Travel Trade Maldives Magazine

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10 07 Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa
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Mark EletrGeneral Manager of Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives
MARKET OVERVIEW TTM TAKEOVER CULTURE AND HERITAGE PEOPLE EDITOR‘S PICKS MMPRC FAIR LIST PUBLISHER‘S NOTE
Art Gallery of Oaga Art Resort by SuvāSthi Retail Gallery Is Now Open for Public Viewing
5 77 68 73 57 38 88 82 TMA Reaches Magical Milestone, Adds 60th Seaplane to its Fleet Immerse Yourself in Blissful Baros Moments at The Serenity Spa Baglioni Resort Maldives EMERGING DESTINATIONS AVIATION WELLNESS TTM TAKEOVER NEW APPOINTMENTS AWARDS & ACCOLADES SUSTAINABILITY
e. info.lagoon@SAiiResorts.com t. +960 665 1300 w. SAiiLagoonMaldives.com | CurioMaldives.com SAiiLagoonMaldives playfulDESTINATION YOUR

Managing Director & CEO Akhmeem Abdul Razzaq

Director - Content Creation Mohamed Khoorsheed

Managing Editor Zeek Ashraf

Managing Editor Nashama Mohamed

Assistant Media Manager Aminath Suha Mohamed

Assistant Marketing Manager Raaya Abdulla

Associate Editor Fathimath Shaaira

Marketing Executive Rawhaa Ibrahim

Design Manager Hamdhoon W.

Senior Designer Thoo Nazim Designer Mohamed Lihaz

Manager – Content Creation Kudie

Senior Content Creator Ma’aan Abdulla

Content Creator Nuha Hassan

ORCA POD c

Director - Digital Strategy Ibrahim Areef

Chief Operating Officer Ahmed Nasir

Chief Design Officer Zaya Ahmed

Publisher‘s Note

Consultant Ali Sageef Ibrahim

orcamedia.group qrco.de/orcamediagroup ttm@traveltrademaldives.com +960 7984664

Website Advertising & Sales Address

Orca Media Group Pvt. Ltd 4th Floor, Ma.Oliveena Chandhanee Magu, Male’ Republic of Maldives

Published By

Dear Readers,

Happy new year, and welcome to the January 2023 edition of Travel Trade Maldives, our print publication dedicated to all things travel, trade and tourism in the Maldives. 2022 proved to be a tremendous year for Maldives tourism, with arrivals reaching over 90% of pre-pandemic levels. Our market overview highlights arrival statistics, key markets, and facilities in operation over the last year.

As part of our TTM Takeover, we first take a look at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, a far-flung island retreat located in the northern Haa Alifu Atoll. Our second TTM Takeover is on Baglioni Resort Maldives, a unique Italian luxury resort in the heart of Dhaalu Atoll. Our Editor’s Picks explore exciting properties across the Maldives, including Oaga Art Resort, Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, and Pullman Maldives Maamutaa.

For our People section, we sat down to have a chat with Mark Eletr, the General Manager of Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma, a contemporary, laidback resort nestled in Male’ Atoll. As usual, our regular news segments touch on all aspects of the industry, such as aviation, wellness, and sustainability.

Wishing you all a wonderful year ahead!

Magazine Cover

Grand Beach Residence with Pool at The Signature Collection by Hideaway

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Volume – January 2023 Copyright 2023 Orca Media Group. All rights reserved throughout the world. Facts and Opinions expressed in the articles of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. While the publisher do their utmost to verify information published they do not accept responsibility for its absolute accuracy. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced, whether in part or in whole, without the consent of Orca Media Group.
8 issuu.com/orcamediagroup www.traveltrademaldives.com
July 2022
September 2022 November 2022
January 2022
March 2022
May 2022

MMPRC Roadshows & Fair List 2023

JANUARY

APRIL

31 March - 1st April

FITUR

Madrid, Spain

18th - 22nd January Spain

20th - 22nd January

MATKA NORDIC TRAVEL FAIR

ADEX OCEAN MISSION 2023

Singapore

Singapore

03rd - 05th April

WTM AFRICA

Maldives

FEBRUARY

02nd - 04th February

OTM

02nd - 05th February 09th - 11th February 09th - 12th February

FESPO SATTE MOSCOW DIVE SHOW

Zurich, Switzerland

Switzerland India Russia

Greater Noida, India Moscow, Russia

MARCH

07th - 09th March

Helsinki, Finland Mumbai, India Berlin, Germany

Finland India Germany

ITB BERLIN

17th - 19th March Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

MATTA

31 March - 1st April

ADEX OCEAN MISSION 2023

Singapore

Singapore

Cape Town, South Africa São Paulo, Brazil

03rd - 05th April

WTM LATAM

19th- 21st April

KITF KAZAKHSTAN INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION “TOURISM & TRAVEL”

Almaty, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

April (TBC)

CHINA OUTBOUND TRAVEL & TOURISM MARKET (COTTM)

São Paulo, Brazil

South Africa Brazil Brazil

MAY

01st - 04th May

ARABIAN TRAVEL MARKET (ATM)

Dubai, UAE

UAE

04th - 07th May

KOTFA KOREA WORLD TRAVEL FAIR

Seoul, South Korea

South Korea

08th - 10th May (TBC)

MALDIVES ROADSHOW IN KOREA (COINCIDING WITH KOTFA)

Seoul, Busan

31st May

RIYADH TRAVEL FAIR (RTF)

Middle East (TBC)

TBC

31st May

MALDIVES ROADSHOW IN SOUTH EAST ASIA

South East Asia (TBC)

JUNE

13th - 15th June (TBC)

MALDIVES ROADSHOW IN GERMANY

Munich, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt

24th - 25th May 22nd - 24th August

Germany

AUGUST

Maldives

INTERNATIONAL MALDIVES TRAVEL MART (IMTM) TRAVEL TRADE MALDIVES (TTM) NATAS TRAVEL FAIR

31st August

South East Asia (TBC)

TBC Maldives Singapore

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SEPTEMBER

04th - 07th tSeptember (TBC)

MALDIVES ROADSHOW IN INDIA

B2B B2C Dive Trade

NOVEMBER

06th - 08th November

WORLD TRAVEL MARKET (WTM) LONDON

United Kingdom

India

18th - 21st tSeptember (TBC)

ILTM NORTH AMERICA

Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur Baha Mar, The Bahamas

The Bahamas

OCTOBER

03rd - 05th October

IFTM TOP RESA

20th, 22nd $ 24th November

MALDIVES ROADSHOW IN CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE

Warsaw (Poland), Prague (Czech Republic), Budapest (Hungary)

United Kingdom Europe

Paris, France Rimini, Italy

11th - 13th October

TTG TRAVEL EXPERIENCE

France Italy

13th - 15th October

EUROPEAN DIVE SHOW (EUDI)

Bologna, Italy

Italy

16th - 29th October

TOURISM EXPO JAPAN (JATA)

Osaka, Japan

Japan

25th - 27th October

ITB ASIA

Singapore

Singapore

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Market Overview

As 2022 concluded, Maldives welcomed over 1.6 million tourists for the year, surpassing its tourist arrival targets despite the challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent geopolitical conflicts.

The Maldives recorded its 1 millionth tourist arrival on 12th August 2022 and 1.6 millionth tourist arrival on 20th December 2022 reaching the yearly target. Tourist arrivals in 2022 indicate a rebound of Maldives tourism to the pre-pandemic level.

In October 2022, Maldives also marked the highest number of tourist arrivals in a given month in the history of Maldivian tourism, a figure that had not been achieved even in the record-breaking year of 2019.

As the tourist arrivals were recorded at 1,675,294 on 31st December 2022, it is a 26.7% increase from the arrivals recorded in 2021. Tourist arrivals in 2022 however, show a slight decrease of 1.6% in comparison to the arrivals recorded during the same period in 2019.

Daily arrivals during the year remained over 5,016 tourists with an average stay of 8 nights.

India remained the top market for Maldives tourism in 2022 dominating over 14% with 240,000 arrivals. Russia followed closely at second contributing 12.1% with more than 198,000 tourists. Third, comes the U.K., contributing 10.7% with over 177,000 arrivals. Other top markets include Germany, Italy, the U.S.A, France, Spain, South Korea and Switzerland respectively.

According to the latest annual statistics released by the Ministry of Tourism, a total of 1,208 tourist accommodation facilities were in operation till 31st December 2022 including resorts, marinas, guesthouses, safari vessels and hotels. The total operating capacity was recorded as 59, 657 beds.

Maldives once again secured the title of the World’s Leading Destination (among several other accolades) at the 2022 World Travel Awards, globally recognised as the hallmark of industry excellence. This is the third 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 travellers from all over the globe.

As per the growth in arrivals in 2022, Maldives is expected to welcome 2 million tourists this year. Tourism Minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom stated that the goal is to have over 2 million tourist arrivals and 14.5 million bed nights for the year 2023.

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Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa

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Jewel
A Hidden
in Northern Maldives

The northern Haa Alifu Atoll is home to Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, an idyllic island escape in the Maldives. True to its name, this is the ideal hideaway for those seeking genuine luxury and the utmost in spaciousness and privacy. Pristine, untouched, and picturesque, Hideaway is a scenic 50-minute domestic flight followed by a 15-minute speedboat ride, or alternatively a 75-minute seaplane ride from Velana International Airport.

Located on a crescent-shaped private island known as Dhonakulhi, this tropical utopia provides guests the option of either beachfront or water villas, with or without pools, for them to relax in a home away from home. The well-designed and spacious villas, as well as the associated privacy levels, are hallmarks of this award-winning location. The large island has ample space for couples and families to enjoy the perfect holiday curated to their needs. Personal butlers are at the guests’ beck and call for anything that they may require.

Gourmands, foodies and drink connoisseurs alike can indulge in a culinary experience like no other at Hideaway. The five-star resort offers multiple dining options, including the chilled-out Meeru Bar & Grill, the ocean-front Matheefaru, the scenic Samsara Asian Fusion, and the sublime Sunset Pool Café. For even more seclusion, tailor-made private dining experiences await to make all gastronomic dreams a reality.

Wellbeing is a core part of the Hideaway experience, with the divine Hideaway Spa offering a range of treatments for rejuvenation and relaxation. Together with its Signature Collection, it also boasts a multitude of fitness facilities such as a professional tennis court, a state-of-the-art golf simulator, and a well-stocked gym. And for those who’ve got an appetite for underwater adventure, the abundance of fish life around the island is second to none, making it a prime location for snorkelling and scuba diving.

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A Feast for the Senses at Hideaway

For gourmands, foodies, and those who simply relish a good meal, Hideaway is renowned for its award-winning gastronomic experiences. With multiple speciality restaurants and bars, guests can indulge in scrumptious fare against the backdrop of stunning Maldivian panoramas. A feast for the senses, through and through.

After spending the day in bliss, Meeru Bar and Grill is ideal for unwinding because of its laid-back dining atmosphere by the pool. The international menu features a variety of mouthwatering dishes, some of which include authentic wood-fired oven pizzas, succulent cuts of meat that are cooked to perfection on a Lava Stone Grill, and lobsters that are grilled immediately after being removed from the water. While you have your meal on the deck outside, try and spot fish, stingrays, and baby sharks swimming in the water below.

Samsara Asian Combination provides tranquil surroundings in addition to an exceptional fusion of Thai, Indian, Chinese and Japanese cultural elements in its cuisine. It features an exquisite dining menu and a teppanyaki table that will excite the taste buds, atop a romantic open-air terrace placed on stilts above an astonishingly blue lagoon. At the Samsara teppanyaki table, watch as the masterful chefs flip, juggle, and sauté the finest ingredients before bringing them together as culinary masterpieces.

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Sunset Pool Café

While you take in the breathtaking sights from the Sunset Pool Café, treat your taste buds to flavourinfused cuisine that draws inspiration from both Asia and Europe. In addition to serving lunch and dinner, the poolside restaurant offers innovative concoctions along with more traditional drinks from the cocktail menu, for you to sip on while you relax by the pool.

The large and ever-evolving buffet at this beachside restaurant with sand floors extends a friendly greeting to those who have a passion for good food. A highlight of the dining experience at Matheefaru, which literally translates to “top reef” in the native tongue, is the team of skilled chefs who showcase live cooking with varying themes every night of the week. The lavish spread will make you question whether or not you are still awake; the buffet is one of those things that have to be seen to be believed.

Private Dining Experiences

An intimate seafood feast in a dining pavilion over the water, a private barbecue on a deserted beach, a romantic candlelit dinner under a blanket of stars, a charming picnic on a deserted Maldivian island – the only limit is your imagination, and the chefs are waiting to make your gastronomic dreams a reality. All of these experiences are entirely at your discretion.

The Oasis Restaurant takes its aesthetic from the warm and welcoming coastlines of the Mediterranean, including those of Italy, Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Macedonia, Lebanon, and Turkey. Indulge your senses on an international fine dining voyage at this restaurant, which is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Oasis also offers an Arabic menu to tantalize the tastebuds with Middle Eastern flavours. Explore a place that makes going out to eat as comfortable as staying in; a haven where you can relax and enjoy the company of good friends while feasting on delicious food.

Oasis Restaurant, Bar & Lounge Matheefaru Restaurant

Scan and experience

Maldives like never before

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maldivesvirtualtour.com
Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa

Wellness Journeys to Soothe the Soul at Hideaway

Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa is lauded as one of the best wellness resorts in the Indian Ocean due to its spellbinding surroundings and heavenly spa treatments that honour the harmony of mind, body and soul.

With its design influenced by the breathtaking natural beauty of the Maldives, the Hideaway Spa features a delicate combination of coconut and teak timber furnishing, sukabumi stone, java rosso tumble stone, sandstone, pink slate, and onyx and silk fabrics. Hideaway Spa has 12 intimate and comfortable private treatment rooms, a steam room, manicure/pedicure station, a relaxation zone and retail area, surrounded by the gentle sound of the waves.

Hideaway Spa is also home to Hideaway Signature Bliss, a skilful combination of Asia’s different massage techniques. It involves stretching and focusing on Thai pressure points, based on oriental theories along with the Malay Urut and Philipino Hilot. As well as traditional spa treatments, Hideaway Spa offers ayurvedic treatments. Ayurvedic treatments help balance the substances in your body, promote inner harmony and contribute to an overall well-being, as well as making your body and mind strong enough to fight diseases.

Among them, you will find the Abhyanga Massage, which includes a head and body massage, the Kerala Massage, focusing on vital energy points, and the wellknown Shirodhara treatment consisting of a gentle and continuous flow of oil poured onto your forehead.

For those on a journey to find balance and equilibrium amongst the powdery white beaches and calming sound of the Indian ocean, Hideaway Resort & Spa offers great potential for relaxation and meditation. The resort offers both group and private yoga classes at the North point beach. Group classes feature Traditional Indian Yoga at sunrise and Hatha Yoga at sunset, and other yoga classes throughout the day: Power Yoga, Aqua Aerobic Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Meditation. If you choose to opt for private classes, a yoga instructor will prepare the class to your liking and skill level, and you can practice from the comfort of your villa deck or from your favourite spot on the beach.

Keeping active is an important part of wellness, endorphinreleasing exercise creates that feel-good factor that you can’t miss. Take your physical activity at a more fastpaced level by choosing from a wide range of activities available on the island.

Enjoy a game of tennis on one of the two professional outdoor, hard surface courts, shoot a few hoops on the half- basketball court or join the team members for a kick about on the astro-turf soccer pitch or a traditional beach holiday game of volleyball. Perhaps jog along the beach, bicycle along the hidden trails, hit a few balls on their padel tennis courts or even work out at a fully equipped gym.

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Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa

3 Utterly Unique Experiences to Have at Hideaway

Golf Away to Your Heart’s Content

A fun yet professional experience awaits at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa’s Golf Centre. Improve your golf game and learn from scratch with the state-of-the-art golf stimulator and get coached by the in-house Golf Pro; practice your short game on the putting green, enjoy a game with friends and family, or even indulge in some solo practice. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned golfer, there is something for everyone at the Hideaway Golf Centre.

Gear Up for a Game of Padel Tennis

Padel tennis is considered the fastest growing sport in the world. As padel tennis courts are being built worldwide, Maldives is no exception. Currently, Hideaway is proudly one of the few providers of this experience in the Maldives. Guests at Hideaway and its Signature Collection can book the courts to play together or, if just by themselves, can opt to book one of the sports masters or tennis pros to have a hit together.

E-Surf’s Up!

There’s no more waiting for the perfect wave at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa and its Signature Collection. Together with its watersports partner Deep Blue, the resort has released an exhilarating new experience. Guests can hop on the hottest watersports trend by trying their hand at E-Surfing. This new craze involves being propelled through the water on a motorized, electric surfboard. Though there are no great surfing spots in North Maldives, this is an excellent alternative for guests looking to have some surfing fun while experiencing the latest in watersports innovation.

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Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa
BUSINESS Lounge
SEAPLANE TERMINAL
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CM MY CY CMY K
VILU
NOOVILU
Enhance
C M Y
HEART SHOCK MACHINES READY FOR THE RESCUE!

Cultural Heritage Tourism and its Potential for Growth in the Maldives

Cultural heritage tourism is defined as “travel to experience the places, artefacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present, including cultural historic and natural resources.” It is often focused on understanding and preserving the history, traditions, and values of a particular place or community, and can be a way for travellers to connect with cultures that are not their own.

Nowadays, cultural heritage is becoming increasingly relevant when it comes to tourist experiences. In fact, the latest industry trends for the new year predict that travellers are placing greater emphasis on pushing boundaries, moving out of their comfort zone and exploring new cultures. In fact, local excursions are likely to become increasingly popular as guests search for authenticity in destinations that have a culture polar to their own.

This comes as many travellers are looking forward to experiencing ‘out of comfort zone’ travel that pushes them to the limit. A significant number of them want to experience a complete culture shock in 2023, whether that’s completely different cultural experiences and languages or exploring lesser-known places with hidden gems that aren’t already on the radar.

In the context of the Maldives, while famed for our idyllic beaches and natural beauty, Maldivian culture is a key element of the nation’s identity. Cultural heritage tourism is an important avenue for protecting the country’s cultural assets and bringing in a sustainable source of tourism. And as more and more travellers seek meaningful, authentic experiences, the potential for growth here is no doubt tremendous.

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3 Properties Showcasing the Rich Culture of Maldives in their Offerings

Steeped in rich tradition, the Maldives’ culture is heavily shaped by Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysian, Arab, Persian, Indonesian and even African influences, brought by seafarers who settled here over the centuries. While a trip to a local island would be one of the best ways to experience what real life in the Maldives is like, tourists staying at resorts can now also get a taste of local culture and tradition.

Here are three noteworthy properties that are incorporating Maldivian culture and heritage into their offerings.

The Dutch Onion Museum at Cora Cora Maldives

The first resort in the Maldives with a licensed art gallery and museum in the Outdoor Heritage Site was Cora Cora Maldives. More than 400 artefacts are kept in the Dutch Onion Museum at Cora Cora Maldives, a cultural heritage museum and on-site gallery. The distinctive museum recounts the fascinating tale of travel and change all throughout the Maldives. Tourists can go on an interactive historical tour and learn about the Maldives’ fascinating past. The foundations of a mosque and an Islamic graveyard can be explored on a guided tour. In the centre of the island, explore the outdoor site, where you’ll discover ancient memorials dating back 500 years, and perhaps the most extraordinary find on the island – two temple tanks thought to be around 900 years old. These shallow wells were used for bathing and ceremonial purposes, and are remarkably well preserved.

The Dhoni at Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Maldives Discovery Centre at CROSSROADS Maldives

At this incredible attraction at CROSSROADS Maldives, explore the Maldives’ rich history and marine biodiversity, and see how local arts and crafts have shaped the islands’ unique cultural identity. Filled with stunning designs and interactive displays, this is an unforgettable educational experience that works closely with the local community to promote the way of life and handicrafts of our remarkable island nation. Indeed, the Maldives Discovery Centre is not to be missed.

The Dhoni at Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

This iconic upside-down traditional sea vessel at Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is used as a multi-functional space, from cultural exhibitions to private celebrations or social gatherings. Built by local dhoni (fishing boat) builders, the design of the roof sheltering this cultural structure is an enormous upturned dhoni making it an impressive visual feature greeting guests as they arrive on the island. The Dhoni is the luxury resort’s dedicated educational space and is open for guests as well as the local community to partake in kids’ activities, marine talks, social events, and presentations surrounded by the inspiring culture and traditions of the Maldives.

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The Dutch Onion Museum at Cora Cora Maldives Maldives Discovery Centre at CROSSROADS Maldives

Mark Eletr

General Manager of Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives

Named after the abundant kandoo tree, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma is a 32-acre property in South Malé Atoll, housing 160 contemporary, comfortable and chic beach and overwater villas. At its helm is General Manager Mark Eletr, a dynamic personality with over 24 years of hospitality experience across leading luxury brands. Our team sat down to have a chat with Mark to delve deeper into his current role at Kandooma.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you start your career?

Well, my name’s Mark Eletr, and I’m the General Manager of Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives. Believe it or not, I started my working life as a civil engineer in Australia. But travel took me to resorts and I fell in love with a different lifestyle. In Australia, I worked on and managed a number of island resorts. I guess that’s what ultimately led me to the Maldives.

How are you finding the Maldives experience so far, the sunny side of life?

I’m really enjoying it. The climate, I’m very familiar with. I’ve spent a lot of time in the tropics in Southeast Asia. But what’s quite unique about Maldives is that it’s a country made up entirely of islands. Ordinarily where I worked, it would be a small island off a big country, but here we have a collection of hundreds of islands, many of them with resorts or tourism ventures. So, it feels like I’m part of something bigger being here.

In your opinion, how do you think Kandooma sets itself apart from other resorts?

Historically, Maldives was always the bucket-list romantic, aspirational destination. We would get honeymooners and those that saved a lot of money to come here for that once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Fifty years down the track, the destination has matured and you’ve got honeymooners that are now coming back with kids that were, you know, maybe made in the Maldives. [laughs]

What’s new and unique and special about Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma is that we are perfectly positioned for the family market, as well as young couples who need a more affordable option, yet a brand that has a reputation that they can trust. It’s an established product with a very strong core of staff, which is what I call our heartbeat. There’s a real beautiful soul to this island. It’s true, we’re not the fanciest or the most luxurious resort in the Maldives, but what we offer guests is an incredible experience with great value and approachable service. People can feel comfortable here. It’s not a fashion show. Kandooma is a place where you can be yourself, where you can truly relax, and the staff will really make you feel at home because it is their home.

Since the day you joined up until now, how has your experience here been?

It’s been almost exactly one year since I arrived and started. Obviously, what’s unique about this time is coming out of the COVID period. In a way it was new for everybody, what we went through in the last 12 to 18 months. Everyone’s kind of finding their way again in how to build their business and reputation within the Maldives. But we’ve had great support from the industry and from our owners and stakeholders, and we’ve been constantly refining and rebuilding the resort into the markets that we can expect going forward.

What are the things you implemented or really wanted to focus on when you joined?

The biggest focus was to understand what the markets for Maldives were going to be. We have not seen the return of key markets like China, which was very important for Kandooma in the past. So, we’ve had to adapt our strategy in such a way that we appeal more broadly to markets that we haven’t really accessed in the past. For us, North America and Europe are markets that are continuing to grow in the Maldives, even though they all have challenges in their economies. India was obviously the new growth for us that we had not seen so much previously, and to a certain extent that made up for some of the shortages from the Chinese market.

What we’ve also seen, like many other properties in the Maldives, is the growth in the family segment. We’ve really had to make sure that our programs, services and infrastructure are all geared towards the family market. We’ve done a lot of work in refurbishment, particularly in public areas. Because this resort is one of the first established in the Maldives, it has some maturity to it, which means that we need to focus on repairs. We’ve also done a lot to focus on the surfing market. We’ve basically built a destination for surfers to come where their families can relax and enjoy while they’re catching waves.

Guraidhoo is, I believe, about five minutes away from Holiday Inn Kandooma. Are there any CSR initiatives you’re carrying out there to give back to the local community?

A number of our staff are actually from Guraidhoo, so we support commuting between the two islands. We support the special needs school in Guraidhoo as well. We’ve recently sponsored the school to build a brand-new badminton court.

We also have a number of environmental initiatives on the island to support the community in terms of waste management and waste reduction, and to rejuvenate the island’s natural ecosystem. Historically, a lot of islands have gone for that very white, clean, sterile environment by thinking that you have to constantly sweep everything. But what we are finding is that that’s actually really not healthy for the environment at all. So, we are working towards sending zero-green waste off the island. When we have cuttings and clippings, we put that back into the ground, and when we sweep up the sea grass from the beaches that go to compost in the gardens. We’ve restored, I would say, at least a hectare of space on the island in this way. We work closely with the Guraidhoo Council to share what we are doing and to support their initiatives as well.

What do you foresee for the hospitality industry in the Maldives?

I think for Maldives, like many other tourism destinations, change is going to be the key thing that will happen. There’ll be constant change, constant uncertainty, and markets will be quite fluid. Global conflict, global economies, and travel restrictions will continue right through all of 2023. It’s important to be ready for change, and to be fluid and agile. We don’t want to lock our focus on any one place. What we want to try and do is to really focus on digital strategy. We don’t want to be traditional because I think that the destination will mature. Particularly, as we see our Southeast Asian travellers coming here, they’re not the traditional go-to-travel-agents-and-book-everything model. They’ll use social media, they’ll book online, and they’ll book short notice.

It’s not going to be like it was before COVID, and I don’t think it’ll go back to that. Family markets will continue. The budget-conscious market will continue. I think we are going to see tremendous growth among guesthouses. I don’t see the luxury segment dominating Maldives anymore. It will still be there, because there are many luxury products focused on that market, and it’s still very relevant. But the most significant opportunity is in the family market. So, being agile, being ready for the unexpected, these will be the biggest trends.

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New Appointments

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THOMAS WEBER General Manager at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives DEE BELLO Marine Biologist and Sustainability Guardian at Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives JAN-HENDRIK KARLICZEK General Manager at ROBINSON NOONU ARY HARYANI Spa Manager at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa MOHAMED EL AGHOURY General Manager at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa NISACHON AMPHALOP Director of Sales and Marketing at The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives MOHAMED MAJID Sales Manager at JA Manafaru IBRAHIM NAZLEEN Front Office Manager at Reethi Beach Resort KHUN NAN Spa & Wellness Manager at Cora Cora Maldives

Art Gallery of Oaga Art Resort by Suvāsthi Retail Gallery is Now Open for Public Viewing

Oaga Art Resort has opened its doors to the world, introducing many unique concepts to the Maldivian tourism industry including their In-Villa Gallery art exhibitions contributed by Maldivian talents.

For the first time in the Maldives, the resort has incorporated an art gallery into their Veyoge Gallery Pool Villas. Starting with nearly 40 local artists and 161 artworks in total, the exquisite collection is displayed tastefully on the walls of these villas.

Curation of the work is handled by Suvāsthi retail gallery of Oaga Art Resort. According to their in-house resident curator Nadee, they did not distinguish between any styles, mediums or artists when putting the display together. As such, the participating artists range from established ones with multiple exhibitions under their belt to emerging new artists exhibiting for the very first time. The mediums used vary from mixed media, collage, resin, watercolour, digital illustrations and

many more, all coming together in a beautiful collection that is readily available for viewing by guests who visit the resort.

This unique concept offers the world a chance to interact with and even own an authentic piece of artwork. It also opens up a new platform for local artists to tap into the tourism industry, which is one of the largest in the country.

Situated in North Malé Atoll, Oaga Art Resort is 45 minutes by speedboat from Velana International Airport. A small island with 60 villas with beach and over-water options, 4 dining venues and a spa inspired by Maldivian traditional healing practices, Oaga Art Resort’s artistic and creative spaces offer an immersive experience curated by local and visiting artists, and craftsmen from the Maldives.

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43 H. Coral Reef, 4th Floor Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Male’ 20008 www.hrsinternational.com Serving the Global Hospitality Industry Over 30 years Your One-Stop-Shop for Hospitality IT Solutions & World-Class Support services TNG GO! MOBILE APP A digital assistant that helps you to seamlessly manage your restaurant activities. Real time ordering and fully operational when offline.. Guest Experience Staff Experience Profitability HRS FISCAL PLATFORMPERFECT WITH GREEN TAX Generate the necessary report without any manual intervention or corrections. Manage your hotel’s Green Tax report based on OPERA PMS data. Data Synchoronization Preperty Setup Report Delivery

Dining in Paradise –Accor Maldives Collection Offers the Finest Food & Beverage Experiences

The Accor Maldives Collection of five-star resorts is set in the exceptionally turquoise blue waters of the Indian Ocean, offering guests a myriad of luxury experiences, from snorkelling the reefs, relaxing in the sun, to seeking ultimate zen in the spas; however, in-between these holiday obligations, there is the question of what to eat and where.

Each tropical island resort has a broad selection of food and beverage offerings, with something for every type of traveller, whether that be a family friendly or an adult only affair.

For a Family Friendly Escape: Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives

For those on a quest for uninhibited family time, Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives offers adults and children alike their very own luxury castaway adventure. The new Signature Castaway Dining experience takes guests to a secluded island, 25 minutes away by speedboat. Guests can then indulge in a luxury picnic or BBQ menu served by their very own butler, featuring tuna sashimi, blinis with caviar, grilled lobster, wagyu steak, local fish, scallops, Mövenpick’s very own ice cream and Valrhona chocolate delice.

When not dining guests can explore the surrounding silent lagoon or hang out on the sunbeds and under the umbrellas. Guests are provided with snorkelling equipment, music speakers and any other delights upon request.

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Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives

For a couples retreat: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

For couples seeking natural beauty and privacy to mark the start of a new chapter, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is an island paradise boasting the ultimate barefoot luxury. Here, chefs go the extra mile to curate gastronomic experiences that create lasting memories. Breathtaking views of the island haven coupled with signature dishes going beyond just your tastebuds only come down to one conclusion: a match made in heaven.

Contact the island host to arrange a romantic destination dining experience with a menu of your choice. Allow the chefs to whisk you away on a culinary voyage — this is surely an experience you will never forget.

For an Indian Ocean Getaway with a Taste of Europe: Pullman Maldives Maamutaa

The Indian Ocean might be 4,000 miles away from Italy, but the Pullman Maldives ensures guests have the very best Italian cuisine despite the distance. Recently Pullman Maldives has reimagined their Souq Oven dinner menu from Levantine and Turkish flavours to entirely Italian.

Souq Oven boasts flavours of the Mediterranean shores paired with the earthy terroir of the Italian countryside, melded together for an elegant over-water culinary experience, elevated by a selection of 80 international wines from Vinoteca by Pullman. Guests can enjoy options from the authentic à la carte menu such as creamy Burrata Caprese to start, followed by Confit Duck Ravioli with truffle and green asparagus in a roasted onion sauce, and for dessert a classic Italian Lemon Cheesecake. These are few of the many other delectable dishes on offer at Souq Oven.

Pullman Maldives Maamutaa

Making Meaningful Moments in Time at Grand Park Kodhipparu

Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives is a firm believer in the positive influence the resort can have. Not merely for guests and their experiences but for the destination and the world.

Travel creates empathy and understanding, and can inspire and educate, which are fundamental improvements the world needs right now. One morning spent snorkelling, contributing to coral preservation work and understanding the marine life surrounding the island with the resident marine biologist can completely open your eyes to how precious yet vulnerable this planet is.

Travel has always helped fund local economies, and in recent years, in particular, become increasingly adept at preserving the culture and supporting the local communities, consciously engaging in regenerative measures. By supporting Green Globe-certified carbon offset standards, every month the resort works with the energy auditors and engineers to calculate solar energy generation, consequential reduction of fuel consumption, the efficacy of the water management operations as well as responsible methods of waste management. All this information is readily available and easily accessible to all their guests in real-time so that they can rest assured their holiday here could be more sustainable with every passing hour.

The recycling efforts go beyond the ordinary as Grand Park Kodhipparu endeavours to take every possible opportunity to be cyclical, be it table decor, Christmas ornaments, or sustainable toys, every small step taken must be meaningful, no matter how big or small.

As the world becomes increasingly educated on the impact of human actions, it is both the responsibility and focus to develop operational and guest initiatives to ensure a future that is beyond sustainable. Building

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respect for the ecosystem, and creating the humanto-human and human-to-nature connection with every holiday experience is what the entire belief system is based on. The resort also encourages its guests to spend more time talking to the “Green Team” on the island when they visit.

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Baglioni Resort Maldives

Paradise with Italian Grace

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Lose yourself in the vastness of the Indian Ocean and find yourself again, luxuriating blissfully under a palm tree. This is just one of the unique experiences that await you at Baglioni Resort Maldives. Dreamily resplendent on the island of Maagau in Dhaalu atoll, this remarkable resort is awash with the tropical beauty that the Maldives is wellknown for.

Baglioni Resort Maldives boasts an array of 89 villas, split between the ivory beachfront and on stilts above the infinite shades of the azure ocean. While a variety of beach villas, including three two-bedroom family beach villas, cater to families and couples seeking a romantic getaway, water villas have freshwater pools or sunset views. The awe-inspiring Baglioni Residence water villa, the pinnacle of the resort’s villas, features three bedrooms, each with a private bathroom, a wide balcony, a large jacuzzi pool, and a round-the-clock butler, housekeeping, and buggy service. Designed using materials and techniques for optimum sustainability while making the most of the natural setting, all room categories share a harmonious aesthetic that combines Maldivian accents with the renowned Italian attention-to-detail that the brand is synonymous with.

With four distinct restaurants, guests can savour gourmet fare to suit every palate, served up alongside stunning views of the glittering Indian Ocean. Unsurprisingly, authentic Italian food is served at Gusto Restaurant under the stars, and Taste, a beachside restaurant, offers international cuisine for breakfast and dinner. For exquisite Japanese, book a table at Umami. At the gorgeous pool bar, which is surrounded by an endless infinity pool and ocean vistas, you can have casual nibbles along with vibrant and energizing mixed beverages. It is also possible to arrange private dining experiences, such as in-villa breakfasts, romantic sunset cruises, and wine tastings with gourmet cuisine.

What’s more, Baglioni Resort Maldives offers recreational activities for everyone, accommodating all kinds of visitors. Beach volley, tennis, and soccer are among the sports available to adventure seekers, while water babies can engage in activities like pedal boating, windsurfing, and kayaking. Book a scuba diving course or go snorkelling to see the Maldives’ colourful underwater world. Those who would rather stay on dry land can go dolphin watching, head out on a romantic sunset cruise, or arrange an expedition to a neighbouring sandbank where they can spend the day living like Robinson Crusoe.

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A Gourmet Adventure Awaits at Baglioni Resort Maldives

Baglioni Resort Maldives offers an array of food and drinks from breakfast to after dinner, all in their signature Italian style. Four superb restaurants serve gourmet dishes from all over the world, the finest Italian cuisine, authentic pizza and a kids’ menu crafted especially for younger guests, private bespoke dinners, wine tastings, and aperitive for two at sunset.

GUSTO – THE ITALIAN RESTAURANT

The Gusto Restaurant, overlooking the ocean, is a triumph of traditional Italian recipes. Gazing across the ocean, this is the ideal location for a romantic dinner under the stars, with the seductive murmur of the waves in the background. The menu offers traditional Mediterranean dishes with a contemporary twist and a scrupulous eye for the ingredients. The exclusive modern wine cellar full of fine Italian labels is the icing on the cake.

UMAMI - THE JAPANESE RESTAURANT

The gourmet culture of Japan perfectly complements the style of Baglioni Resort Maldives, with the perfect harmony of form and style together. The consummately crafted dishes marry a love of design with a meticulous insistence on the finest quality ingredients. In the evening, the chefs dazzle the guests with a prestigious a’ la carte dinner menu. Guests can also experience teppanyaki hot plates; the live cooking station will surely seduce your taste buds.

TASTE – THE INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANT

The Taste Restaurant fascinates with its international culinary offer, and guides guests through a journey made of traditional and innovative recipes. The ‘Taste’ restaurant presents its own blend of the fine international cuisine at breakfast and dinner for those with a spirit of culinary adventure. Guests can begin their day with a delicious continental and Asian buffet breakfast at the Taste. In the evening, the restaurant offers a buffet dinner or à la carte proposal of international fusion cuisine featuring intriguing combinations of selected wines.

POOL BAR

The Baglioni Resort Maldives pool bar is the perfect place to be after an energizing freshwater swim. During the afternoon, the bar offers a delicious selection of snacks and sharing plates to enjoy by the swimming pool. Later in the evening guests can indulge in some tempting appetizers with a glass of Italian sparkling wine. Live music or traditional dancing add to the experience of a truly special evening.

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Top Things to Do at Baglioni Resort Maldives

INDULGE IN A WELLNESS EXPERIENCE AT THE BAGLIONI SPA

A genuine Italian haven tucked away in the middle of pristine wilderness, where you may relax and recharge in the tranquillity of the environment. The spa features a fitness area, a Yoga Pavilion where you may practice yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises, and four private treatment rooms for individuals and couples.

The right equilibrium of body, mind, and soul is sought through various daily exercise classes, beginning with muscle training activities in the morning and ending with a yoga session at sunset. Indulge in some opulent Maldivian traditions designed to calm the mind and refresh the spirit. You can customize your treatments to meet your specific needs and even want to have them performed in the privacy of your villa.

JOIN A COOKING CLASS THAT UNLEASHES YOUR INNER CHEF

During your vacation in the Maldives, give yourself a cooking lesson to learn the secrets of Asian cuisine and become a “chef for a day.” In the Umami Restaurant, you may learn how to make classic sushi rolls and prepare a teppanyaki dish. Meanwhile, the chef of Gusto Restaurant will teach you how to make pasta from scratch. You could even learn some of the traditional dishes in Maldivian cuisine and discover more about the country’s culinary traditions.

PUT ON YOUR FAVOURITE FILM AND ENJOY IT UNDERNEATH THE NIGHT SKY

Relax in the warm sands of the Indian Ocean while watching some of the best films of all time on the large screen at the Pool Bar. While you watch your favourite movie at the beach, you can savour a drink and grab a delectable snack to enjoy. A night of entertainment under the stars for kids as well. While relaxing on the beach, kids can pick from a broad variety of movies and cartoons. Tiny pizzas, mini burgers, and popcorn will be served as part of a miniature buffet during the screening for the kids.

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DIVE WITH AN UNDERWATER SCOOTER TO DISCOVER THE OCEAN

Explore the seabed of the Maldives with an underwater scooter (DPV, or Diver Propulsion Vehicle), and you’re in for a rush of adrenaline and thrilling feelings. Start your trip on the island’s beautiful house reef, which is full of sea life. A professional instructors’ team will be glad to guide divers of all experience levels and skill levels, from complete novices to those looking to get up to speed in the region’s mild currents, or up close and personal with powerful pelagic creatures like sharks and rays.

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Baglioni Resort Maldives

TMA Reaches Magical Milestone, Adds 60th Seaplane to its Fleet

Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) has welcomed its milestone 60th aircraft to its fleet. The De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter touched down at Velana International Airport on 16th November 2022, journeying all the way from Canada.

The airline is looking forward to maintaining and further improving its service standards, whilst fostering trust and confidence among its guests who rely on them to be their ‘Gateway to Paradise’. With an exciting year ahead for Maldives tourism and a number of new properties coming up, TMA remains committed to continuously evolving and growing alongside its partners and the industry.

This year has been a year of great milestones for the world’s largest seaplane operator. After 30 years of operating seaplanes from its own base, TMA made a historic relocation to Noovilu Seaplane Terminal (NSPT). This was a necessary step for the expansion of seaplane operations, as the new terminal holds twice as many seaplanes as TMA’s old seaplane base.

Trans Maldivian Airways has been honoured with multiple accolades for its accomplishments this year, starting with the South Asian Travel Awards naming the company as the “Leading Tourist Transport Provide (Air)”. TMA was also awarded the title of “Seaplane Company – Regional Winner” at the World Luxury Awards 2022. TMA once again defended its title as the “Indian Ocean’s Leading Seaplane Operator” for the 9th

consecutive year, whilst also winning the prestigious title of “World’s Leading Seaplane Operator” for the 8th year at the World Travel Awards 2022.

Since the introduction of seaplane services to the Maldives in 1993, TMA has pioneered point-to-point connectivity in the country and has given the tourism industry the confidence to expand to the outer atolls. The government of Maldives acknowledged and recognized Trans Maldivian for its exemplary contributions to the tourism industry’s expansion over the last 50 years, with the company receiving the President’s Tourism Gold Award at the Gala held to celebrate the Golden Year of Tourism in the Maldives. Further, TMA’s CEO Mr. A.U.M. Fawzy received the Appreciation Award from the Ministry of Tourism for his contributions to the Maldivian Tourism Industry, presented by His Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the 50 Years of Tourism Appreciation Reception.

As the oldest and most experienced transport provider in the Maldives, TMA has been the preferred way to connect guests from Velana International Airport to over 80 resorts across 14 atolls. From its humble beginnings with 2 aircraft and 4 passengers, now the world’s largest seaplane operator with a fleet of 60 aircraft, TMA has grown to become one of the largest companies in the Maldives, a key contributor to tourism infrastructure and the backbone of the industry in the country.

ITA Airways Commences Flights from Rome Fiumicino to the Maldives

The first ITA Airways direct flight from Rome Fiumicino arrived to the Maldives on 18th December 2022 in the Company’s flagship, the Airbus A350.

To meet the expected demand, the new connection will have a variable number of weekly frequencies: from twice weekly, on Saturdays and Sundays (from 28 January to 25 March), to three weekly frequencies (from 19 to 22 January), to four weekly frequencies (11 to 15 January), and, to five weekly frequencies (from 2 to 8 January).

Flights will be operated until 15 April 2023, allowing Italian holidaymakers to choose the Maldives for their Easter holidays. In addition, travellers flying on the new route will also be conveniently connected with the flights from major European airports thanks to ITA Airways’ extensive network.

“This connection aims at further developing our network by identifying destinations of greatest interest and with the highest potential not only for the final customer but also for business partners, tour operators and travel agencies,” said Emiliana Limosani, ITA Airways Chief Commercial Officer and CEO Volare. “ITA Airways passengers will also be travelling to the Maldives with convenient connections not only from Italy but from all over Europe.”

“We are confident that the increase in direct connectivity will boost arrivals during the holiday and winter season,” said Thoyyib Mohamed, CEO of Visit Maldives. “Italy has always been one of our key markets, one of historical importance for the Maldivian tourism industry. Tourists from Italy were in fact the first to visit the Maldives when we started tourism development exactly 50 years ago and, today, we are really excited about this direct connection between the two Countries. Currently, Italy is the 5th market in terms of volume of arrivals with over 80,000 visitors, 5.4% of the total market share.”

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Manta Air Announces Plans to Expand its Seaplane Fleet with Additional Aircraft

In line with its strategic growth plans and to meet the continuing high demand from new resort customers, Manta Air, the fastest-growing domestic airline in the Maldives, has announced plans to expand its fleet with an additional 12 DHC6 Twin Otter aircraft for its seaplane service.

Since the launch of its seaplane service in 2019, Manta Air has experienced tremendous growth in demand within a very short time. The arrival of Manta Air has been a game changer in the domestic aviation industry, removing uncertainty on flight timings for passengers flying in the Maldives, and setting new standards in service excellence through its pre-published schedules and a tailored approach to providing a best-in-class experience to all passengers.

Commenting on the plans for expansion, Manta Air’s CEO Mr Mohamed Khaleel said, “At Manta Air, we are continuously striving to expand and meet the demands of our customers. Our superior quality services now have been accepted by the tourism industry and we have seen significant growth in customer demand for our product. Our shareholders are committed to continuing investing and expanding the company and these plans for additional aircraft are to create the capacity required for us to bring on board the new customers waiting in our pipeline. With the addition of these aircraft, we will be able to expand our network to more parts of the Maldives and allow thousands more tourists to experience the Manta way to fly.”

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Virgin Atlantic Announces New Routes to the Maldives

Virgin Atlantic has announced that the airline will begin flying to the idyllic islands of the Maldives in 2023 offering a slice of utopia and the chance to explore the world’s most beautiful beaches, and finest snorkelling and scuba diving.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to add these new routes to our flying portfolio. The Maldives has always been an incredibly popular destination for Virgin Atlantic Holidays customers, which is why we couldn’t

wait to give them the opportunity to travel to the idyllic location in style onboard Virgin Atlantic aircraft.”

Virgin Atlantic will utilize Boeing 787 Dreamliners, featuring 31 upper class, 35 premium and 192 economy delight, classic and light seats for he Maldives operations. Virgin Atlantic will also launch a winter seasonal three-times weekly service to the Maldives from London Heathrow.

The UK was ranked as the 3rd top market in 2022.

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Tourist Facilities by Atoll, 2022

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Immerse Yourself in Blissful Baros Moments at The Serenity Spa

An unrivalled exotic paradise, Baros invites guests to enter a world of tropical tranquillity, enhanced by coconut palms, vivid jungle-like interiors, silk-soft white-sand beaches and the mesmerising melody of crystalline waves lapping the shores.

The Serenity Spa at Baros is dedicated to creating a personalised, rejuvenating spa experience in a serene ambience inspiring sublime well-being. From the moment guests enter the spa and follow the stepping stones across the calmly flowing water feature, they are guided gently through healing spa therapies that leave them feeling refreshed, whether recovering from jet lag or a day of adventure on the islands.

The Serenity Spa therapists can expertly tailor a series of treatments to suit an individual guest to give maximum benefit and fulfilment during a holiday at Baros. Here, guests will have access to a full selection of beauty and body treatments, from stretch, Ayurveda and foot massages to cleansing scrubs, nourishing wraps, rejuvenating facials and manicures and pedicures.

For couples, there are four large luxurious treatment rooms hidden within the lush foliage of the spa garden, each with a changing cubicle, private steam room and relaxation area, complete with bathtub and open-air showers, allowing guests to feel the velvet tropical air on their skin as they refresh themselves.

For mind and spirit, private yoga and meditation sessions can be arranged in the air-conditioned spa pavilion, on the guest’s villa deck, the Lighthouse deck or at sunrise and sunset on a sandbank.

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A dose of joy, love, and sunshine in the Maldives

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HDC Unveils Integrated Tourism Megaproject ‘Urban

Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has disclosed plans to launch an integrated tourism megaproject in Hulhumale’ Phase II, dubbed ‘Urban Isle’. The plan was unveiled by the Managing Director of HDC, Ahmed Athif at the Corporate Maldives ”GOLD 100 GALA” held on 29th November 2022.

In the northernmost region of Hulhumale’ Phase II, close to the Sheraton Full Moon Resort, land has been set aside for the Urban Isle project, which aims to create various kinds of tourism. It has a 1,03,421 sqm footprint. The Urban Isle project is to be developed independently of the Hulhumale’ development project. It consists of the following:

• Three medium-sized, 10-storey hotels — an area of 19,103 sqm

• Three high-end, 10-storey hotels – an area of 50,681 sqm

• Four 8-10-storey city hotels — an area of 2,850 sqm

• 21 six-storey guesthouses – 9,224 sqm of land

• 11 three-storey luxury villas – an area of 5,083 sqm

• 10 plots for construction of serviced apartments in 8-12 storey towers – 7,006 sqm

• Nine plots of land – 9,474 sqm for business development

Isle’

The integrated tourism island presents an expansive range of properties to invest in. The island welcomes every type of traveller, from international and domestic visitors, to budget travellers and those seeking an extravagant stay. The properties are positioned to offer short-term stays for transit purposes, as well as longterm stays for residents and digital nomads.

The business models proposed by Urban Isle include the lease model, fixed lease model, and JV model. Investor proposals are not restricted to any model, and investors have the opportunity to propose any business model.

Amari Raaya Maldives Set to Open in April

Amari’s second property in the Maldives, Amari Raaya Maldives in Raa Atoll is set to open in Q2 2023.

Located northwest of the Maldivian capital of Male’, the resort will consist of 200 villas. The resort will also feature seven dining concepts, a Maai Spa, and a kids club. Amari Raaya Maldives will join Amari Havodda Maldives, further boosting the brand’s presence in the Maldives.

Joining at the helm of this anticipated new property is Rainer Steinhilber, Pre-Opening General Manager. His experience is firmly rooted in the Maldives, having held various management positions with Crown & Champa resorts over the last eight years.

The resort is part of the ONYX Hospitality Group, one of the fastest growing hospitality players in the Asia Pacific region. Their key brands are Amari, Ozo, Shama and Saffron Collection.

Amari brings to life a contemporary re-imagining of Thailand’s rich cultural roots and the influence of its dynamic creativity to locations both near and far. Each destination highlights the textures and flavours of its unique setting through architecture, design, art, cuisine and service complemented by touches of modern Thai-ness. ONYX is currently expanding its footprint in the Maldives, Laos, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Japan.

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Joy Island Maldives, the Latest Exciting Addition to The Cocoon Collection

Opening July 2023, Joy Island by the Cocoon Collection is nestled in North Male’ Atoll, home to magnificent beaches, incredible coral reefs and breathtaking scenery. Just 40 minutes by speedboat from Velana International Airport, this beautiful island in the shape of a butterfly is surrounded by sweeping white sands and a turquoise lagoon.

The resort’s 5* contemporary design reflects the colours of nature harmonised with authentic Maldivian influences. Joy represents the pleasures to be enjoyed, be it a romantic getaway, active family vacation or diving group seeing underwater adventure. Joy is home to a luxury selection of 150 spacious suites and villas with a choice of sunrise or sunset views and enjoy typical Maldivian designed open-air bathrooms. The ultimate stay is experienced in the Joy Beach Suite, offering 300 sqm of indulgent comfort in its 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and magnificent living room with the benefit of an outdoor dining area and private plunge pool on an incredible beachfront setting for the best sunset moments over the lagoon. Dining in the main restaurant ‘The Market’ showcases world flavours with its different daily street food themes while the most loved Italian dishes are served in il Basilico. Cocktails are served in the colourful ambience of Rainbow and tasty tapas and paella tempt guests at the Chiringuito on the tip of the island.

A sublime spa experience to heal mind, body and spirit await in the overwater Dream Spa and for those in search of activities, an outstanding PADI centre, tennis, paddle, water sports and boat excursions to the majestic surrounding reefs ensure every guest a memorable vacation. A fully supervised Kids Club keeps younger guests happily entertained.

Joy is the concept and experience at this brand-new Maldivian island resort. Joy Island Maldives by The Cocoon Collection is represented by Plateau International.

OZEN PRIVÉ ATHIRI GILI to Launch in South Male’ Atoll in 2024

THE OZEN COLLECTION extends its portfolio with two new distinct properties, OZEN MANSION KOLKATA and OZEN PRIVÉ ATHIRI GILI. The new additions will bring distinctive, unique concepts to the portfolio –be it an elegantly lavish interlude amidst the old-world charms of Kolkata or a sustainable, secluded sojourn in the Maldives.

A Soulful, Sustainable Sanctuary in the Maldives OZEN PRIVÉ ATHIRI GILI, set for a Q4 2024 launch in South Malé Atoll, brings to the fore an inspiring getaway with sustainability and seclusion at the heart of every experience.

The tranquil resort will have 38 enchanting pool villas and private dining havens scattered throughout the scenic island, offering a selection of multi-cultural dining experiences.

An exceptional fully encompassing holiday plan will offer guests the ultimate carefree escape, with the freedom to dine anytime, anywhere – at one of the prebooked dining havens or in the comfort of their villas. Quintessentially Maldives, a Spa Village by ELE | NA ELEMENTS OF NATURE will beckon those who want an extremely exclusive and private wellness experience. At OZEN PRIVÉ ATHIRI GILI there will be a genuine focus on innovative eco-practices to protect the delicate tropical ecosystem. Sustainable initiatives will include rainwater harvesting, renewable energy, a biogas plant, a bio pond swimming pool, the use of geothermal, recyclable materials, zero food waste, organic farming, a drip irrigation system, and the ‘3R’ concept for waste management.

Mr Salil Panigrahi, the Managing Director of Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, says: “We are continuously evolving ourselves into a more resonating brand every day, in true Joy of Giving spirit. With the two upcoming THE OZEN COLLECTION resorts, we are pushing the boundaries on the guest experience.”

In addition to these two properties, THE OZEN COLLECTION also has a resort in the pipeline in Sri Lanka, OZEN SECLUDED TANGALLE.

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DAMAC Group Signs Contract with Mandarin Oriental to Manage Luxurious Resort in the Maldives

The Dubai-based DAMAC Group, one of the region’s foremost luxury real estate developers, has signed a contract with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to operate a new resort on a group of private islands in The Maldives.

The 34-hectare luxury resort, which is currently under development and is scheduled to open in 2025, will be DAMAC Group’s first foray in the tourist islands, known for its premium five-star offerings.

The Indian Ocean resort stretches across three private islands on Bolidhuffaru Reef in South Male Atoll, accessed by an easy 20-minute speedboat ride from Male’s Velana international airport.

The Mandarin Oriental Bolidhuffaru Reef’s accommodation comprises 130 stand-alone villas, made up of 64 overwater villas and 66 beachfront villas, including 10 branded residences. Ranging in internal size from 100 to 600 sqm, the villas will be some of the largest in the market, each providing exclusivity and seclusion, with private pools and beautiful ocean views. The DAMAC Group is working with a number of international consultants to ensure sustainability best practices are followed in all stages of the development. Eight dining outlets, including three speciality restaurants and an exclusive dining venue along with a pool bar will ensure that guests have a varied choice of cuisines during their stay. In addition, creative indoor and outdoor event spaces will provide unique locations for meetings, social gatherings and weddings.

Spacious wellness facilities will be located in the resort’s tropical gardens, and will include 12 treatment suites, vitality pools, hammam, sauna and steam rooms as well as a beauty salon. Mandarin Oriental’s expert team of wellness practitioners will offer tailored experiences and the Group’s signature treatments.

Additional leisure activities will include a watersports and a dive centre, a world class kids and teens club designed by international consultants, a swimming pool and numerous private coves and beaches to explore.

“The DAMAC brand is synonymous with luxury products and service, and we felt The Maldives was a perfect location for us. DAMAC has extended its global footprint outside of the Middle East, from the UK to Canada, and we are thrilled to have now reached The Maldives as

well. We look forward to working with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to manage our new resort on this beautiful island,” says Hussain Sajwani, Chairman and founder of the DAMAC Group.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, resorts and residences. Having grown from its Asian roots into a global brand, the Group now operates 36 hotels and seven residences in 24 countries and territories, with each property reflecting the Group’s oriental heritage and unique sense of place.

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How Solar Power Can Boost Resorts’ Profits, as the Era of Cheap Diesel Ends

First the coronavirus and now the war in Ukraine. It has been a volatile few years for Maldivian tourism, throwing companies’ business plans into chaos and blowing holes in their balance sheets.

For Maldivian resorts, keeping costs down and balance sheets in the black is more important than ever. At the same time, we cannot cut corners and risk diminishing our brand or our guests’ holiday experience. If only there was a magic pill to reduce operating costs while not impacting guest satisfaction. Thankfully, there is a tonic to shore up company finances during this difficult time – solar power.

Solar power has collapsed in price in recent years (Soneva Fushi installed the first Maldivian solar farm back in 2008), to the extent that installing it is a financial no-brainer. It is also possible to invest in solar with very little in terms of upfront financial outlay, as companies in Europe are willing to fund the entire cost of the system and the installation in exchange for longterm guaranteed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). This means that resorts do not have to dip into cash reserves at a time when they should be building them. Let me share with you what we are doing at Soneva.

Soneva recently tendered for the development of a third solar and battery hybrid system for Soneva Fushi, and a first solar system for Soneva Jani. This will result in a combined installed solar capacity between the two resorts of close to 6 megawatts. A handful of companies bid for the tender. Under the terms of the winning tender, the supplier will supply and install all of the equipment, including panels, inverters, batteries and so on, and install them at our resorts without cost to us (we are having to make modest investments in some powerhouse works to be able to cope with the new power availability).

Initially, the tenders were based on a PPA (Power Purchasing Agreement) whereby Soneva would agree to buy electricity generated by the solar panels for 10 years at a fixed price of around 13 U.S. cents per kWh. Nonetheless, even at 13 cents per kWh, this is still 2.5 cents cheaper per kWh than what we would have paid when diesel prices were historically low by using our existing generators at the resort. Now, we have a skyhigh oil price. The saving today would be 22 U.S cents. In such a scenario, not having spent a penny of our own money on the solar system, we would immediately

save US$760,000 per year at Soneva Fushi and US$1.1 million per year at Soneva Jani on electricity costs if we went for this PPA covering half of our load (based on the current price of diesel).

What’s more, an interesting component of the PPA is that after 10 years we have the right to buy the solar system from the supplier for $1, after which, we will enjoy free electricity for the duration of the life of the system — probably another 10 years or so. When it comes to the bottom line, solar is a shot in the arm and guests like it because it reduces carbon emissions.

However, to further reduce our costs, our bankers have agreed to finance the purchase of the system. If one factors in the interest rates that we are paying the bank as well as the depreciation on the equipment, the saving is even greater. We stand to save 26 – 28 cents per kWh and US$ 2.3 million per year for the two resorts combined.

Another important reason why it is so financially attractive is that it provides us with energy security. We have no idea where oil prices (and therefore diesel prices) will go in the future. Right now, oil prices stand at around $90 per barrel, but they are so volatile it’s anyone’s guess where they will be in 12 months’ time.

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How the Government Could help

These cost savings alone should be enough to spur resorts to embrace solar. But the Government could help things along by, for example, partnering with the Bank of Maldives to provide a facility for resorts to borrow cheaply for solar. This would forgo the need for an international tender, and also push more business to Maldivian solar companies.

The Government could also push resorts into action through regulation: perhaps a law that states resorts must generate 50% of their total energy load from renewables by 2025, and 100% by 2030; which would be in line with the President’s net-zero by 2030 target.

In this day and age, there isn’t much good news to go around. But solar is a story with no downsides. It doesn’t cost money to install, it reduces operating costs, and enhances the guest experience. The price of diesel is horribly volatile, while sunshine is free and, in the Maldives, plentiful. Some sunny news to brighten up these cloudy days.

About the author: Sonu Shivdasani is the Founder and CEO of luxury resort chain Soneva.

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo Closes Doors to Single-Use Water Bottles

To give a significant boost to the sustainability practices at Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, the resort has made yet another milestone in the books of sustainability by completely eliminating single-use water bottles entering the island.

The resort unveiled this project by installing their own in-house water purification and glass bottling plant that eliminates the reliance on single-use plastic water bottles. Adaaran Prestige Vadoo takes pride in such initiatives, and is making a positive and sustainable impact in the beautiful island nation and contributing to the world at large.

Just a short 15-minute ride by speedboat from Maldives International Airport, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo features 50 water villas, each located above the turquoise waters, offering unrestricted access to the crystal clear, warm waters of the Indian Ocean. With 2 restaurants, 2 bars and an All-inclusive Gold Plan, this idyllic island makes sure all your cravings are satisfied.

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State of the Art Marine Laboratory Inaugurated at Diamonds Thudufushi

On the 29th of October 2022, Planhotel Hospitality Group in partnership with the University of MilanoBicocca, Italy, hosted the inauguration of the new Marine Laboratory at Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas, South Ari Atoll, Maldives.

Diamonds Thudufushi welcomed H.E. Aminath Shauna, Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology along with the State Minister of Environment, Dr. Abdullah Naseer and the State Minister of Tourism, Dr. Ahmed Salih, they were accompanied by the Rector of the University of Milano-Bicocca, Prof. Giovanna Iannantuoni. The ceremony was also attended by a delegation from the Italian embassy and Senior University representatives, including Prof. Paolo Galli, Director of MaRHE Center in F. Magoodhoo.

The state-of-the-art Marine Laboratory is one of its kind among resort islands, as it combines active marine research with educational guest experiences. It is fitted with modern laboratory equipment to conduct, for example, DNA analysis as well as new technologies such as 3-D printing to supplement the ongoing coral restoration project. Researchers will bring modern technologies in reach of the public by providing hands on experiences in laboratory techniques such as using DNA extraction and PCR for genetic studies. In dedicated workshops, resort guests can also experience the virtual reality of diving on a pristine coral reef, participate in state-of-the-art coral restoration practices and learn how to use environmental DNA for marine megafauna conservation.

As a result of the collaboration between Diamonds Resorts Maldives and MaRHE Center of the University of Milano-Bicocca, resort guests are not only able to experience science in action but also contribute to data collection through local science projects.

By increasing ocean literacy of resort guests through memorable experiences and actively supporting marine research, the resort hopes to contribute to the conservation and protection of the magnificent Maldivian coral reef ecosystem. The resort also invites guests to visit the marine biology team in the new Marine Laboratory during their stay at Diamonds Maldives to find out more about the different research projects and how they can get involved.

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Noovilu Seaplane Terminal at VIA Wins 2022 Global Best Projects Awards

Noovilu Seaplane Terminal at Velana International Airport (VIA) has won the 2022 Global Best Projects Awards of Engineering News Record (ENR). The Noovilu Seaplane Terminal won the award on Merit of Airport/ Port category.

The operator of VIA, Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) received the award on 10th annual ENR Global Projects Awards held virtually on 12th December 2022. There was a total of 18 award categories, which includes 34 projects located in 18 different countries.

ENR Global Best Projects identifies and recognizes the project team’s effort to build the facility on-time by overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions, workers shortage, supply-chain disruptions. It also honoured the team’s effort to meet the environmental requirements of the Maldives and establish processes during construction to mitigate impacts on the surrounding coral reefs and marine environment and minimize damage to marine biodiversity.

Noovilu Seaplane Terminal is the biggest seaplane terminal in the world which has floating dock area that can accommodate more than 55 seaplanes. A fourstory, 28,000 sqm terminal contains spacious lounges and boarding gates, along with office and operational spaces. MACL started the operations of the new facility on 6th October 2022.

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Sun Island Resort and Paradise Island Resort Awarded the Agoda 2022 Gold Circle Award

Villa Resorts’ eco-luxury resorts, Paradise Island Resort & Spa and Sun Island Resort & Spa have been awarded the 2022 Agoda Gold Circle Award. Well-regarded as Asia’s leading hotel booking site, recipients of the prestigious Gold Circle Award are recognized resorts that stand out in the competitive hospitality industry. Villa Resorts currently lead the way in authentic Maldivian experiences and unforgettable moments at its award-winning properties.

The Agoda Gold Circle Award is a testament to the group’s trusted and exceptional from-the-heart hospitality, inspiring innovation and sustainable living, which is a core philosophy of the brand. Moreover, the award reflects the teams’ hard work and commitment to strive to deliver memorable guest experiences that go beyond any expectations.

Each year as traveller expectations continue to rise, the resorts strive to craft an enhanced guest experience in alignment with care and preservation for the natural environment through sustainable practices, energy-

saving initiatives and ocean conservation activities. The brand invites guests to support the resorts in their energy and water-saving initiatives, take part in beach and ocean clean-ups, and recycle to conserve the natural environment. The opportunity for guests to help and support efforts towards a brighter sustainable future offers a more immersive adventure and deeper connection with nature during their vacation.

Villa Resorts’ collection of award-winning Maldives resorts is celebrated for their spectacular natural beauty, signature Indian Ocean experiences and personalized exploration. Spacious and private accommodation, combined with the natural beauty of the islands, a sustainable approach to living and the captivating variety of activities on offer, allows ample opportunity for families to bond together, as well as for individual moments of quiet and calm for couples and newlyweds.

Fushifaru Maldives Wins 4 Awards at the Prestigious Luxe Global Awards

Fushifaru Maldives, an exquisite resort known for its Maldivian flair and unparalleled genuine hospitality in Lhaviyani Atoll, was recently handed four awards at the prominent 2022 Luxe Global Awards. Adding to its growing list of accolades, the boutique resort was granted the global winner for the following categories: “Best Luxury Island Resort”, “Best Luxury Boutique Resort”, “Best Authentic Experience Resort” and “Best Luxury Sustainable Resort” in November 2022.

LUXE Global was established in 2021 to empower and showcase the most luxurious hotels, spas and restaurants from around the globe, and was dubbed the most exclusive award in the world.

“We are immensely proud to be recognised not only in one but in four important categories. This is a testament to the trust that our guests have in us. Winning these awards shows the dedication and hard work that our team puts in every day in ensuring every guest’s stay is memorable,” stated Ahmed Siaar, the General Manager of Fushifaru Maldives.

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Taj Exotica Maldives Wins at Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2023 in the Luxury Spas Category

Taj Exotica Resort and Spa Maldives has been honoured at the Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2023 in the Luxury Spas category.

The prestigious award recognises Jiva Spa’s holistic approach to wellness as the finest across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Oceania. Online voters across the globe and luxury travel experts have hailed the experience as a uniquely inclusive blend of “Indian healing therapies on a Maldivian private island paradise, set within a stunningly beautiful lagoon location, with impeccably trained staff and a spa offering timehonoured Indian treatments”.

“This esteemed global recognition of our team’s effort and dedication speaks for our commitment to excellence and an exceptional legacy of wellness. The award further strengthens our promise to guests that they leave feeling refreshed and inspired in body, mind and soul,” said Mr. Samrat Datta, the General Manager of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa.

While celebrating exemplary achievement in the competitive Luxury Spa category for its yoga programme, the win acknowledges the profound impact of Jiva’s roots in 5000-year-old Indian Ayurveda traditions. Its ethos of carefully-recreated treatments from India’s wellness heritage integrates standalone programmes and therapies into a comprehensive philosophy of health. Its contemporary approach to India’s time-tested wellness heritage translates to sublime luxury – striking over-water spa pavilions with private sundecks and relaxation spaces looking out at the tranquil lagoon. Presenting a throwback to Indian royalty, elaborate bathing ceremonies, saunas, body masks, and aromatherapy massages draw upon the goodness of fresh fruits, vegetables, Indian herbs, sea salts and pure essential oils. Jiva spa’s yoga, meditation techniques and wellness rituals are extensively researched and expertly administered to enhance guests’ physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. From basic to advanced techniques of Surya Namaskar, Pranayama, Jala Neti and Yoga Nidra to lesser-known ancient practices like Antar Mouna, Hirdayakasha Dharana, Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana and Kunjal Kriya – administered by experienced experts – the yoga

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programme at Jiva Spa immerses guests in a holistic way of life. Woven organically into a nature-first lifestyle – with underwater activities, dining on the freshest catch of the day and a dedicated spa room at the twobedroom Beach Villa Suite – Jiva’s wellness philosophy and the quest for excellence seeps into every luxurious aspect of the resort.

Honouring the finest hotels, resorts, and travel organizations in the industry. Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence is the principal reference guide for independent travellers. With over 40 years of experience inspecting and recommending properties throughout the world, it has become the trusted mark of quality recognised by discerning consumers and travel professionals alike.

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South end Addu rest point two rest point one HAK Rest point three VLR Starting point VRMM Most east edge of Maldives Foththeyo Fly over Thohdoo Win the Ultimate Scenic Seaplane Tour of Maldives with TMA 1 Jan - 30 Jun 2023 13 atolls 700+ islands 12 hours
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