corridors does not follow the guidelines and regulations of Hulhumale Planning and Development. On a wall approximately 2 ft tall, having a 2 ft tall metal railing is not safe

In opposition to the Hulhumale Planning and Development Guidelines, the buildings did not have a security system established for the safety of people living there.

There was no separation zone in the building for protection from fire and smoke, even in the lift lobby. If the fire is caught on the floors below, the country does not have the equipment to reach the top floors of the tower.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Real Estate

ROUF Maldives – Empowering Real Estate and Hospitality Industry with Innovative Solutions After two years in Singapore, ROUF is thrilled to announce the launch of Rouf in the Maldives, a remote vacation paradise with endless possibilities and exciting opportunities. ROUF’s mission is to empower businesses with tailored and personalized Co-living and Co-working mentoring, to build smart and sustainable business models in the new normal while the company’s vision is to create a cost-efficient and community-centric business and provide affordable and simple experiences for consumers through a shared economy. Phase One of Rouf Maldives will deliver innovative, endend advisory solutions to the Hospitality and Real Estate community in the following areas of business: - Co-living - Co-working - Shared Design Mentoring - Innovative Technology - Team Building and Management - Financial Planning - Property Research & Development - Adaptable remote-working concepts and long-term stay incentives for Resorts and Hotels

leading video news network of maldives

ROUF Company is also launching a Creative lab (established in Singapore), that will provide Work From Home (WFH) designs to adapt to the new normal of remote working. This lab will focus on developing conceptualized spaces that creates a sense of belonging. The company will continue to provide housing solutions through Co-living models in Singapore. The company also assists the Hospitality Industry in integrating remote working and co-working spaces and in providing Co-living solutions to the Real Estate Industry to meet the demands of new normal. The implementation of Co-living and Co-working solutions effectively provides an end-end experience, enabling people to live, work and socialize at the same time. ROUF’s founders from Singapore, Germany and Maldives, have extensive experience in Co-living and Co-working Industry. Rouf collaborates with multidisciplinary teams globally who specialize in innovative work models. Rouf Maldives will be led by a local team of young and enthusiastic professionals, dedicated in providing innovative solutions to the next generation of Real Estate and Hospitality Industry.

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Real Estate

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

HDC Opens Circle Space for Quiet Library Time in Hulhumale’

Housing Development Corporation Limited (HDC) has announced that Circle Space is now open for quiet library time for individuals seeking to opt for a quieter environment to immerse themselves into books while reading and studying. This opportunity is an initiative of Ugail Foundation and is tagged on social media as #MeetReadLearn. Ugail foundation was established in 2019 to bring together the people empowerment work and the corporate social responsibility work, for the past 25 years, of Professor Ugail under one entity. The Foundation specifically promotes science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM) across the board especially among the kids and youth of the Maldives through a modern and dynamic curriculum form. The Foundation also conducts awareness programs to create a general understanding and acceptance of such essential 21stcentury skills. It helps run research and development projects

with a technical focus which have tangible benefits to the nation and to its people. According to an announcement made on social media by the Ugail Foundation, the service provides free entry. Circle space will be open on weekdays (Sunday – Thursday) between 10:00 and 16:00. Circle Space is situated in Hulhumale, on the 3rd floor of Centro Mall. HDC reminds its visitors to abide by the COVID safety measures and guidelines issued by HPA and other Health Authorities when the visitors are out in the public and while incoming and outgoing from the Circle Space.


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Banking & Finance

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Increase in Tax on Liquor and Energy Drinks – Amendment to the Export/ Import Act

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified the 17th Amendment Bill to the Export-Import Act of Maldives (Act No. 31/79), which was passed by the Parliament on 15th July at the WK VLWWLQJ RI LWV VHFRQG VHVVLRQ 7KLV VHHV DQ LQFUHDVH LQ the tax on all tobacco products imported to the country. The changes brought will be effective from the 1st of August 2020. Along with a 25% tax, MVR50 will be charged per liter of alcohol. While 25% tax plus MVR15 is charged on a liter of alcoholic nonsparkling wine, MVR15 is charged on a liter of alcoholic beer. Further, taxes on energy drinks and soft drinks have nearly doubled to MVR60 per liter and MVR8 per liter. The tax imposed weed joint increased from 0% to 200% and tax on e-cigarettes also increased dramatically to 200%. The amendments include no export duty imposed on products manufactured and grown in the Maldives except products listed under the 3rd section of the Import-Export Act. Under this section, 50% export duty from the FOB price will be charged from ambergris and a 5% royalty will be charged from the FOB price of goods re-exported for business.

Further, there is a 50% waiver on import duties on all goods, excluding those listed in the 7th section of this act (tobacco, alcohol, pork), imported to any formal Seaport or Airport apart from ports in the Male’ Region. This applies to goods that will be transported out of the warehouse or the island of the port. The waiver also needs to be requested to the Maldives Customer Service. A revenue fee of MVR1 will be charged from every MVR100 by the government from the price Maldives Customs Service allocates for all the goods imported, exported, or re-exported from the Maldives. According to the Act, 3% of the proceeds from the import-duty imposed on tobacco and cigarettes, go to the public health fund to carry out anti-tobacco public awareness campaigns under the Public Health Protection Act 2012/7. Moreover, from January 1, 2021, the import of single-use plastic will be prohibited under section 7 of the Import-Export Act.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

BML Disburses MVR 568 Million to 330 Companies Under COVID Recovery Scheme Bank of Maldives (BML) has issued MVR 475.6 Million and USD 6 million as loans to 330 companies under the COVID recovery scheme. According to the statistics publicized by the Finance Ministry, 542 companies have applied for the COVID recovery scheme. Out of the 542 individuals, 128 are not eligible for the scheme. The report by the finance ministry further states that 16 companies have been rejected while 367 companies have been approved for the COVID recovery scheme. From these companies, 330 have been issued with the recovery loans. The ministry states that 31 applicants are now being processed for the loan. The COVID Recovery Scheme was introduced to ease the economic struggles faced by the country as a whole. The main aim of this scheme is to provide financial support to the businesses operating in the Maldives that have been struggling financially to cover its expenses. The scheme also aims to sustain and boost the economy. While loans were provided in both MVR and USD, the total of the loans provided amounts to MVR 568 million. Under the resorts category, the scheme can provide loans of up to MVR 7.7 million to resorts and MVR 1 million for businesses operating in the Maldives under the non-resorts category. These loans are to be paid back within a period of 3 years while the interest rate for the loans is set at 6%.

Banking & Finance

Is Forex Trading a Scam? Many people in the Maldives have received requests on social media that turns out to be a Forex scam. The Forex is a market where people can buy, sell, exchange and speculate on different currencies of the world. These include banks, commercial companies, hedge funds, investment management firms, brokers and investors. However, people are wondering whether Forex is a legitimate market and if participants truly benefit from it. Although Forex trading has been around as long as has international commerce, modern Forex trading began in the early 1970s when the U.S.A. allowed its currency to float freely in the Forex market, according to Daily Forex. Forex trading is legit and people actually make profits, but Forex gets a bad reputation due to several scams that are associated with it. When the Forex market first became available to retail traders, the most common scam involved brokers who would collect fees from customers and then simply disappear. However, these days, a popular scam is known as the Signal Seller Scam. Individuals or companies claim to have expertise on the perfect time to make trades and then make money by getting unsuspecting traders to pay them for their expert trade advice. Another scam is known as the ‘robot scam’, which emerged with the increased use of AI. This involves individuals who claim they have developed software that can generate automatic trades at the perfect time, ensuring an optimum profit. The scam artists make money by selling this software to unsuspecting traders. However, Forex can be highly profitable, with a total trade volume of around $5 trillion every day. In order to avoid being scammed, it is important that there’s enough knowledge of the market and other factors. For instance, check whether the broker is regulated and decide how trustworthy the regulatory body is.

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Banking & Finance

SBI Issues USD 16.20 Million for COVID-19 Relief Purposes in Maldives State Bank of India (SBI) has issued a loan of USD 16.20 million to the Maldives to revive the difficulties posed by the pandemic. This loan is specially directed at businesses operating in the country. According to the Indian High Commission in the Maldives, 200 retail customers have been issued loan repayments by the SBI. SBI is the biggest commercial bank in India. Branches of SBI are located in both Male’ City and Addu City in the Maldives. BML, MIB, and SBI defer loan repayments to the Maldives. In addition to these banks, SDFC also issued loans to support businesses in the Maldives. India has granted assistance to the island nation in several ways in to reduce the downturns faced by the economy amid pandemic.

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

BML Expands Deposit & Payment Services In Atolls with 40 Cash Agents Bank of Maldives has expanded its cash deposit and payment services in the atolls with 40 Cash Agents. Through these agents, customers can make cash deposits of up to MVR 10,000 per day as well as make payments for loans and credit cards. As part of its efforts to bring banking services to islands, the Bank introduced its Cash Agent service in 2014. Today, there are over 200 Cash Agents providing cash withdrawal services across the islands. With today’s announcement, 40 of these local retailers now provide cash deposits as well as payment services with no additional charges. BML’s CEO and Managing Director Tim Sawyer commented, "Using our existing POS network to establish Cash Agents has proven to be a successful model in our Financial Inclusion strategy. Cash Agents work similarly to ATMs in that they can be used for cash withdrawals, deposits, and payments through a POS terminal using customer’s debit card. Local communities can bank conveniently on their home island, without the need to travel to the nearest branch or ATM." For more information on Cash Agents: https://www. bankofmaldives.com.mv/personal/ways-to-bank/cashagents. With a nationwide network of 38 branches across all 20 atolls, 58 Self Service Banking Centres, 121 ATMs, over 200 agents, and a full suite of Digital Banking services, Bank of Maldives is committed to supporting individuals, businesses and communities across the Maldives.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Banking & Finance

Dhivehi Insurance Offers 4 Plans of % " Âł #

Safe Meridian has partnered with Dhivehi Insurance Company Pvt. Ltd. To introduce the Globalis international health insurance plans. Safe Meridian is an innovator in international health insurance, committed to offering comprehensive, sustainable medical protection solutions. Globalis international health plans ensure you and your family have access to the highest levels of healthcare available. Your plan is fully portable, allowing you to keep your plan in place, should you relocate to another country in the future. With Globalis, you are free to use the doctor and hospital of your choice. Your Cover can range from the essentials only to our most comprehensive plans which cover outpatient, wellness, dental, vision, and maternity expenses. Globalis provides an incomparable level of coverage flexibility, allowing you to customize a plan to suit your individual requirements. We offer a range of options that allow you to customize your benefits and scope of coverage, so that you get the cover you need at the price you want. You can tailor your package by customizing the below options based on your requirements. - Overall Annual Plan Limit - Geographic Area of Cover

- High-Cost Providers Access - Deductible - Outpatient Annual Limit Hospital Room Type - Outpatient Direct Billing Service - Coinsurance Each plan includes hospitalization, and Emergency Assistance Benefits. You can choose from the basic level of cover for just hospitalizations, up to the most comprehensive plan level that provides Wellness, Dental, Vision, and Maternity benefits. The Globalis Platinum plan offers a unique, escalating Maternity benefit which increases after your first and second policy renewal to reward your loyalty as a valued member. When you join a Globalis plan, you enjoy 24 hour support 365 days a year. As a member, you receive access to our full suite of customer support resources provided via the Safe Meridian member website, MemberOnline. You are provided a membership kit that includes your Globalis member handbook and your Globalis health insurance card. The member handbook details all aspects of your policy, from benefits to claims procedures; a copy of which is always available to you on MemberOnline.

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Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Islamic Banking and Financing Industry of Maldives: Snapshot of Today portfolio in the Maldives Retirement Pension Scheme (MRPS) as an option to employees who want to invest their funds in Shari’ah-compliant investments. Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) was established in 2011 which also became the first-ever fullfledged Islamic Bank in the Maldives. Since then, we saw a series of Islamic Finance Institutions (IFIs) come into existence. The most notable ones are Maldives Hajj Corporation Ltd, Ayady Takaful, and BML Islamic – Islamic window of Bank of Maldives PLC. One of the very last institutions that started serving the industry is Maldives Centre for Islamic Finance (MCIF) since 2016. MCIF’s main purpose is to link the Islamic finance industry of Maldives to international markets. Today we have 2 banks offering Islamic banking products, 2 Takaful companies extending their services, and 8 more institutions offering Islamic finance services. They are; Ayady Takaful, ALIA Motors, MTCC, Litus Automobiles, HDFC Amna, HDC, MCIF, and Maldives Hajj Corporation. In a recent research by Reuters, Maldives named among the top 15 countries in the provision of Islamic banking and finance services throughout the world. In fact, the same research also shows the Maldives stood as the second-best in South Asia behind Pakistan in the industry.

Three segments of the Islamic Âł

The basis of contemporary Islamic banking and finance is rooted back to the time of the Prophet (s.a.w). Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w)’s first wife, Khadijah, was a merchant. He acted as an agent for her business, using many of the principles used in modern Islamic banking. During the Medieval Period (till 15th century), trade and business activities in the Muslim world relied on Islamic banking principles. These banking principles spread throughout Spain, the Mediterranean, and the Baltic States, arguably providing some of the basis for western banking principles. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Islamic banking resurfaced in the modern world (Even Tarver, 2020). One of the very first Islamic Banks established in the world is Mit Ghamr in Egypt in 1963; however, it was discontinued after 4 successful years for political reasons. In the same year, Tabung Haji (hajj pilgrims fund board) was founded in Malaysia. Today, Tabung Haji plays a huge role in the development of Malaysia as well as extending its projects to Indonesia – the largest Muslim populated country over 273 million people. The first Islamic bank in Malaysia is Bank Islamic and founded in 1983.

) ³ industry of Maldives The Maldives, possibly one of the latest additions to the list of countries who began practicing Islamic finance. Islamic finance was introduced to the Maldives in 2003 with the opening of Amana Takaful. After seven years, in 2010 Maldives Pension Administration Office added the Shari’ah investment

Banking, Takaful, and Capital Market are the key segments of the finance industry. MIB and BML Islamic play a major role in providing Shari’ah-compliant alternative banking products to those who prefer Islamic banking over conventional. Islamic Banking Regulation 2011 was issued by Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) to provide for licensing and regulating Islamic Banking businesses in the Republic of Maldives under section 11 & 65 of Law No. 24/2010 (Maldives Banking Act). In a dualbanking system, the Islamic banking industry has grown tremendously in double digits over the years. It has shown that there is a huge potential for Islamic banking to prosper in the Maldives. Combining the two Islamic banks, it comprises at least 12% market share of the banking industry of the Maldives based on deposits. BML Islamic and MIB provide a wide range of deposits and financing products to personal and business customers. Out of those products, most common and wellknown among the public are housing and consumer financing facilities. Takaful Industry complements the banking industry and the wider industry as a whole. Since 2003 Amana Takaful is the sole provider of Takaful (Islamic insurance) till the emergence of Ayady Takaful (Islamic window of Allied Insurance – largest insurance provider in the Maldives) in 2014. Based on total assets, at the end of 2019, the Takaful industry comprises a notable 20% of the whole Insurance industry in the Maldives. A wide array of General Takaful and Family Takaful products are available to businesses and individuals through these two players. Capital market is part of the financial market where modes of raising finances are long term compared to the money market – which provides short-term options. Capital Market Development


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Authority (CMDA) is an independent institution established under the Maldives Securities Act 2/2006 for developing and regulating the capital market in the Maldives. The capital and securities market of Maldives was launched in 2008 with a market capitalization of MVR2.9 billion. As of now, it has 9 listed companies with a market capitalization of over MVR16 billion. It has been a decade since the inception of the capital market in the Maldives, however, there are not many transactions or activities done in the capital market so far. Indeed, the Maldives Stock Exchange (MSE) plays a vital role in the capital market. Former CEO of MSE Mr. Hassan Latheef mentioned in one of his articles published in 2017 in Corporate Maldives website, that it needs full support from the government and other stakeholders to grow especially investing heavily in IT solutions and he also thinks it is vital to increase financial intermediation in order to improve the economic landscape of the Maldives which alone cannot be achieved by the banking sector of Maldives. Believe it or not, the secondary market within the financial market is very inactive in the Maldives. This makes it quite impossible for individuals and businesses to exchange or trade their stocks, bonds, or Sukuks in order to raise liquidity for the short-term, hence the main objective of the market is not achieved.

Obstacles for growth of the ) Âł Maldives Surprisingly, there are a lot of limitations in the Islamic financing industry of Maldives. This area can be widely discussed in another topic perhaps, yet it is important to identify the key issues facing the industry. First and foremost, there is a lack of skilled and qualified Maldivians in terms of Islamic banking and finance. This can be in the areas of, but not limited to, Fiqh Muamalat, Business Development, Accounting & Auditing in Islamic banking & finance, and Risk Management. Options for higher studies on these areas are very limited in the Maldives, therefore, it is vital to invest in human capital by opening to international gateways. It is time for IFIs to allocate a substantial amount for improving the human capital of the industry for training and development. One of the renowned institutions for Islamic finance education is the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) in Malaysia which was founded in 2006. Islamic banking and finance literacy is one of the key areas related to the growth of the industry and it has been below par all these years. There is a much-needed improvement in relation to the financial literacy of Islamic banking and finance among the public and must be addressed at government and institutional level. Dr. Aishath Muneeza wrote in her article published in CPI Financial in 2018 that ‘The industry needs skilled talent from a wide range of disciplines that could learn from a well-rounded curriculum developed from a strong collaboration between academia and industry’. She also mentioned that awareness and lack of the right talent pool is the biggest hurdle facing the growth of Islamic finance today. Competitiveness in the banking industry has never been as good as the public wanted and makes it no surprise that customers do not really benefit from the industry’s competitive advantage. Currently, we have 7 commercial banks, and the majority of them seem disconnected to the rest of the industry. The level of their participation in the economy is vital for the overall growth of the Maldivian economy. Nonetheless, BML and MIB are the only two banks that have been serving the wider community inclusive of individuals and businesses. Meanwhile, competitiveness among the two Islamic banks is weak too as

Banking & Finance

they do not compete nor complement each other and neither provide any differentiated products at the moment. In fact, there is no Islamic Inter-Bank Money Market (IIMM) which further hinders the growth of the industry. The availability of Islamic banking products in the market is limited and most products are mirror products to conventional banking. There are no significant differences in the eye of the public in terms of products and services availability. Therefore, it is vital to furnish products that are specific to Islamic banks and demanded in the economy such as products related to the production of agricultural goods and fishing industry. Islamic banking specialists believe that Salam and Istisna contracts can do wonders for those industries, however, they are currently not practiced in our Islamic banks. One of the limitations in the Islamic banking and finance industry of Maldives is the lack of investment opportunities for individuals, businesses, and the government itself. Under the umbrella of Islamic banking and finance, there are only a few prospects that we can invest together there is a lack of awareness among the public about the existence of them. At the moment, a customer can invest only in a general investment account in an Islamic bank or buy a Sukuk from a financial institution – which is rarely issued in the Maldives. Last but not least, IT is an area of concern in this particular industry. System issues are evident that customers do not have real-time information available. Generally speaking, the Islamic banking industry in the Maldives has not integrated well enough to meet the current needs of the customers whether it is in terms of online banking, cards, or other activities. Islamic banking and finance industry of Maldives is going through its infant stage. Many institutions have emerged a little less than 2 decades ago. In fact, the government took initiative in establishing the first-ever Islamic bank in 2011. Nonetheless, to move from infant to growth stage and to accommodate the public needs the industry itself needs a good governance system. Hence, Central Bank could play a more active role in developing the industry in collaboration with the industry players in the private and public sectors. Working together, the banking sector, capital market, and Takaful industry might be able to deliver something big in the future to the public for investments and consumption. To gain the most from the industry certain areas need to be harnessed i.e. investing on skilled and qualified labor, improving Islamic banking and finance literacy, allowing customers to enjoy the competition and gain from investment opportunities, introducing differentiated products than conventional and further investments in IT as banking needs to be digitalized to reach out each and every customer irrespective of the location they live.

About the Author: Ahmed Riza holds a MSc in Finance and a Bachelors of Hospitality and Tourism Management. With 10 years of experience in corporate sector in tourism and banking, he is a also a part-time lecturer in hospitality, tourism, accounts and finance since 2011.

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Products & Services

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Miniso Introduces a ‘Shop in Shop’ in Hulhumale’ Sonee Hardware

Miniso has introduced its second ‘Shop in Shop’ outlet in Hulhumale’ Sonee Hardware. Miniso, a renowned designer brand of Japan, was first introduced to the Maldives by Sonee Sports last month. Miniso has further expanded its business in the Maldives with its new ‘shop in shop’ outlet in Hulhumale’. According to Sonee, products of Miniso can now be purchased in its new outlet at Hulhumale’ Sony Hardware. The outlet has also announced a 10% discount on every purchased product of Miniso and this discount is applicable on the 3rd and 4th of August 2020. Furthermore, Sonee also states that the shop will be providing a 10% discount on its chosen home improvement products. "Our aim is to make the products of Miniso easily accessible to the customers in Hulhumale’. We are receiving a huge demand from the outlet in Male’", read a statement by an official of Sonee.

Some of its products on sale include, bags, electronics, electrical appliances, textiles and children’s toys. Apart from these, Miniso Maldives also provides cosmetics, skincare products and makeup tools. Products such as varieties of toiletries and kitchenware are also available from Miniso Maldives. Miniso was founded by Miyake Junya, a contracted designer of a number of international fashion & casual brands and Ye Guofu, a Chinese entrepreneur. The products of Miniso has been manufactured with careful consideration of its designs and durability. Miniso was introduced to the Chinese Market in 2013 and the business was internationally broadened since then. At the end of the last year, Miniso opened a total of 3900 outlets across the world, in countries such as America, Canada, Russia, UAE, and Singapore.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

FSM Opens New Fuel Station in Thilafushi Fuel Supplies Maldives (FSM) has opened a new fuel station in Thilafushi on Thursday. FSM has provided fuel services for some land vehicles and sea vessels from Thilafushi before while the company has stated that the new fuel station will facilitate the expansion of the services where the services can be provided to all types of vehicles. The new fuel station of FSM will be open from 8:30 am in the morning till 9:00pm at night from Saturday to Thursday and from 3:00pm to 9:00pm during Fridays. Fuel Supplies Maldives has also been providing fuel services in Male’ and Hulhumale’.

Products & Services

Lotus Bike Shop Introduces New Battery-Powered Scooters at the Best Prices! Lotus Bike Shop, the leading motorcycle and bicycle seller in the Maldives, has announced the reduction in the price of the New Aima Malan Electric Scooter. Now customers can get their Malan scooter for just MVR 12,900 from Lotus Bike Shop. Lotus states that it is the best price for the model in town. Available in colours navy blue, grey, black and red, the Aima Malan Electric Scooter has a voltage of 60V and 500 watts. Since it has a brushless motor, the motorcycle is more energyefficient. Other advantages of brushless motors include longer lifespan, less maintenance and less noise. More people are starting to use electric scooters. These scooters have been said to improve body balance, ensuring that you stay fit on the go. Electric scooters are also relatively lightweight making it easier to be carried around. The Aima Malan Electric Scooter runs on batteries. Hence, they don’t produce any toxic fumes or residues. This makes them ideal for those trying to protect the environment and reduce their carbon footprint.

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Products & Services

SEARA Completes Asia’s 1st ACT Global Non-rubber ) ³ 3 4 Pitch Seara Sports Maldives has recently installed Asia’s first futsal pitches from ACT Global, using the latest non-infill synthetic turf technology from the USA. The complete suite of half- and full-sized futsal pitches were installed at the Meeru Island Resort & Spa in the Maldives. This represents a proud milestone for Seara: in efficient design and planning to successfully fit these 2 pitches within the limited space of the island; delivering the project on schedule; and installing a hard-wearing futsal surface with anti-UV properties built in at the molecular level, which clients can be confident will withstand the harshest tropical conditions for years to come. The ACT Global non-infill / sand dressed 28mm high pile surface is a new product from the US-based company, perfect for resorts, clubs, international schools and stand-alone futsal clubs who need a low maintenance field without the typical black SBR rubber chips on the surface that disrupt performance. Sports Engineering And Recreation Asia Co., Ltd. (Seara) is the regional leader specializing in the design, development, equipment supply and installation of international standard sports, recreation, and fitness facilities in Southeast Asia and beyond.

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Fasmeeru Adds Another Delicacy to it’s ‘Hot Pack’ Edition Fasmeeru announced the introduction of another delicacy canned tuna to its ‘hot pack’ edition. According to Fasmeeru, the new canned tuna introduced contains hot chili in oil. While this new canned tuna is mainly composed of ‘Githeyo Mirus’ (Hot Chilie), previously introduced cans of the hot pack edition contained ‘Hiki Mirus’ (Dried hot chili) and ‘Asaimirus'(Black pepper). Fasmeeru highlights that these two delicacies of the brand popular and in high demand within the country. Fasmeeru states in order to maintain the quality of its products, the ingredients required for the manufacture of tuna cans are carefully handpicked after proper exploration of the ingredients. The hot chili tuna can be introduced, will have been manufactured with the best available chilies, stated Fasmeeru. The hot pack in whole, can be used to prepare dishes such as salads, noodles, and sandwiches instantly with a Maldivian taste. According to Fasmeeru, these items are the most affordable of all tuna can brands available in the Maldives. Fasmeeru states that ‘hot pack’ will be available for both wholesale and retail customers at the three shops of MIFCO, site shops, and ice plants.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Products & Services

Maldives First Virtual B2B Expo to Begin on 1st July 2020

Supply.mv is set to launch the Maldives’ first virtual B2B Expo on the 1st of July 2020. The event is set to proceed until the 31st of $XJXVW :LWK WKH FXUUHQW SXEOLF KHDOWK FULVLV GLVDOORZLQJ physical events, we feel that this event is especially essential to businesses right now. As the economy reopens, and businesses try to get back on their feet we believe this event will give a helpful push towards LQFUHDVLQJ VDOHV VD\V 5DLGK 6KDD] :DOHHG &(2 RI 6XSSO\ PY 7KHUH LV DOVR WKH DGGHG EHQHILW RI D YLUWXDO HYHQW WKDW RXU exhibitors will not have to bear any costs for bulky stand setups, ZH RIIHU D WXUQNH\ VROXWLRQ WR VKRZFDVH \RXU SURGXFWV The virtual B2B expo will be a 24/7 event held completely online, showcasing a variety of products from various companies in the Maldives. Throughout the event, the website will feature various promotions and giveaways. Furthermore, visiting customers will be able to engage with suppliers via live chat, request for quotations, and place orders all within a few clicks. Supply.mv hopes to grant the opportunity for as many suppliers a possible to exhibit their products and has thus set a very minimal OLVWLQJ IHH :H DUH VSRQVRULQJ WKLV HYHQW EHFDXVH ZH EHOLHYH WKH future of B2B sales lies in digital platforms, and Supply.mv is a Brotherhood Investments is the main sponsor of the event while Ondhigo Maldives, Ooredoo

Maldives, United Food Suppliers, Redwave, and Coca-Cola are SDUWQHULQJ DV FDWHJRU\ VSRQVRUV :H DUH H[SHFWLQJ WKH HYHQW WR gather an audience comprised similarly to our platform’s current customer base; resort and guesthouse purchasers, retailers, corporate procurers and even individual citizens wishing to buy ZKROHVDOH JRRGV VD\V 6KDUDI *HQHUDO 0DQDJHU RI 6XSSO\ PY ZH DUH YHU\ H[FLWHG WR EH KRVWLQJ WKLV HYHQW DQG KRSH LW ZLOO WXUQ RXW WR EH VXFFHVVIXO DQG SURILWDEOH IRU DOO LQYROYHG About Supply.mv: Supply.mv is the biggest digital B2B marketplace in the Maldives. It enables wholesalers to list and sell their products on the marketplace while allowing customers the convenience to get quotations from and place orders with multiple suppliers at once, all from one location. Supply.mv is a project incubated and powered by Ooredoo’s Niru Accelerator program.

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Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

B.K.A Investment – Delivering Quality Construction Works Throughout Maldives

BKA Investment is a building and Construction company registered in 2013. In recent years, the company has completed numerous works relating to building and construction areas ranging from multi-story building, resort construction, Estates, Industrial building, Mass Projects, Renovation Projects, Plumbing, and Sanitary work. The company also provides Fire security system designing and installing works.

and DB Main Replacement of Apartments, re-wiring and casing of Buildings, installing CCTV, sound systems and Electrical Supporting of Maaveyo Mosque, Installing Air Conditioning System at buildings, Installing soap Dispensers at Schools, etc.

The Company’s is mission is to provide the highest quality of services, that consistently meet customer’s expectations and satisfaction, while ensuring prices are cheaper than the competitors’ capabilities. Moreover, to meet the staff’s requirements and to be paid sufficient enough based on their responsibilities.

Apart from these works, the investment company also sell electrical equipment such as Lights and Bulbs, Fans, Air conditioner, CCTV Camera, Wires, Chandeliers, etc

This Company has been executing remarkable projects all over the country. The investments specified trade is namely Building and Construction Works ranging from Multi-Story Building, Estates, Industrial Building, Mass Projects, Carpentry Works, Electric Works. In the past years, company has been working with the biggest companies in Maldives and successfully completed and delivered the projects before deadline. Some recent works done by B.K.A Investment includes resort construction works, electrical works

Sound systems and Electrical Supporting of Maaveyo Mosque done by B.K.A Investment

Mr.Sharfeez, Managing Director of BKA Investment states that all their services are provided for Installment as well. This is to give flexibility to the customers on payments, especially during the economic recession due to COVID-19 pandemic.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Products & Services

Lotus Fihaara Introduces BEE’s Honey

ENSIS Introduces Organic Fertilizers for Plants

Lotus Fihaara has introduced BEE’s Honey for affordable prices to the Maldives. This was revealed in a tweet by Ahmed Arif, Chairman of Senior International, on July 27th July 2020.

ENSIS introduces Ensisgreen Gaskaanaa – an organic fertilizer for plants.

According to Arif, this product will be available at Lotus Fihaara. The Prices for BEE’s Honey range from MVR 10 to MVR50. The price of 80g of BEE’s Honey is at MVR10 while the price of 500g of honey is at MVR50. The prices in-between remains at MVR25 for 250g and MVR 27 for 375g. Lotus Fihaara is locally renowned for its products. The main branch of Lotus Fihaara is located at the Capital of Maldives, Male.

According to ENSIS, Ensisgreen Gaskaanaa is a product under our company’s zero-waste policy and it was made from fish meal plant in Hulhumale’ by using fish waste and wood ashes. It is very healthy and nutritious fertilizer for plants. Ensisgreen Gaskaanaa is available from Enzi’s online shop www.enzi.mv and all of the Enzi bakery outlets in Hulhumale and Male’. According to Enzi, the price of 1 kg Ensisgreen Gaskaanaa packet cost 25MVR and there is a high demand for the products. The company is planning to introduce 25kg packets in near future.

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Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Introducing Vilunü : Uniquely Maldivian Scents

The Maldivian beauty and home fragrance company Vilunü creates uniquely Maldivian scents that are inspired by the secluded jungles and luscious flora of local islands. Founded in 2017, the idea to create the brand came to one of Vilunü’s partners when he wanted to capture the scent of local seed. Their name too is meant to invoke memories of crystal-clear Maldivian waters, as Vilunü in Dhivehi translates to the blue hues found in lagoons. Vilunü’s founders Aishath Rasheed (Aish) and Emau Ahmed Saleem (Immi) describe themselves as quiet, curious people that share a love for local culture and clean skincare products. Aish is a health and skincare enthusiast who loves learning about aromatic Maldivian plants that she then incorporates into the scents that Vilunü develops. Immi brings to the table her knowledge of design and storytelling to build Vilunü’s brand, along with a keen interest to meld together Maldivian traditions and modernity. Together with their third partner’s background in entrepreneurship and business growth, they create scents that blend together nostalgia and their childhood memories of local islands and travels. The company launched its first product in January 2020, with its flagship scent Tangerine & Guava Leaf as a reed diffuser. They have since released a diffuser refill bottle and hand cream in the same scent, which draws inspiration from their memories of crushing and rubbing guava leaves on their palms to release the aromas, usually after a hearty picnic meal eaten by hand. Their second and most recent scent is Jasmine & Cinnamon, which comes in the form of a diffuser and refill bottle. It recreates the smell of jasmine flowers blooming during dusk, and memories of picking and braiding the blossoms into their hair. Vilunü stays true to its ethical and sustainable business values. In addition to the scents being created in the Maldives, the diffusers are also formulated, hand-poured and packaged in the Maldives. The aromatic oils used in their products too are 100% natural, organic and are sourced sustainably. As Vilunü grows, they hope to create more scents and products that resonate with both locals and foreign visitors and provide their customers with a sensory experience of the Maldives. Their products are currently available for purchase on their website, www.vilunu.com. They are also available at the Authentic Maldives outlet at Velana International Airport, and at both Island Bazaar and Toddy outlets in Male’.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Products & Services

The Story of Bright Minds Education

Ali Aflah recalls the stunned silence he was greeted with after he declared that he wanted Bright Minds Education to teach for free in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This was followed by the enthusiastic nods of agreement and support from his two business partners and close friends. Having experienced the harsh reality of being unable to afford one’s own education, when placed in the shoes of a teacher, Aflah followed the footsteps of his mentor Dr. Stafford; who taught him for free when he could not pay for his tuition classes. It was Stafford Sir who inspired Aflah to start providing tuition classes when he was just 16 years old. He used it as a means to pay for his education at that time. Aflah’s own experiences have shaped the mission of Bright Minds Education. This is why he strives so tenaciously to provide good quality education at affordable prices for students all over the Maldives. The scattered nature of the Maldivian archipelago has made it difficult to physically develop educational institutes of the same calibre in all the islands. Aflah believes that online education is the solution to this conundrum, as this will give all students in the country equal and endless opportunities to learn. Utilizing modern technology and armed with the business knowledge of his 2 partners – Humam and Zaif – Ali Aflah believes that Bright Minds Education will revolutionize the education sector in the Maldives. Aflah joined Billabong High International School to kickstart his career. Within 6 months of joining the school, he was promoted as the Head of Department for Science, effectively making him one of the youngest HODs in the Maldives. He recently left Billabong High International School with a heavy heart to fully take the plunge as an entrepreneur and focus solely on Bright Minds Education. Since then he has become well-versed with several other cutting-edge educational software and fervently integrates technology and modern teaching methods into his lessons. For instance, in his previous physical tuition classes he provided iPads for all of his students, using them to make his lessons more interactive.

The Two Engines Behind Bright Minds Education

tirelessly behind the scenes. The trio is equally motivated and eager to accomplish the mission of Bright Minds Education to provide affordable, high-quality education all across the Maldives. Their disruptive and progressive ways of thinking ensure that they can break away from the constraints of traditional teaching, and they are constantly seeking new ideas. They agree that the incredible synergy they share is instrumental in the success of their company.

The Online but On-time Model

Aflah was joined in this venture by two of his peers, Humam Ahmed Mujah and Zaif Hassan Fazal. Both of them shared his passion for reforming the education system in the Maldives and challenging conventional learning to meet the needs of the students from all 26 atolls. Humam is currently studying BSc Business Economics and Management at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia, while Zaif (LLB – UK, FinTech for Managers – University of Oxford) is completing his Masters in Law at the University of Western Australia. Both Zaif and Humam excelled at academics in school and were students of Pradeep Gangadharan for A’ Level Business, who developed their entrepreneurial spirit.

As the first Maldivian company to venture into online on-time tuition, the team believes that students need to be taught in a manner that encourages curiosity and a love for learning. They are confident that Bright Minds Education offers students all over the country the best quality education, going above and beyond a traditional tuition class, at completely affordable prices. Their classes currently cost only MVR 199/- per month for each subject. Currently, they offer O’ Level (grades 9 and 10) Science stream subjects and Maths. Additionally, they offer A’ Level (grades 11 and 12) Biology with Dr. Stafford and they are currently working on launching their O’ Level Business stream branch.

While Aflah handles most of the day to day operations of the business and the actual teaching, Zaif and Humam work

For the team at Bright Minds, this is just one step of many that they intend to take in order to become pioneers of modern education in the country.

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Products & Services

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

SIMDI Introduces Online Shopping App

SIMDI Group has launched a new mobile application called ‘SIMDI Online’ on the 28th of June 2020 to better serve their customers. The app is available on Android & Apple. SIMDI Online allows customers to view and order from entire product portfolio at a click of a button. Representing over 200 brands and 15,000 products and services, this mobile application aims to be the biggest and most comprehensive platform giving access to the most diverse range of international products. To name a few, these product categories include Beverages, Cameras & Accessories, Clothing, Coffee & Tea, Condiments, Confectionaries, Snacks, Health & Beauty, Office Automation, Rice & Pasta, Sanitary and Professional items. Moreover, it allows customers to select their preferred time slots in the day to make sure that delivery of the products at their convenience and guarantees delivery on time. One of the most recognizable highlights of this application is the ability to live track your purchase from the moment our delivery agents pick up the purchase to the moment it is delivered at the doorstep The delivery service from the application also prioritizes the safety of our customers and delivery agents by making sure that we follow all the HPA guidelines by using appropriate PPE gear and safety procedures throughout. Furthermore, to ensure customers are able to purchase from a variety of payment methods. Application allows the following payment methods:

– BML – Islamic Banking – Ooredoo Mfaisaa – Cash on Delivery The delivery service will run from 9 am till 9 pm, 7 days a week and deliver to both Male’ and Hulhumale’ According to SIMDI, one of the main reasons why SIMDI Group ventured into developing this app is to adapt to the current COVID-19 situation. The app allows customers to remain at home and request the items to their doorsteps as well as ease the process without having to call delivery agents directly. During the pandemic and before the application was launched, SIMDI team accomplished 100+ deliveries at minimum per day. The application allows teams to increase this capacity immensely while ensuring our customer service is a priority. New products and promotions will be updated weekly on the app and we will be adding many new features over the next few months. SIMDI Group represents over 200 brands, serves its customers from exclusive resort-supply needs to basic household products. With 5 segments and over 300 employees, SIMDI strives to 5HFUHDWH &RPPHUFH ZLWK LWV GLYHUVLW\ DQG VWHOODU UDQJH LQ services, to provide nothing less than the best for their valued customers.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

ICM Opens a Pharmacy with Branded Cosmetic Products ICM Maldives, a pharmaceutical company opened a new pharmacy in Hulhumale’ with renowned and branded cosmetic products.

Products & Services

Ooredoo Maldives Announces “Atholhu Run”, A First of its Kind Virtual Run in the Maldives

This pharmacy which is located in Hulhumale’, Nirolhu Magu, Lot 11117 is the 4th pharmacy introduced to the Maldives by the ICM. However, ICM pharmacy 4 is the companies first pharmaceutical branch in Hulhumale’. The opening of this pharmacy was honoured by Home Minister Imran Abdulla.

On 3rd August, Ooredoo Maldives announced the ‘Atholhu Run’; – a first of its kind virtual run across all twenty atolls of the Maldives. Planned for Friday the 28th of August 2020, the run is part of Ooredoo’s celebrations for fifteen successful years with the people of Maldives.

The owner of the company, Mohamed Mirushadh stated that the main aim of the company is to introduce quality cosmetics to its customers. The company provides its customers with beauty products along with medicinal products.

"Atholhu Run aims to promote togetherness through sport while maintaining the required social distancing that is crucial during this period. Since day one, Ooredoo Maldives has aimed to connect all communities through our nationwide network and this run also symbolizes our commitment and leading role in ensuring inclusive and quality services for all. While we will miss the fun crowds of Ooredoo Color Run this year, we’re excited for this unique relay that will bring together runners from all corners of the Maldives." said Hussain Niyaz, Chief Commercial Officer – Acting of Ooredoo Maldives.

According to Mirushad, the aim behind opening a pharmaceutical branch in Hulhumale’ is due to the growing demand in the location and to provide its citizens with branded products within the city. This pharmacy offers products of well-known brands such as Note and The Body Shop. Even though Aasandha Services are unavailable at the moment, customers can purchase products directly from the companies website, stated Mirushad. After the ICM Maldives was founded 30 years ago, a pharmaceutical branch of the company was introduced in Male’ city followed by two of its branches in Addu City. The company is looking forward to opening a clinic in Addu city in order to broaden its business. The clinic will reportedly be built on a joint venture and will provide state of the art facilities along with experienced doctors.

Twenty runners will represent their atolls for the Ooredoo Atholhu Run, and will update social media with live photos and videos of the run across their route within their respective atoll. The run will also be an opportunity to showcase the beautiful running trails across the Maldives, which greatly differs from region to region. Ooredoo Maldives also invites the general public to join in the fun and support the runners from their atoll, while following the required social distancing regulations in their areas. Stay tuned for more information about the Ooredoo Atholhu Run and the exciting activities in store for both runners and supporters.

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Products & Services

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

11 Fasmeeru Products That Makes Your Life Easier in the Kitchen

In 1998, Mifco introduced the Fasmeeru brand to provide valueadded fish products to the local market. The brand has already gained wide market acceptance locally and is marketed around the concept of offering healthy nutritional products packed and processed at the best available hygiene and safety standards and offered at affordable prices. Here are the 11 products offered by the Fasmeeru brand:

Can Tuna Most likely to be the most demanded product of Fasmeeru, the canned tuna changes your time in the kitchen completely. It takes just a few seconds to add this great ingredient to your meal and uplift the flavor. Fasmeeru tuna cans come in a variety of tastes and sizes so you can make the choice of what’s best for you. The diverse range includes tuna chunks in pepper, tuna chunks in dried chili, chunks in oil, chunks in brine, tuna steak in olive oil, and tuna steak in spring water.

Tuna Pouch The tuna pouch can be a substitute for the canned tuna. These pouches come in oil and brine and are available in 1kg, 3kg, and 500g.

Diamondback Squid The diamond squid is a large species of squid from the family Thysanoteuthidae which is found throughout tropical and subtropical waters. Fasmeeru offers 250g diamondback squid noodles, diamondback squid head and tentacles, diamondback squid fins, and 250g diamond squid blocks.

Lifestyle The Lifestyle products are made to make your life easier. This includes tuna lasagna ready to heat and serve in minutes, marinated reef fish ready to grill, authentic Maldivian Tuna Dishes to heat and serve as well as tuna in deviled sauce.

Tuna Condiments Instantly making your dish full of flavors and spices, Fasmeeru offers tuna chili paste and tuna chili mix.

Ready to Cook These packed products simply require you to either fry or cook them, saving you a lot of time. These include tuna drumsticks, tuna curry balls, tuna burger patties, reef fish meatballs, and reef fish burger patties.

Rihaakuru Another well-known product of the brand, Rihaakuru or fish paste comes in two sizes: 300 grams or 200 grams Rihaakuru bottles.

Reef Fish Fasmeeru’s packed reef fishes include scaled reef fish fillets and reef fishes scaled and gutted.

Dry Tuna The brand’s dry tuna range consists of 8 products. This includes minced smoked tuna, chipped smoked tuna, smoked tuna, and sliced tuna in a variety of sizes.

Frozen Tuna Frozen Tuna products include yellowfin belly, tuna steak, tuna blocks, skipjack tuna, and curry cut.

Fasmeeru Rasain These are the snacks that make your day instantly better. From Fuh Gulha and Fonimaa Gulha to Athu Jehi and Aluvi Sambol, the Rasain product range consist of 6 products.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Products & Services

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Miniso Maldives to Provide High Quality and Affordable Products

Miniso Maldives is officially opening today (12th July 2020) at 1400 hrs. Miniso aims to provide high quality and creative products at an affordable price to its customers. The store is located in Ameenee Magu in the opposite corner of Kalaafaanu School. Here are the Main Categories of products available at Miniso Maldives. - Bags and Accessories - Cosmetics - Electronic and Electrical Appliances - Life Department ( Kitchen supplies, bathroom supplies, Fabric organizers) - Makeup Tools - Scented Tools - Skincare and Cleansing Products - Stationery and Gifts - Textile - TOYS MINISO was co-founded by Japanese designer Mr. Miyake Junya and Chinese young entrepreneur Mr. Ye Guofu in Tokyo, Japan, with the former serving as chief designer and the latter serving as CEO. Sticking to the life philosophy of "simplicity, nature and good quality" and the brand proposition of "returning to nature", MINISO focuses on life supplies with aesthetic beauty. With the

core values of excellent product design, high-cost performance, and comfortable shopping experience, MINISO gains popularity among consumers, which sets the personalized consumption trend in the household market. MINISO had established a new type of life aesthetic collection store, which has become the main force in the department stores and shopping malls along with catering, fast fashion clothing and entertainment. It strives to provide consumers with smarter, simpler and cozier products so that consumers can experience relaxed and happy lifestyles when shopping. Taking product structure optimization and product management as its priority, MINISO insists on selecting materials from all over the world. 80% of the design is from Japan, Korea, Sweden, Denmark, Singapore, Malaysia and China, etc. While pursuing high quality and intelligent technology, MINISO also attaches great importance to consumers’ shopping experience and devotes itself to creating a culture of quality service, so as to convey such features as health, leisure, quality and creativity through the shopping experience. MINISO is not only a brand but also a way of life. It does not emphasize the so-called fashion or personality, and would not consider that popular brands should be raised their value. On the contrary, MINISO stands on consumers’ point of view when developing products, which is – back to the essence, and returning to nature.


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Products & Services

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Dynamyst: Creating Compelling Content for Digital Marketing

Dynamyst is a reputed content creation studio based in the Maldives specializing in providing a wide range of photo/videorelated services. Dynamyst is a part of Orca Media Group. The list of services provided by Dynamyst include: - Virtual Tours: 360 virtual tours are digital simulations of an existing location which allows viewers to see and experience the location’s exterior, interior, and even aerial views on their phones or VR goggles. - Aerial and underwater photography/video: Drone and underwater shots are the most popular way to show off any Maldivian location or property. Dynamyst offers both aerial and underwater photo/ video services using experienced pilots and divers. - 360 Video: Add a new dimension to your 360 content with video. Using VR goggles, you can now experience any location literally as if you were there in real-time. - Promos and corporate videos: Creation of corporate videos, company profile videos and short promos for any property and product. - Commercials: Dynamyst’s aim is to ensure your commercial stands out and has a better chance to go viral, ensuring more reach, views, and engagement across all social media platforms. - Location scouting: Dynamyst offers complete location services starting with scouting, on location visits, and procuring shooting permissions. Dynamyst also facilitates importing movie equipment, and other necessary authorizations for filming anywhere in Maldives.

Dynamyst burst onto the tourism marketing scene in Maldives with stunning aerial photos at a time when drone photography was not widely available in the country. After securing the market for aerial photography in the early stages, Dynamyst began providing a variety of digital content creation services to an increasing list of clients and supplementing the various content requirements of the publications of its parent company, Orca Media Group. Now, Dynamyst is again helping pave the way for the next level of digital marketing in the Maldives with the creation of the Maldives Virtual Tour. The ambitious project seeks to create a 360-degree virtual tour for the entire country. Dynamyst is tasked with creating the 360-degree images and videos necessary for the project which is being carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, and Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC). Dynamyst has always focused on developing innovative ways to create compelling content that will help clients stay ahead of their competition. From aerial to underwater photography and videography to providing location scouting services for movie studios, the range of services Dynamyst offers is unrivaled in the industry.


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Health & Fitness

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

" Âł - $ 3 and Leaves 7. Making bones healthier Moringa also contains calcium and phosphorous, which help keep bones healthy and strong. Along with its anti-inflammatory properties moringa extract might help to treat conditions such as arthritis and may also heal damaged bones.

8. Treating mood disorders Moringa is thought to be helpful in treating depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

9. Protecting the cardiovascular system The powerful antioxidants found in Moringa extract might help prevent cardiac damage and has also been shown to maintain a healthy heart.

10. Helping wounds to heal Extract of moringa has been shown to help wounds close as well as reduce the appearance of scars. What are the benefits of Moringa drum sticks and leaves or in our local language "Muranga Tholhi and Faiyy". Moringa is believed to have many benefits and its uses range from health and beauty to helping prevent and cure diseases. The benefits of moringa include:

1. Protecting and nourishing skin and hair Moringa seed oil is beneficial for protecting hair against free radicals and keeps it clean and healthy. Moringa also contains protein, which means it is helpful in protecting skin cells from damage. It also contains hydrating and detoxifying elements, which also boost the skin and hair. It can be successful in curing skin infections and sores.

2. Treating edema Edema is a painful condition where fluid builds up in specific tissues in the body. The anti-inflammatory properties of moringa may be effective in preventing edema from developing.

3. Protecting the liver Moringa appears to protect the liver against damage caused by anti-tubercular drugs and can quicken its repair process.

4. Preventing and treating cancer Moringa extracts contain properties that might help prevent cancer developing. It also contains niazimicin, which is a compound that suppresses the development of cancer cells.

5. Treating stomach complaints Moringa extracts might help treat some stomach disorders, such as constipation, gastritis, and ulcerative colitis. The antibiotic and antibacterial properties of moringa may help inhibit the growth of various pathogens, and its high vitamin B content helps with digestion.

6. Fighting against bacterial diseases Due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, moringa extracts might combat infections caused by Salmonella, Rhizopus, and E. coli.

11. Treating diabetes Moringa helps to reduce the amount of glucose in the blood, as well as sugar and protein in the urine. This improved the hemoglobin levels and overall protein content in those tested.

12. Treating asthma Moringa may help reduce the severity of some asthma attacks and protect against bronchial constrictions. It has also been shown to assist with better lung function and breathing overall.

13. Protecting against kidney disorders People may be less likely to develop stones in the kidneys, bladder or uterus if they ingest moringa extract. Moringa contains high levels of antioxidants that might aid toxicity levels in the kidneys.

14. Reducing high blood pressure Moringa contains isothiocyanate and niaziminin, compounds that help to stop arteries from thickening, which can cause blood pressure to rise.

15. Improving eye health Moringa contains eyesight-improving properties thanks to its high antioxidant levels. Moringa may stop the dilation of retinal vessels, prevent the thickening of capillary membranes, and inhibit retinal dysfunction.

16. Treating anemia and sickle cell disease Moringa might help a person’s body absorb more iron, therefore increasing their red blood cell count. It is thought the plant extract is very helpful in treating and preventing anemia and sickle cell disease.

About the Author: Rashvan Ibrahim is a professional hotelier, trainer, coach who has decades of experience in the hospitality industry.


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Health & Fitness

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Sciatica – Common Health Issue Among Maldivian Men As stated by Ahmed Shakeeb, an average age of 30 years and above experience sciatica in the Maldives. In a statement made by Dhafeena, she highlights that, sciatica is mostly found in adults and that it is more likely for sciatica pain to develop in people who have sedentary jobs that require a lot of sitting down. Sciatica may occur in people in their 30s and 40s as a result of strenuous physical activity like sports or heavy lifting, or older people as a result of aging and degeneration of the spine. Taking part in active sports or being actively involved in sports do not cause sciatica unless seriously injured. This may require a surgical operation, according to Ahmed Shakeeb. When asked about the exercises that could help ease the pain, an IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) Level 2 Athletics coach, Rauhath Qudhrathulla, a Regional Head Coach of Athletics Association of Maldives, G.Dh Atoll states "‘Standing Hamstring Strech’, ‘Knee to Opposite Shoulder’, and ‘Lower Trunk Rotation’, in my experience are very effective to ease such pains" Ahmed Shakeeb highlights the importance of avoiding forward bending and the lifting of heavy objects in order to reduce this pain. He also states it is crucial to lift items and to sit in a good body posture. It is essential for people with this pain to note, certain positions and movements can worsen the pain.

Today, we have communities experiencing different kinds of physical pain, from which most are likely to overcome with just a few simple changes in our daily lifestyle. This writing will highlight on sciatica, a very common pain experienced worldwide, even in the Maldives! Let us look upon the definition of sciatic nerve first. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It starts in your lower back and splits to run through your hips, buttocks, legs, and feet on both sides. Bone spurs and spinal stenosis (narrowing) can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back. When that happens, it can cause a lot of problems all the way down the nerve and cause sciatica. "Sciatic pain or sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain, and often some numbness in the affected leg" commented a Graduate of sports and exercise medicine, Ahmed Shakeeb, Head of Sports Medicine Department in Football Association of Maldives. "It is very common in the Maldives" "The sensation may vary from one individual to the other but most Maldivians may describe it as an "electric shock" passing down the leg" states, Dhafeena Hassan Ibrahim, A Personal Trainer.

As claimed by Dhafeena, Strengthening the muscles, especially the core and glute muscles is beneficial to prevent this pain. It is recommended that this should be done at times when the pain is absent. When the pain is present, it is important to rest without doing vigorous/strenuous exercise. The pain may be reduced by releasing the "Piriformis" muscles. This muscle is shaped like a long spoon and it is found deep under our glute muscles. A tennis ball can be used to press and massage the area. Gentle stretching that targets the glute muscles can be done afterward. Other sources state that if have sciatica has been diagnosed, anti-inflammatories should be taken. Rest can also help, but relative rest is best. When it comes to using heat or cold to ease the pain, there is no science behind either one helping. Some people think applying heat can help, the others think icing is a better option. What is noteworthy is to be careful as leaving either of it on too long, can burn oneself. Ahmed Shakeeb also advises to swim, to use hot packs/hot pack fermentation, and to maintain a healthy weight in accordance with BMI to avoid or reduce sciatica. The herniation of the disc which causes Sciatica usually goes away on its own and gets better with conservative care. However, there are some signs that you may need more treatment. Those signs include weakness, especially in the leg, numbness beyond pain, and bilateral symptoms. Severe pain should signal you to call your doctor. Sciatic nerve pain can be so excruciating and debilitating that you don’t even want to get off the couch. But as reminded at the beginning it is important to give extra attention to avoid this pain before it occurs and takes proper measures to ease the pain before it gets too serious! "Because there can be more permanency if you don’t get it treated"



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Food

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

5 Reasons Why Locals Hesitate to Become Professional Chefs

When you go to your favourite restaurant, have you ever wondered who was the talented person who made the dish? In the Maldives, we see very few local chefs and it’s time to figure out why this is the case. Mohamed Adam, commonly known as ‘Chef Mode’, is one of the most talented cooks in the country, with experience at several prestigious resorts including Anantara Resorts in the Maldives and Waldorf Austria Ithaafushi. With the help of Chef Mode, here are 5 reasons there are too fewer local chefs in the country.

being impressed by the natural beauty of the island nation. Since the resorts were very much focused on attracting tourists into the country, in the earlier days, often resorts’ culinary experiences offered involved international cuisines. This could be one of the reasons why there are resorts in the country that still needs to improve the focus on local cuisines.

1. Stereotypes

In a public school, students study business subjects and science subjects. Doctors, engineers and pilots are occupations that are popular internationally. However, students are often confused about what they want to become as there is less/no career guidance provided while they are in school. On top of this, students are encouraged to join practical classes such as cooking classes after they finish O Levels. Training cooking classes should be available before that if students are interested.

Having a knife in your hand, an apron over your clothes and a white hat on your head was not a very prestigious image during the past in the Maldives. People who had a dream of becoming chefs were often bullied or taunted for wanting to be in the kitchen. This issue was especially faced by males since it was believed by some people that cooking is something done by females only. The entertainment industry of Maldives also contributed to the chef stereotype. It was believed that it’s very feminine of males to become chefs.

2. Experience as a job requirement Especially during the early days, the experience was a significant job requirement. Fresh graduates are unable to apply for a job since they do not have the required level of experience for that job. As a result, this limited several opportunities available for those who wanted to establish a career in the culinary field.

3. How resorts started The first resorts in the Maldives were established after an Italian travel agent brought a group to tourists to the Maldives after

4. The local educational system

5. Discrimination between locals and expats The problem of foreign employment is not a new subject to the Maldives. The issue has been brought to highlights several times. Especially in the hospitality industries, more foreigners are employed instead of locals. This is seen at the restaurants in resorts as well. Further, some resorts treat local employees and expats different, regardless of the same level of work done. The discrimination involves lower pay of locals as well as the way locals are treated compared to foreigners.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

RAM to Increase Maldivian Employment in Cafe’ and Restaurants Restaurant Association of Maldives (RAM) announced that they will be putting special effort and arrangements to increase the employment of Maldivians in restaurants and cafes. Founding member of RAM, Nuzair Ali stated that the association has made strategic plans for improved and effective working mechanism or restaurants and the industry. One of the most crucial steps that will be taken to improve its functioning, is to increase the amount of Maldivians employed in the Industry, stated Nuzair. According to Nuzair, the association aims at broadening its strategies across the island nation and increasing the involvement of youth working in the industry. He also highlighted the associations plan to introduce an award for the best functioning businesses in the industry. Another member of the association, Hussein Ismail states the association wishes to decrease the number of expatriate workers in common restaurant and cafe points, giving more Maldivians, the opportunity to build a career in this field. He also highlighted it is important to have an association as such to find out the flaws and to execute better functioning of the industry. An election will be held on the 6th of August to appoint an executive committee for the association. The election will inaugurate a president, 2 vice presidents, secretary, financial official, and a board member. Restaurant Association of Maldives was founded with the aim of improving the functioning of Cafe’ and Restaurants and to guarantee the rights of its business owners. In addition to this, the association aims to improve the bond between its members along with recruiting and introducing more Maldivians into the industry.

Food

Opening of SUS Coffee Club, Where Food Meets Sports Super United Sports (SUS) has opened its Coffee Club especially for the football fans in the Maldives. The café was opened on 30th July by the Managing Director of MTCC, Mr Adam Azim. The Grand Opening was also attended by the former Captain of National Team Maldives, Ali Ashfaq and runner Hassan Saaid. SUS is a professional football club in the Maldives. Speaking at the inauguration, Adam Azim stated that sports clubs have progressed due to the support and assistance they received from the people and that small clubs would also develop if they receive the same support. He also expressed his hopes of seeing the SUS club in the First Division. The café by SUS will be a milestone in the history of sports clubs in the Maldives, said Azim. The café` is built on a twostorey building and displays pictures of the most loved football player in the Maldives, Ali Ashfaq, and various significant events in the football history of Maldives. In 2013, Ali Ashfaq was named the ‘World’s 2nd Best Top Goal Scorer’ of the year by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). This was the first time a player from the Maldives was being compared to the top marksmen from the globe. That year, Ashfaq scored 14 international goals, including a ten-goal haul as top-scorer at the 2013 SAFF Championship. SUS Coffee Club is located in Machangoalhi, Kaaminee Magu, Male`.

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Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

People

The Smartest Aren’t Always the Wisest: 5 Strategies to Help You Make Better Decisions Some literature suggests that we make about 32000 decisions a day. On average, that is about 2000 decisions per hour. Interestingly, close to 200 of these decisions are to do with food. Some of these decisions are to do with the many choices we have in our lives. From what to wear, what to eat for breakfast and what to watch or read. We like to think more choices as a luxury or privilege but cognitive psychologists believe this exhausts our cognitive ability and the accuracy of our decisions suffer towards the end of the day as our capacity to accurately evaluate depletes with each new decision. I would perhaps never understand the reason why we have more than 20 different types of Basmati rice in the neighborhood shops on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean! The following are 5 strategies for decision making that I have come to appreciate for some time now. This is the distillation of my understanding of Gladwell (Blink), Gilovich & Ross (The wisest one in the room), Kahneman (Thinking, fast and slow), Dobelli (The art of thinking clearly), Ariely (Predictably Irrational) and many other writings on thinking, judgment, rationality and decision making.

Work on your self-awareness

"Why do you stay in jail when the door is open?" Rumi

I interpret this as us being held captive by our thoughts and perceptions. Quite often we are told that we possess great potential and the only limiting factor is our imagination. Ironically, our ability to think, imagine and make meaning of what we perceive through our senses is perhaps our greatest ability as humans. Rumi said this many centuries ago. Philosophers and scientists have believed this for a long time. From Plato to Descartes, we have been asked to question our judgment and reconsider our perceptions over and again. Imam Ghazali suggested that while our dreams ‘feel’ real while we sleep, we know for a fact that it is an illusion and likewise we do not have any evidence to say for certain that what we perceive during our waking hours is any closer to objective reality.

Knowing what makes you think what you think is an important step in thinking clearly. We see the world through lenses, filters, windows, and keyholes. How we come to develop these is based on many things including culture and environmental stimuli. We are all victims of implicit bias and most of us will deny that fact simply because we do not know and we would not want to be biased if we knew it. Over time, societal and cultural norms, values, and narratives make us develop these biases and prejudices on gender, gender roles, race/ethnicity, nationality, age, skin color, and many more aspects of humanity and our lives. I find https://implicit.harvard.edu to be very helpful in understanding the extent of some of these biases on our subconscious mind. Self-awareness can also help us understand our own emotions. Our emotions shape perception and in a world where we are constantly tethered to smart devices that work on algorithms specifically designed to display imagery and language to elicit certain emotions in us, we need to be super vigilant. Stroop effect and McGurk effect distort what we see, hear and perceive. Our minds are constantly primed and messages are framed to elicit action from users and we get caught in this unconsciously.

Learn about heuristics or mental shortcuts We tend to associate smartness with IQ and the ability to respond to logic questions quickly. Many organizations base their recruitment selection on an applicant’s performance on a battery of IQ tests. Results from cognitive reflection tests suggest that our thinking has 2 modes. Kahneman calls this 2 systems. The one that generates quick responses is system 1 and this ability


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

is based on some heuristics or mental shortcuts we develop throughout our lives. This system can sometimes deceive us. What we think is correct, accurate or true can indeed be the opposite. Learning about these shortcuts can help you stop making snap judgments and rushing to conclusions without evidence. First impressions and snap judgments cause pain and regret in many circumstances. Cognitive science has established that what we perceive through what we hear and see is greatly shaped by these heuristics.

Find out about many different biases, illusions, fallacies and effects that could render our decisions suboptimal A quick Google search will produce many leads documenting and discussing these biases. Marketers have employed and exploited these to take advantage of gullible consumers for years. Anchoring effect makes us buy things that we will otherwise find unreasonably expensive. Illusory superiority or the DunningKruger effect makes us believe we are better people than we are. Curse of knowledge makes us blind to the understanding of those who do not possess that specific knowledge – this is a lot of us have difficulty in understanding ‘User Manuals’. Hyperbolic discounting irrationality makes us better people tomorrow. We all have great intentions, to pray 5 times, eat healthy food, wake up early, exercise more and check up on friends and family – but not today, we will do it tomorrow. In Dhivehi, we refer to this type RI SURFUDVWLQDWLRQ DV ,šQELOHHKX NDHYHQL RU 6DWDQšV ZHGGLQJ something that never happens. Some of these effects and how much we understand it is very much dependent on the context. I remember Professor Ugail rephrased the bat and ball question to a dress and a set of earrings for the Maldivian audience in one of his columns for Haveeru. The list of biases, illusions, effects and fallacies run into the hundreds. It is therefore impossible for us to educate ourselves on all of these distortions but reading and exploring can us more up to date and more vigilant. We can employ more commitment and debiasing tools to keep us honest and more rational. One such psychological device is the Ulysses contract. This can help us become better people tomorrow by committing to a course of action today. If you want to eat healthy tomorrow, prepare your meals today and leave them in the fridge or in our culture where food is only cooked when it is time to eat, buying and stocking your kitchen may be enough. We could also be influenced by the ‘sunk cost’ effect as well.

People

Always question your judgment and that of your team I have become a lot more skeptical since I turned 40 and I believe this makes me a little wiser (then again, it may be an illusion). Observe any average child of 3-10 years of age and pay attention to how inquisitive and curious they are. They have so many questions and want to know everything. I find it fascinating how we all become less and less curious as we grow up. Why? I don’t know but I like to think becoming more inquisitive and curious can make us make better decisions. Our belief in science is based on the rigorous, structured methodology that scientists employ to arrive at that conclusion. Surprisingly, we do not care about the scientific method when it comes to decisions that will have lifelong impacts. In Maldives, we have a very high divorce rate and most us of vowed to stay married forever the one we thought was the perfect partner. What deceived us? We seem to rely on too many hunches, gut feelings and intuitions instead of thinking through. We seem to be letting our emotions take over our rational elements too often where we end up making impulsive buying decisions that we regret later. If you have a decision to make, always question your thoughts as much as possible, think it over, compare the pros and cons before concluding. * We are busy. We have too many decisions to make and too little time to think these decisions over. That is why we outsource these decisions to our system one but unfortunately end up paying hefty prices for the mistakes. We are all constantly connected and that is a good thing but little do we realized that we live in echo chambers and virtual "Big Brother" settings where we are constantly monitored and controlled by Artificial Intelligence run on algorithms. Remind this to yourself daily. The continuous scroll feature of your social media apps are perhaps your greatest weaknesses and they waste much more of your time than you realize. Debiasing, and thinking clearly in a world with distractions left, right and center is a deliberate process that requires your system two. Quran instructs us to contemplate, think, and question what we see, hear, and perceive. Think.

Think in systems Everything is connected. From chaos theory to globalization, the world, our lives and the events that shape our lives are interconnected and intertwined. Who would have thought that our gut bacteria could be affecting our mood and our diet promotes the growth of or depletes the population of some of these colonies making us happier or sadder depending on what we eat? By the way, eating bananas are supposed to make you happier. We take action many times without paying attention to the consequences that decisions will result in. My community in Fuvahmulah have learned the hard way that eliminating crows was directly related to the dying of breadfruit trees. For us, crows were a pest that we had to get rid of and none of us realized that this would lead to a population explosion of the longhorn beetle that feeds on the marrow of the breadfruit tree. There are many examples of this type of naive mistakes we make that result in grave consequences. Unfortunately, we realized these things much later, on hindsight when it is already a little too late. Holistic thinking should be employed everywhere when making decisions to avoid expensive mistakes.

About the Author: Hassan Saeed is a hotelier with over 28 years of experience in Maldives tourism and resort operations. He is passionate about behavioral economics and how concepts like ‘Nudge’ can be applied in service settings. Hassan identifies himself as a lifelong learner. He currently holds the position of Resort Manager at Dhigali Maldives

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5 Keys to Pick the Perfect Venue for Your Next Event in the Sunny Side or otherwise can possibly be imprinted in the memories of the attendees. The diversity and flexibility of menus can be different from venues within Maldives; therefore, it is important to carefully consider and check the catering options before contracting any venue.

3. Services & Facilities An event venue that consists of friendly and experienced employees ready to serve with a smile will give a pleasant and memorable time for guests. While that being a bonus, it is smart to ensure a venue which provides essential facilities such as enough bathrooms to avoid queuing and various routes or excess points in order to avoid crowded hallways.

4. Size & Capacity It is not a secret that the Maldives aka "The sunny side of life" is the top holiday destination among tourists. However, the littleknown fact is that this attractive tourist destination is also topping in the list of "best locations to host an event." An "Event" is a wide range of festivals starting from ceremonies such as workshops, meetings, corporate retreats to functions like weddings, banquets, and more. The date, catering options, and more importantly the pleasant experience of attendees are all partly affected by the venue you select. Hence, choosing the right venue for the event is the most essential factor in the process of event organizing. Completely agreeing with the popular opinion of "Finding the right venue can make or break an event," Maldives is the perfect place for an event. Maldives offers everything from modern event venues to venues suitable for specific needs. While considering the Maldives as an event venue, feeling overwhelmed is often unavoidable. It is noticeable that some "by-the-book" managed events have slipped off some important factors which the event planners wished they had known earlier. Hence, consider the following 5 keys to remember when searching for the perfect venue.

1. Location Location is the main key to a successful event. An ideal location must harmonize with the purpose of the event. In order to do so, it is important to identify the nature of the event. That being said, logistics is one thing people should not forget as it often overlooked amid the chaos.

2. Catering One aspect which goes untouched by most event planners are considering the quality, choice and adaptability of the dietary requirements of the guests. Food, whether scrumptious

The reason why one must ensure a venue that fits the number of attendees of an event is so because a space that is too small will have a congest and claustrophobic feel to it while a space too large will look empty with a feeling of lack in ambiance. To determine the size of the location, only relying on photos at the end, can turn out the opposite of expectations. Requesting a tour of the venue beforehand to have the chance to evaluate and finalize it in person with better accuracy.

5. Technology In this digital age, our daily lives are connected to modern technology. It also plays an essential role in your event. A venue that provides basic technological facilities will be an added value depending on the type of your event as it will ensure a smooth outcome. The perfect venue is the backbone of the perfect event. Just take the above keys into consideration when doing research and there is no doubt that everyone will be able to find the perfect venue for the next event in this beautiful paradise.

About the Author: Suzeena Ahmed works at Kurumba Maldives as an event manager. She started her career at Kurumba at the age of 19 and has been working there ever since. Her ultimate goal in event management is building strong relationships with customers and investing in their needs.


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Deputy Governor Retires After Serving MMA for 31 Years

MACL Appoints Chief Executive / Âł G - Director

The deputy Governor of Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), Aishath Zahira, has retired on Wednesday after serving the authority for 31 years.

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has announced the appointment of Mr. Gordon Andrew Stewart as the new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of MACL on June 26, 2020.

Zahira tendered her retirement after completing two six-year terms as the deputy governor. The position of Deputy Governor was approved by the People’s Majlis after it was proposed by the president at the time. The authority has hailed and expressed their gratitude to Zahira for serving the central bank with integrity for the past three decades. Notable as an institution with high female inclusivity among its senior ranks, the heads of seven out of MMA’s 12 divisions were women by 2018. The position of Deputy Governor at MMA is now unoccupied although the position of its Governor is occupied by Ali Hashim. Assistant governors of MMA are Mariyam Hussain Didi, Idhham Hussain, and Mariyam Shifa.

Gordon is a British National with over 30 years of international management experience in the Aviation and Transportation industry across Europe, MENA, Asia, and North America, including 20 years at Executive and Board Level. Gordon will join us in July 2020 after the international border opens. We believe that his in-depth understanding of the business and recognized leadership will guide MACL to achieve greater success. According to MACL, Mr. Stewart will guide the company to greater success with his in-depth understanding of the business and recognized leadership. MACL also stated that Mr. Stewart will be joining the company on July 15; the date announced for the opening of the aviation border in the Maldives. MACL is in charge of operating the main port of entry into the nation Velana International Airport (VIA).


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Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

World Bank Announces New Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka

Mr. Faris Hadad-Zervos is the World Bank’s new Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, effective today. Based in the sub-regional office in Kathmandu, Nepal, he will lead World Bank support to Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, overseeing the current total portfolio of around $5.5 billion. Mr. Hadad-Zervos succeeds Ms. Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, who will be taking on a new World Bank assignment. He previously served as the World Bank Country Manager for Nepal. A US national, he joined the World Bank in 1996 and held country manager positions in Malaysia and Bolivia. He also served as Manager of the Technical Cooperation Program with the Gulf Cooperation Countries, Head of Mission for Iraq, and Operations Manager for the West Bank and Gaza. Mr. Hadad-Zervos’ appointment comes at a time when governments of the three countries must quickly address both the immediate and longer-term health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

"It is critical to protect lives and livelihoods and support economic recovery as countries are fighting the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis," said Mr. Hadad-Zervos. "My first priority is to ensure that World Bank-financed programs help alleviate the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, create jobs, and foster inclusive and sustainable growth in the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and I look forward to working with governments, development partners, the private sector, and civil society." The World Bank is supporting the governments of Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka through COVID-19 emergency response projects totaling over $350 million to help the countries prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic and strengthen public health preparedness.


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Acting Managing Director Mr. Moosa Solih Retires from Maldives Airports Company Ltd

Hussain Afeef Elected as President- MAHRP Annual General Meeting 2020

After years of esteemed services, Acting Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) Mr. Moosa Solih retired from his services on 26th July 2020.

Hussain Afeef has been elected the president of Maldives Association of HR Professional (MAHRP) for the second time. MAHRP hosted their Annual General Meeting on 29th July 2020, as a virtual event. This event was attended by over 70 MAHRP registered members and the took was live-streamed via MAHRP Facebook page.

Mr. Moosa Solih was appointed as the Acting Managing Director (AMD) of MACL by the company’s Board of Directors in the year 2018. Mr. Moosa Solih hosted various senior-level positions before becoming AMD, serving 39 years of dedicated service. After graduating from the prestigious Al-Azhar University Mr. Moosa Solih commenced his service to the nation’s main airport, as an Engineer in the early 8CYs and continued to show his caliber as a highly technical talent. This led him to take up the post of the head of the technical department supervising all aviation advancements. Over the years, Mr. Moosa Solih contributed his exertion in developing and managing the technical aspects of air traffic control, aerodrome, and other operations. Moreover, Mr. Moosa Solih also filled the position of Chief Operating Officer of MACL which he made operational improvements in his tenure. Due to restructuring the company after GMR left in late 2012, Mr. Moosa Solih had to take up the IT component which was the emerging challenge at that time. Over the years, Mr. Moosa Solih had demonstrated, leadership, and guided the company overseeing numerous technical projects with commitment and integrity. His strategy of practicality had steered MACL into a more driven company. MACL thank Mr. Moosa Solih’s invaluable service to the company and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. As Mr. Moosa Solih retires, the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) Mr. Gordon Andrew Stewart takes the official responsibilities of running the company today. Mr. Stewart is appointed as a CEO and MD of MACL by the Board Directors on July 26, 2020.

During this event, MAHRP President, Afeef, presented a summary of their annual report, covering features of key milestones such as the Maldives first National HR Convention and Expo, Learning and Development Conference, Virtual L&D Conference, Professional Speakers Club, hosting worldrenowned thought leaders event with Ron Kaufman, Robin Banks and connecting the Maldives community with regional and global HR platforms like CIPD and CIPM, APFHRM. Per MAHRP General Constitution and Membership guideline, each Executive Committee Term is for two years. The newly elected Executive Committee members are; - Afeef Hussain – President - Ahmed Ibrahim – Vice President - Hawwa Shaheena – Vice President - Ali Adam – Executive Secretary - Fathimath Habeeba – Secretary - Ibrahim Nishan – Treasurer - Aishath Hussain Mohamed – Executive Committee Member - Aminath Sudha – Executive Committee Member - Hussain Shifau – Executive Committee Member - Zakariyya Easa – Executive Committee Member - Aminath Adhaala Rasheed – Executive Committee Member "The last two years have been amazing in terms of leading, challenging our own status quo and driving human capital excellence throughout the nation. Our new term focused will cover aspects such as developing and growing more leaders, focus on youth engagement and leadership programs, coaching and mentoring and building a bridge to work together with other professional NGOs in the arena of human capital developed.’ Quote from MAHRP President during the event. Some upcoming events of MAHRP include the Virtual Speakers Convention, National HR Convention and launching MAHRP’s Podcast and MAHRP Book Reading Club.

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Celebrate Small Wins to Get Through the Day!

Years ago, I had an opportunity to consult and guide a company to elevate its human capital development strategies. One of the conversations was how employees could give honest and open feedback. When I enquired about their current systems; mostly, it was through a feedback box that was placed at one of their team facilities building. After my first discussions, we took a walk through the building, and I asked their HRM to open the box; what we found was dead spiders and cockroaches and a few pieces of paper. I wasn’t surprised though the HRM was shocked and gave a grim look to his assistance. After the walkthrough, I said the first thing we need to do is to remove that "feedback box"; throw it to the dustbin. No one is going to give you any feedback through that box. The next day, during their town hall, I let the HRM announce that if their employees have any feedback or want to improve service, they can visit the HR Office or speak to them directly. The announcement came more of as an invitation and hope. They also then form an employee committee, covering representatives from each department. Following this development, in the same year’s employee engagement index; on the attribute of open feedback sharing mechanisms, they achieved 80% vs below 60% previous years. I remember having a conversation post-survey feedback, the importance of celebrating small wins; win to remove that feedback box. Often what we see in many organizations is that we wait for the monthly town hall or gathering to celebrate and announce all the wins during the past 30 days or more; By


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then it’s already late, and some of those achievements are outdated. Great companies are outstanding in creating a culture of celebration. The celebration brings momentum and increases the speed of organizational performance. It creates profound energy, and everyone feels appreciated and recognized. Late Jack Welch, former CEO & Chairman of General Electric was considered as an extraordinary leader when it comes to working place celebration. He emphasizes a lot to his leadership on making small victories big victories by celebrating them on the spot and making a big deal about it. When I used to manage a Volleyball Team, we would lose now and then, and most of the time we would be defeated by a team that we never expected; the debrief of these matches will start with a conversation on "let’s discuss what did we do well". I remember when we begin that conversation, all players feel energetic and get involved in the conversation and the post-match action plan becomes quite teamwork. Here are a couple of ways you could create a culture of celebration within your Teams. Do these daily; Every day 365 days. Instant Recognition programs: Many companies are good at conducting monthly Townhall events and make a big deal about it; that’s all right and should be continued. Often what is missing is the instant recognition. Instant recognition, could be a small handwritten note, an email, a pat on the back, face to face conversations following an achievement or reaching a target, internally created "star cards" or "good job cards". One of the great attributes of exceptional leaders is they instantly recognize their employees, regardless of the moment or situation. Daily Messages of Inspiration: be consistent in your daily messages of communication. Communicate organizational values daily. Share notes of motivation to inspire your people. These are steps you can take to create a culture of celebration. Encourage your teams to post inspirational messages, stories to your internal communication platforms. When they share, be the first one to like it and comment. October 2019, I had an opportunity to visit the PIKE Place Fish Market in Seattle, USA, (The World’s Famous Pike Place FISH CO, where FISH! philosophy story was created), they use their daily team huddle by asking a question from everyone; "What did you do yesterday to make our customers happy?" with that everyone will share few seconds of customer stories and feedback; that then gets celebrate during the day.

target for the day. There is no doubt in a culture like this, your employees will put 120% effort the next day. You can apply the same on a personal level. Celebrate every victory. Feel good when someone compliments you. Have the habit of putting together all the small victories to make one big victory. If you celebrate small wins daily, you will build a level of energy that will help you to get through the day. Remember, no one is going to do it for you; you have to do it. Be an encourager; be someone who lifts the spirit of others by celebrating small victories. That’s what we need more in our community. What are you doing today to celebrate small wins?

Recognize and share Stories of Employees: Successful stories of your employees, feedback shared by your customers should always be shared on the spot. Make it a habit to spread these messages daily. Post those to your social platforms and have your employees and brand ambassadors share it. Create and engage in a culture where everyone in your organization is encouraged to ask for positive feedback or ways to improve. Use digital platforms to recognize: You can create a digital notice board or use any e-platforms to communicate with your employees daily. If your Team hit the daily sales target, celebrate it and give a virtual pat on the back to everyone in your organization. This can be done through your digital platforms. Workplace by Facebook, Yammer, Beekeeper, or StaffConnect is famously used around the world. If you cannot afford one of these, create a WhatsApp Group within your Team and use that as a messaging platform; What matters is not what you use; it’s how you use it. Imagine towards the end of the day, your employees receive a message from you stating how appreciative you are of them for their work and achieving the daily sales or

About the Author: Afeef Hussain is Keynote Speaker, Coach, and a proud Hotelier and member of the LUX Resorts and Hotels and Advocate of People and Culture

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How I Became a Morning Person & My 7 Tips Have a reason to wake up: At my very first job I did not have much to do after work since it was a shift based job. So my reason was to wake up for the gym and exercise.

Make your bed: This was a tough job when I started. After making my bed I tell myself, yes my very first task one is completed. This is a very simple task but with this, it develops new habits of keeping my room clean and clothes off the floor. Like US Navy Admiral William McRaven said in an inspirational speech to university students, this task gives a sense of accomplishment.

Reward yourself each day: As my working environment is an island resort, I do a daily round around the resort walking or by bike. My win and reward of the day are to take a beautiful sunrise picture.

Get on a sleep schedule: Going to bed early and waking up early every day trains my body and gives a good sleeping pattern. This helps me to get myself connected to people early in the morning.

"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." Benjamin Franklin

Productive Output: Starting early every day helps me to concentrate well, this helps me to achieve my targets of the day. Early morning, I have fewer interruptions and fewer calls which allows me to focus on work and completes faster. if you are a writer or blogger this is could help you for sure.

Use the time well: Recently, one of my schoolmates asked me this question: what makes you a successful and happy personality?

When I started early I had enough time in the morning. Later on, with my schedules, I started to read, write, and watch the sunrise to use the time but I never miss having my early morning coffee. This allows me to use my time for leisure for my morning routine.

My answer: I started waking up early morning and using my time to learn something new, it helped me become who I am today.

More Organized:

When I started a hotel industry career I was not a morning person. I grew up waking up late and sleeping late. Having a full-time job as a bell driver, boutique assistant, and then moving to reception as a receptionist changed my entire life. I had to take shift base duties but I was never on time to morning duty. I got my very first warning letter after being late to duty for more than 6 days in a row.

Being an early riser helps to kickstart my day. The unfinished work of the previous day, the urgent tasks and prioritize my day accordingly.

The very next day I asked myself what I should do to fix myself. I thought the best thing would be waking up early to do something. With few friends, I started waking up for morning exercise. With this mindset, I started going to the gym in the morning. The first day was very difficult. I practiced this for 27 days and today I don’t need an alarm to wake me up. I am up at 05.30 in the morning, where ever I am. Here are my 7 tips from what I learned:

When I get my half of the task done by 10 am to 11 am before my coffee break it feels and gives me the confidence that I can still be fast and productive. This makes my day feel successful. I believe it is absolutely fine and normal to feel proud and celebrate daily performance. To motivate me I use to tease some of my friends by saying, you are having coffee at my lunchtime. You can keep on waking up late or you can decide to adopt this healthy habit and be exceptional.


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Ooredoo Maldives Appoints Ahmed Numan as Assistant Manager Content & New Verticals Ahmed Numan has been appointed as the Assistant Manager Content & New Verticals at Ooredoo Maldives. Numan has been working for Ooredoo Maldives for over 8 years since January 2012. He joined Ooredoo as an International Roaming Services (IREG) Executive and worked for over 3 years where he got promoted to a senior executive VAS & Data on January 2015 while he was promoted as Assistant Manager Content, Broadband and Devices in January 2018. Ooredoo is one of the leading telecommunications and digital service providers in the Maldives, offering high speed home internet, Super net, strong mobile networks and other various services tailored to the growing needs of today’s consumers and businesses.

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Life is about what you give, not what you get – By Sonu Shivdasani

Eva and I first visited the Maldives in the 1980s. We fell in love with the country, holidayed here many times and, in the early 1990s, started to invest. Initially it was in Humming Bird helicopters, the country’s first domestic air transportation company, which eventually morphed into TMA. Then we moved into hotels, starting with Soneva Fushi, followed by Soneva Gili, Six Senses Laamu, and most recently, Soneva Jani. Over the years, the Maldives has become a second home to us. When we opened Soneva Fushi in 1995, we held a firm belief that a company must have a clear purpose beyond just making money. A successful business is one that combines apparent contrasts; makes ‘opposites’ compatible. For example, at Soneva, we have created something that is both luxurious and environmentally sustainable; food that is both healthy and delicious. At Soneva, Luxury and Sustainability are not opposites, they actually feed off each other. In fact, the more sustainable we are the more luxurious we become. When you blend opposites, it creates an experience that is unique, creating a strong level of guest loyalty. Today, our guiding principle is creating for our guests engaging and imaginative SLOW LIFE, which stands for Sustainable, Local, Organic, Wellness, Learning, Inspiring, Fun, Experiences. SLOW LIFE is both our moral and operating compass, and our focus on it has led to levels of guest loyalty and repeat business that far surpass industry norms, which tells us that a company’s values matter to those who consume its products. Soneva distinguishes itself because, combined with the space, privacy and comfort of our villas and rooms, and the intuitive service provided by our

Hosts, (at Soneva we do not have "Employees", we have "Hosts") we have demonstrated how sustainable materials can have a great aesthetic. Being able to bring out the beauty of nature, whether it is in our design, or the guest experiences that we offer, has set us apart from the competition. We may sometimes fall short of our own high standards, but we are very clear about our responsibilities as custodians of the communities we operate in. This responsibility to one’s community is somewhat complicated for a company such as ours, whose guests jet in from all over the world. As a result, our social and environmental responsibilities are as much global as they are local. We set up the Soneva Foundation to focus on local initiatives and to effect change at a level far beyond the communities in which our resorts operate. One can argue that the Soneva Foundation is exceptional because nearly all of its funding is a result of changes to the way in which we do business at our resorts, and not donations. Let me explain: – Twelve years ago, Eva and I noticed a huge number of plastic water bottles washed up on our beaches in the Maldives. We decided not to point fingers, especially as we were still serving bottled water in our resort. So, we decided to stop offering branded bottled water, and instead serve water that has been filtered, mineralised, alkalised, and bottled on site in reusable glass bottles.


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– In the middle of 2019, we installed the first glass water bottling centre on one of our neighbouring islands, Baa, Maalhos. We filter and mineralize the desalinated island water and then store and distribute it in sterilized glass water bottles. When the bottles are returned, the consumer benefits from a 20% saving on their water purchase compared to if they had bought the water in plastic bottles. As I write, we have avoided 120,000 plastic bottles from being consumed. It is our hope that Maalhos will soon start to supply this water to neighbouring islands of Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo. We also plan to establish a water bottling centre on the island of Manadhoo in the Noonu Atoll, Soneva Jani’s neighbouring island. – In February 2020, we celebrated a Maldives’ first: Maalhos became the first island in the country to end the practice of burning its rubbish in open bonfires. This was made possible by the opening of the island’s Eco Centro waste to wealth centre, funded by Soneva and modeled on Soneva Fushi’s own Eco Centro. In spite of the COVID-19 crisis, we have paid the contractor to start work on the Eco Centro at Dharavandhoo. It is our hope that once this is complete, we will be able to start work on an Eco Centro in Kihaadhoo. We also plan to install an Eco Centro and water bottling plant at our next Soneva resort in the Maldives. – Earlier this month we released a series of 10 Namoona Tutorial videos, to sharing our expertise in gardening and permaculture. The topics covered include: preparing a growing space, planting, composting, maintenance, harvesting and how to enhance the quality of the vegetables grown. The aim of these videos is to encourage people to grow their own healthy and nutritious vegetables at home. While the methods in the tutorials are based around the Maldives and similar tropical climates, the information can be applied to any garden. Interested people can reach out to the Soneva Namoona team (soen-fushi@soneva. com) and ask for seeds to plant in their gardens. – In 2008, we realised that our approach towards measuring carbon emissions was limited as we were not measuring guests’ international flights. To our great surprise, we discovered that 85% of the CO2 emissions from Soneva Fushi come from Scope 3 (indirect emissions), which the industry in general does not measure. So, we took the simple step of adding a mandatory 2% Environmental Levy to our guests’ bills, to off-set all our emissions. It was a small change, and a relatively small charge, which we found our guests more than happy to accept. And the rewards have been great. In 12 years, we have raised about USD 7 million, which the Soneva Foundation has used to fund a reforestation programme in northern Thailand, finance wind power generators in South India, and even a commitment to 150,000 low carbon cooking stoves in Myanmar and Darfur. – It is remarkable that many children in our island nation do not know how to swim. A fear of the water is compounded by a nationwide waste problem that sees local island beaches used as a dumping ground for household waste. Following one of our Soneva Symposiums (an ecological conference that unites entrepreneurs, policy makers and environmentalists, all passionate about improving the state of the planet) Soneva Fushi established the Soneva Ocean Stewards programme with neighbouring island of Eydhafushi. By teaching children to swim, we hope that they will learn to love their ocean, and when they love it, they will protect it. We are now looking to scale this programme to offer intensive swimming programmes across Baa Atoll, partnering with other resorts, local and national NGOs, environmental awareness groups and government ministries. In October 2018, I was diagnosed with stage four Lymphoma. Fortunately, today, I am fully recovered. My cure was a result of following traditional medicine such as chemotherapy, but

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combining this with alternative healing and importantly, a change to my diet. I dramatically reduced my consumption of sugar, white flour and importantly, dairy, and red meat, especially beef. Apart from overcoming cancer, I found that I became so much healthier than I have ever been. We have similarly introduced a menu change at our resorts. Our chefs have reduced the amount of sugar, dairy, white flour and beef across all our menus. Beef consumption has been reduced by 75% in just one year. Dairy consumption has reduced considerably as well. It is our goal to bring the consumption of these two ingredients almost to zero. Apart from being good for our guests’ health, this approach has also been very good for the environment. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, animal agriculture and the associated deforestation is responsible for more than 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, dwarfing air travel, which is 2-3%. The private sector has a huge role to play to find solutions, and we assume this responsibility as part of our core purpose. Corporations should look to the history books and remember that having a purpose should be central to their mandate – and that this contribution should be measured and valued as robustly as any financial returns. Moreover, in a post COVID-19 world, consumers will be more conscious of the impact that they have on both nature and the communities which they visit. In addition to the activities listed above, for the last 15 years, all our resorts have established a social environment responsibility fund (SERF) where we contribute 0.5% of our revenues to different initiatives. Over the years SERF has funded many initiatives, whether it is a school classroom on Eydhafushi, various NGOs in the Maldives, or the children’s programme that bought children from Male’ to Soneva Fushi for an environmental education experience. We encourage our Hosts to come up with ideas and support the implementation of any initiatives that are funded by SERF. We generally have had good engagement from our Hosts. In fact, it is our sincere belief that by having a purpose beyond enriching shareholders or making money results in higher levels of Host engagement. This is why we have industry-beating low Host turnover rates at our resorts. We believe that the definition of luxury in the travel and tourism industry is not about tangibles such as the size of one’s villa, elaborate spa and wellness programmes, or an extensive number of restaurants. It is about the intangible – the magic that the Hosts that live and work at a property create. Magical service can only be trained to an extent. It has to be instilled. It has to come from the gut. One can argue that the more Sustainable we are, and the more we embody our SlowLife Core Purpose; the more Luxurious we become. This is why Soneva is arguably one of the few hotel companies that have won the equivalent of the Oscars for both sustainability and luxury in travel and tourism industry. When the World Travel and Tourism Council met in 2008 in Dubai, and again in 2015 when they met in Madrid, they awarded us their Tourism for Tomorrow Award. In 2000 and 2008, the Readers of Condé Nast Traveller UK voted us the best resort of any category, i.e. the Best of the Best. Life is about what you give, not what you get.

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People

3 Reasons Why You Should Love Those Who Disagree with You I have since realized that doing so is a stupid idea and to throw caution into the wind and going rogue on our instincts on this matter is precisely what we ought to be doing. Here are three reasons why you should love those who disagree with you, even if you must do so with a pinch of salt.

1. Different Points of Views Help You Understand Where You Are Coming From We seldom reflect on how our thought processes work. How we decide to decide, how our opinions take form, or where our biases spring from — these are no easy questions to entertain. Why? Because our sympathetic nervous system does not allow us to do so. The moment it feels threatened, it kicks your fightor-flight responses into overdrive. Before you know it, you go on the offensive, throw impartiality out the proverbial window, and flood your mind with all sorts of reasons why you are right and the other wrong. Now, you can blame evolution all you want but playing the blame game will do you no good either. Instead, it appears to me that the solution here — however much of a cliché this may sound — is for you to grow comfortable being uncomfortable. That is to say, you must be open and willing to have your opinions challenged, your worldviews questioned, and your innermost thoughts ridiculed because there’s more value in constructive criticism or an objective arm-wrestling of opinions than meets the eye.

It is no secret that people disagree with us. It is in our nature and something we cannot easily escape from. And those who disagree with you? Well, you find them everywhere: at home, in your social circles, at work. They are unrelenting, bothersome, and argumentative. An insufferable group of people — one might go as far as to say — who live off getting on your nerves, and you can’t stand being in the same hemisphere with them. So, as any sensible person would, you try to get rid of them like the annoying pests they are, regardless of whether they are a family member, friend, or coworker. I have, for quite some time, been fascinated by this instinctive distaste for conflict in us. Partly because I keep getting labeled "a headache" myself by those living with the unfortunate pleasure of knowing me personally, and partly because of my tendency — though not always the case — to hold in low regard those who, dare I say, are migraine-inducing.

This might mean that those who disagree with you may sometimes desecrate what you hold sacred or expose a side of you that you’d rather keep to yourself, but that’s the compromise you must make if you want to arrive at an all-things-considered, unbiased, and informed decision. In my book, I find that an acceptable price to pay to save myself from living with an incredibly naive and parochial worldview. And in the case of a business, your success at building up such a tolerance could translate to significant savings both in money and time.

2. Different Points of View Lessens the Risk of Groupthink Mark Zuckerberg understands this. He appreciates the importance of reality-testing and the significance of listening to different viewpoints and appraising alternative courses of action.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

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How does he do that? By encouraging people such as Peter Thiel who disagrees with most of what he says or proposes to do to be on the board of Facebook. More power to him, I must say. After all, history is littered with tantalizing tales of how group think — a term coined in the early 1970s by the psychologist Irving Janis to describe how concurrence-seeking and striving for unanimity by members in certain in-groups leads to blunders in judgment and decision making — brought about the early demise of once great and unstoppable companies, derailed entire war efforts and wreaked havoc in entire industries. It is, however, curious to note that mere disagreements alone are by no means a panacea for groupthink, especially if it is only done as some sort of lip service to create an illusion of dissent. The good news, though, is that with a conscious effort to surround yourself with a true devil’s advocate who is empowered and driven and will not hesitate to call you out on your BS and thus keep you on your toes, you can always lessen the risk of it. The upside of your tolerating it could very well be the secret tool that makes you an outlier of success where others wither away and die. And just in the same way, it could be the quality that helps you save your business from intransigence, irrelevance or certain perish as it happened to Swissair, the American auto industry, or the banks during the Global Financial Crisis of 2008–09.

3. Different Points of View Spur Original Thinking When we choose collegiality over authentic dissent, it affects the quality of our thinking.But when we do get past our desire to maintain group harmony and dissent in those instances that call for it, encourage it, and entertain it, something magical happens.

Don’t: - Internalize the disagreements too much or take them too personally. Learn to compartmentalize and to move on without traumatizing yourself in the process - Commit to the first thought that pops into your mind and follow it blindly. Explore your options and attack them with the reality of what’s happening - Give up that easy. If you notice a pattern that everyone is agreeing to everything all the time, air your frustrations instead of keeping it yourself. At the same time, don’t be a jerk. Be kind, nice and considerate with your dissent - Be cute by appointing someone to contradict you in a cosmetic and insincere role-playing capacity and a role-playing capacity only so that you can create the illusion of dissent and still do things your way.

It results in radical ideas.And more often than not, that is the stuff of novel thinking and original ideas.So, how do you do that? How do you elicit novel thinking and original ideas from contrarian points of view? By engaging in integrative thinking. Integrative thinking is the art of bringing together antithetical and sometimes poles apart points of views and synthesizing them to arrive at a solution that’s either new, divergent, or superlative to what’s being done as usual or held as true and immutable. That could materialize in the form of a better line of code, a simpler business process, a new product line, or even an entirely new business unit. And the best part? Those who can find new meaning and novel ways of doing things by synthesizing contradicting views are not born; they are forged.In other words, you can teach yourself to become an integrative thinker, too.

Principles to Remember Do: - Reflect on how your thought processes work. And do it often so you can take a moment, relax and course correct when necessary - Reality-test your first assumptions. Make it a habit to seek disconfirming evidence to avoid confirmation bias - Encourage and empower others to express their viewpoints, even if they are contrarian or unpopular - Surround yourself with an impartial devil’s advocate who is empowered and keen to keep you sharp and focused on his own accord. In other words, find your Peter Thiel to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

About the Author: Athif Ibrahim is a Team Leader at One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives. He is also an ultra-runner and a co-founder and the Managing Director of nextstopmaldives.com. Athif writes about entrepreneurship, leadership, psychology, athletics, and life. athifibrahim.com

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Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Suicide and Mental Health: Myths and How to Offer Help

With rising awareness about mental health, a lot of people have begun to feel comfortable talking about their mental health challenges and seeking help. There is also a promising rise in the acceptance of mental health challenges and conditions. Suicide or suicidal thoughts and plans is a very serious symptom of severe mental illness. Suicide is the act of killing yourself, most often as a result of depression or other mental illness. One in five people worldwide has had suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives. 90% of people who die from suicide have one or more mental health conditions, with depression accounting to 70% of this. Suicide is a very prevalent problem in the Maldives as well. As of 2017 according to WHO data, suicide accounts for 3% of total deaths in the Maldives, and is the 10thmost likely killer, way above lung cancer, drowning, and road traffic accidents. There are several misconceptions about suicide that exists in our society. There is a prevalent idea that talking about suicide can encourage people to kill themselves. However, not being able to talk about suicidal ideation, further strengthens feelings of being trapped and gives weightage to the idea that there are no other options but suicide. Talking brings support and other perspectives.


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People

There is also an incorrect, unhealthy belief that Only people with a mental health illness die from suicide. There are lots of people with psychological disorders that do not have any suicidal ideation and not all who die from suicide have a psychological disorder. Stressful life events, illness, environmental factors all can contribute to suicide. People often do not choose to kill themselves suddenly, without warning. Usually, there are certain warning signs that can be seen such as: 1. School problems, such as missing classes, truancy, and a sudden change in grades 2. Frequent incidents of self-destructive behavior, such as careless accidents 3. Loss of appetite or excessive eating 4. Withdrawal from friends and peers 5. Sleeping problems 6. Increased use of alcohol or drugs 7. Signs of depression, tearfulness, or overt indications of psychological difficulties, such as hallucinations 8. Talking about hopelessness and having no reason to live 9. Talking about being a burden to others 10. Sudden, drastic changes in appearance 11. A preoccupation with death, an afterlife, or what would happen "if I died" 12. Putting affairs in order, such as giving away prized possessions or making arrangements for pets to be taken care of 13. Visiting or calling people to say goodbye directly or indirectly 14. Sudden period of elation or recovery after a period of depression It’s important for us as individuals and as a society to be helpful supports to people who are at risk for suicide. Some of the ways in which we can do that are: 1. Be mindful about the warning signs in your friends, family and coworkers 2. If you are worried about someone (they are displaying signs/ you have a gut feeling from your interaction with them etc.,) ask directly about suicide. Asking about suicide directly does not "give people the idea to kill themselves." With the stigma about suicide that is prevalent, it is helpful to be asked directly 3. Take people’s suicidal ideation very seriously. Even if they have talked about suicide before and not acted, take each individual instance seriously. 4. Try not to react with panic. Hearing about someone’s suicidal ideation is very anxiety-provoking, but a calm demeanor goes a long way in making the other person comfortable 5. Be honest and direct. It’s okay to tell people you are worried about them. It’s okay to ask about their suicidal ideation. It’s okay to use the word suicide. Don’t beat around the bush. Say exactly what you mean. It gives the impression that you are comfortable talking to them. Ask: - "Are you having thoughts of suicide?" OR - "Have you been thinking about killing yourself?" Avoid: - "You’re not going to do anything silly are you?" OR - "Are you thinking of ending it all?" - Have a non-judgmental conversation. It is important to listen to other people and not make judgments. It is important to listen and try to understand the reasons that make them want to kill themselves and the emotional state they are in. Refrain from being too talkative and telling them they are wrong. Try to empathize. Refrain from pointing out the positives in their lives or using humor to diffuse the tension you feel. Refrain from taking a

moral or religious stance. - Ask if they have planned out their suicide. If they have it is important to get help as soon as possible - Convince them about the importance of getting help. If you are really worried about the person’s safety, don’t leave them alone. Call the relevant authorities or professionals and seek help - Self-care is very important. Understand recognize your limitations and be vigilant about your own mental health needs, support needs and so on. You cannot be helpful to someone if you invest too much in trying to help them and refrain from taking care of yourself. Make a good, informed decision about how much you can help and how much external and specialized help is necessary. - Sometimes, despite our best effort as family members, as friends, as coworkers, as mental health professionals and members of society, we still do lose our loved ones to suicide. It is important to not blame yourself or blame them either. It is important to forgive and if you have trouble doing it yourself, seek professional help to explore these emotions.

About the Author: Aaiz Ahmed Rasheed is a practicing psychologist, who is also a lecturer at the Faculty of Health Sciences, MNU and Co-founder and Vice President of Comma, a civil society organization dedicated to mental health promotion.

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CSR

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

HDC Employees Distribute Eid Gifts for Children at Fiyavathi

ARC Condemns the Circulation of a Video in Social Media

Employees of Housing Development Corporation (HDC) distributed Eid gifts for children at Fiyavathi on Al’ha Eid, (31st July 2020).

ARC has strongly condemned the circulation of a video depicting inappropriate sexual behavior among minors on social media platforms. Propagation of inappropriate content of children is not only contradictory to the rights and dignity of the children involved but also negatively impacts the wellbeing of the children and their families in the long-term.

After a fundraising event organized by the employees of HDC, they had presented the children at Fivayavathi with special Eid gifts. These gifts were distributed to the children on the evening of 31st July 2020. While Fiyavathi consists of 120 children, it looks after children aged between a few months to 13 years. HDC often organizes social events for the community to celebrate different special occasions. The Eid of 2020 has been significantly offbeat from the other Eid occasions due to the global pandemic. This year, Eid celebrations in the Maldives too, has been limited due to the virus. Although, some islands with no COVID cases have reportedly celebrated Eid.

As children’s behaviors are often derived through observations or interactions from their environment, it is important to work with the children and their families to address such issues. ARC urges the public to report such photos or videos to the relevant authorities for investigation, as such incidents may also be indicative of child sexual exploitation. Moreover, recirculating inappropriate photos or videos of children could subject them to further exploitation or abuse. Article 33 of the Child Rights Protection Act 2019 that came into effect on 20 February 2020, stipulates that personal information of a child shall not be published in a manner that may be detrimental to the dignity of the child. It also specifies that the name, address, school, photographs, or any means of directly indirectly identifying a child in need of protection or care, shall not be published through media or any other such platforms. Furthermore, producing or distributing obscene material is an offense under Article 622 of the Maldivian Penal Code. This offense is deemed more serious if the obscene material depicts children. As photographs and videos posted online can remain in servers despite being taken down from webpages, ARC urges the general public to use the internet responsibly and to educate themselves on the dangers and harmful impacts of circulating inappropriate content depicting children.



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Islands

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Ukulhas – The Champions of Environment Protection in Maldives

Ukulhas is among one of the many islands in North Ari Atoll. This atoll is well known for its abundance in natural beauties such as the reefs, sand banks, uninhabited islands and dive points famous globally, resulting in numerous resorts throughout the atoll. Ukulhas is about an hour away by speedboat from the country’s main airport, Velana International Airport. It is easily accessible by daily speed boat rides between the island and the airport. Ukulhas is in the center of the atoll so it is a very convenient spot if you are looking to explore the beauty of Ari Atoll. The island has a population of about 1000 and was a predominantly fishing community until the introduction of local tourism to the island in 2012. Now tourism industry is booming in the island with it being the main source of income for the islanders. Tourists are welcomed to Ukulhas with smiling faces and friendly locals. Some may strike up a conversation with you or offer a friendly match of chess during the evenings. Whatever it maybe that you seek, everyone will be willing to help. To date, the island has over 30 guesthouses, 10 restaurants which offer a variety of cuisines from all over the world, various convenience shops, and other amenities such as dive centers, a gym and a children’s park.


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Cleanest island in Maldives The island is well known for its cleanliness. You will see women sweeping the roads and beaches daily just after sunrise and before sunset. Many other islands in Maldives take Ukulhas as role model for their well-established waste management system. It is the first island in the history of Maldives to systematically manage its waste.

Champion of Environment Protection The residents of Ukulhas love their natural environment and try to keep the island as green and clean as possible. Ukulhas conducts several cleaning and planting programs each year and has organized multiple awareness programs on waste management, marine ecosystems, and biodiversity. Ukulhas achieved the Green Leaf award for its outstanding services on protecting and preserving the island’s environment and was recognized as an environmental role model. Now the islanders are an environment conscious community who actively promote cleanliness and sustainable practices in their daily lives. This has in turn made Ukulhas a clean and well-maintained island unspoiled by litter.

Coral Gardening The residents of Ukulhas are ocean lovers and it’s a part of their daily life to protect the marine life. Ukulhas is one of the few local islands in Maldives actively carrying out a coral gardening project. With the initiative of Ali Zameer (Zamicko) and the residents of Ukulhas, the coral gardening project was started in 2019. The project aims to build an eco-marine park in the island and to have a healthy house reef in the island. With the help of Murakabay Maldives Dive School in Ukulhas, Zamicko and his team planted the first batch of corals in March 2019.

close vicinity of some of the top dive sites within the country such as "Ukulhas Thila", "Hafsa Thila" and "Mayya Thila" – which all offer spectacular underwater sights which will leave even the most experienced divers in a trance. Other activities you can enjoy include fishing, dolphin watching, sunset dinners and many more.

World Class Convention Center

Swim with Mantas

The island has one of the few convention centers in Maldives located outside of Male’ city. The Ukulhas Convention Center was built in 2019 and capable of hosting various events. Apart from the capital city, such facilities are only available in luxury resorts. The Convention Center can accommodate up to 400 people and consists of a multipurpose hall, including a meeting room, VIP meeting room, two classrooms, admin office, and cafeteria. It offers convenience, comfort and affordability. It has opened new doors to those seeking to host their events in a beautiful island in Maldives at a reasonable price. The facility is perfect for SMEs & NGOs to host their conferences and meetings. Ukulhas Tech Fair 2019 was the most notable event held at the Center. The fair was organized by the Maldivian Professor Hassan Ugail’s Ugail Foundation, and the Director of the Visual Computing Centre at the University of Bradford in the UK. Well-known scientists and professors from around the world attended the Fair.

Another top activity among majority of tourists who visit Maldives is Manta Ray safaris where you get to see and swim along with the gentle giants. As the manta rays glide through the waters in all their majesty, it is hard not to pause in awe. However, manta ray sightings are often seasonal with only a few spots in the whole country from which manta rays can be spotted all year round. Ukulhas is luckily just a 5-minute speed boat ride away from such a spot in which an encounter is almost always guaranteed. Ukulhas offers you a chance to experience the world renowned luxurious Maldivian sun, sand and sea along with an authentic local experience. And the icing on the cake is that all this and more can be enjoyed on a budget! Photo Credits: Siarez Photography

Underwater Beauty The beauty bestowed on the island by the geography makes it the perfect Maldivian getaway. These include an award-winning white sandy beach, turquoise waters on the horizon with an easily accessible house reef swarming with colorful marine flora and fauna such as harmless baby sharks, and turtles swimming right next to it. If this is not enough and you crave some privacy, you can choose to spend the day lazing with your loved ones on one of the many sandbanks or uninhabited picnic islands in solitude just minutes away from Ukulhas. Ukulhas is also in

Editor's note: This content is endorsed by Ministry of Tourism and Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

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Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Rasdhoo – The Heart of Maldives

Located at the heart of the Maldives, Rasdhoo – the capital of North Ari Atoll is a small and beautiful island, approximately half square kilometers and home to around 1500 locals. Transfer to and from Rasdhoo is very convenient as it is just an hour from Velana International Airport and the Capital city Male’ via speedboat which is operated twice daily. Apart from the scheduled speedboat rides, public ferry is available twice a week. In addition, a 15 minute airplane ride with a birds eye view is available for anyone who wants to take this exquisite option for any reason. As we speak, the island currently hosts 25 guest houses with a capacity of about 200 rooms. We also anchor 5 dive centers, 2 watersports centers and 4 restaurants. 100 percent of the local tourism establishments are owned and promoted by local businessmen. This, together with the fact that most of the staff providing assistance are experienced and trained through their previous employments at nearby resorts make Rasdhoo a tourist attracting spot with cutting-edge services.


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The most significant building in Rasdhoo is "Masjid-Al-Hudha" also known as the local mosque. To top it all we also acquire a playground which hosts most of the activities and an ancient banyan tree which is about a 3 minute walk from the playground. Arguably the finest of location in Rasdhoo for locals and visitors to spend their afternoons with their kids in a sunny day is the Rasdhoo Children’s Park. The people of Rasdhoo treat the visitors as their own family. So don’t hesitate to meet them and speak to them about their day to day life. You can also experience their way of life by arranging a visit to a local home via your hotel. Geographically speaking, Rasdhoo has a lot to offer for travellers with all kinds of interests. "Rasdhoo-Madivaru" – a picnic island located less than half a kilometer away from Rasdhoo is the favourite picnic destination even amongst the locals living in the atoll as well as from the Male’ region. The fine white sandy beach is where you can lie to get that summer tan that you really want. So don’t forget to pack your sunblock lotion. Also, the destination right next is the heavenly sandbank famously known as the "Madivaru Finolhu" where you can dive into the famous "blue hole" which hosts varieties of marine life. It is also a stunningly beautiful scenery perfect for your selfies and outdoor photo-shoots for memories to bring back home. You can also watch the amazing scenery of sunset from the sandsthe orange sea, skies and clean shores making it the highly photogenic place for your instagram. Further, you can experience the beautiful sunrise and sunset from the most relaxing place in the island- Rasdhoo tourist beach, an area allocated for tourists to spend their day basking at the sun and sea. A trip to Rasdhoo doesn’t leave you confined to spending the days tanning yourself on the beach alone. Several excursions are offered such as snorkeling at the Hammerhead shark dive site, Eagle-Ray Sight or even at the world-renowed Madivaru corner dive site. Prepare yourself for a breathtaking adventure on the water, with a wide range of watersports to choose from like manta feeding or swim at the shipwreck- just a 2 minute boat ride from Rasdhoo. All of it available at reasonable prices: a far cry from the hefty charges of luxury resorts. Fishing is one of the main sources of income in Rasdhoo alongside local tourism. You can experience fishing in one of the local boats and the life of a fisherman simply with the help of

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your tour guide. But if you feel like taking a break from fishing for any reason, Rasdhoo has other activities, all of which are designed to kick start your day in a Maldivian setting. Although relaxing at the sandbank is something you could possibly do, we have numerous other activities for you such as visiting the home of turtles which is also known as "Fattaru" to see the turtles feeding and relaxing in the sea bed. Since 2011, with the establishment of the first guesthouse, tourism has blossomed in Rasdhoo. The entire island deserved credit for the transformation of the island for its growth and well-being. A vacation to the Maldives doesn’t have to be limited to luxury water villas or beach bungalows. Today, visiting has become a major item to tick off in the bucket list for every tourist who visits Maldives. Culture, Adventure, Romance: You name it, Rasdhoo’s got it. Day by day, tourists who spend their vacation in Rasdhoo increase staggeringly along with their fair share of adventures. Being at the heart of Maldives with affordable and reasonable costs make Rasdhoo one of the most easily accessible local tourism destinations in the country. Let Rasdhoo be your next holiday destination. Whether you wish to relax or to have an adventure and fun, you will not be disappointed. It is time for you to book your ideal holiday in Rasdhoo. Let’s make memories that you are going to cherish for the rest of your lives! Let us make each and every moment of your stay count!

Editor's note: This content is endorsed by Ministry of Tourism and Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

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Sports & Recreation

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

The Launch of Musicians Union in Maldives - Supporting Local Artists

The Musicians Union of the Maldives, "the MU" will officially open for public registrations on August 1st, 2020. The MU received the Certificate of Registry from the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Community Empowerment on July 23rd, 2020(officially approved on July 20, 2020) and is now a recognized NGO in the Maldives. The founding members of the MU, Ahmed Shiham, Nishfa Nashid and Mahran Majid, along with a team of fellow musicians, began working towards establishing the Union during the COVID-19 lockdown period. After creating a draft document, the team met with local musicians who are currently active, as well as musicians of the past, and officials from ministries via video conference to discuss concerns and what they beloved to be lacking in the Maldives’ music industry. The Union has now finalized its Governing Regulations and has been accepted by the relevant authorities. The MU is currently preparing to launch its website (www.musiciansunion.mv),

where interested individuals will be able to register with the Union and put forward their names for positions in the Executive Committee. The founding members and the team of the Union wish to express their gratitude and appreciation for the support they received from fellow musicians and the officials from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment and the National Centre for Arts in establishing the Union. The MU looks forward to welcoming all potential members who wish to join them on this exciting new journey. The Musicians Union seek to empower locals employed in all aspects of the music industry in the Maldives, The Union will represent formally and self-employed individual in the field once they become official members. The Union aim to advocate for the increase in overall employment and income of local musicians, as well as offer advice, support and legal assistance catered to each individual member through their endeavours.


Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

New Exco of Athletics Association of Maldives, Tholal Elected as President At the Annual General Meeting, the new Elected Executive Committee of Maldives Athletics was revealed. Mohamed Tholal was elected as the president of Athletics Association Maldives for a 3rd term. He had won the election against former runner Yaznee Nasheeda. Tholal, who has been serving the role of President in the committee since 2014, has witnessed several prestigious titles by Maldives’ athletes during his time. This includes the gold medal won in the 13th South Asian Games last year and achievements in the Indian Ocean Island Games in 2015. While Ahmed Azeel was elected as the Vice President of Athletics Association of Maldives, the role of treasurer was received by Mustafa Mohamed. For both these roles, no other candidate took part. Elected Exco members include Mohamed Sujau, former runner Ahmed Sageef and Hussain Ameen. Yasmeen Abdullah was the only female candidate who took part in the elections.

Sports & Recreation

BUSINESS EXPO

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Shipping

Regulation Now Requires Registration of Shipping Agents A Regulation has been announced which requires shipping agents that operate in the Maldives to register its details with the Maldives Transport Authority. Under the regulation which has been issued by the Transport Authority, other than the registered shipping agents, no other can operate in the country. According to the Transport Authority, starting from the 16th of August, Shipping agents will not be able to operate in the Maldives without registering. The release of consignee delivery loads and direct or indirect payments from pre-agreement for freight services and shall not be charged under the regulation by the shipping agent or the freight forwarder. However, charges capped at MVR 500, can still be charged for delivery orders as administrative fees if a document for the shipping is to be altered. The agent is also to assist in any damages faced by a second party as a result of negligence from the agent, in addition to assisting the security services in the prevention of environmental damage as well as dangerous incidents when operating ships in Maldivian waters. Any violation of the regulations could be faced with a fine of MVR 10,000, with a note reminder against repeated offenses.

Corporate Maldives | Issue 3

Shipping Agents can now Register Online Maldives Transport Authority has introduced an online portal for shipping agent registration. Those parties interested to register as shipping agents can submit applications to register online through eportal.mta. gov.mv . According to the 5th section of the shipping agent service regulation formed on 16th July 2020, shipping agencies were provided 30 days to complete registration whereby the deadline for registration is 16th August 2020. The previous regulation had allowed any company registered at Ministry of Economic Development to be a shipping agent without requiring any special license. Maldives Transport Authority has further outlined that the new regulation will be in action starting 17th August 2020 for all shipping agents and freight forwarders where any party who violates the regulation will be fined with MVR 10,000 while repeated violations can lead to the cancellation of license. The new regulation is aimed to improve the level of services provided to the vessels at ports and also to facilitate shipping agents to provide services at a professional level with adequate responsibility.



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29TH OC T 2020

T H E WA I T I S O V E R T O R E U N I T E W I T H Y O U R B R E A K FA S T B U D D Y OVER OUR SCRUMPTIOUS BREAKKIES