Corporate Maldives Magazine

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Corporate Maldives | August 22 3DATAMALDIVESOOREDOOCENTER The most advanced & sophisticated data center in Maldives Tier III Compliant Flood Resistant upto 20ft Scan for more details Security policies based on ISO BusinessCarrier27001NeutralContinuity with Massive & Redundant Power Backup

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Director - Content Creation

Mohamed Khoorsheed

Director - Digital Strategy Ibrahim Areef

Chief Design Officer Zaya Ahmed

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Manager - Accounts & Admin Ali Sageef Ibrahim

Managing Editor Zeek

AssistantNashamaAshrafMohamedManager- Media & FathimathRaayaMarketingAbdullaZeen

Mohamed Aminath Suha Mohamed

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Senior Content Creator

Ma’aan Abdulla

Content Creator

Ziyaan Ibrahim Hussain

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Editor’s Note

Welcome to the August 2022 edition of the Corporate Maldives Magazine, a bi-monthly print publication dedicated entirely to the business community of the Maldives.

Our Corporate Maldives Spotlight this month is on Ooredoo Maldives, a telecommunications and digital service provider enriching the lives of customers across the Maldives. Here, we shine the spotlight on Ooredoo Maldives’ key investments and business highlights, and how the Maldives’ digital landscape has evolved over the years. We also sat down to have a chat with Khalid Hassan M A Al-Hamadi, the Managing Director and CEO of Ooredoo Maldives, to gain further insight into the Undercompany.our

people segment, we take a look at the careers of Zoona Naseem, Owner and Co-founder of Moodhu Bulhaa, a popular local dive centre in Villimale’. She is also the first female PADI Course Director in the Maldives, renowned for her work in dive education and environmental advocacy. We also bring you the story of Abdulla Mohamed, the Area Sales Manager of Hospitality and Retail Systems, a market leader in IT for the hospitality and retail industries.

As usual, our news segments touch on various industries and business sectors of the Maldives, including tourism, construction, banking, technology, trade, fisheries and agriculture, among many Happyothers.reading!

4 Corporate Maldives | August 22
orcamedia.groupWebsite Published
Corporate Maldives | August 22 5 06 48 67 8890 16 6971 78 83 26 54 64 73 Corporate Maldives BankingConstructionTransportOoredooSpotlight:Maldives&&Finance Business DirectoryCorporate Maldives Events Government & Economy TechnologyTrade,Retail Fuel & Shipping Environment TourismSustainability&&AviationPeople Education & Training Fisheries Agriculture&

Ooredoo TelecomofCelebratesMaldives17YearsRevolutionisingtheIndustry


formerly known as Wataniya Telecom Maldives, is a member of Ooredoo Group. Launched on the 1st of August 2005, within less than a decade the company revolutionised the telecommunication industry of Maldives by introducing leading-edge technologies and telecommunication solutions to the valued


giant provides a wide range of innovative voice, data, broadband, content and enterprise services tailored to the growing needs of today’s consumers and businesses. Guided by its vision of enriching people’s lives and its belief that it can stimulate human growth by leveraging communications to help people achieve their full potential, Ooredoo has transformed the communications industry for the people of the Maldives.

With the aim to open up the opportunities of the digital age to local communities and businesses, the company continues to invest in the most advanced technologies and innovations. To meet the evolving digital needs of customers in terms of internet speeds, data usage, latency and better video experience, Ooredoo Maldives was the first operator in Maldives to have rolled out 4G+ network nationwide and upgraded its transmission network to full IP, enabling everyone on the Ooredoo network to enjoy a great data experience.

Similarly, Ooredoo Maldives was also the first Ooredoo company to have been granted a 5G spectrum license in February 2018. The

commercial launch of 5G services in the Maldives with the roll out of 5G Services & 5G AirFibre – the 1st 5G Broadband Service in Maldives was a great milestone in the journey to Digital Maldives.

In line with its vision to enrich the lives of its customers through cutting edge digital technologies, Ooredoo Maldives has announced its expansion of 5G network in Greater Male’ including Male’, Villimale, Hulhumale’ Phase 1 and Hulhule’, at a special press conference held on 1st August 2022 at Meerumaa to celebrate the company’s 17-year journey in the Maldives.

Ooredoo Maldives also recently unveiled its brand-new logo and tagline – ‘Upgrade Your World’, reflecting the company’s commitment to keep improving, never standing still. Bold, vibrant, distinctive and upgraded, Ooredoo’s new visual identity emanates the same spirit and passion for which the company is celebrated, and reflects its forward-thinking attitude.

Ooredoo Maldives states that it will continue to enhance its network across the nation in order to connect customers to the best technologies and services that the digital world has to offer.

6 Corporate Maldives | August 22 Corporate Maldives Spotlight: Ooredoo
Corporate Maldives | August 22 7Corporate MaldivesOoredooSpotlight:Maldives
Khalid Hassan M A Al-Hamadi CEO & Managing Director of Ooredoo Maldives
8 Corporate Maldives | August 22 Corporate Maldives Spotlight: Ooredoo Maldives

My career started when I graduated from the University of Arizona, with a degree in engineering. After that, I joined the oil and gas industry for 5 years in Qatar, before entering the telecom industry. I have spent time engaged with strategy, quality, customer care and experience, as well as sales and distribution. I have been involved with Ooredoo Group for the last 7 years, and have served as a board member of Ooredoo Maldives since 2017. This year, I have been appointed as the CEO and Managing Director of Ooredoo Maldives.

Currently, Ooredoo 4G+ network now covers 100% of the population of the Maldives and our Fixed Broadband service, SuperNet is accessible by 73% of the population. Maldives is also among the first countries in the Asia region to roll out the superfast speeds of 5G network. Ooredoo launched commercial 5G services in the Maldives, along with 5G AirFibre, the first 5G-powered home broadband service in the OoredooMaldives.5G

network currently covers a major portion of greater Male’ including Villimale & Hulhumale phase 1. With the new technologically advanced service introduction, we want to enable the same opportunities for our community here in the Maldives. We are committed to expanding our 5G network to the people across the nation and connect them to the endless possibilities it has to offer. With the latest technologies available in Maldives, we see a bright digital future with possibility of becoming a digital hub in the Asia.

Considering the dispersed nature of the island nation, telecoms infrastructure and services have expanded rapidly over the last decade. According to studies and research done by ITU, internet penetration in the Maldives ranks high among South Asian nations.

Digital transformation is happening across all industries. Especially with the pandemic, the situation forced us to adopt to digital platforms and depend on technology for us to carry on with our day to day lives. From education, health care, entertainment and even to stay connected with friends and family, we now heavily depend on the internet and digital platforms.

Hence, the growth of use of Internet of Things (IoT) is accelerating at a fast pace. Consumers expect high quality fast services that they can access on the go. To cater these demands and changing needs of our communities, strengthening digital infrastructure is vital.

Could you tell us a bit about your career thus far?
In your view, how has the telecommunication and digital landscape evolved over the past 17 years? What were some of the
Khalid Hassan M A Al-Hamadi is the CEO and Managing Director of Ooredoo Maldives, a leading telecom and digital service provider owned by Ooredoo Group. Our team sat down with Mr. Khalid, to find out the ways in which Ooredoo Maldives has helped shape the telecommunications and digital landscape of the Maldives.
How important is building digital infrastructure in enriching the lives of our local community? What role does Ooredoo Maldives play?
Corporate Maldives | August 22 9Corporate MaldivesOoredooSpotlight:Maldives

Ooredoo’s mission and vision revolves around enriching people’s lives through digital and enabling communities with socio economic growth. To achieve this, we are established as a telecommunications leader and a key driver of innovation connecting people to socio economic growth. We are committed to bringing world class technology to the people of Maldives and connect our society to the endless opportunities that technology has to offer, including improving productivity, sustainability, solve complex problems and create new businesses and job opportunities.

To cater to the changing needs of our customers and connect them to more opportunities through global technologies, we have been continuously investing to strengthen our infrastructure.

In 2020, we successfully deployed the Maldives Sri Lanka Cable connecting the coastal areas of Hulhumale’ and Colombo. Interconnected to domestic networks, the increased capacity would greatly support the growing digital transformation needs of people and businesses. We also have a state-of-the-art Data Centre in Hulhumale’ as well. In 2021 December, we have entered into an agreement to invest in the PEACE Cable, which will connect Kulhudhuffushi all the way to Europe. The PEACE Cable is a direct international Submarine Cable System that will provide uninterrupted services to our


expanded our 5G network in the Greater Male’ Area, to cover the most important portions of this area. We are also soon going to finish construction of one of the most iconic buildings in the Maldives, which will be the new Ooredoo Maldives Headquarters. Insha Allah, it will be ready by next year.

The pandemic has taught us how crucial it is to build a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive society, and technology plays an integral role in creating this way of life. Our aim is to provide innovative digital solutions and platforms to all industries to excel. Whether it is hospitality, education, healthcare, entertainment, the gaming industry or SMEs, Ooredoo will remain as your digital enabler. Ooredoo’s commitment to the people of the Maldives remains strong and will continue to enable access to new technological developments and help our communities reach their full potential.

We also intend to be the key driver of 5G technology in the Maldives. Enabling and connecting our customers, enterprises and government via the vast possibilities of 5G network. Additionally, we are investing in AI machine learning, AR/VR and enabling IoT to facilitate the current needs of our customers, to elevate their living and the economy of the nation. We will continue enable new opportunities through our partnerships with leading global digital companies.

To facilitate the growing needs of our customers, we will continue to strengthen our digital infrastructure and increase capacity with submarine cables, digital centres, and data centres. Our aim is to build Maldives as a digital Hub in Asia, which will greatly benefit our customers, local businesses and even our neighboring countries.

Could you tell us about some of Ooredoo Maldives’ key investments recently?
What is the plan of Ooredoo Maldives to keep up with the fast-evolving telecommunicationsglobaland digital trends. What can we expect from Ooredoo Maldives in the future?
10 Corporate Maldives | August 22 Corporate Maldives Spotlight: Ooredoo Maldives
Corporate Maldives | August 22 11Corporate MaldivesOoredooSpotlight:Maldives

Ooredoo Maldives: Heralding the Digital Transformation of the Business Landscape

12 Corporate Maldives | August 22 Corporate Maldives Spotlight: Ooredoo Maldives

Digital Transformation encompasses the major technologies and trends that are driving enterprises, taking advantage of the digital shift to remain competitive by improving operational efficiency, optimizing cost and tapping into new business opportunities.

Ooredoo Maldives Digital Journey allows all its customers to take advantage of new technologies in the market to minimise daily hassles, processes and bureaucratic activities, reducing in-person interaction, and adapt the latest trends in the technological spectrum.

With its local and international expertise, Ooredoo Business is able to provide serverless and smart digital services. For instance, hospitality industry customers can enjoy the provision of Ooredoo’s ‘Digital Resorts’ which allows seamless connectivity to their clients from the first interaction with their guests to the last moments of their journey in the Maldives.

With the introduction of its tier 3 carrier grade Data Centre along with a 24/7 customer service team, Ooredoo business customers are able to go serverless where they can enjoy a cost optimised solution with the latest developments in technology as the company mitigates and resolves issues efficiently to ensure that businesses are well looked after and secure.

Ooredoo Maldives has created solutions designed to enable reliable self-service options, proactive support and all-in-one transitions across all required facilities while allowing for automation of services, room for future expansion and flexible options for customer organisations to allow their staff to work from anywhere.

Moreover, with Ooredoo’s Enterprise Solutions, customers are able to experience the fastest hosting services & mobile applications to AI based customer platforms, digital office options, digital guard solutions, audio/video conferencing solutions, fleet and vessel tracking solutions, in-room automation experience, chatbots and more, ensuring that they get the best of the best in technology.

With the transformation of technological advancements, the business community has become exceedingly data driven and dependent on digital services, making the digital infrastructure vital for operations. The endless possibilities of technology empower businesses not only to streamline their operations, but to create value added services and unique experiences for their customers.

Catering to these needs, Ooredoo heavily prioritizes strengthening its network infrastructure to enable incorporation of technologies such as AI, IoT, AR/VR. In addition to the nationwide submarine cable, the Maldives Sri Lanka Cable was deployed in 2020 connecting the shores of Hulhumale’ and Colombo increasing the digital capacity of Ooredoo network. The company’s investment in PEACE Cable in 2021 is a testament to its continuous commitment to build resiliency, diversity and redundancy on international data capacity to provide uninterrupted services.

With its solutions, Ooredoo Business is able to support its valued customers to enjoy more time to focus on major tasks and make collaborations easier and whole with the corporate adoption of technology.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 13Corporate MaldivesOoredooSpotlight:Maldives

Ooredoo Maldives’ Initiatives to Empower the Community

In 2015, Ooredoo Maldives pledged its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, aimed at improving the lives of people and creating an all-round healthier world for tomorrow. With a strong belief in the transformative power of digital, Ooredoo Maldives continues its work to stimulate human growth and contribute to the sustainable development of local communities across the nation. As such, a number of community engagement activities have been carried out by the company over the last few years.

Youth and women’s empowerment have been key focus areas for Ooredoo Maldives. In 2015, Ooredoo launched the GSMA’s Connected Women programme in the Maldives, working to achieve greater inclusion of women at all points of the mobile eco-system from consumers to employees to leaders. To support youth development, Ooredoo Maldives has been the proud sponsor of countless community engagement activities across the nation. In addition, Ooredoo Maldives and UNDP in the Maldives in partnership with Youth Co Lab and the Youth Ministry, have also been conducting a social innovation camp for youth, ‘Miyaheli’ since

and digital literacy are also vital in bridging the digital divide. One such notable initiative is the launch of Ooredoo’s internet safety program to educate the youth and the elderly on the importance of internet safety, cyber safety tools, as well as cyber hygiene. The campaign, conducted in partnership with Maldives Police Service and Youth Ministry, included the introduction of security tools, awareness webinars, digital literacy programs and internet safety awareness videos. What’s more, in times of crisis, Ooredoo Maldives’ connection to the people of the Maldives is its biggest pride. During the 2014 water crisis,

Ooredoo Maldives was one of the primary responders, using both existing partnerships, technological expertise and business continuity protocols to contribute to response efforts. In more recent years, during the COVID-19 situation, the company spent a total of USD200,000 as inkind support for its customers and stakeholders as part of pandemic response during the year 2020, inclusive of free data allowances and connections. Ooredoo Maldives was also the first telecom company in the country to implement ‘Work from Home’ for its employees, and partnered with various institutions in the Maldives to offer mental health and psychosocial support to employees in need.

Apart from revised payment plans and bill extensions for customers during COVID-19, Ooredoo helped the community in other various ways, such as by contributing to educational and medical community initiatives. For example, Ooredoo Maldives partnered with the Ministry of Education to provide easy access to educational tools for online classes, and provided free post-paid connections to the National Disaster Management Centre for contact tracing and surveying purposes, and data to patients and staff at the quarantine facilities to allow them to keep connected with their friends and family. Additionally, Ooredoo Maldives donated 2.5 million MVR together with Ooredoo Group to the government of the Maldives to acquire ventilators, personal protective equipment, and testing supplies to combat the spread of coronavirus across the nation.

Furthermore, Ooredoo has aided in supporting the health sector of the Maldives. In 2018, it donated three sea ambulances to the Ministry of Health. Recently, it initiated the donation of essential Health Kits to all the Health Centres across the nation, which includes essential equipment, Stethoscope, Digital Sphygmomanometer, Pulse

14 Corporate Maldives | August 22 Corporate Maldives Spotlight: Ooredoo Maldives

During the month of Ramadan this year, Ooredoo focused on contributing to the local community. As such, the company partnered up with Kandoodhoo Council to build a brand for ‘Kandoodhoo Mirus’. A special branded hot sauce using the chili was also created in partnership with Enzi. Additionally, Ooredoo distributed iftar packs and hosted iftars for expatriates in appreciation of their hard work.

While the list of its community engagement initiatives goes on and on, Ooredoo Maldives remains undoubtedly steadfast in its strong belief in the transformative power of digital. The telecom giant continues to play a pivotal role in developing the community, utilizing strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth across the nation.

Oximeter, Otoscope, Digital Thermometer and a Nebulizer Machine.
Corporate Maldives | August 22 15Corporate MaldivesOoredooSpotlight:Maldives

Raising GST and TGST — Adding to the Struggles of the Poor?

The government of Maldives has recently commenced discussions with relevant parties regarding increasing the Goods and Service Tax (GST) and Tourism Goods and Service Tax (TGST).

The government is proposing to increase the GST from 6 to 8 percent, and the TGST from 12 to 16 percent, to be implemented next year.

While GST and TGST are two of the most significant sources of state revenue, an increase in these taxes will lead to an increase in the price of goods and services. This has led to a heated debate among the general public — would raising these taxes simply add to the struggles of the poor?

GST and TGST are regressive taxes, meaning that these taxes are applied uniformly, taking a larger percentage of income from low-income earners

than from high-income earners. The average tax burden decreases with income, and low-income taxpayers pay a disproportionate share of the tax

Ibrahim Athif Shakoor, a researcher of the Maldivian economy, raising taxes like the GST that weigh heavy on the public should be considered the last resort. He states that the first measure would be to reduce operational expenses of the government instead.

Members of the public have also expressed anger over the apparent lack of regard by the government for ordinary citizens by considering a move such as raising GST. Indeed, if taxes are to be raised in order to increase government revenue, a progressive tax needs to first be introduced.

16 Corporate Maldives | August 22Government & Economy

IMF Staff Concludes Visit to the Maldives

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Mr. Tidiane Kinda, conducted a staff visit to the Maldives during June 21-29, 2022, to discuss recent economic developments, the outlook, and the country’s policy priorities.

According to Mr. Kinda, eonomic growth is gathering pace, supported by a strong recovery in tourism. While tourist arrivals from Russia have declined since the start of the war in Ukraine, strong arrivals from other countries in Europe have so far more than offset this decline. As of end-June, total tourist arrivals in 2022 were only about 6 percent below the corresponding pre-pandemic level. The strong recovery in the tourism sector and associated spillovers to other sectors are expected to yield a solid growth of 8.7 percent in 2022. Inflation is projected to reach 3.1 percent in 2022, reflecting

the partial pass-through from higher global food and energy prices due to increasing price subsidies, and spending pressures for the 2023 elections. The economic outlook is subject to significant downside risks, including an economic slowdown in key source markets for tourism and tighter global financial conditions.

Additionally, fiscal vulnerabilities remain high. The fiscal deficit is expected to widen and remain in double digits in 2022, on the back of sustained high infrastructure spending and emerging spending pressures from rising subsidies, increased interest costs, and reforms of the wage bill. Continued support to stateowned enterprises (SOEs), mostly through subsidies and capital contributions to repay debt contracted with sovereign guarantees, remains a key factor adding to fiscal vulnerabilities.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 17
Government & Economy

External vulnerabilities continue to increase as well. While public and publicly guaranteed debt has declined from the pandemic peak, aided by economic recovery, Maldives remains at a high risk of debt distress, which requires further adjustment to policies. Dollar shortages have persisted with significant spreads in the parallel foreign exchange market. International reserves are declining, reflecting high food and fuel prices and fiscal spending pressures. Higher external financing costs are limiting options to tap international capital markets in the near term.

Mr. Kinda further added that the ongoing economic recovery provides a window of opportunity to swiftly implement needed reforms to secure fiscal and debt sustainability. Critical reforms include raising domestic revenue, rationalizing public spending, in particular capital spending, reducing the interest burden by limiting non-concessional borrowing, and reforming subsidies while providing targeted assistance to the most vulnerable. Considering increased external financing costs, a swift implementation of these reforms will help lower fiscal financing needs and contain pressures on the fragile reserve buffers.

He welcomed the Maldivian authorities’ plans to increase the tourism and domestic goods and services taxes respectively from 12 to 16 percent and from 6 to 8 percent in 2023, stating that they are important initial steps in this direction. Furthermore, a swift implementation of the authorities’ intention to reform subsidies and reduce the dependence of SOEs on the central government’ budget would help reduce fiscal vulnerabilities.

According to Mr. Kinda, arrivalstourism.apace,growtheonomicisgatheringsupportedbystrongrecoveryinWhiletouristfromRussia have declined since the start of the war in Ukraine, strong arrivals from other countries in Europe have so far more than offset this decline.
Mr. Kinda further added that the ongoing economic recovery provides a window of opportunity to swiftly implement needed reforms to secure fiscal and debt sustainability.
18 Corporate Maldives | August 22Government & Economy

Key ExchangedAgreementsBetween the Maldives and India

Six important agreements have been exchanged between the Republic of Maldives and the Republic of India, demonstrating a pivotal point of progress in the two countries’ bilateral

Therelationship.ceremony where the agreements were exchanged took place at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India. H.E. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the Prime Minister of India, H.E. Narendra Modi, presided over the ceremony.

The agreements exchanged are:

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Capacity Building and Training of Members of Local Councils and Women Development Committee and Staff of Local Government Authority, between the Local Government Authority of the Maldives and the Ministry of Rural

Corporate Maldives | August 22 19 Government & Economy

Development and Panchayati Raj of India. The purpose of this MoU is to improve the technical competence and develop the skills of local council members, women’s development committees, and other staff in relevant areas of local governance.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the area of cyber security was signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives and the Indian Ministry of Railways, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology. This MoU aims to promote closer co-operation and the exchange of information pertaining to cyber security in accordance with relevant domestic laws, rules, and regulations. It is based on equality, reciprocity, and mutual benefit between the Maldives and India.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Collaboration in potential fishing zone forecast capacity building, between the Ministry of Economic Development of the Maldives and the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of disaster management, between the Ministry of Finance of the Maldives and the High Commission of India to Maldives, that aims to strengthen efforts in the field of crisis management between the two countries.

An agreement between EXIM Bank of India and Ministry of Finance, Maldives, for Police LetterInfrastructure.ofIntent

on Buyer’s Credit funding approval of USD 119 million for additional 2,000 social housing units to be constructed in Hulhumalé, between the Ministry of Finance of the Maldives and the ExportImport Bank (Exim Bank) of India. India.

20 Corporate Maldives | August 22Government & Economy

President Solih Invites Investors to the Maldives to Explore Business Prospects

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has invited Indian entrepreneurs to the Maldives to explore business prospects and assured them of his commitment to facilitate a conducive environment for foreign investments. The President made this remark while addressing the India-Maldives Business Forum in New Delhi, India.

President Solih stated that the Maldives is undergoing a dynamic transition after the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the government intends to build a more resilient, diverse and climate-friendly economy and that a wide range of lucrative investment opportunities are available in the Maldives. He then emphasised the country’s impressive track record of bouncing back from unforeseen hardships, highlighting that the country is to return to pre-pandemic tourist arrival levels in a relatively short period. The President reiterated that India is one of the Maldives’ top tourist arrival markets.

President Solih also underscored the Maldives’ commitment to sustainable development by highlighting its ventures to transition to renewable energy. He said that protecting the environment and the rich biodiversity was essential to preserving Madivian’s “Jazeera Dhiriulhun,” which has historically been in harmony with nature.

Speaking about the close friendship between the two nations, President Solih stated that India has always been a reliable ally and that the Maldives-India partnership is exemplary of the mutual benefits two countries with unique resources and size may garner by supporting the developmental aspirations of each other. The President re-affirmed his administration’s commitment to maintaining close and friendly ties.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 21 Government & Economy

Q2 Revenue Collected by MIRA Exceeds Projection by Over 50 Percent!

State revenue collection by Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) in the second quarter of this year has exceeded the projected amount by over 50 percent.

The quarterly report publicised by MIRA on Monday shows that the authority collected MVR 5.29 billion as revenue in the second quarter of this year, inclusive of USD collection. This is an increase of 50.2 percent compared to the projected amount.

The amount collected by MIRA in the second quarter this year is also 55.8 percent higher than that collected during the same period last year (MVR 3.40 billion).

The highest increment in the quarterly revenue, compared to the second quarter last year, was recorded for Income Tax, GST, Land Acquisition Conversion Fee and Airport Taxes and Fees. Additionally, the receipt of USD 10 million as

Lease Period Extension Fee, to extend the resort lease period for 99 years and receipt of acquisition cost from the newly leased islands, collectively led to an increment in revenue.

While in the second quarter last year, deadline to pay the Final Income Tax Payment for tax year 2020 was extended to July 2021, no such extensions were given in this quarter. Additionally, tourist arrivals during March to May 2022 exceeded tourist arrivals in 2021 by 58.8%, which led to a favourable outcome in tourism related taxes and fees.

Quarterly revenue exceeded the forecasted revenue due to the increment in Income tax and GST, mainly from tourism sector. Receipt of Lease Period Extension Fee and Land Acquisition Fee from the newly leased islands also led to this increment, as these two fees were not included in the projection.

22 Corporate Maldives | August 22Government & Economy

Maldives’ First Informal Sector Survey Report Launched

The prevalence of informal sector employment remains the highest among women compared to men, with 71% of informal sector workers reporting that they earned less income than what they earned pre-pandemic, the first structured study in the Maldives to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s informal sector has found.

The study, Informal Sector Survey 2021: Rapid assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on informal sector, developed by the Maldives Bureau of Statistics (MBS) with technical support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives, was launched in late July 2022. It compares a sample of informal employment pre- and post-pandemic,

Corporate Maldives | August 22 23 Government & Economy

looking at loss of income and employment across industries and Informalgender.sector

plays a key role in the Maldives by providing employment opportunities, especially within the atoll populations. According to the Household Income and Expenditure Survey – a household sample survey conducted regularly by MBS, the informal sector provided employment for 19% of the population. 43% in the sector are reported to be self-employed women, putting them in a vulnerable position when a crisis unfolds.

Informal sector neither has employment security nor social security, which exacerbates the workers’ social and economic exposure, particularly for women who require special attention in national efforts to create livelihood opportunities and need a reasonable safety net which goes beyond income. There’s an urgent need for effective, targeted, and sustainable measures to address the adverse livelihoods impact on informal sector workers due to crises such as COVID-19.

“In this regard, the findings of this survey can serve as a valuable contribution to deepen the national understanding of the impact of the health crisis on the informal sector and the effectiveness of policy measures taken. The study may also guide fiscal policies targeted to the informal sector in the future,” said Aishath Hassan, Chief Statistician of MBS.

The survey found that loss of income across all industries has been significant, with women particularly unable to go back to previous employment. It not only produced evidence of the pandemic pushing workers from the formal sector to the unofficial economy – with women dominating the switch, but also women-led informal enterprises were found to be less likely to formalize their businesses owing to barriers such as inability to find the time to commit to task due to competing household or family demands, or lack of awareness of business registration and tax registration processes which prevent them from registering in the appropriate national mechanisms.

“From supporting the Rapid Livelihoods Assessment immediately in the aftermath of the pandemic, to partnering to conduct a dedicated gender analysis of this sector, it is a distinct effort of UNDP to support the Maldives in reshaping social and economic recovery with the most vulnerable in primary focus. In particular, this study aims at enhancing ongoing dialogues where policies need to be able to capture pandemic recovery efforts to mitigate effects on women. The results of the survey sheds light into the effectiveness of countercyclical measures deployed in the Maldives, which would be helpful for the design of social protection measures responsive to crises. Rebuilding the economy to generate green, resilient, and inclusive development cannot succeed without full consideration of the challenges of the informal sector,” said Enrico Gaveglia, UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives.

The study provides four general recommendations for policymakers: first, establishment of an informal sector monitoring mechanism; second, strengthening social protection for the informal sector; third, introduce measures to retain workers and keep Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) afloat; and fourth; strengthen access to finance for the informal sector.

The launching ceremony of the informal sector survey findings also saw the handover of 20 tablets by UNDP to facilitate digitalized data collection for Census 2022 by the Maldives Bureau of Statistics. The assets transferred represent the assistance of UNDP to the Government of Maldives to support the collection and portrayal of a comprehensive snapshot of the economic, social, and cultural make-up of the country through the Census, which will guide the planning and development processes of the country.

24 Corporate Maldives | August 22Government & Economy

Tourist Arrivals from Italy Rise by a Whopping 1,024 Percent!

Ministry of Tourism has revealed that tourist arrivals from Italy this year have risen significantly.

Statistics from the Ministry show that as of 20th July 2022, Italy is the fifth largest market with 49,080 visits so far this year. This is a 1,024 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Furthermore, a total of 900,808 tourists have visited the Maldives as of 20th July, which is a 58 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

In addition, the latest statistics show that the highest number of tourists visited from India,

with 120,604 arrivals, which is a 35 percent increase compared to the same period last year. The second highest number of tourists visited from the UK with 96,470 arrivals, which is a 608 percent increase compared to last year.

Tourist arrivals to the Maldives have increased for all markets this year, with the highest number of tourists visiting from India, the UK, Russia, Germany, and Italy. A large number of tourists have also visited from the US, the UAE, France, Switzerland, and Saudi Arabia.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 25 Tourism & Aviation

Maldives Wins “Best Island in Asia” Accolade at Travel + Leisure 2022 World’s Best Awards

The Maldives has won the “Best Island in Asia” accolade at Travel + Leisure 2022 World’s Best Awards. The destination won the award at a ceremony held at Dante Seaport, New York City, USA, on 20th July 2022.

The award was accepted on behalf of the Maldives by the Ambassador to the United States of America; Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Her Excellency Thilmeeza


+ Leisure Global Vision Awards aim to identify and honour companies, individuals, destinations, and organisations taking strides to develop more sustainable and responsible travel products, practices, and experiences.

So far this year, the destination has won 4 notable awards, including Most Preferred Tourist Destination 2021 and Best Marketing Initiative of the year for the “Redefining MICE” campaign at Global MICE Congress & Awards 2022, Best Stand Design and Decoration at OTM, Mumbai and Best Stand Feature at WTM Africa 2022.

Furthermore, individual resorts and tourism properties have won several awards on different platforms throughout the year. The Maldives won over 18 awards and accolades in 2021, including the World’s Leading Destination title at World Travel Awards, for the second consecutive year.

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MMPRC Begins Campaign with Travel Daily Media to Increase Visibility for Maldives in SEA Market

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC / Visit Maldives) has initiated a campaign with Travel Daily Media aimed at increasing visibility for the Maldives in the SEA market. The campaign will be held from July to September 2022.

Travel Daily Media is an online platform specialized in disseminating travel and hospitality industry news, opinion, and analysis for travel professionals. They have active subscriber bases and contributors in Asia, Europe, USA, Middle East, China and India. Their audience is made up of travel professionals from across the industry with a focus on travel and tour agencies, hospitality, aviation, cruising, MICE and Technology.

The purpose of this campaign is to build high attention and visibility for the Maldives, maintain brand presence, raise brand awareness, and to represent Maldives as a top of the mind destination in the SEA market. It also aims to showcase the uniqueness of Maldives as the world’s leading destination.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 27 Tourism & Aviation

Under this campaign, articles relating to Maldives will be posted on the front page of Travel Daily Media, and on their newsletter. Furthermore, social media posts will be circulated on their Facebook page, and the Maldives will be advertised on their website top banner and through the email sponsorship banner. An exclusive interview of MMPRC will also be posted on their platforms during this campaign.

Through this campaign MMPRC will market the destination as one of the safest choices for tourists, highlighting the unique geography of the scattered islands which provide ultimate privacy and security. It will also help MMPRC to promote tourism products, including resorts, hotels, guesthouses, liveaboards, and the unique experiences available for tourists in the destination. MMPRC will further be able to provide the latest information about the destination and its travel guidelines to the travel trade and tourists from the SEA

Thismarket. campaign

is conducted as part of MMPRC’s marketing strategy for the SEA market, which focuses on boosting arrival numbers to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. The strategy is also based on re-orienting the perception of Maldives solely as a honeymoon or luxury destination, and promoting other segments of tourism in this market. It comes under a new short term strategy devised to address the evolving geopolitical climate in the world following the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war. With Russia and CIS topping

the arrivals figures in recent years, the strategy is aimed at mitigating the potential negative impact on arrival numbers  from this region by restrategizing marketing activities in selectedr markets to minimise the potential adverse effects on the Maldives tourism industry and the nation’s economy.  From January to July 2022 Maldives welcomed 18,489 tourists from the SEA market. MMPRC has been holding several activities targeting this market, including joint marketing campaigns with major stakeholders, outdoor advertising campaigns, participation in fairs, hosting webinars, E-Learning programs and other events. Many similar activities are in the pipeline for this market for this year as well, including joint marketing campaigns, roadshows, and participation in fairs and exhibitions.

MMPRC carried out 260 different marketing activities in 22 global markets last year, including fairs, roadshows, familiarization trips, marketing campaigns, webinars, and interviews. The greatest testament to the success of these activities came late last year, as the Maldives secured the title of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ (among several other accolades) at the 2021 World Travel Awards, globally recognised as the hallmark of industry excellence. This is the second consecutive year that the Maldives had successfully earned this prestigious title, a shining testimony of the trust placed in the ‘magic of Maldivian hospitality’ by travelers from all over the globe.

28 Corporate Maldives | August 22Tourism & Aviation

Carlyle Group Weighs Sale of TMA, World’s Largest Seaplane Operator

A group of investors led by Carlyle Group Inc. is weighing the sale of Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA), the world’s largest seaplane operator. A sale transaction could value the world’s largest seaplane operator at as much as $700 million.

According to Bloomberg Asia, Carlyle and co-investors King Street Capital Management and Davidson Kempner Capital Management have held initial talks with advisers for the sale of TMA. A transaction may value the seaplane operator at up to $700 million.

When asked about the company’s potential sale, officials from TMA declined to comment on the

TMAmatter.has been in the hands of private equity firms in recent years. Carlyle became TMA’s

majority owner last year after leading a debt restructuring deal, along with King Street and Davidson Kempner.

Founded in 1989 with a helicopter fleet, TMA is the oldest air transfer operator operating in the country, providing seaplane transfer services to a large number of tourist resorts. The company currently offers transfer services to more than 80 Maldives resorts, flying over 1,000,000 passengers per year with the world’s largest seaplane fleet. Trans Maldivian Airways services also include photo flights, private charter, excursions, and medical evacuation flights.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 29 Tourism & Aviation
30 Corporate Maldives | August 22Tourism & Aviation

SriLankan Airlines and Kuwait Airways Launch Codeshare Partnership

SriLankan Airlines and Kuwait Airways has announced the launch of a new codeshare partnership effective 20 June 2022, which provides enhanced connections and convenience to customers of both airlines. Each airline will place the other airline’s marketing code on its flights operated between Colombo and Kuwait with the alliance coming into effect.

The new codeshare partnership will strengthen and take to new heights the cordial commercial relationship that has existed between SriLankan Airlines and Kuwait Airways since 1999. SriLankan Airlines has carried passengers between Colombo and Kuwait for over four decades and currently operates a daily flightto Kuwait. Similarly, Kuwait Airways has been serving passengers on this route since 1978 and plans to operate three weekly flights to Colombo starting from October 2022.

Passengers may essentially expect to gain all the benefits of codeshare flights including seamless connectivity and the convenience of having their entire journey managed by one airline from the point of purchasing tickets until they arrive at their final destination with the launch of this partnership. Furthermore, passengers of both airlines willenjoy increased alternative flight options, specifically to the Middle East and Europe via Kuwait and to the Indian Subcontinent and the Far East via Colombo.

Richard Nuttall, Chief Executive Officer of SriLankan Airlines stated, “We are delighted to enter a new chapter in the longstanding

relationship between Kuwait Airways and SriLankan Airlines that is expected to generate value to our customers in multiple ways. The Middle Eastern market has always been important to SriLankan Airlines, and we continually endeavour to expand our network and product portfolio to serve this segment better. We look forward to working with Kuwait Airways and creating greater synergy between our combined networks for the benefit of our passengers.”

Maen Razouqi, Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Airways stated, “We welcome SriLankan Airlines as our codeshare partner. The new beginning of this partnership will support Kuwait Airways and SriLankan Airlines operations between the two cities and allow more travel options, facilities for the public. Passengers and travel agents will be able to book directly on these flights through our offices/website/APP and agents’ reservation system. Further, this Codeshare Partnership will not only enhance the relationship between the two airlines but also the strong relationship between the two friendly States, Kuwait and Sri Lanka. On this occasion, I would like to thank Mr. Richard Nuttall and both the teams for their efforts in making this Codeshare Agreement


Airlines and Kuwait Airways are also working on incorporating the Frequent Flyer Program for codeshare flights, so that passengers can be rewarded with the benefits of such programs. Further, both airlines anticipate to explore other avenues for future mutual cooperation and expansion of their partnership.”

Corporate Maldives | August 22 31 Tourism & Aviation

Maldivian Aviation Academy Begins Trainings

Maldivian Aviation Academy (MAA) has begun conducting trainings for students.

After more than a year of obstacles, MAA has announced that former students of the flight school in Addu City are finally about to become professional pilots.

Their first training is a refresher program for the students who had been undergoing pilot training in the previous batch. Moreover, MAA received

their operational permit from the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority to conduct their training on July

established by Island Aviation Service in partnership with the Flying Academy of Czech Republic, after mismanagement within the Sri Lankan-owned Asian Academy of Aeronautics, a flight school in Addu, led to disruption in the education of students at the academy.

32 Corporate Maldives | August 22Tourism & Aviation

2 Resorts Sold by Universal Were Bought by a U.S. Investment Firm

It has been announced that two properties — Sheraton Maldives and W Maldives — sold by Universal Enterprises, one of the largest companies in the Maldives, were bought by a U.S. investment firm.

JLL, the investment advisor who helped Universal sell the two properties, announced in late June that it had sold them to a foreign private investor. However, no further details were given at the time.

KSL Capital said in a statement yesterday that the two properties were bought by a company

linked to KSL. However, the company did not disclose the price of the two islands.

“While the Maldives is one of the leading destinations in the global tourism market, these two resorts are among the most popular resorts in the Maldives,” said Sidhanth Junjwala, KSL’s investment director for the Asia Pacific region. KSL revealed that the two resorts will continue to be managed by Marriott.

KSL Capital Partners is a private-equity firm based in Denver, Colorado specialising in travel and leisure investments.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 33 Tourism & Aviation

Introducing Ace Premier, the Exclusive Corporate Travel Arm of Ace Travels Maldives

Ace Travels Maldives, a leading travel management company, has announced the introduction of Ace Premier, its new exclusive corporate travel arm.

Ace Premier caters to all corporates across the Maldives, offering personalized and dedicated corporate sales services across a number of travel-related areas. It is geared to handle airline ticketing, airport ground handling supervision, MICE travel arrangements and travel packages, VIP and CIP services, and many more.

Established in 2002, Ace Travels Maldives (ATM), is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aitken Spence Travels & Inner Maldives Holidays Group. As a leading travel allied service provider, ATM has significantly contributed to the development of tourism in the Maldives. While ATM initially commenced operations as a DMC, it diversified into aviation services and outbound tourism in 2007.

34 Corporate Maldives | August 22Tourism & Aviation

Manta Air Introduces Beechcraft 1900D to Fleet for the First Time

Manta Air has introduced a Beechcraft aircraft to its fleet for the first time ever.

The Beechcraft 1900D is a 19-seater aircraft, larger than a seaplane. It is a product of Beechcraft by Textron Aviation, an American aviation company.

According to local news media, the aircraft will initially undergo a testing phase. If the testing phase is proven a success, additional Beechcrafts will be acquired by Manta for its regional operations.

Manta Air stated that this new aircraft will provide more opportunities in the development of Maldives’ local aviation sector.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 35 Tourism & Aviation

TTM Concludes2022MaldivesSuccessfully

TTM Maldives 2022 the country’s leading international travel trade show was held from 23rd – 25th August 2022.

The event began with the TTM Connect meetings that went on from 23rd to 24th August at Meerumaa Events Conference Facility, attracting over 250 travel trade professionals and over 100 hoteliers where more than 2000 pre-scheduled meetings were successfully conducted as well.

TTM Travel Summit, held on 25th August morning at CROSSROADS Maldives, had a number of remarkable speakers grace the event with their expertise and knowledge of the travel industry, focusing on 50 years of tourism in the Maldives. The event closed with a remarkable Awards and Gala night held at CROSSROADS Maldives on the evening of the 25th August. During the gala, the ‘TTM Top Producer Awards’ were given out to appreciate the hard work of the travel agents, destination management companies, and online travel aggregators that had presented the most number of bookings to Maldives hotels and resorts during the past year.

This year, the award categories were expanded with the introduction of 15 new awards to

reward and celebrate high achievement in the hospitality industry of the Maldives. As such, during the gala night, these awards were presented to resorts that demonstrated the highest level of excellence in their respective categories.

Partners of TTM Maldives 2022 include Ooredoo Maldives, Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation, CROSSROADS Maldives, Jalboot Maldives, HRS International, IdeaS, Medtech Maldives, Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), Trans Maldivian Airways, Maldivian, Ace Travels Maldives, Lotus Bike Shop, Event Maldives, and Red Creatic.

TTM Maldives is the leading international travel trade fair held in the Maldives, showcasing over 100 resorts/hotels/airlines & leading 250 operators from the Top 30 countries to the Maldives.

36 Corporate Maldives | August 22Tourism & Aviation
Corporate Maldives | August 22 37 Tourism & Aviation

TTM MeetingsConnect Travel Summit TTM 2022

TTM Connect Meetings were held at Meerumaa Events Conference Facility from 23rd – 24th August 2022.

All registered partners were able Preschedule meetings of 20 minutes totaling 50 meetings in the span of 2 days of the event. Meetings were carried out to from 9 AM to 5 PM on both the days.

This year’s TTM Connect Meetings, were conducted physically and virtually, presenting a chance for industry leaders to come together to discuss the challenges as well as opportunities to explore partnerships with the relevant parties.

Featuring some of the major leading luxury properties, this year’s TTM proved to be a successful platform for some of the newly opened resorts and pre-opening resorts to network with leading travel agents across the globe

TTM Travel Summit 2022 focused on “50 years of tourism in the Maldives” was held on 25 August at CROSSROADS Maldives. TTM Travel Summit is an invitation-only event that brings together thought leaders, industry shapers and senior decisionmakers who are professionally engaged with the Maldives tourism.

TTM Travel Summit 2022 commenced with the speech of the keynote speaker Mr. Hassan Saeed, Resort Manager of Dhigali Maldives focusing on the evolution of tourism in the Maldives. This was followed by Mr. Thoyyib, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Visit Maldives who delivered a presentation about the evolution of destination marketing over the last 50


Afeef, Senior Director – Maldives, Talent and Culture, Lux Resorts and Hotels spoke about the importance of reflecting on and investing in people. Mr. Afeef has over 15 years of experience in the tourism industry and has worked in diverse geographies with expertise across areas such as quality and change management, employee marketing, and branding. The chief development officer of Velana International Airport, Mohamed Solah talked about the Airport development opportunities for growth in tourist arrivals to the Maldives. In addition to this, Tero Taskila, the CEO of Beond Simdi Investment spoke about the latest trends in luxury travel in aviation.

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Tourism & Aviation

Mr. Alan Christie, the Executive Vice President of JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group gave a presentation about Maldives Investment Market. This was followed by the first panel discussion of the summit with Mr. Alexander Traeger, the General Manager of SAii lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton as a special invitee to be part of the panel along with the speakers.

Ms. Chitra Randhawa, the Senior Regional director of Sales at IDeaS gave a presentation on revenue management. This was followed by Ms. Mariyam Noordeen, a pioneer in the field of human capital development for tourism in the Maldives. She gave apresentation about human resource capital development based on her knowledge and expertise gained over the past 30 years.

Ms. Fathimath Shaazleen, the first female resort manager in the Maldives currently based in Naladhu Private Island Maldives, gave a presentation about local women in the tourism industry. In addition to this, Mr. Marshall Orton, the General Manager of Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi spoke about the importance of implementing sustainability practices, while Mr. Rajesh Mehta, the Director Enterprise of Ooredoo focused on the impact of telecommunications on the hospitality industry in the Maldives.

The second panel discussion featured Mr. Abdulla Mufeed, the Resort Manager of Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and Mr. Ahmed Siaar, the General Manager of Fushifaru Maldives, as special invitees for the panel along with the speakers.

TTM Awards & Gala

The TTM Awards & Gala 2022 was at CROSSROADS Maldives on the evening of 25th August 2022.

The closing awards and gala event of TTM Maldives proved to be a successful social gathering of travel trade industry professionals where they were able to enjoy dinner, live music and networking.

This year, the awards were expanded with the introduction of 15 new categories, making up a total of 16 award categories to celebrate unparalleled hospitality excellence in the Maldives

Corporate Maldives | August 22 39
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Corporate Maldives | August 22 45 Tourism & Aviation

Maldives Virtual Tour Expo Comes to a Close, With Reach Over 7 Million!

Maldives Virtual Tour Expo, the largest virtual consumer travel fair in the Maldives, has concluded successfully reaching over 7 million travellers across the globe.

Top countries reached through the expo include India, Turkey, Bangladesh, Egypt, USA, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, UK, Australia, UAE, Malaysia and CIS


Tour Expo featured over 1000 virtual tours from 50 different islands across the country. The visitors of the Maldives Virtual Tour also stood the chance to win a free holiday to the Maldives by joining the lucky draw.

In addition to this, Maldives Virtual Tour collaborated with Trans Maldivian Airways to give away a grand seaplane tour for one lucky participant of the Maldives Virtual Tour Expo 2022. This seaplane tour will cover over 700 Islands and 13 atolls within 12 hours to show the natural beauty surrounding the Maldives. During the tour, the seaplane will be stopping at different destinations, where guests can hop onto the island to explore and enjoy some refreshments and visit the southernmost atoll of the archipelago.

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Tourism & Aviation

The lucky winners of the Maldives Virtual Expo are:

Adaaran Club Rannalhi – Sarah Jones, United Kingdom

Adaaran Prestige Vaadoo –Zahar Bin Amir, Malaysia

Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi – Herman,  Indonesia

Adaaran Select Meedhupparu – Reich Sylvestre Tahir Ganga, DhiggiriCongo

Maldives – Brandon Son, Singapore

Hard Rock hotel Maldives –Naeem, HeritanceAustraliaAarah– Laura

Figueres, United Kingdom

Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa –Syed Taj Valli, Saudi Arabia

Kagi Maldives – Egle Sadzeviciute, United Arab KomandooEmirates

Island Resort –Devaraj Anand Cn, India

Lily Beach Resort & Spa –Khaled, Lebanon

Nakai Alimatha Resort –Shakeel Butt, Pakistan

Nakai Maayafushi Resort –Warrent Gaunt, United Kingdom

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa –Andrew Cousins, United Kingdom

Pebbles Inn – Hithadhoo – Random Earl Jeffcoat, United States

Reethi Faru Resort – David Hopkin, United Kingdom

SAii Lagoon Maldives – Krishan Ariyawansa, New Zealand

The Standard Maldives – Roshan Pathmaperuma, United Kingdom

Thundi Village – Maalhos – Glaciel Gapasin, Philippines

Grand Winner  Trans Maldivian Airways – Lizanne Acris, Gibraltar

This expo helped reach people from across the globe from the comfort of their homes and allowed them to experience the Maldives like never before by simulating real travel situations. Visitors were able to take 360 tours of different resorts and islands in the Maldives through the virtual expo.

Partners for Maldives Virtual Tour Expo include Visit Maldives as the destination partner, Trans Maldivian Airways as the seaplane partner, Maldivian as the domestic airline partner, SriLankan Airlines as the international airline partner and Ooredoo Maldives as the digital partner.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 47
Tourism & Aviation

Kudagiri Picnic Island: DevelopedMasterplanbyHDC!

The masterplan of Kudagiri Picnic Island has been developed by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC). Under the plan, efforts are currently underway to provide the best possible services to those who would be travelling to the picnic island.

In this regard, establishments such as public toilets, changing rooms, huts and water sports facilities will be developed on the island. HDC is also working with SOEs to formulate a plan to establish utility services under this master plan. A plan has also been formulated to develop water and sewerage systems, electricity, a power plant and waste management on the island. SOEs and government authorities are now working

on a waste management plan, waste collection facilities, waste disposal facilities, waste disposal, and waste disposal from the island.

Additionally, a fire safety plan and a disaster management plan have been designed in collaboration with Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF). HDC’s smart infrastructure team will further install devices to establish telecommunication components and improve network and mobile coverage on the island.

Upon completion of this project, Kudagiri will provide a much-needed island getaway to the residents of the nation’s capital.

48 Corporate Maldives | August 22Transport & Construction

Ha. Hoarafushi Airport Shore Protection Project 60% Complete: MTCC

Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) has provided an update on the Ha. Hoarafushi Airport Shore Protection Project.

Work on Ha. Hoarafushi Airport Shore Protection Project is well underway, with overall 60% project progress. The company has completed construction of breakwater and existing groyne reprofiling works. Construction of revetment is ongoing.

Scope of works for the project include coastal protection and construction of a concrete culvert on the causeway which connects from Hoarafushi to the Airport.

According to MTCC, the value of the project is MVR 90.5 million.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 49 Transport & Construction

President Solih and Prime Minister Modi Initiate the “Pouring of First Concrete” of the Greater Malé Connectivity Project

On 2nd August 2022, H.E. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Prime Minister of India, H.E. Narendra Modi virtually initiated and viewed the “Pouring of First Concrete” of the Greater Malé Connectivity Project (GMCP). The “Pouring of First Concrete” ceremony held in the Maldives was livestreamed at the project launch and review ceremony in Hyderabad House, New Delhi. The GMCP involves constructing a bridge that connects Malé, Villimalé, Thilafushi, and Gulhifalhu. The project scope also includes the construction of navigation bridges, viaducts and on-grade roads. It is funded by a USD 400 million line of credit from Indian Exim Bank and a USD 100 million grant from the Indian government. The project was awarded to the Indian-based company, Afcons Infrastructure Limited.

During the project launch ceremony held in India, a video was featured on the review of MaldivesIndia Development Cooperation. The video also

showed the progress of 4,000 social housing units being constructed in the Maldives by the Indian government.

India has been a key partner in Maldives’ infrastructure development, with several key projects being completed as a result of this partnership. The friendship has significantly advanced in recent years, with a number of major development projects currently underway in the Maldives with Indian assistance.

A landmark project being carried out with assistance from the Indian government, the Thilamale’ Bridge is expected to bring about several improvements to the country’s economy. It has been given a USD 400 million line of credit and the Indian government has given further grant aid of MVR 100 million. The bridge, crossway and roads being made under this project are expected to span across 6.7 kilometres, while the connecting roads between the bridge and

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Transport & Construction

islands will have traffic lights and bus stations.  The project has been handed over to Afcon Infrastructure Limited, an experienced Indian company with over 60 years of involvement in constructing bridges and roads within India and other countries. The company is targeting to finish the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) within the next 2 years.

The country is expecting to see major improvements to the economy upon the completion of this project as well as the international harbour project in Gulhifalhu. Once the project has been completed, the warehouses in Male’ will be moved to the Thilafushi/ Gulhifalhu area. Consequently, the capital city of Male’ will be seeing major transformations. The current government has plans to create more land space to provide housing for people, which is also expected to help with traffic issues in Male’.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 51 Transport & Construction
Ultimate Freedom Reach new heights with Metabo battery tools e: m: 3333 881
Zoona Naseem Owner & Co-Founder of Moodhu Bulhaa Dive Centre
54 Corporate Maldives | August 22People

Zoona Naseem is the Owner and Co-founder of Moodhu Bulhaa, a popular local dive centre located in Vilimale’. She is also the first female PADI Course Director in the Maldives, renowned for her work in dive education and environmental advocacy.

Our team sat down to have a chat with Zoona about her career so far, and to delve deep into how the dive industry has evolved over the years.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?

I don’t really consider diving as ‘work’, because it’s something I’m really passionate about. It’s more like a daily routine for me, and I try to involve my family as much as possible. For example, when I go for a dive, my kids will be at the beach, watching me as I teach. My husband and I both share the work load at home. If one of us is going for dive, for instance, the other will be cooking and feeding the kids. In that sense, there’s equal responsibility between both of us, and we support each other along the way.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement in your career?

After finishing school, I initially joined the Fisheries Ministry. However, I wasn’t very interested in a desk job. Then, I got the opportunity to work as a receptionist at a dive centre in Male’. While I was there, I went on my first ever dive with a Japanese female dive instructor. After that dive, I got very inspired. I thought, wow, this is a career path I could pursue too.

At the time, there were no female local dive instructors in the Maldives, despite the number of foreign women carrying out such roles at resorts. It’s a well-paid job, and I wanted to earn a good income. So, within one year, I got my instructor license and began my professional dive journey.

Honestly, my proudest achievement is being able to show so many people the underwater beauty of the Maldives. Especially if it’s someone who has never dived before, if I manage to show them the underwater world just once, even with great difficulty, I would consider it a great achievement for me.

There are other achievements I can list; I have been the recipient of a National Award, and was also one of the selected five ‘Local Hero’ award winners at the international Ocean Awards in the UK. But more than any award, I feel most rewarded when I get feedback from my students, and when I see the smiles of joy on their faces.

How did you first get into diving? Why did you decide to pursue it as a career?
Corporate Maldives | August 22 55 People

The typical mindset in the Maldives is that if a woman joins a resort, she is entering a toxic workplace environment. We need to let go of this image. When I first told my mother I was joining the dive industry, she reacted very differently. She encouraged me, and told me that the values I’ve been instilled with will carry forward with me, no matter what industry I work in.

Hospitality in general is a very male-dominant field. However, I personally never faced any challenges due to my gender. I learned how to be independent and work on my own. Working in this industry builds discipline, and you are exposed to so many different outlets. For example, if you work at the dive centre, you may still get the chance to undergo interdepartmental trainings like I did. This means that even if you want to change your career down the line, you will have already been exposed to other fields that you can join too.

What’s more, by working at the resort, you tend to save a lot more than you spend. This means you can invest your savings into building something for yourself in the future. I’m a good example of this. I worked nonstop in the tourism industry for 18 years, and saved all my earnings. After I gave birth to my child, I wanted to run my own dive centre. I’m very grateful now, because I have so much freedom; I can look after my children, work on my own terms, all without having to pay off a loan. I believe that anyone can achieve this, if they work hard and dedicate themselves towards their goals.

There is a lot of potential for growth if you join the dive industry. At every resort in the Maldives, there are dive instructor jobs available. With the development of guesthouse tourism, there are opportunities to open your own dive centres on local islands as well.

If you want to succeed in this industry, discipline and punctuality are very important. You also have to be incredibly passionate about what you do. If you wake up tomorrow and miserably think, — oh, I have to wake up so early and do the same thing all over again — then, you’re probably better off doing something else. You need to have the motivation and the drive to keep going no matter what challenges come your way. Don’t quit, believe in yourself, and you will succeed.

In niche industries like the dive industry, the male to female ratio remains very high. What are the biggest obstacles that prevent women from joining this field?
Do you have any words for young divers who want to succeed in this industry?
56 Corporate Maldives | August 22People
Abdulla Mohamed Area Sales Manager of HRS
58 Corporate Maldives | August 22People

Abdulla Mohamed is the Area Sales Manager of Hospitality and Retail Systems (HRS Maldives). As Oracle’s largest hospitality partner worldwide, providing coverage in 90 countries to more than 10,000 customers, HRS offers a wide range of innovative solutions. These include cloudbased hospitality systems and services that take advantage of the company’s extensive global expertise with OPERA Cloud PMS and Simphony Cloud POS. Our team sat down to have a chat with Abdulla to find out more about HRS and the various solutions that they provide.

Could you tell us about your career thus far?

I started my career in the hospitality industry at Four Seasons Resort Maldives as a Front Office Attendant. I worked various positions within industry, including as Assistant Front Office Manager & Event Manager in Bandos Maldives, Guest Service Manager in Hilton Irufushu and SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton. Having more than 12 years’ experience, I am currently working as the Area Sales Manager at Hospitality and Retail Systems (HRS Maldives).

I joined HRS as their very first employee in the Asia Pacific, and now look after their operations, namely sales and customer relations.

As Oracle Hospitality’s largest partner worldwide, HRS supports over 10,000 customers in 90 countries. We offer a wide range of innovative systems & solutions to its customers, including Property Management, POS, Spa & Guest Activities, Business Analytics, Payment Gateway, Mobile Applications, Channel Managers, Online Distribution Services, Finance, HR Systems, and Passport Scanning & Recognition.

Customers are our number one priority. We ensure that we speak their language, understand their requirements, and meet their expectations. Our goal is to make our clients stronger and more efficient while helping them to build successful businesses that are both productive and profitable.


leader in IT for the hospitality and retail industries, what do you think are the main challenges faced by your consumers?

The main challenges are adapting to rapidly changing requirements and using technology to reduce costs, manage the business more effectively and improve operational efficiency. HRS is working hard to understand these challenges as early as possible and find solutions to overcome them.

For example, during the COVID situation, we were the first company to introduce QR ordering and self-check in solutions in the Maldives hospitality market. Now with adaptation of

Give us a brief introduction of HRS and the various solutions that you
Corporate Maldives | August 22 59 People

OPERA Cloud, we are also the first company who is able to provide fully automated Green Tax reporting tool integrated with OPERA Cloud.

Our most remarkable or notable milestone is always customer satisfaction. Over the last 4 years, we have gained customer confidence and trust by being a part of their success.

Some of our milestones include being a part of the first integrated resort project as their software implementation and Support Service Partner since 2019. We are also the first partner to implement OPERA Cloud in Maldives. I can say that HRS is the only company in Maldives with experience of OPERA Cloud implementation using local resources from Maldives.

After the pandemic, there is now significantly higher demand for contactless solutions. We see the tourism industry is moving forward with new technology innovation with AI and Cloud Based solutions. Technology is also empowering hospitality industry and helping hotels to improve their services and guest satisfaction.

What are the most notable milestones of HRS in the Maldives?
How do you foresee the adaptation and evolution of technology in Maldives tourism in the future?
60 Corporate Maldives | August 22People
Corporate Maldives | August 22 61 People

New Appointments

Aishath Shaan Shakir Ibrahim Fazeel Ahmed Inaz Abdullah Abdul Raheem Mohamed Hisan Ali Fahmy Rtd. Brigadier General Ibrahim Mohamed Didi Hassan Shamaam Ahmed Shiaan Hassan Sobir Ambassador of Maldives to Germany Assistant Auditor General at Financial and Compliance Audit Services Division, Auditor General’s Board at Maldives Administration Office New Board Member at Chief at President’s Office Chairman at STELCO Group Director of Learning and Development at Villa Group Chief of Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador of the Republic of the Maldives to Japan
62 Corporate Maldives | August 22
Omar Abdul Razzak Mohamed Niyaz Bishwajit Mazumder Ahmed Asad Hashim Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed Yooshau Saeed Aminath Shifana Ahmed Ambassador of the Republic of Maldives to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Mission of the Republic of Maldives to the European Union Member of the Judicial Service Commission Chief Internal Auditor at Bank of Maldives Chief Financial Officer at Maldives Airports Company the Ministry of Foreign of the Board at Bank of Maldives Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Foreign Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chief Technology and Information Officer at Dhiraagu
Corporate Maldives | August 22 63
Ambassador-at-LargeLimited at

Majority of Education Sector Projects Announced Last Year Complete

Vice President Faisal Naseem has stated the majority of education sector projects announced by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih last year at the commencement of the academic year 2021-2022 had been completed. He made the statement while speaking at the special assembly in Majeediyya School to mark the beginning of the new Academic Year 2022-2023. The Vice President stated that the President and his administration accorded high priority to education sector development and noted the continuation of teaching and infrastructure development throughout the lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Vice President emphasised that, despite the economic hardships and challenges of the pandemic, the administration worked towards ensuring a conducive environment for teachers. He added that the administration perceives the requirements needed to provide quality


building a generation of children equipped to face the 21st century, the Vice

President highlighted the need to ensure the development of teachers and expressed hope of achieving this goal through the collective efforts of the whole nation. He also shared greetings on the occasion of the new academic year with all students, parents, and teachers.

The Vice President also spoke about the importance of learning and education and highlighted the importance of starting at an early age, noting that the lessons we learn as children stay with us for the rest of our lives. He also encouraged students to broaden their perspectives and face the new academic year with a renewed resolve for success.

271 schools started classes across the country on 7th August for 2022–2023. Over 92,000 students attend these schools, among whom 76,000 are in 217 public schools. Over 8,300 teachers currently staff these schools.

64 Corporate Maldives | August 22Education & Training

HDC Commences Corporate Apprenticeship Program 2022

The official launch of Housing Development Corporation (HDC)’s 2022 Apprenticeship Program was held on 18th August. The programme is conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment.

HDC Apprenticeship Program is one of the key CSR initiatives by HDC. The objective of this program is to develop skilled workforce in the society true to its strategic pillar of developing the community and bringing socio-economic equity. The program will allow participants to gain experience and training in various fields in HDC such as Gardening, Masonry, Welding, Site Supervisor for Building Construction, Electrician, Heavy vehicle operators, Building Maintenance, Plumbing, Carpentry, Refrigeration and Air-


of the program is developing the skills of the chosen discipline, gain selfconfidence, learn work ethics and build the apprentice’s competence to become a professional. Since 2016, over 54 successful

graduates have completed the program and are serving in various posts in HDC and other corporate entities. Through this program HDC strives to enrich the lives of the future


will be required to attend the allocated hours of work similar to other staff, while completing the required amount of hours and attaining the level of performance required to get certified after evaluation.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 65 Education & Training

BML Reports Positive Second Quarter Results

Bank of Maldives has reported positive financial performance for the second quarter of 2022. With good performance in all core business lines and improved assets quality, an Operating Profit of MVR 592 million was reported for the quarter, up 19% on the same period last year. Capital and liquidity ratios remain solid and well above regulatory requirements.

During the quarter, the Bank introduced its digital wallet BML Pay on the Mobile Banking app to enable contactless payments and wallet-towallet transfer services. Reinforcing its digital strategy, the Bank announced its partnership with Mastercard and MTCC to introduce the country’s first open loop transit card for the public transport network.

The Bank continued its monthly initiatives in the lead-up to its 40th anniversary with support to upgrade the Home for People with Special Needs (HPSN) in K. Guraidhoo, launch of Kindly by BML,

an online fundraising platform for NGOs and the ‘BML Fehi Project’ to plant 50,000 trees annually across the country.

In-charge of the Bank and Acting MD, Aishath Noordeen commented, “The Bank remains optimistic about overall performance, driven by solid business volumes across all key sectors. We are in a solid position to deliver on our strategy which will see improved customer experience with continued investment in digitalization and operational excellence.”

With a nationwide network of 35 branches across all 20 atolls, 81 Self Service Banking Centres, 139 ATMs, over 200 agents and a full suite of Digital Banking services, Bank of Maldives reiterated that it is committed to supporting individuals, businesses and communities across Maldives.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 67 Banking & Finance

First National Launches the Country’s First Saving Fund

First National Finance Corporation has opened for subscription a savings fund marketed as Money Market and Savings Fund which was launched on the 15th of July 2022 commemorating its first


Market and Savings Fund aims to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns well above competitive products available in the market. Licensed by the Capital Market Development Authority (CMDA), First National Money Market and Savings Fund is a private investment fund.

With rising inflation rates and worries about uncertainty, the money market funds are appropriate financial instruments to protect, preserve and grow savings kept aside.  According to the fund documents disclosed by First National, the Money Market and Savings Fund is invested in Government securities and private investments and is expected to generate a return of 5.5%; beating inflation rate, which makes this an attractive investment option for investors looking for a stable investment avenue.

“We are delighted to have launched this fund as we believe that this would be a great opportunity for investors who have savings set aside, looking for ways to grow their savings and who would like to invest their funds in a low-risk investment. Moreover, in order to streamline the investment process, all investors will be able to subscribe for the fund through our investment platform,” said Hassan Ziyath, Chief Executive Officer of First National.

First National commenced their operations in the capital market space one year ago, with the aim of transforming the financial sector through inclusion and integration. Earlier this year, they have successfully launched their online investment platform which enabled investors to trade securities with just one click. This is the first-time securities trading became online in the Maldives..

68 Corporate Maldives | August 22Banking & Finance

Authentic Maldives Opens New Outlet at CROSSROADS Maldives

Authentic Maldives has opened a brand new outlet at CROSSROADS Maldives, the country’s first multi-island fully integrated leisure


is a chain of boutique shops initiated by the Ministry of Economic Development and operated by Business Center Corporation (BCC). This initiative facilitates the means for local brands and manufacturers to showcase their products and gain market access in the local and international markets.

The first Authentic Maldives outlet was opened in January 2020 at Velana International Airport.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than MVR 28 million has been dispersed to local suppliers since the inception of Authentic


years, Authentic Maldives has grown into one of Business Center Corporation’s most successful SME development projects, with over 160 local suppliers.

The CROSSROADS Maldives outlet opened recently features over 70 unique local suppliers. The opening of this outlet represents yet another step toward the national goal of facilitating the integration of SMEs into the tourism value chain. BCC plans to open new Authentic Maldives outlets in different locations across the Maldives, and to collaborate with more local suppliers in the future.

Featuring over 70 unique local suppliers
Corporate Maldives | August 22 69 Retail

E-commerce Platform Moolee Celebrates 3 Successful Years!

The platform was officially launched in August 2019, and since then has belted over 20,000+ deliveries across Maldives including a vast variety of quality products with over 18+ categories including Consumer Electronics, Gaming products, Books & Stationaries, Home & Kitchen and Lifestyle products from over 50 reputable businesses.

In line with Moolee’s mission to engage with its customers on a more personal level, Moolee has shown exemplary response during the unprecedented times of Covid-19 pandemic, in connecting businesses to customers across the nation enabling customers to shop their essentials from the safety of their homes. Moolee onboarded small vendors like corner shops and supermarkets to ensure availability of essential goods. This swift adaptation not only helped their customers, but also enabled small businesses to reach a vast customer base online and continue business operations during the lockdown.

Moreover, Moolee also ran promotions with special discounts celebrating Ramadan, Eid alFitr and year end sales enabling its shoppers to

exchange gifts with their loved ones afar during these special occasions. Similarly, this year, Moolee also partnered with Novelty Bookshop and launched its’ Back to School offer enabling parents across the nation to easily claim the booklist online without having to queue in a crowd and have the items delivered to their doorstep across the nation.

Since the launch of the platform, Moolee has seen a rapid growth and continues to prosper to provide its consumers a seamless digital shopping experience with its services like online payments, free nationwide delivery, easy returns and genuine product availability for buyers to shop with confidence. The platform also thrives in facilitating small business owners and online retailers reach a bigger customer base with free nationwide delivery services.

With many more small and medium businesses coming on board, the Moolee team stated that it looks forward to cater to a more broader customer base with more products on the platform.

70 Corporate Maldives | August 22Retail

Keiretsu — Leading the Way Forward in Technology and Human Connection

A technological revolution is upon us, fundamentally altering the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation is unlike anything mankind has experienced before. The speed, breadth and depth of this revolution is forcing us to rethink how countries develop, how organizations create value and even what it means to be human.

Enter: KeiretsuKeiretsu.isan

integrated group of companies, working to build smarter, more secure and more sustainable environments that help broadly move the world forward. Keiretsu has been leading the way in technology and human connection for over a decade, and has worked with forward-thinking corporations and global

change makers with a common vision to optimize people, spaces, and technology.

Major projects carried out by Keiretsu include Waldorf Astoria Maldives’ full network and in room technologies, the installation of a state-ofthe-art audiovisual system at the People’s Majlis Chamber Hall, the implementation of an end-toend Pro AV solution and seamless automation at the Supreme Court of Mauritius, and strategic ICT implementation to connect all of the Health Ministry’s remote health centers.

In 2019, Keiretsu put forth its vision for ROADTO2030 in shaping Maldives as a digital paradise. Delivering on this promise, the group is taking its next bold step toward making progress real.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 71 Technology

Dhiraagu High-Speed Fibre Broadband and DhiraaguTV Launched in Ha. Utheemu

Dhiraagu has launched its high-speed Fibre Broadband and DhiraaguTV service in Ha. Utheemu.

With this service expansion, Ha. Utheemu residents can now choose from a great variety of Dhiraagu Home Fibre Broadband packages that have been developed to cater different customer segments. They can also enjoy the biggest data packages with the highest speeds available in the market in order to enhance their digital experience. Additionally, the island community will be able to subscribe to the best entertainment bundles with DhiraaguTV.

The service was launched with a special promotion for residents of Utheemu allowing them to enjoy free connection and free ONT router with every Home Fibre Broadband connection. Meanwhile, all customers applying for DhiraaguTV service can also enjoy free connection and free Joybox (set-up-box).

As a result of continued investments, Dhiraagu high-speed Fibre Broadband service is now available to 85% of national households making their lives easier, smarter, and more rewarding. Dhiraagu’s Fibre Broadband network is the largest high-speed data network in the nation, which provides unparalleled experience to communities in 91 islands across the country.

Meanwhile, DhiraaguTV has been the first IPTV service provider in the Maldives to extend digital IPTV service to 85% of national households, with more than 100 quality channels in its fully digitized network.

Dhiraagu continues to play a pivotal role in enriching lives and empower people through building strong, inclusive digital communities.

72 Corporate Maldives | August 22Technology

MIFCO Introduces “Drained Tuna Chunks” to Market

Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company Limited (MIFCO) has released its new canned tuna product, “Drained Tuna Chunks in a Little Oil”, to the market.

The brand new product was launched during the Food and Beverage Show held in Hulhumale’ in June. MIFCO revealed that the product is unique compared to its other canned tuna products due to the low amount of oil used.

MIFCO stated that oil will not need to be drained from the new tuna cans, which would ease many of the inconveniences faced by consumers when using canned tuna. MIFCO added the product will also be cheaper compared to its “Chunks in Oil” tuna cans.

The product is available for purchase at all MIFCO outlets. Customers can also purchase MIFCO’s product line from STO People’s Choice.

MIFCO stated that oil will not need to be drained from the new tuna cans, which would ease many of the inconveniences faced by consumers when using canned tuna.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 73
Fisheries & Agriculture

1st Amendment to the Fisheries Act Ratified

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified the first amendment to the Fisheries Act of the Maldives (Act No. 14/2019). Parliament passed the amendment in the 22nd sitting of its second session on Thursday, June 30, 2022.

The amendment rephrases Section 56 of the law to remove the Maldives Transport Authority from the list of agencies mentioned in the section pursuant to the repealing of the Maldives Transport Authority Act (Act No. 3/2016) on December 13, 2021. The section now mandates the relevant ministry to, in consultation with the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), Coastguard, the Maldives Police Service (MPS), the Maldives Customs Service, and other relevant agencies, formulate and enforce a monitoring, control, and surveillance system for monitoring and controlling fishing according to this law.

Upon ratification, the act was published in the Government Gazette and is in effect.

Enforce a monitoring, control and surveillance system for monitoring and controlling fishing according to this law
Corporate Maldives | August 22Fisheries & Agriculture
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Maldives Records 60% Increase in Exports and 78% Increase in Imports in June 2022

Maldives has recorded a significant rise in both exports and imports in June 2022, compared to the same period last year.

As per the monthly statistics released by Maldives Custom Service, Maldives exported MVR 247 million in commodities during the month of June 2022. This is a 60 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

78 Corporate Maldives | August 22Trade, Fuel & Shipping

Major exported commodities include MVR 140 million in frozen skipjack or stripe-bellied bonito, MVR 55 million in skipjack tuna and MVR 8 million in yellowfin tuna chunks. • Thailand: MVR 148 million


Meanwhile, Maldives has imported MVR 5.2 billion in commodities during the month of June 2022. This is a 78 percent increase compared to the same period last year.


Corporate Maldives | August 22 79 Trade, Fuel & Shipping

Femunu Barge – The Newest Addition to FSM’s Growing Fleet

Fuel Supplies Maldives (FSM) has announced the additional of a new barge to its fuel carrier fleet. With a carrying capacity of 360,000 litres, the Femunu barge will be the largest barge in its growing fleet, according to FSM.

In May 2022, FSM also added two new barges to its fleet — MV Hunike and MV Bureki — with a carrying capacity of 260,000 litres each.

According to the Managing Director of FSM, Mohamed Qasam, the new barges will significantly increase the capacity of the company’s fuel supply operations in the country.

Established in December 2000, Fuel Supplies Maldives (FSM), a subsidiary of State Trading

Organisation (STO), was formed with the main objective of streamlining fuel distribution in the country and to offer easy and convenient access to fuel throughout the country.

Since its inception, FSM has built a strong distribution infrastructure to cater to the needs of the country and has been able to establish a network for distribution of fuel.

80 Corporate Maldives | August 22Trade, Fuel & Shipping

Maldives State Shipping (MSS) Acquires Third Vessel

Maldives State Shipping (MSS) has acquired a third vessel — MV MSS Graphene.

An agreement was signed for the purchase of the vessel on 1st July 2022 between State Trading Organization (STO) and Maldives State Shipping (MSS). The agreement was signed by STO’s Managing Director Hussain Amru and Managing Director of MSS Abdulla Saeed during this special ceremony held at STO’s head office.

With its 680 TEU capacity on-board, this glorious addition to the fleet will facilitate direct cargo service between Maldives, Singapore and Malaysia. The vessel will join the Singapore and Port Klang Service by the end of August 2022.

The company bought its first vessel, MSS Galena, last year, while MSS Chrome is the second vessel to be registered under MSS. The decision made by MSS to operate bulk carriers will prove to be of immense help to the Maldivian economy as it will aid in the reduction of import costs of construction materials to the Maldives.

Maldives State Shipping (MSS) is a shipping and logistics company launched in 2020 offering an extensive international liner shipping service.

Corporate Maldives | August 22 81 Trade, Fuel & Shipping

MVR 51 Million Utilized from Green Fund in June for Environmental Projects

MVR 51 million has been spent for environmental projects under the ‘Green Fund’ in June 2022, established from the revenue generated by Green Tax charged by the government.

Finance Ministry’s statistics reveal that 38 environmental projects have been funded from the Green Fund in June 2022. The largest of projects carried from the fund being the water supply system in Hangnaameedhoo, Alifu Dhaalu Atoll, costing MVR 7.2 million. The second-largest contribution was made to the water and sewerage project in Magoodhoo, Faafu Atoll costing MVR 6.7 million.

The “Green Fund” was established to solve environment-related issues in the Maldives. The fund is used to finance environmental protection and sustainable development initiatives such as water and sanitation, coastline protection, and waste management.

Finance statisticsMinistry’srevealthat 38 environmental projects have been funded from the Green Fund in June 2022
Corporate Maldives | August 22 83 Environment & Sustainability

Maldivian Aquanauts to Explore and Protect Their Ocean Nation as Climate Crisis Grips

84 Corporate Maldives | August 22
Environment & Sustainability

The Government of Maldives and Nekton, the UK marine research institute, are launching an ambitious ocean mission to help the Maldives manage the impact of the climate crisis on the Indian Ocean nation. Data gathered will inform scientists and policy makers worldwide.

“The ocean is a key part of each Maldivian. 71% rely on the ocean for their primary source of income. We have committed to a 5-year initiative to advance ocean protection and sustainably develop the blue economy.  This Mission will help us establish the long-term sustainability of our economic growth, livelihoods and jobs through establishing marine protected areas to build ocean resilience,” stated Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

“Maldivians have done very little to cause the climate crisis, yet we are on the frontlines of its impact,” stated Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan.“There is still time. To protect our nation, we need to protect what is in our ocean. Doing this meaningfully requires deeper understanding of what is in our oceans, and this is what we are launching with the Nekton Maldives Mission. We hope that this Mission will inspire other nations to do the same.”

The Nekton Maldives Mission will set sail on September 4 and be at sea for 35 days. Science teams from across the world will join Maldivian colleagues to undertake the first systematic survey and sampling of the Maldives from the surface to 1000 metre depths. Almost nothing is known about what lies below 30 metres.

Ten Maldivian marine scientists have been selected as the first ‘Maldivian Aquanauts’ to lead over 30 first descents in submersibles to explore Maldives’ unknown deep ocean. The first descent of the Mission will be led by an all-women team of Aquanauts. The Aquanaut names will be announced at a press conference

in the Maldivian capital on the 1st of September. The Maldivian scientists, in partnership with Nekton’s international team, are establishing a baseline health check to inform government policies to protect at least 20% of Maldivian seas — an area of ocean half the size of Germany.

“We are determining the location, health and resilience of our coral reefs, especially the deeper ecosystems which we know very little about, so that key habitats may be identified for protection and management,” explained Shafiya Naeem, Director General of the Maldives Marine Research Institute, who is leading the Maldivian team on the mission. “The reefs that surround our atolls help reduce the impacts from sea level rise and the increasing frequency and intensity of storms, and forms the basis of our economies, livelihoods and sustenance.”

The Maldives, a big ocean state, is 99% ocean and just 1% land, sitting on average 1.5 metres above the sea. As a result, the nation faces a growing threat from the rising seas. But, armed with more knowledge of what their waters contain, work can begin to protect what lives there and safeguard the environment those species inhabit, which in turn makes the country better able to withstand climate change.

“We expect to locate and document critical nurseries for fish and coral that can inform Government plans to strengthen the sustainability and resilience of Maldives’s ocean resources,” explained Professor Lucy Woodall, Nekton Principal Scientist, Department of Biology, University of Oxford who is leading Nekton’s international scientific team.

The Mission is deploying two of the most advanced human occupied submersibles alongside robotic and autonomous systems and over a dozen research technologies supported by 40 partners, 16 Maldivian and 24

Corporate Maldives | August 22 85

Environment Ministry Signs MoU with Milano-Bicocca

An MoU was signed between Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology and Milano-Bicocca at the UN Ocean Conference. Minister Aminath Shauna signed the agreement on behalf of the Ministry.

This MoU is on cooperation and coordination to undertake the ecological and socio-economic assessments of protected areas in the Maldives. These surveys are mainly focused on central atolls of the Maldives, namely Meemu, Faaafu, Dhaalu and Thaa Atoll.

The MoU further agrees to provide technical assistance and in-kind support, to develop ecological survey reports and resource use survey reports. The project aims to contribute to the overall informed decision towards the conservation of key biodiversity areas in these atolls, through the designation of protected areas.

86 Corporate Maldives | August 22Environment & Sustainability

Over 3000 Professionals to Network at Corporate Maldives Business Expo


Corporate Maldives Business Expo 2022 will be held from 04th – 05th October 2022 at Dharubaaruge.

Corporate Maldives Business Expo is an International Business Networking & Trade Show of the Maldives, focused on building valuable relationships within the B2B community. A premier networking event where business exhibitors and corporate professionals can preschedule meetings through Corporate Maldives “Network”.

This year, Corporate Maldives Business Expo will use the Corporate Maldives “Network”, an online B2B portal for the Maldivian business community will help you connect and network year-round.

As part of the new concept for this event, businesses will be able to pre-schedule over 3000 meetings in the span of 2 days during the Business Expo. “Network” has added features including, virtual profiles and video call features to execute hybrid meetings simultaneously during the event.

The summits will bring the communities together and are intended to inspire and innovate future visionaries.

Corporate Maldives Business Expo will be attended by the entire business community. Over 100 businesses from different sectors are expected to exhibit and create new business opportunities.

88 Corporate Maldives | August 22Corporate Maldives Events
During the Business Expo, 3 summits will take place as follows : Maldives Marketers’ Forum Maldives Women’s Summit Maldives Entrepreneurs’ Summit 0405 OCT BUSINESS EXPO ‘22 REGISTER NOW

Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Women Leaders to Address at the Maldives Women’s Summit 2022

Maldives Women’s Summit will be bringing together a community of inspiring and innovative women whose ambitious actions are changing the Maldives at an unprecedented scale at the Corporate Maldives Business Expo on 5th October 2022 at Dharubaaruge.

This year’s summit will be focused on the challenges for women to reach the top of organizations as well as family life and work Maldivesbalance.

Women’s Summit will commence with a speech by one of the keynote speakers, Aminath Shaly, Human Resource Director at Oaga Resorts focusing on the topic of family life and work balance. This will be followed by a panel discussion for this topic. Panelists include Yashfa Hassan, Director of Retail at the Marina @ CROSSROADS Maldives, Sujatha Haleem, COO at Pension Office, Dhiyana Afeef, Head of Customer

The second keynote speaker Dr. Zakiyya Moosa, Dean, Center for Research and Innovation, Avid College will talk about the challenges for women to reach the top of organizations. A panel discussion will also be carried out. The second panel discussion will have Aishath Shahudha, Deputy Chief Statistician of MBS, Haneefa Hilmy, Owner of HenSheMaldives. Fathimath Shaazleen, Resort Manager at Naladhu Maldives and Hazrath Hussain, Director, Legal & Company Secretary, at Dhiraagu.

The summit is expected to offer a platform intended to empower women, women-led organizations & SMEs, providing them with a zone to interact, network and share their success stories and challenges during their career path.

Care at Ooredoo Maldives and Ishana Waleedh, Director at Symphony.
Corporate Maldives | August 22 89 Corporate Maldives Events




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