Travel Trade Maldives Magazine

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Get in Touch with Nature — Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives
& Feel the
at —
Cora Cora Maldives

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

4 10 12 30 32 40 08 07
Captain and Assistant Manager, Technical Operations at Trans Maldivian Airways Baros Maldives Launches New Guest Experiences to Discover its WorldClass House Reef MARKET OVERVIEW TTM TAKEOVER THE 5 BIGGEST TRAVEL TRENDS FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR PEOPLE EDITOR‘S PICKS MMPRC FAIR LIST EDITOR‘S NOTE
Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives
5 80 66 76 56 50 88 83 36 New Runway at VIA Commences Operations Best-Selling Author & Emotional Health Advisor Roxie Nafousi to Take Residency in Huvafen Fushi, Maldives Cora Cora Maldives EMERGING RESORTS AVIATION WELLNESS TTM TAKEOVER WHAT‘S ON AWARDS & ACCOLADES SUSTAINABILITY NEW APPOINTMENTS
e. t. +960 665 1300 w. | SAiiLagoonMaldives

Editor‘s Note

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the November 2022 edition of Travel Trade Maldives, our print publication dedicated to all things travel, trade and tourism in the Maldives. It has been a sensational year for tourism in the Maldives, with total arrivals expected to reach over 90% of pre-pandemic levels. As 2022 comes to an end, our cover story for this issue features a tourism forecast focusing on travel trends for the upcoming year.

As part of our TTM Takeover, we first take a look at Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives, a chic barefoot resort that puts a playful twist on luxury. Our second TTM Takeover is on Cora Cora Maldives, an all-inclusive private island offering limitless fun and freedom. Our Editor’s Picks explore exciting properties across the Maldives, including Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives, Baros Maldives, and Stay Mikado.

For our People section, we sat down to have a chat with Parana Vithanage Nishantha, the Executive Chef and Emiliano Di Stefano, the Executive Sous Chef at Baglioni Resort Maldives, a five-star Italian resort located in the dreamy Dhaalu atoll. We also bring you the inspiring story of Ahmed Azmee, Captain and Assistant Manager, Technical Support at Trans Maldivian Airways.

As usual, our regular news segments touch on all aspects of the industry, such as aviation, wellness, and sustainability.

Happy reading!

Managing Director & CEO Managing Editor Digital Marketeer Design Manager Consultant Content Creator Associate Editor Designer Senior Content Creator Manager - Accounts & Admin Manager – Content Production Assistant Manager –Media & Marketing Director - Content Creation
Operating Officer Chief Design Officer Director
Copyright 2022 Orca Media Group. All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited. Opinions expressed in the articles are of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or publishers. While the editors do their utmost to verify information published they do not accept responsibility for its absolute accuracy. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced, whether in part or in whole, without the consent of Orca Media Group. c Published By
Akhmeem Abdul
Zeek Ashraf Nashama Mohamed Mohamed Mizyan Hamdhoon W. Moothi
Hassan Fathimath Shaaira Thoo Nazim Mohamed Lihaz Ma’aan Abdulla Ali Sageef Ibrahim Kudie Raaya Abdulla Fathimath Zeen Mohamed Aminath Suha Mohamed Mohamed Khoorsheed Chief
- Digital Strategy Ahmed Nasir Zaya Ahmed Ibrahim Areef

MMPRC Roadshows & Fair List 2022 & 2023

01st November

20th - 22nd January






Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya Singapore

Doha, Qatar

01st November


Shanghai, China


Sydney, Melbourne,Brisbane

Spain Australia Spain


Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu & Guangzhou

01st November 29th November - 01stDecember


Fira Barcelona Gran Via venue Av. Joan Carles, 08908 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat Barcelona

China Spain


01st November March (TBC)

01st November




01st November 07th November - 09th November 01st November



London, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham

Zurich, Geneva, Basel United Kingdom Oregon, USA

Switzerland UK USA


Middle East France Spain

01st November 01st December 18th - 22nd January

Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia , Bilbao, Malaga




01st December 01st December






Cannes, France Madrid, Spain


Zurich, Switzerland


02nd - 05th February 03rd - 05th April 03rd - 05th April

09th - 11th February 09th - 12th February 24th - 26th February (TBC)


Greater Noida, India Moscow, Russia Moscow, Russia

31 March - 1st April 01st November

Turkey Singapore UK

02nd - 04th February 07th - 09th March

Helsinki, Finland Mumbai, India Berlin, Germany

Finland India Germany


India Russia Russia


Cape Town, South Africa São Paulo, Brazil

15th - 17th March 17th - 19th March


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Almaty, Kazakhstan


19th- 21st April April (TBC)


Capetown, Durban, Johannesburg

April (TBC)


São Paulo, Brazil

South Africa Brazil Brazil



01st - 04th May 22nd - 24th August


Dubai, UAE Maldives



04th - 07th May


Seoul, South Korea


September (TBC)

B2B B2C Dive Trade

13th - 15th October



Osaka, Japan


08th - 10th May (TBC)


Seoul, Busan

09th - 12th May


São Paulo, Brazil

15th - 19th May (TBC)


Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu

South Korea Brazil China

24th - 25th May (TBC)





13th - 15th June (TBC)


Munich, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt


September (TBC)


Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur Baha Mar, The Bahamas

Bologna, Italy Singapore

25th - 27th October


Italy Singapore

06th - 08th November


United Kingdom

United Kingdom

20th, 22nd $ 24th November





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


01st - 03rd December




04th - 07th tSeptember (TBC) 18th - 21st tSeptember (TBC) 05th - 08th December


03rd - 05th October October (TBC) 11th - 13th October


Cannes, France


Paris, France Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth Rimini, Italy

Japan India The Bahamas France France Austrailia Italy


Market Overview

The tourism industry is the largest economic industry in the Maldives and is the top contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation.

The Maldivian economy is highly reliant on the economic benefits of tourism. Tourism is a source of foreign currency and plays a significant role in creating employment opportunities in the tertiary sector.

With the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector contributed 21.4% to the GDP in 2021. This is the highest contribution by any given sector in the Maldives and more than one-third of the government revenue is generated from this sector.

As the COVID-19 pandemic fades, the Maldives has dropped and eased entry requirements related to vaccination and testing.


This year marked the Golden Jubilee of Tourism in the Maldives and the nation is inching closer towards achieving its target of 1.6 million tourist arrivals for the year. According to statistics, Maldives has welcomed a total of 1,388,044 tourists so far and has already surpassed that for the entire year 2021.

This October, 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.

The change in travel scenario after re-opening the borders altered the top ten markets to the Maldives significantly.

For the first time in the history of tourism in the Maldives, India bagged the first position in the top ten list. As a short-haul market, the Indian market currently contributes over 13% to the total arrivals and direct flights such as Indigo bring in the most passenger load.

The Russian market has stepped up to 2nd place this year from 6th place in 2019. The Russia-Ukraine war did not impact tourist arrivals to the Maldives as expected. The conflict between the two nations leads tourism experts in Maldives to estimate this would impact arrivals to Maldives, and subsequently, it’s economy. However, the arrivals from Russia have been steady this year.

The U.K market has always been a sturdy market to the Maldives and held a strong presence throughout the history of tourism in the Maldives. Ranking in third place this year, arrivals from the U.K improved when British Airways resumed direct flights to the Maldives.

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 USA, France, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland.


Velana International Airport (VIA) has recorded a 27% increase in international flight movements so far this year compared to the same period last year.

According to the monthly statistics published by Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), 11,070 international flights arrived at VIA from January to September 2022. Last year, only 8,698 international flights were recorded in the same period, hence showing a 27% increase this year. Chartered and scheduled flights however show a decrease of 12.3% as this year 1,609 flights were recorded in this area whereas, during 2021, 1,834 flights had been recorded.

As of right now, 32 international flights are operating in the Maldives.


As of now, 166 operational resorts amounting to 40,751 beds are registered in the Maldives. 873 hotels and guesthouses are further registered with 15,648 beds.

Safari vessels account for the lowest total bed capacity with 157 safari vessels and 2,900 beds cruising around in the Maldives.

Even amidst the pandemic, Maldives has 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 this year, Maldives is expected to welcome 2 million tourists in 2023. 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. He expressed confidence that the goal can be achieved based on this year’s promising tourism statistics.


Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives Get in Touch with Nature

Seaside Finolhu located in Baa Atoll, is known for its pristine white sand beaches, framed by a verdant landscape and azure water. Each of the 125 villas puts you in touch with the ocean as they are set right on the beach, in a lagoon, or on stilts above the water. The villas feature opulent decor and plenty of space to stretch out, relax, and even take a shower in the fresh air.


Villa Beach Villa

Find tranquillity by staying in the Lagoon Villa and gaze out over the placid waters of the lagoon — the beauty of its infinitely varied shades of blue can be rather addictive. Just over the ocean, you are free to sprawl out and relax on the sun loungers of your private wooden deck, which is tucked away from view, all while having direct access to the water via a private jetty.

Ocean Pool Villa

The overwater villa’s calm refinement and seclusion make it the kind of place that would be on anyone’s list of “must-do” experiences. Unwind in the solitude of your own pool while revelling in the breath-taking scenery. An alluring harmony between peace and contentment defines these dwellings.

You don’t even have to get out of bed to take in the view of your lush garden and the beach surrounded by the turquoise water of the ocean. The fluctuating contours and tones of blue and green, as well as the golden tone of the sunsets, give this exquisite villa a sense of calm. This villa features a spacious bathroom with a tub and shower, along with an open area where you may take a bath underneath the stars.

Private Pool Villa

Beach Pool Villa

Ever fantasized about a stay in a spacious villa on a pristine beach? The time has come for you to make your aspirations a reality. The villa’s 530 square meters of living area is ideal for accommodating large gatherings of friends and family. The designers have added fun colours to your whitewashed fantasy, illuminating the spacious living area, the two master bedrooms, the two separate bathrooms, and the ten-meter swimming pool with bright highlights.

Two Bedroom Water Villa with Pool

Get back in touch with nature and learn more about its mysteries by going barefoot while you’re here. To ensure your solitude, this villa is situated at the island’s very end, and features a swimming pool and sun loungers in a lush tropical garden. True happiness lies in mingling with the natural world, and in this setting, you can experience that delight in a way that’s as liberating as a salty breeze. Envision waking up to a breath-taking panorama of your opulent private garden, then taking a leisurely stroll through the garden on your way to the beach and the stunning lagoon that lies just beyond it. Life can be so peaceful and magnificent when you’re sunbathing in your own private pool, reading a book under the palm trees, and then taking a refreshing shower in the openair section of your bathroom.

The most paradisiacal getaway imaginable. These water villas are secluded and ideal for a romantic getaway. These villas feature a large sundeck, an eightmeter pool, two master bedrooms with king-size beds, two magnificent bathrooms, and a spacious living area. Spend an evening stargazing from the comfort of your villa while taking in the views of the Indian Ocean.

One may argue that the Rockstar Villa is the Maldives’ most alluring accommodation option. It’s at the extreme end of the wooden boardwalk, giving guests privacy. Nonetheless, they never have to leave the comfort of their room thanks to the complimentary use of a golf buggy. Everything here is little larger than you’re used to: boasting a 40-inch flat-screen TV, two master bedrooms, a private bar, a bathroom with a bathtub and an outdoor shower, and a total of 460 square meters of living area, this villa has it all.

Lagoon Two Bedroom Beach Villa with Pool Two Bedroom Rockstar Ocean Pool Villa

Indulge in Deliberately Crafted Haute Cuisines at Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives

The four available eateries at Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives allow guests to satisfy any craving or whim. No matter where you eat on Finolhu, you can expect a menu that prioritizes freshness while still showcasing a polished blend of workmanship, uniqueness, international flair, and local ingredients.

When having breakfast, for instance, you may be treated to a free show by a pod of dolphins that leaps joyfully out of the water in front of you. Your table at Beach Kitchen will either be right by the pool or have a spectacular view of the ocean. Beach Kitchen is the heart of the Finolhu food scene, and not just because of the spectacular scenery. Fresh breakfast, lunch, and dinner of both local and international cuisine are provided daily. Dishes for vegans, vegetarians, and fish and meat lovers are all represented at the numerous buffet stations. Every night, expert chef de cuisine and his staff prepare a unique menu featuring dishes inspired by cuisines all over the world, including those of Asia, the Maldives, and Europe.


You can slip into your own island fantasy with a 20-minute stroll over the sandbank or a 5-minute ride in our traditional wooden boat. The Crab Shack is the epitome of country chic, what with its palm tree thatch roof and weathered wooden planks. Enjoy a glass of chilled rosé wine with your toes in the sand while daydreaming about the lagoon… Crab Shack’s beach parties continue far into the night.

This is the spot to be if you’re looking to spend a relaxing evening on the beach while listening to chill tunes and sampling some enticing exotic cocktails. Get your groove on in the sand to the top DJs, or relax with a shisha on the upper deck and take in the sunset. The air-conditioned library located on the second floor of the bar is a great spot to unwind and read a good book during the day.

During your time at Seaside Finolhu, you’ll eventually cross the Milk Lab. This is the ideal spot to grab your favourite drinks: a protein shake after a rigorous workout, a cup of espresso for that mid-day pick-me-up, or even a refreshing glass of juice to beat the heat. The Milk Lab is also where you can get all the essentials, from sunscreen to souvenirs, that will ensure a worryfree trip.

At the award-winning prestigious Kanusan, there is a little wooden boardwalk that leads out to the restaurant, which is perched on a pier in the middle of the Indian Ocean. A popular modern Japanese eatery known for both traditional and innovative dishes, it features a separate sushi bar and an aperitif bar. Kanusan is a magical setting, perfect for a first date, anniversary, or a proposal, given its atmospheric design, low lighting, and seaside wind.

Indulge your taste buds with a journey across North Africa and the Middle East at the Arabian Grill. A sensory extravaganza of smell, taste, sight, and touch. Mezze plates of fish, meat, and vegetables are served up to make an aesthetic feast, while a tajine with lime, apricots, and walnuts, or possibly the best hummus outside of Tunisia and Morocco treat you to one of the most memorable meals of your life.

Kanusan Crab Shack Arabian Grill Beach Club Milk Lab

Scan and experience

Maldives like never before

Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives

Top 5 Experiences You Cannot Miss at Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives

At Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives, not only is the atmosphere playful, but the experiences are always inspiring. From the solitude of your own villa directly over the ocean or on the beach, plan your day’s adventures — laidback and tranquil, or vibrant and exciting. Whatever happiness means to you, you are sure to find it at Finolhu. Here are some of the experiences we think should not be missed.

Explore Marine Life in the Stunning Baa Atoll

The Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives is located in Baa Atoll, just a few minutes’ speedboat ride from the UNESCO-protected Hanifaru Bay. Here, guests can snorkel with magnificent manta rays flocking in the hundreds. Lagoons and reefs in Baa Atoll also house a magical world of unhindered underwater coral gardens, showing off vibrant colours.

What’s more, Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives offers a range of exhilarating ocean experiences, from thrilling motorised water sports, such as wake boarding, jet skiing, and parasailing, to fun non-motorised activities, such as windsurfing, kayaking, and catamaran sailing.

Spend a Romantic Night Under the Stars in the Iconic Beach Bubble

Finolhu boasts the first beach bubble in the Maldives. Spend the night under the stars in a magical bubble tent with a private beach dinner and waterfront breakfast, completing a truly unforgettable romantic experience. The Beach Bubble is constructed using state-ofthe-art, high-tech polyester fabric, and creates a UVprotected, fully waterproof, climate-controlled cocoon with uninterrupted views of the private tropical beach, the mesmerising ocean and endless sky beyond. The interiors feature custom-fitted wooden floors and bespoke furnishings, including a four-poster bed with the finest linen for an idyllic blend of earthly comfort and heavenly views.

Oceaneers Club for the Little Ones, and Art Studio for Everyone

Get your kids away from their devices and turn them into “Oceaneers” at the kid’s club for the perfect beach getaway to a tropical island playground. Let your little ones enjoy their day at the Oceaneers Kids Club where they can enter into a world that enchants and encourages creativity – in playing, cooking and baking and of course during excursions above and below the water.


Treat your palate to a vibrant mix of epicurean experiences at Umami, offering modern Japaneseinspired cuisine and drinks. Umami – also known as the fifth element of taste means “essence of deliciousness” in Japanese. It perfectly describes the variety of mouthwatering experiences that await in this relaxing open space cooled by the gentle ocean breeze. The teppanyaki theatre offers a premium range of organically grown vegetables, Wagyu beef, and sustainably sourced fish and seafood. You can also enjoy a wide range of traditional and modern a la carte Japanese meals including fresh-caught fish grilled over charcoal and served with exquisite speciality sauces along with sushi and sashimi featuring Maldivian seafood.


Awaken Your Mind, Body and Soul

For those who like to take things at a slower pace, Finolhu offers a choice of wellness activities. Guests can join the regular Sun Salutations to awaken the body, mind, and soul, or learn how to cool the body and calm the mind during the Moon Salutations. The Pranayama and Cleansing Meditation sessions offer the chance to release muscle tension, reconnect body and mind, and find inner peace by combining physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation. Yoga enthusiasts are spoiled for choice with Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga sessions as well as Yogalates and Kids Yoga activities.

Set Sail on a Gastronomic Journey with Utterly Unique Dining Experiences

For those who would like take their taste buds on gastronomic journey from the familiar to the exciting, Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives has got it covered. Not only does the resort offer international fare at Beach Kitchen to the award-winning modern Japanese fine dining Kanusan and a must visit speciality restaurant, Arabian Grill, but it also offers a special dining platform in the middle of the lagoon, 5° North. Located exactly 5 degrees North of the Equator, this whole new level of destination dining experience serves carefully curated menus includes the finest steak, seafood and vegetarian delights. It comes with a dedicated Butler and your very own Chef. Whether you choose to indulge in a romantic dinner with a special someone or a celebratory meal with family or friends, indulge your taste buds with a delicious set menu of your choice.

Luxury ‘Beach Bubble’ at Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives

Dramatically located in a secluded spot along Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives’ marvelous sandbank, the Beach Bubble is available exclusively for an incredibly romantic, one-night-only ‘Dream Eclipse’ experience under the stars.

Conceived and custom-designed by leading Spanish design firm Sky Bubbles, the transparent inflatable bubble is a unique, inspiring environment where guests can enjoy an incredible, closer-to-nature experience – without compromising on high-spec design and luxurious comfort.

A short sunset stroll takes you to the unique Beach Bubble hideaway where you can enjoy a lovely beach BBQ with a Maldivian twist served by the Bubble Butler, and then retreat into your private bubble for an unforgettable night under the stars. On waking from this dreamlike experience, you and your loved one can watch the beautiful sunrise as you linger over breakfast at the water’s edge. After which you will be personally escorted back to your villa by the Bubble Butler.

Eye in The Sky’s exquisite Bubble Tent provides a UVprotected, fully waterproof, a climate-controlled cocoon that offers guests a unique experience. The Bubble is an exclusive worldwide patented Precontraint Serge Ferrari technology. The interiors feature custom-fitted wooden floors and bespoke furnishings, and a separate adjoining bubble bathroom with WC and shower.


Step Into a World of Relaxation at Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives

Well-known as an island playground where fun and relaxation are always at the core of daily happenings, Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives has established itself as one of the finest resorts with spa and treatment facilities, as well as experienced instructors to help you along your fitness journey.

Enjoy the spa and wellness centre’s treatments and engage in activities available on the island to help with your physical health.

Heal Your Mind, Body and Soul at Fehi Spa

Find the right kind of balance at Fehi Spa at Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives. Surround yourself with green forestry, leave your worries behind and experience the relaxing treatments offered at the spa centre. Fehi Spa offers a wide range of treatments that will help you to rejuvenate yourself.

Their Fehi Signature Treatment is a healing massage which uses virgin coconut oil with long and circular

strokes. It is followed by warm sand poultice on the back, finished with a warm coconut milk polish to finish off your wellness experience.

The Facial Skin Care by Natura Bisse section includes a wide variety of facial treatments. All of their treatments accommodate to every skin type – from ageing and hyper-pigmented skin to dull and sensitive skin. Make sure to visit the spa facilities to activate and restore your skin to its fullest radiance.


Recharge Yourself with Fitness & Yoga

Continue your fitness journey at the gym with the resident personal trainer, who will provide you with expert fitness advice to help guide you. What’s amazing about Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives is that the resort offers indoor and outdoor gym areas.

In addition, Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives provides bodybuilding and fat loss programs. There are special programs that help customers recovering from traumas or minor injuries. Fitness instructors aim to help and motivate clients to reach the preferred fitness level, and to guide them to achieve the best results.

Meanwhile, Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives’ Yoga Pavilion will help you find your inner peace. It will leave you feeling calm and energised and hopefully, this experience will leave your body and spirit refreshed for the remainder of your trip.

Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives
y r vacati experience by staying at the epit e of serene luxury @VelanaAirport

The 5 Biggest Travel Trends for the Upcoming Year

The travel industry is experiencing a small boom postpandemic, one that is expected to continue into the new year. A recent survey conducted by found that even against a backdrop of global instability, nearly three-quarters of people still say that travelling will always be worth it, and 43% plan to spend more lavishly to make up for missed travel opportunities.

Here are the biggest travel trends forecasted for the upcoming year.


With the onslaught of communication through email, social media, and the like, we could all use a little time to unplug. That’s why one of the biggest travel trends of 2023 will be off-grid style vacations to escape from reality. Whether flying to a tech-free wellness retreat or enjoying the serenity of nature for a camping weekend, spending undistracted time with loved ones will be a high priority for many travellers in 2023. This may lead to a rise in out-of-city breaks, with properties that can fuel the desire for a remote trip potentially proving the most popular.


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 73% of respondents are looking forward to experiencing ‘out of comfort zone’ travel that pushes them to the limit. Half of them want to experience a complete culture shock in 2023, whether that’s completely different cultural experiences and languages or exploring lesserknown cities with hidden gems that aren’t already on the radar.


The survey found that 88% of respondents want nostalgic getaways in 2023, such as visits to retro film locations, or bus travel to evoke school trips. And after the mayhem of travel over the past three years, travellers still looking to make up for lost time when it comes to visits with loved ones. Multi-generational ‘family reunion’ trips are expected to see an increase in 2023, with extended families finally making time to meet up with one another and make memories to last a lifetime.


Wellness is now inextricably linked to travel, with more and more travellers consistently prioritizing their health and seeking wellness-focused vacations. In 2023, this trend will likely be taken to the next level, as almost half of the travellers are hoping to book a meditation or mindfulness getaway. 42% are keen to go on a ‘health hiatus’ to focus on mental or transformative health or to help with milestones such as pregnancy or menopause.


2023 is also expected to reimagine MICE travel. People are hoping for more corporate group travel, with 51% saying they would like to see their employer spend more on corporate travel or retreats, and 44% looking forward to ‘real life’ work trips to bring people together. However, when it comes to personal trips, many people are putting strong restrictions on when and where they’re willing to work, with two-thirds of people wanting their trips to be strictly work-free in 2023.


Ahmed Azmee

Captain and Assistant Manager, Technical Operations at Trans Maldivian Airways

Ahmed Azmee is currently holding a dual role at Trans Maldivian Airways as a Captain, as well as the position of Assistant Manager, Technical Operations.

Apart from the day-to-day duties of a seaplane Captain, Azmee’s role also involves functions within technical operations such as managing technical manuals for the crew, department SOPs, audits and creating charts for new water aerodromes, etc.

Azmee talks to us about juggling both roles at TMA and takes us through both sides of flight operations.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started your career.

Like most of my colleagues, I had aspired to be a pilot since I was very young. Everything related to the field sparked great interest and I was very motivated to pursue a career in it once I was done with school. However, due to financial difficulties, I had to pick an alternate career and completed my bachelor’s degree in IT. I did not lose hope during this period, and I was always on the lookout for an opportunity to fly. Only a few weeks after I completed my degree, my parents told me of a scholarship program that TMA had just announced. I applied and was given the opportunity to be a pilot as part of TMA’s Zuvana Scholarship Pilot Cadet Program.

In my early days at TMA, I got to work closely with office personnel in Flight Operations. Their daily work intrigued me, and I got to use my background in IT to automate and streamline some of the processes of their work. This is how my involvement in Technical Operations began, from automating periodic tasks to managing water aerodrome charts to finally becoming Assistant Manager, Technical Operations at TMA Flight Operations.

How has your experience been in the industry so far?

I have been lucky to enjoy multiple career aspects at TMA, both as a pilot and in technical operations. Being able to fly in the Maldives is an experience that never gets old. TMA is the largest seaplane operator and has over 80 destinations that we travel to, which ensures that, as a pilot, no two days are the same.

Technical Operations is involved in all documentation and compliance for all departments within Flight Operations. Managing technical manuals for the crew, department SOPs audits and creating charts for new water aerodromes are some of the many functions within Technical Operations. I have been fortunate to have many amazing mentors along the way, and a growing team helping to manage the workload.

Could you describe a typical day at work?

Flying duties and work in Technical Operations both demand different mindsets. My typical workweek would involve a mix of flying and technical duties. So, in a way, I don’t usually have a “typical” day. A full day of technical work would mean I start at 9 am, while a busy day of flying would dictate duty starts at 5:30 am. I might be starting from a layover and getting off for office duty or a meeting, and then get back onto an aircraft for flying later on.

What is the best part about your job?

Seeing such a beautiful country from above has to be one of the best things about being a pilot at TMA. Seaplanes fly at a much lower altitude compared to land planes in the Maldives, so we get a closer view of the many pristine sights of this country. From pods of dolphins to white sandy beaches, I never know what the day has to offer.

When I am not enjoying the views, I am in the office. Technical Operations brings a lot of work that needs to be done at a computer, but we also handle multiple projects geared towards improving the efficiency of many aspects of Flight Operations. Being a part of such projects that makes a difference in our operations as a whole is one of the best aspects of this role.

My two roles are very co-dependent. I would not be the pilot I am today without my experience in Technical Operations, nor would I have made the same decisions in Technical Operations if I was not a pilot. This unique perspective is what I would say is the best part of my job at TMA.

What do you think are the main challenges as a professional in your field?

We operate seaplanes to over 80 resorts in the Maldives, each affected by weather differently and with different operating areas and platform locations. We have multiple nationalities, cultures and age groups working together to reach a common goal. On busy days in the high season, we sometimes take over 5000 daily passengers to their destinations. I believe that the biggest challenge is to ensure that regardless of all these factors, our operations remain safe, compliant and efficient. It takes a great workforce to achieve this daily, with proper procedures, safety nets and efficient work planning.

What is your biggest personal achievement so far?

Becoming a Captain is my biggest personal achievement as a pilot. On this journey, I also managed to discover a whole new crucial area of aviation that I never knew about and managed to use my previous educational experience as a stepping stone into Technical Operations. TMA, being the world’s largest seaplane operator has a lot to offer budding careers in aviation. I am proud to have used this opportunity to reach where I am now.

Do you have any words of advice for aspiring pilots? What would you say to your younger self now?

It is a great time to be in the piloting profession. However, pilots in different roles, airlines and countries may need different requirements. Do a lot of research before you pick a training school to make sure it meets the requirements that your dream job needs. Becoming a pilot is not without its challenges, but I can tell you first-hand that it’s all worth it in the end. Never stop dreaming.

To my younger self, I would say be confident and have faith in your capacity to grow. It is never too late to learn something new. While working here I got to discover exciting new challenges that I had to overcome learning skills that I had initially shied away from when I was younger.


Parana Vithanage Nishantha & Emiliano Di Stefano

Parana Vithanage Nishantha (to the right) is the Executive Chef and Emiliano Di Stefano (to the left) is the Executive Sous Chef at Baglioni Resort Maldives, a 5* luxury resort with an Italian grace located in the dreamy Dhaalu atoll.

Having worked extensively all over the world, Chef Parana and Chef Emiliano now bring their unmatched culinary know-how and skillset to the team at Baglioni Maldives.

Our team sat down with the chefs to know more about their passion for cooking and delve deeper into how Baglioni Maldives cater to its guests’ tastes.

Tell us a little bit about your careers so far.

Chef Parana: I started my career, back in 1982, in a small resort as an intern down south in Sri Lanka before moving to Colombo City Hotel. There, I got the opportunity to work with, an international company called Ramada. After that, I moved to Hilton International and after some time I moved to the Maldives in 1996. I started with Baros, then moved to Hilton Maldives, Huvafenfushi, Jumeirah, One & Only, Amilla Fushi, Finolhu and then The Ritz Carlton and now I’m here in Baglioni.

Chef Emiliano: I started doing this work 24 years ago. Studying at a culinary institute is not something I have done but I started working as a kitchen steward when I was 17 for 2 years because I wanted to work in the kitchen. So, I completed all my training and I ended up working as a Chef in Italy. I’ve been through ten regions of Italy so that I can have experience in most regional food and cuisines. Halfway through, I moved to Oman for the first time when I was 30 years old. Then I also worked in Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, and India. And now, for the first time, I’m in the Maldives, and I’m extremely excited about it.

What attracted you to a career as a chef?

Chef Parana: My mother had been an inspiration since she did outdoor catering, banqueting, and other things. She had a unique homestyle cooking in terms of spices and flavour which was delicious. I’d say, then, you know, I simply thought, it would be nice to be a chef. I wanted to be a financial controller in high school, but I changed my mind halfway through to become a chef.

Chef Emiliano: I was 7 years old when I cooked my first dish. It was a type of pasta and it was terrible because I had ended up using a whole garlic clove for just one portion. Cooking has always been a strong passion in my family, especially on my father’s side of the family which is the Sicilian side of the family. My aunts were amazingly talented cooks. I was fascinated with the cooking techniques and procedures they used but at that, but my mother did not approve of me being a chef at that time. So, I had to complete other studies, but the entire time I was still very much interested in cooking and pursuing a career in that field. Finally, I decided to pursue my passion for cooking and I can tell you, it’s the best job in the world.

How does Baglioni Maldives cater to its guests’ tastes?

Chef Parana: The guests at Baglioni Resort Maldives can look forward to exceptional dining from breakfast right through until after dinner, with an array of food and drink that will delight even the most discerning foodies. As an Italian brand we take great pride in offering Authentic Italian cuisine at our Gusto restaurant. with a menu offering traditional Mediterranean dishes with a contemporary twist and a scrupulous eye for the ingredients. Umami is very popular amongst all our guests for Japanese and Tepanyaki cooking. The International restaurant Taste presents its own blend of fine international cuisine at breakfast, lunch and dinner for those with a spirit of culinary adventure.

Chef Emiliano: There is an Italian style input in the resort and from my end, I focus on the authenticity of the Italian food. In addition, we also focus on the authenticity of all the different cuisines that we do here.

Could you tell us more about “Umami” and “Gusto”? What makes these restaurants so unique?

Chef Parana: The gourmet culture of Japan is a perfect complement to the Baglioni Hotels style, as form and substance come together in the Umami restaurant. The consummately crafted dishes marry a love of design with a meticulous insistence on using only the finest-quality ingredients. Tepanyaki is the unique selling factor at Umami. Which gives opportunity to showcase our culinary skills while interacting with the guests.

Chef Emiliano: Offering a feast of authentic Italian cuisine, Gusto is centerpiece of a stay with Baglioni Hotels and an ideal destination for a family dinner under the stars. Gusto is also a proud Regional winner for fine dining cuisine at the coveted World luxury hotel awards 2022

Do you incorporate our local cuisine into your dishes?

Chef Parana: Visit to Maldives is incomplete without tasting the rich Maldivian cuisine. We offer Maldivian flavors in our International restaurant taste starting from breakfast buffet where you can taste the most popular Maldivian dishes like Mashuni, roshi, rihakuru, and Maldivian curry. Our guests also indulge in other dishes served during lunch and dinner. We also organize special Maldivian cooking classes for our guests to learn some of the typical recipes of Maldivian cuisine and find out more about the gastronomic culture of this country

What are the best dishes you’d recommend from here?

Chef Parana: With the experience, I have gained in the Maldives, there’s nothing like fresh seafood. It’s the best dish that most guests want to try. A nice, fresh seafood dish is my recommendation.

Chef Emiliano: I’m a big fan of fresh handmade pasta. The freshness of the ingredients is simply the best. I enjoy making fresh pasta and that will be my recommendation here.

What advice would you give a newcomer, someone who’s keen on joining the culinary industry?

Chef Parana: The most important thing is to be passionate. You must be passionate about your work. You must also have endurance. In the end, if you are passionate about the chef job, you will have a better chance of becoming a skilled chef.

Chef Emiliano: Being a chef, it’s simply the best job in the world. You need to have some kind of natural attitude towards this job. You are always pushed to the next level, and at the end of the day, you learn something new, a new skill. You can earn a lot of new memories because it’s all about making the best memories.


New Appointments

JACQUES LEIZEROVICI General Manager at Dusit Thani Maldives SARA SIYAM Creative Director at Sun Siyam Resorts MOHAMED SOLAH Chief Operating Officer at Crown & Champa Resorts MOHAMED HAMDHOON Resort Manager at Huvafen Fushi NAZIM MOHAMED Operations Manager at Oaga Resorts MOHAMED ZAHEEN Senior Sales Manager at Mӧvenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives CLAUDIA KLINGBEIL Director of PR & Communications at Sun Siyam Resorts ALI SHAKIR Resort Manager at OBLU NATURE Helengeli MICHAL ZEMLICKA Director of Food & Beverage at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa
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Baros Maldives Launches New Guest Experiences to Discover its WorldClass House Reef

A few steps from the Villa, snorkellers and divers of Baros Maldives have the unique opportunity to witness the beauty of one of the most acclaimed house reefs of the Maldives. Baros’s world-class reef is rich in tropical marine life, healthy corals, and impressive resident creatures: more than 20 identified sea turtles and peaceful reef sharks. Whoever is seeking an easy introduction to the underwater world, the Baros House Reef offers attractive waters for any guest, from newbies snorkellers to advanced divers.

The Baros House Reef is the home reef of many divers looking to improve their skills and strengthen their relationship with the ocean. They can spot the small sunken boat, or a reef shark, as they patrol the shallow waters. The sunken speedboat sitting on the sandy bottom at 20 meters beneath the surface, is surrounded by active Jacks and curious Bat Fishes for guests to explore.

While it may seem like that is all there is to witness, an extraordinary world of wonders awaits to be observed if you dive a little deeper into your curiosity. Deep inside the Baros House Reef, Nurse Sharks and White Tip Reef Sharks repose on the sand and underneath the colourful coral blocks – away from the usual divers’ noise and bubbles. During the summertime, these blocks are hidden by clouds of Glass Fish, creating a protection screen and adding to the curiosity of what you can discover behind it as you wave your hands to set the crowd apart.

Uncover a relaxed Moray Eel during its beauty procedure performed by various shrimps. Observe a bit closer to see the one-of-a-kind Scorpion Fish, barely moving and camouflaged by the corals. The Red Bubble Anemone hosts one of the most emblematic fish of the underwater world, the Clown Fish. It stays still down at 24 meters depth, shining in a vibrant red that you cannot miss, making each encounter with them unique.

The abundance of food suspended in the water attracts schooling Fusiliers and Rainbow Runners, dancing and sinuously swinging in the blue for nourishment. The schools will submerge you in an infinite rain of fish, with spectacular coordination and the mystery of where they come from and where they are heading.

The great light and the infinite visibility during the winter add to the magnificence as all the creatures appear to live in a tropical aquarium-like environment. In this safe and perfect habitat where visitors can form an unbreakable connection with the ocean.

Baros’s coral restoration programs are an important commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of the house reef. Coral nurseries are established in the shallow depths of the lagoon, where the nutrients coming from the reef and the sunlight’s energy aid in the colonies’ successful growth. There is always a way to give a second chance to damaged corals, and the most impressive feature is that every one of us can contribute to the care of the reef.

The newly launched programmes under the theme of “Deep inside the Baros House Reef” are targeted to divers and snorkellers of all levels, carefully considering their requirements, safety and knowledge needs. Guests are invited to dive into the shallow reef and enter the water from a different angle to take a deeper, more silent path to advance themselves. While the programmes emphasise the Baros House Reef’s wonders and highlight its qualities, guests can also discover the reef at night, where the fluorescent lights and bioluminescence brighten up the evening. Guests will not need a boat, as it is only a few steps from the shore. Put your dive mask on, and set off to explore the wonders underwater, and when you return, share the brilliant adventures with Baros Maldives.


Travel to Stay Mikado for the Finest Chance to See the Maldives as It Really Is!

Experience the authentic island life of the Maldives at Stay Mikado, which is situated in Thaa atoll on Thimarafushi island, a stunning region of the Maldives tucked away in the southeast corner of the archipelago.

One of the most comfortable and reasonably priced guest homes on the atoll, created especially for travellers looking for leisure and tranquil excursions in tropical nature.

As an incredibly picturesque island as well as rich in culture and tradition, Thimarafushi offers some of the best fishing grounds in the Maldives and is one of the most well-liked atolls for surfers in the country. It also gains a line of uninhabited private islands and 25 dive sites with magnificent reefs and channels, making it one of the top diving locations!

White beaches, a stunning lagoon, a few guest rooms, and abundant marine life make Thimarafushi the most genuine representation of the Maldives. Everyone may find their slice of paradise here, whether the guests are travelling alone, on their honeymoon, or with their family.

The guests can stay at their small hotel and take part in excursions like island hopping, picnic island trips, dolphin cruises, night fishing, picnics on sandbanks, and various water sports including surfing and scuba diving.

Additionally, guests can get access to amenities including cafes, karaoke, speedboats, laundry, gyms, bicycles, and free WiFi. Table tennis, billiards, badminton, football, volleyball, beach volley, and basketball are among the sports played on the island.

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Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives Takes Lounging Overwater to New Heights

Everything new and trendy in waterports from e-catamarans, jet-skis for kids and water biking now available exclusively at Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives.

Enjoy an ecstatic luxury leisure experience at Grand Park Kodhipparu, as you pedal your way through the azure Maldivian waters in the newly introduced trendy electric catamarans, water bikes and jet skiing for kids. The state-of-the-art e-catamaran makes its way over to Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives as an easy yet fun-filled marine sports equipment that gets added to the galore of aquatic adventure possibilities at the resort. Kick your Pinterest-worthy holidays up a notch and graze your way across the ocean at your own pace sans the impact on the environment, as these are ecofriendly; the perfect way to make moments in time and leave no carbon footprint behind.

The e-catamaran is extremely limited in the Maldives and is specially designed for a luxurious experience overwater with an easy-to-manoeuvre two-seater or four-seater options, fit for families and partners alike. What’s most exciting about these e-catamarans is that you don’t need to be a pro water sports fan or an avid adventure seeker, as the ergonomic design allows you to carefully manoeuvre your way smoothly and safely across the waters. The experiences Marine Sports Center team at Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives takes special measures to ensure that the experience is as effortless as possible with safety gear and clear instructions in place.

In addition to the e-catamaran, Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives also introduced Jet-Skid, jet skiing for kids which makes the kids have just as much fun overwater, as the grown-ups. The Jet-skid is a unique and novel concept in the Maldives that any child between the ages of 8 – 12 can enjoy freely.


Last but not least, in an attempt to enhance the watersports experience for the guests, Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives unveiled the third piece of equipment, a personal favourite of the Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps – the incredible water bike. This is an extraordinary machine designed to propel you across the water. Water biking is the penultimate human sporting experience for a healthier and more adventurous watersports experience. It’s a lot more like riding an exercise bike, which is basically what the Schiller is, only a million times more interesting.


Scan and experience

Maldives like never before

Nakai Alimatha

Enjoy an Island-Inspired Festive Season at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives

The year-end festive season is one of the most special times of the year – a time of joy and generosity when we look forward to gathering with loved ones for moments of celebration and reflection, and anticipate new beginnings.

This year, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives invites guests to immerse themselves in new and extraordinary islandthemed experiences together with their family and friends. Celebrate the season of giving in intimate and sophisticated Alila style while making meaningful lifetime memories with an opportunity to give back and make a difference.

Embark on a journey of festivities from Christmas to New Year that includes unique cultural activities, a memorable Christmas celebration underwater surrounded by incredible marine life, and a world of culinary experiences, from Japanese and Indian to Indian Ocean and Mediterranean. With daily wellness activities, indulgence at Spa Alila, kids’ activities at Play Alila and watersports to enhance your holiday, every member of the family will have a festive season to remember.

In the spirit of giving, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives has also launched a special Gift to Share offer, which allows guests to contribute to the local community while enjoying the beauty of the Maldives.

Alila’s Gift to Share programme is born out of the brand’s vision from day one that conservation, community and commerce can and should be integrated. Alila’s efforts extend beyond the operational aspects of its resorts to create a positive impact on the environment as well as the community – economically, socially and culturally. This includes employing local people who live in the

surrounding areas, developing the local workforce through skills training, using products and services from local suppliers, as well as educating guests on local culture and traditions.

In line with this vision, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives with one complimentary night for every three paid nights booked plus 20% discount on food and beverage. In turn, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives will donate 10% of one night’s charge on behalf of guests to Maduvvaree School, a public school located on nearby Maduvvaree island, about a 15-minute boat journey from the resort. This gift will support school’s day-to-day operations as well as extending skills training opportunities, especially for those who are interested in learning more about the hospitality industry.

In addition to supporting the local school, plans are also in place to empower the local community through business opportunities and sustainability-focused practices and encouragement.

“The destination is at the heart of our activities, and we hope to play our part in ensuring a thriving destination by empowering its communities through education support and business opportunities, especially for women and children. We believe that empowering women and children plays a big role in the health and well-being of future generations. In addition, in our efforts to protect our environment, a series of activities are already in place to support Maduvvaree island to introduce sustainability practices,” said Alexandre Glauser, General Manager of Alila Kothaifaru Maldives.


Celebrate Like Historic Royalty This Festive Season at Milaidhoo Maldives

Milaidhoo Maldives, a tiny tropical island in the Maldives, an emerald drop of paradise wrapped in soft white sands, surrounded by a vibrant coral reef, lapped by warm turquoise waters and hidden in the heart of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, has announced a magnificent journey their guests will embark on for this year’s festive season. This year’s festive experience at Milaidhoo is all about an abundance of luxuries as received by the Sultans of the Maldives, including witnessing and tasting vibrant spices and flavours like never before.

The inspiration for this year’s festive season theme refers to over 5,000 years ago when the Maldives became a key port of call for traders sailing from Indonesia and India to Arabia with cargoes of cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, ginger and pepper. The Maldivians bartered coconuts, sun-dried fish, cordage, cowrie shells and sails woven from coconut fibre for spice, rice, ceramics and silks. Locally made cargo boats, called Ba’theli in the local language, sailed throughout the archipelago with these goods, spreading knowledge about different lands, their customs and cuisine.

At Milaidhoo, this story continues not only with its vision of creating a boutique luxury island resort where, if a sultan from the past were visiting, he would find natural island-inspired comfort that seemed familiar, but also with its culinary offerings of finesse based on the epicurean delights of the old Spice Routes using only the finest ingredients, blending herbs and spices to enhance natural flavours.

This festive season Milaidhoo guests will be taken on a sensory experience filled with engaging activities, from getting a taste of the authentic Maldivian culture and experiences to trying out new spiced dishes, learning the craft cocktails through a cocktail masterclass session to experiencing the live stations preparing seasonings and curry powders adapted for any individual’s own tastes. Some of the highlights of this year’s festive season programme include an Arabic souk-themed dining experience featuring fragrant scents, sounds and colours, experiencing the history of the spices, wellness experiences centred around self-care, including herbal and natural products to promote healing, a most exciting “Milaidhoo Mystery Spice Challenge” event and blind tasting Spice and Wine sessions.

Additionally, there will be various dining highlights at Ba’theli restaurant, the only restaurant in the world set on a boat in a lagoon featuring gourmet dishes of inspired island cuisine from the Maldivian Spice Route, a special “Sailing Like a Sultan” experience on a sailboat, as well as a beautifully decorated Christmas tree lighting event followed by the new year’s celebrations and festivities.

Milaidhoo aims to enable guests to craft their dream holiday and own story of a small island through delectable flavours coupled with a fascinating meaningful and insightful journey to celebrate the joy of this year’s festive season.

Celebrate ‘Ocean Odyssey’ Festive Season at Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi

Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi, a five-star luxury resort, has announced ‘Ocean Odyssey,’ a thoughtfully crafted festive programme of extraordinary moments and one-of-a-kind celebrations. Discerning guests will experience the grandest of feelings during the most awaited season of the year, with culinary excellence, enchanting adventures, eco-inspired activities, immersive entertainment, and rejuvenating wellness journeys.

Nestled in one of the country’s largest lagoons, the resort with its 120 all-pool villas, whether on the beach, over the turquoise waters, or amidst the lush tropical jungle, will bring new meaning to the holiday season with the ‘Ocean Odyssey’ festive theme. Designed to captivate the essence of the Indian Ocean and its allure, guests can enjoy a myriad of experiences surrounding the ‘Secret Water Island,’ such as a visit to the Coralarium, the world’s first and only underwater art gallery and coral regeneration project, dive and snorkeling excursions in the 9km-long house reef, as well as the exploration of the crystal-clear lagoon with adrenaline-filled activities such as catamaran sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

Guests can kick off the festivities with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on 20 December 2022, followed by exceptional culinary journeys across the resort’s restaurants and bars. They can savour flavours from around the world at the allday dining restaurant, Raha Market, indulge in Asian favourites at the Japanese restaurant, Kata, enjoy an incredible seafront dining experience at Azure, and take advantage of the many cocktail and champagnesipping opportunities at Onu Onu.

Experience-seeking and eco-conscious travellers are invited to catch a glimpse into the thriving oceanic life that dwells beneath and above the surface with the resident Marine Biologist, who will be on hand to connect them with the aquatic environment through the unique Turtle Ranger Programme and guided tours.

They can also visit the Sustainability Lab – the first of its kind in the Maldives – a hub of eco education where guests can learn how to recycle and create bespoke souvenirs from plastic waste. Furthermore, guests can indulge in the archipelago’s most luxurious glamping adventure with a stay in the new Beach Tented Villas, allowing them to be at one with nature and learn more about the island’s innovative sustainability endeavors. As part of its ongoing commitment to ensure that younger guests stay inspired and curious, the Kids’ Club offers an exciting line-up of festive-inspired activities, such as arts & crafts sessions, educational workshops, island treasure hunts, and dance classes.


To help guests keep fit and active, former Spanish professional tennis player Nicolas Almagro will offer one-to-one coaching sessions on the resort’s jungle court. For those searching for a calmer adventure, the time-honoured traditions at the Willow Stream Spa are sure to relax and rejuvenate. Visiting certified Reiki Master, Marketa, on the other hand, will guide guests on their personal journey and help them enhance their overall sense of mindfulness, health, and well-being.

From 27 December 2022 through 3 January 2023, adventure-seeking guests will have the opportunity to join Big Game Fishing expert, Ben Jones, on one of the guided Big Game Fishing excursions to experience the thrills and wonder of an authentic Maldivian escapade. The trip takes them on an exhilarating pursuit of some of the fastest and largest fish species in the tropical waters of Shaviyani Atoll.

Also joining all the festivities is the accomplished Michelin Star Chef, Mickael Viljanen, who will delight avid gourmands with an inspiring medley of flavourful and beautifully presented dishes at Azure from 29 December 2022 through 1 January 2023. The grandest of celebrations will come alive on New Year’s Eve. Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi will host ‘Ocean Disco’ – an immersive night of bespoke dining, wining, and entertainment, including spectacular performances that pay tribute to the iconic music of Elton John and Donna Summers, the Queen of Disco. The resort will also welcome multi-skilled performers from Black Rabbit Projects, who will surprise guests with extraordinary entertainment and cinematic experiences and bring this season’s festive theme of ‘Ocean Odyssey’ to life.

When the clock turns to midnight, the resort’s Main Beach will set the stage for a memorable after-party, with a mesmerizing firework show, eclectic beats, live music, and a vibey atmosphere.


SOUL Festival to Debut in the Maldives in September 2023

Pioneering hospitality brand Soneva and international wellness enterprise ORGANIC INDIA have partnered to launch the first-ever SOUL Festival in the Maldives. Taking place from September 29 to October 8, 2023, the health and wellbeing-focused festival will be held at the award-winning luxury resort Soneva Fushi, located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Over the course of ten days and two weekends, the intimate festival retreat invites guests from across the world to explore wellness in all its forms, from personal to planetary.

Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a focus on wellness and living a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle has never been more important. Champions of innovation and positive change, both Soneva and Organic India are committed to nurturing the wellbeing of their communities and the environment. Proceeds from the sale of SOUL Festival tickets will go to the Soneva Foundation and ORGANIC INDIA Foundation to support the development of projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact.

A life-enriching festival with a purpose, SOUL offers

guests a verdant space to move, eat, explore and be creative, while celebrating ancient healing traditions and modern innovations that benefit individuals, communities and the planet. Each weekend, the festival will include a diverse programme of panel discussions with globally acclaimed health and wellness leaders, interspersed with group yoga and meditation classes, healing rituals, live music performances and barefoot gala celebrations on the sand.

Weekdays at SOUL will focus on a more immersive wellbeing journey for guests, with intimate, experiential workshops each day, and one-on-one consultations with world-renowned wellness specialists and practitioners.

Idyllic venues inspired by Soneva Fushi’s breath-taking island location elevate guests’ wellness experience and invite them to rejuvenate and relax, while delicious, wholesome menus will be specially curated to support guests’ wellness goals, with an emphasis on plantbased cuisine and adaptogenic foods that rebalance and restore. Rare, one-of-a-kind experiences also offer the chance to reconnect with nature and embrace the Slow Life in between sessions: from ziplining through


the rainforest to dine in the treetops, to snorkelling with expert Marine Biologists, to swimming with manta rays or escaping to a private sandbank to watch the sunset. The inaugural edition of SOUL will welcome a global line-up of visionaries, thought leaders and wellness pioneers to further explore the frontiers of health and wellbeing. The list of international speakers includes psychologist, scientist and social entrepreneur Shamini Jain; gastroenterologist, neuroscientist and author of The Mind Gut Connection Dr Emeran Mayer; clinical psychologist and mindfulness expert Shauna Shapiro; Goi Peace Award recipient and best-selling author Bruce Lipton; renowned spiritual leader and motivational speaker Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati; award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Jo Marchant; American director, producer and cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg; thirteen-time best-selling author and founder of Bio Blends Dr Libby Weaver; award-winning science journalist Gaia Vince; naturopathic doctor and doctor of Oriental medicine Dr Lilly-Marie Blecher; Ayurvedic doctor and author Dr Robert Svoboda, who is the first-ever Westerner to graduate from a college of Ayurveda and be licensed to practice in India; and anxiety and mindfulness coach Amanda Huggins.

“We are so proud to host the first edition of SOUL Festival at Soneva Fushi,” says Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and co-founder of Soneva. “Wellness permeates all that we do at Soneva: our sustainable, barefoot philosophy that reconnects our guests to the earth; our life-affirming natural locations; our delicious yet healthfocused cuisine; and our life-changing guest experiences. The festival’s remarkable programme is an opportunity to

explore every facet of health and wellbeing, and I cannot wait to welcome the line-up of outstanding wellness experts to our shores.”

“SOUL Festival is a rare opportunity to experience a deeply immersive journey with some of the world’s leaders in wellness, health and regeneration”, adds festival director Chris Deckker. “From keynote talks and interactive panels to immersive workshops, intimate dinners and remote Island adventures, this unprecedented festival retreat is unlike any other in the world, hosted on one of the most magical Islands in the Maldives.”

Throughout each day during their stay, guests will be able to explore and indulge in everything that Soneva Fushi has to offer: miles of pristine sandy beaches edged by tranquil turquoise waters; exquisite private villa accommodation, with Barefoot Guardians on hand 24/7 to anticipate every request; exceptional dining destinations serving the finest cuisine from across the world; and unique experiences that create memories to last a lifetime.

In addition to the live, in-person sessions for Soneva Fushi guests, SOUL’s sessions will also be streamed to a vast global audience. Online participants will be encouraged to make a donation to support the event, further raising funds and knowledge about the causes and initiatives supported by the Soneva Foundation and the Organic India Foundation.


Cora Cora Maldives

Feel the Freedom

Located in Raa atoll, Cora Cora Maldives is a contemporary 5-star resort with 100 villas dotted around a lushly vegetated island spread across an expansive turquoise lagoon. At Cora Cora Maldives, freedom reigns supreme and you will sense it the moment you step onto their island paradise. To experience the unlimited island life, kick off your shoes, let your hair down, and enjoy the sea breeze!


Rediscover the Fun of Freedom at Cora Cora Maldives

Rediscover the fun of freedom and the joy of life without limits at Cora Cora Maldives, the Raa Atoll’s most happening luxury resort. At Cora Cora Maldives, freedom reigns supreme, so kick off your shoes, let down your hair and soak up the sea air on the private island’s white-sand shores, and go home with a suitcase full of enriching experiences.

For your stay at Cora Cora Maldives, choose from a number of spectacular accommodation options. Each villa is created with comfort in mind, either set near the tropical vegetation or the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean. Whether you’re a couple on your honeymoon or a family on vacay, there’s something fabulously fun for everyone to enjoy here.

Cora Cora’s ‘Stay and Play’ premium all-inclusive concept means you can enjoy most island and water activities as much as you like. What’s more, fantastic food and drink, fully inclusive — Cora Cora’s freedom dining concept makes life deliciously simple. From the beaches to the bars, happy, helpful team members infuse the island with good-time vibes that you’ll feel everywhere.

At this Maldives playground, adventure, much like freedom, knows no bounds. Cora Cora Maldives is home to a stunning house reef and lagoon, where guests can grab a board, snorkel or kayak and make waves. And for those

of you keen to delve deeper into Maldivian culture, the ‘Dutch Onion®’, Cora Cora’s unique Museum of Island Heritage showcases findings from the island dating back nearly a millennium.

For wellness-conscious guests, the resort features well-equipped facilities to make your stay as fulfilling as possible. Pump yourself up with some power moves at the fitness center, rejuvenate and unwind with Asian-inspired treatments at the MOKSHA® Spa & Wellbeing Centre, or slow down and stretch out with mind-calming and body-warming sessions at the yoga pavilion. And relax… you deserve a little me-time!


Top 5 Must-Have Experiences at Cora Cora Maldives

Explore the magnificent Cora Cora Maldives, nestled in the crystal-clear waters of Raa Atoll. At this vibrant, fun and friendly resort, guests can immerse themselves in a number of awe-inspiring activities; luxuriate at the spa, visit the art gallery or museum, or go for a dive or snorkel at some of the best sites the Maldives has to offer.

Here are five unique experiences to have 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 artifacts 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 Maldives. Tourists can go on an interactive historical tour and learn about the Maldives’ fascinating past. The foundations of a mosque, an Islamic graveyard, and two well-preserved ritual bathing pools are all explored on a guided tour.


The therapeutic haven of the MOKSHA Spa & Wellbeing Centre beckons, which offers a signature herbal compression massage in over-the-water treatment rooms with a glass floor that reveals the diverse and colorful sea life darting among the coral beneath your feet. A place to energize and replenish, to chill out and have fun, to explore and discover kindness and self-care.


Day or night, a vast selection of black, green, white, and herbal teas can keep you alert or help you go asleep. Add hot chocolate for the children or yourself. And naturally, coffee is always accessible. Not just any coffee, either. Whether you want a dark-roast espresso, a medium-roast latte, or a light-roast filter, the beans are freshly roasted on the island for excellent flavor profiles. Ice-cold, delightfully delicious, and handcrafted gelato counter with no refined sweeteners.You’re never far from your espresso, cocktail, or snack fix, and you’re free to eat at the café or take it to the beach, your villa, or for an island stroll.


With the assistance of the PADI-certified diving school, tourists may explore Raa Atoll’s magnificent marine life. There are several species of fish, octopi, sharks, and dolphins in the nearby waters. Sunset tours also provide the opportunity to observe dolphins performing acrobatics around the boat, accompanied by a glass of champagne and local appetizers. Paddleboarding, jet skis, kayaks, and windsurfing are additional activities that can be organized.


Cora Cora’s Ginger Moon is the first luxury Maldives resort restaurant to have all-female team. Ginger Moon kitchens are led by female chefs. Each chef at Ginger Moon comes from a different country in Southeast Asia, lending each dish an authentic touch that unquestionably enhances the dining experience.


5 Culinary Spots that Rejuvenate at Cora Cora Maldives

Rediscover and experience the restaurants while dining near the beautiful sunsets and white sandy beaches. Cora Cora Maldives provides a Premium All-Inclusive –Gourmet Meal Plan® for your convenience. Check out our favourite culinary options at Cora Cora Maldives;

A Pinch of Italy with Acquapazza®

With the sand beneath your feet and the Maldivian sun above you, enter Acquapazza® to experience the glamour of Italian beach club. Infused with a Maldivian vibe, you will witness the dreamy views as you relax on the poolside cabana or lounge-bed. Whether if it is starting your day with an Italian styled cappuccino or eating a stone-baked pizza, the beach club will transform the endless ocean views with music.

Tazäa® Delectable East Meets West Menu

Set with a dream-like ambience, Tazäa® timeless comfort-food is perfect for your once-in-a-lifetime dining experience on the soft-powdered sand beach. The magnificent views alone with take your breath away. Nearly a millennia ago, ships sailing between Lebanon and Sri Lanka stopped en route for week or months and the Maldives was the middle of one of the most important Spice Routes. Cora Cora Maldives offers an exceptional collection of sensational delights from the Mediterranean.

Exciting Bites of Teien®

The Japanese restaurant has a whole new repertoire of flavours. Every plate is a celebration of different Japanese cuisines, and you will be served with fresh fish at the sushi counter. Relax at the table and enjoy the beautiful sunset and the ocean waves lapping in the distance. You can enjoy the live teppanyaki chef slicing and dicing in front of you or let your waiter bring you skewers of kushiyaki straight from the grill. Let your sensory indulgence unlocked, as your explore the delicious feast.

For a quick caffeine fix, tasty grab ‘n’ go bites, or just a place to sip and graze. Craft house coffees serves Maldivian snacks, grilled doughnuts sandwiches, tantalizing sugar free ice cream with a side order of laidback style.

With the Indian Ocean right in front of you, experience the burst of flavours with numerous Asian street food cuisines. From fiery hot to steamed dishes, the taste of Asia will never be the same again. The atmosphere is filled with the sounds of sizzling woks and searing grills. It’s brimming with chefs manning live cooking stations of platters and bowls of delicious vegetables and herbs prepared right in front of you.

Encapsulate Yourself in the Asian Street Markets with Ginger Moon®
MYCOFFEE® Ginger Moon
Acquapazza Cora Cora Maldives

New Runway at VIA Commences Operations

The new runway at Velana International Airport (VIA) has officially been inaugurated, along with the Noovilu seaplane terminal.

Vice President of the Maldives Faisal Nasem inaugurated the new runway and seaplane terminal during the opening ceremony on 6th October 2022.

In his speech during the ceremony, the Vice President noted that VIA was being developed in accordance with the master plan of the airport. He also highlighted some of the operational details of the new runway, fuel farm, passenger terminals, and seaplane terminal at the airport. He stated that the airport’s operations and services ran uninterrupted, despite the tremendous development project.

In 2017, during the government of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, physical work on the development of the Code F runway at VIA began. The

runway was completed in 2018; however, it remained unused due to terminal buildings being in close proximity to the runway which does not provide enough clearance to allow for takeoff and landings.

Earlier this year VIA began the use of the new runway as a taxiway to allow for smoother operation. Following the completion of the new seaplane terminal and the complete changeover of seaplane operations to the new terminal, the runway was finally commissioned for operation.

The runway is now officially operational following the landing of the first flight — Emirates flight EK656 operated on the Boeing 777-300ER.

The new runway is 3,200 meters long and 65 meters wide, allowing it to accommodate the largest aircrafts currently in operation around the world.


Kuwait Airways Starts Direct Flights to Maldives

Kuwait Airways, the country’s flagship carrier, has started direct flights to the Maldives, on 31st October 2022.

The first flight was welcomed with a water salute at a special ceremony held at Velana International Airport (VIA). The event was attended by Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Minister of Tourism, Mr. Ibrahim Thoha, Deputy Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) & Kuwait Airways Regional Manager Mr. Bashar Karem and with senior officials from Kuwait Airways, Ministry of Tourism and MACL.

Tourism Minister stated that with the start of Kuwait Airline operations, it will increase the number of passengers from Europe to the Maldives as Kuwait feeds European routes. The minister also stated that

with the start of the World Cup in November, flights from the Middle East are gathering momentum. Kuwait airlines’ direct flights opened another door for Middle Eastern travelers to the Maldives.

Two weekly flights are scheduled between Kuwait and the Maldives. These flights will make use of A320 aircraft with a seating capacity of 134 passengers. Additionally, Kuwait Airways operates scheduled flights to Africa, Asia-Pacific, and to North America. In the first six months of 2022, more than 4000 travelers from Kuwait visited the Maldives.

For the winter season, many airlines are resuming its operations to the Maldives.


flydubai Launches Daily Flights to Gan International Airport

flydubai, the Dubai-based airline, continues to grow its operations to the island nation of the Maldives with the launch of a new daily service to Gan International Airport (GAN) from 04 February 2023.

flydubai started its operations to the Maldives in 2013 with the launch of direct flights to Velana International Airport (MLE) in the capital Male’. With the start of the new daily service to Gan next year, the carrier will increase its frequency to the market to 28 flights a week.

Commenting on the start of operations to Gan, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, said: “The start of our daily flights to the southern island of Gan will give our passengers more options to travel to the beautiful Maldives. This new service will reduce the

commute time whether by boat or seaplane for those staying in resorts in the southern Atolls. The Maldives continues to be one of the most popular leisure destinations for our customers from the UAE, GCC and CIS. The additional frequency to the market will further support connecting traffic from Europe as well.”

flydubai is the first carrier from the UAE to operate flights to Gan International Airport (GAN), which is located on the island of Gan in the southern Maldives.

Flights will operate daily from Terminal 3, Dubai International (DXB) to Gan International Airport (GAN). Emirates will codeshare on this route, providing passengers with more options for connections through Dubai’s international aviation hub.

Return Business Class fares from DXB to GAN start from AED 7,400 and Economy Class fares start from AED 4,050. Return Business Class fares from GAN to DXB start from USD 1,600 and Economy Class fares start from USD 550.

Flights are available to book on, the official flydubai App, the Contact Centre in Dubai on (+971) 600 54 44 45, the flydubai travel shops or through its travel partners.

Singapore Airlines to Operate Larger Aircrafts to the Maldives During Peak Season

Singapore Airlines to and from the Maldives will be operated by the Airbus A350 in November and December, with new Regional Business Class seats for the upcoming peak season.

From 30th October to the end of December this year, selected SQ438/437 flights will use two-class Airbus A350 Medium Haul aircraft, including 40 of the 2018 Regional Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, with direct aisle access.

This will apply to flights departing both Singapore and Male on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays over this two-month period, boosting capacity on the route by over 20%, from 4,312 seats per week to 5,206 per week. At present, Singapore Airlines conduct 14 flights between Singapore-Male’ City every week.

As a result of the Airbus A350 operations, an increase in tourist arrivals from South East Asia, and connecting flights from Singapore are expected to be seen.


Villa Air Celebrates 11th Anniversary

Villa Air has celebrated its 11th anniversary on 1st October 2022. To begin the celebrations, they distributed aircraft shaped cookies to all their guests who flew with them on 1st October.

A Gala dinner was also held at Villa College with over 90% of their staffs including villa air staffs from Maamigili and Dharavandhoo. The event was inaugurated with an opening speech by Managing Director Mr. Abdulla Nashid. His speech highlighted how Villa Air has evolved over the years despite the market, economic and political instabilities. He also briefed the future plans of Villa Air.

During the event they also recognized the staff contributions to Villa Air. The recognition was categorized mainly into three areas. 1) Those who have been with Villa Air over five years, 2) Those who have been with Villa Air over 10 years, 3) and Those who have been with Villa Air from the very beginning of the company. An aircraft model in Villa Air livery was gifted to each and every staff of the company.

Villa Air’s new website was also launched during the ceremony. The new website allows guests to book their services through the website.

A thanking speech was then delivered by their strategic planning manager, Mohamed Rishan mainly focusing on Villa Group’s chairman Qasim Ibrahim, Villa Group’s Chief Executive officer Mr. Ibrahim Siyad Qasim, Villa Air’s Managing Director Mr. Abdulla Nashid and most importantly for all the staffs for their excellent determinations and contribution to the company.

Earlier, Villa Air was also awarded an appreciated award by the Ministry of Tourism during an event held at Crossroads Maldives on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee Year. Villa Air states that they are proud and committed and will continue to serve the Maldives travel and trade industry, and the wider social and economic welfare of the Maldives and its people.


Tourist Facilities by Atoll, 2022

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Scan and experience

Maldives like never before


Best-Selling Author & Emotional Health Advisor Roxie Nafousi to Take Residency in Huvafen Fushi, Maldives

Maldives quintessential hideaway, Huvafen Fushi has partnered with Small Luxury Hotels ( SLH) of the World in a one-of-a-kind partnership of transcending comfort zones & expanding holiday horizons and will welcome Emotional Health Advisor & Best-Selling Author Roxie Nafousi for the 2nd SLH Manifest Masterclass Series in the Maldives, this November. This partnership also strengthens Huvafen’s integrative approach to delivering authentic and meaningful experiences and thus, creating exceptional moments and experiences for the guests.

Roxie Nafousi – a self-development coach and manifesting expert, is also the ambassador for the Mental Health Foundation. She is a well-respected personality in the wellness world and is committed to helping people transform their lives for the better. The masterclass on 2nd and 3rd November is part of SLH’s Manifest Masterclasses Series and a wider wellness series at Huvafen Fushi that includes massages cultivated with expert practitioners for a lasting sense of calm, 100% raw, organic, wholesome food at Raw, complimentary yoga, among other activities.

These sessions will emphasize on the congregation of science and wisdom, with manifesting – which is a self-development practice that enables one to reach their goals, cultivate self-love and live your best life. These unique sunset sessions will include a specific meditation and visualization focused on transcending comfort zones and are exclusively available to the guests at Huvafen Fushi. Roxie will also take guests through the seven steps of her Sunday Times bestselling book, ‘Manifest’.

Commenting on the partnership, Noël Cameron, General Manager of Huvafen Fushi Maldives, says: “We are honored to elevate the Huvafen brand experience with Small Luxury Hotels of the World. We are especially grateful to SLH for choosing Huvafen for this unique masterclass in the Maldives, as it synchronizes seamlessly with our collective mission of providing authentic, inclusive, and immersive wellness experiences to our guests allowing them to craft a mindful journey toward a life in balance. The masterclass is a great way to feel ready for a successful and positive 2023.”


Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Welcomes a New Well-Being Practitioner & Reveals Over Water Spa Refreshes

Set within the serenity of the Indian Ocean, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers the ultimate personalised fitness and wellness retreat with two overwater spas. This autumn, Conrad Maldives is set to welcome a visiting wellness practitioner. With a till 17th November 2022, Ranjith Saj will share his passion for and expertise in holistic wellness with guests staying at the resort, employing extensive treatments with simple tools including bamboo and therapeutic oils.

Certified in India, Ranjith inherited his family’s knowledge and love of Kerala Ayurvedic traditions. He has since applied it to over 15 years of practice within luxury branded hotels, resorts, and spas around the world. His practices, methods and philosophy transcend time and place, providing him with a unique ability to deeply connect with people from all cultures. During his residency on the island, Ranjith will work with guests to identify and design a wellness programme suited to their needs and ensure long-lasting results. A variety of healing and rejuvenating treatments will be available during the month-long residency, from Ayurveda Immune Booster and Holistic Balance, Warm Bamboo Massage Therapy to Detox treatments.

The Over Water Spa off Rangali Island

Those seeking the ultimate wellness immersion will delight in the resort’s recently refreshed Over Water Spa at Rangali Island. Guests visiting this year are amongst the first to experience the space’s new look which aims to inspire and invigorate the body, mind and soul. Spagoers will enjoy a brand-new indoor and outdoor lounge which acts as a peaceful sanctuary in which to while away the hours to the sound of the waves. Adding to the four private spa suites, the space has been enhanced with a new reception area, elegant changing rooms, and spacious showers. The glass-floored treatment rooms provide entrancing views of the coral below and create a tranquil haven for tailored holistic offerings.

The Spa Retreat off Rangali-Finolhu Island

Located 100 meters off the tip of Rangali-Finolhu Island, the tucked-away Spa Retreat provides a luxurious sanctuary where every aspect of guests’ health and well-being is addressed: from diet and body treatments to beauty. Also sitting on stilts above the gentle waves and marine life is Mandhoo Restaurant, The Spa Retreat’s very own dining outlet. Here, guests can end their wellness journey and enjoy a curated menu that aims to energise and nourish the body as well as uses organic produce – with many ingredients grown on the island.


Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa by the Emerald Collection is Now Open

The Emerald Collection has announced the opening of its second Maldivian 5-star luxury property in Raa Atoll: Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa.

Immersed in lush greenery and surrounded by a 100-hectare private lagoon with natural coral reef, the new Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa is located on an intimate 7-hectare island, just 20 minutes by boat from the group’s first property, Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa. Both resorts are members of The Leading Hotels of the World, and offer The Emerald Collection’s highquality, signature Deluxe All-Inclusive service formula, as well as the opportunity for guests to island-hop in the Maldives, experiencing two luxury properties under the same brand.

Emerald Faarufushi encompasses 80 contemporary and independent villas, 5 restaurants offering international cuisine, 2 bars, the Emerald Spa with 8 treatments rooms in evocative treehouses, and a Sports Centre equipped with professional Technogym machines and equipment. The resort is also home to tennis and padel courts, and ensures a programme of fun yet educational activities for children and teens at the Dolphin Kids Club.

The signature experience is The Emerald Collection’s Deluxe All-Inclusive formula, that allows guests to make the most of countless activities (both on water and land), à la carte gourmet dining, and an extensive

selection of premium international wines, beers and spirits.

“We are thrilled to consolidate our presence in the Maldives with the opening of Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa,” says Aldo Scarapicchia, Partner and Managing Director of The Emerald Collection.

“The new property will allow us to offer an integrated experience for international guests, with 80 additional accommodations between Beach and Water Villas, 70 of which have private pools. All our villas have been designed tocomfortably host both couples and families with children. In fact our new resort is also home to the Dolphin Kids Club, a space where younger guests can really play, learn, have fun yet feel independent under the watchful eye of our multilingual professional educators. The ‘barefoot elegance’ style of the resort is woven through every element of a stay, and promises excellent standards delivered hand-in-hand with a genuine sense of ease in the refined yet informal surroundings.”

The group has also renewed its focus on promoting sustainable tourism by implementing green practices both operationally and for the guest experience at the 100% plastic free property. The Emerald Collection aims to leave as limited impact on the destination as possible, with projects including a coral farming initiative, the consumption of Emerald Water bottled directly at the resort.

Minor Hotels Announces First

Avani Branded Property in the Maldives Bringing Laid-Back Luxury to the Baa Atoll

Minor Hotels’ Avani brand will make its Maldives debut with the opening of Avani+ Fares Maldives Resort in early Q2 2023. Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the resort will be Minor’s sixth property in the country, increasing the hotel owner, operator, and investors current presence in this paradisiacal setting. The first hotel opening in this highly coveted area of the Maldives for more than three years, the arrival of Avani+ Fares in the ubiquitous Baa Atoll will shake up the hospitality landscape. A stunning new private island resort, Avani+ Fares will offer all the attention to detail, experiences and unparalleled service that one would expect of a premium Maldivian escape without the ostentation.

A new-build property on a natural tropical island showcasing the very best that Avani has to offer, Avani+ Fares will be home to a variety of accommodation options. From beach pool villas and four-bedroom beach pavilions to picture perfect three-bedroom over water villas sitting across the island’s large turquoise bay, the accommodation will offer a stylish modern sanctuary, maximising breezy spaces and ergonomic lighting, as well as tech focused amenities to suit the needs of the most discerning guest. Avani+ Fares will appeal to couples, families and friends with an array of dining, fitness, water sport recreation and pampering spa treatments.

Resting on a naturally protected island on the western edge of Baa Atoll, the resort will provide easy access to the world renowned Hanifaru Bay, home to what is regarded as the Indian Ocean’s best biodiversity and underwater ecosystem and one of the best places to see manta rays. With twelve individual dive sites off the beach at Fares, divers are spoilt for choice. In addition, guests will have access to the Avani house reef, a 220-metre reef teeming with marine life including turtles and dolphins and the nearby Fares reef which is 600 metres off the shore.

One of the stunning islands that make up the Maldivian archipelago, Fares boasts a 2.6-kilometre lagoon in front of the island, offering privacy and serenity as well as playing host to an abundance of reefs and marine life and of course serving as the backdrop for incredible sunsets. Due to the perfect positioning at the edge of the atoll, the resort enjoys zero light pollution for unforgettable stargazing. A picturesque paradise of stunning turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, Avani+ Fares Maldives is only a 35-minute journey by seaplane from Velana International Airport.

Throughout their stay, guests will be treated to a wide selection of Maldivian and international-inspired cuisines at each of the seven restaurants, in addition to

private beach and in-villa dining. Each aims to expand guests’ taste horizons with a variety of choices to push the boundaries of island dining whilst minimising carbon footprint with seasonal ingredients. Organic produce will be sourced from the resort’s mini farm and catch of the day delivered daily by local fishermen. Young guests will have the run of the first kids-only restaurant in the Maldives serving nutritious, universally loved food.

AvaniFit’s new gym concept keeps guests in tip top condition offering fitness programmes designed in partnership with a high-performance coach. Those seeking to bliss out and indulge in some pampering can hide away from the world in style at AvaniSpa, which will offer various rejuvenating treatments alongside thoughtful wellness options. AvaniKids provides everything to keep children and teens happy and entertained so adult guests can enjoy some ‘me’ time.

“The arrival of Avani+ Fares in the Maldives meets a growing niche in demand for guests seeking alternatives to traditional luxury by providing a contemporary new offering, enabling a wider audience to experience one of the world’s most exclusive destinations,” said William Costley, Minor Hotels’ Senior Vice President of Operations for Asia. “Avani+ Fares will continue to highlight Avani as a trailblazing hotel brand, filling a gap in the Maldivian hotel landscape and delivering exceptional products in a fresh and accessible manner.” Between swimming, snorkelling and diving at the protected house reef and discovering the island’s native flora, guests can fully enjoy a slice of paradise steeped in biodiversity and natural beauty.


Fairmont Maldives Partners with Leading Electric Car Brand Polestar: A Sustainable Journey from Runway to Resort

Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi, a private island in the Shaviyani atoll, has partnered with design-focused electric car brand, Polestar, to offer airport transfers that are both luxurious and sustainable. Starting their journey in style, guests will be transported from Malé Airport to the seaplane lounge in the sleek Polestar 2, before embarking on the scenic seaplane journey to the island. This exciting new offering adds to Fairmont Maldives’ existing array of innovative sustainability initiatives, including its expansive solar farm, Coralarium, and new Sustainability Lab.

After arriving in Velana International Airport in Malé, guests will be greeted by a Fairmont Maldives representative and escorted to the seaplane checkin, where their private Polestar 2 transfer will be waiting. Progressive, unique, and crafted entirely from sustainable materials, the Polestar 2 is an advanced electric car designed to continuously reduce its environmental impact. The height of the car allows for commanding passenger views and carves out space for the water-cooled battery pack that lies beneath the cabin. Just this short drive alone will emit more than three times less CO2 than a petrol car and is the start of a Maldivian adventure steeped in sustainable practices. With a mission to protect and preserve the delicate Maldivian ecosystem, Fairmont Maldives has been innovating in the eco-travel space since its inception in 2018; from the installation of a solar farm to reducing water consumption and using local produce in the restaurants. Guests can explore the Coralarium, an underwater art gallery and coral regeneration project by British eco-artist, Jason deCaires Taylor. Designed to imitate the natural formation of coral, soaring sculptures sitting within the Coralarium provide a home for an abundance of marine life. The resort’s latest initiative involved the launch of the Sustainability Lab, a centre for education and regeneration – specialised machinery turns ocean waste, including ghost nets and plastic, into souvenirs such as luggage tags and essential products for local schools.

A Turtle Ranger Programme teaches young travellers the various conservation techniques used to better protect this endangered species. On the programme, guests can help the on-site marine biologist collect Photo ID tracking data, which they collect on behalf of the Olive Ridley Project, a Maldives-based NGO focused on turtle research. Travellers can also help protect

turtle nests, assist hatchlings in their journey from nest to ocean, rescue turtles entangled in ghost nets and collect vital tracking data to monitor migration patterns. These initiatives are part of Fairmont Maldives’ Save the Ocean programme which is split into three key projects; reef conservation and protection, the Sustainability Lab, and an educational awareness campaign targeted towards both guests and the local community. Each project focuses on different aspects of a sustainable way of saving the ocean and protecting marine biodiversity in the Maldives.


The Radisson Way to Responsible Business and Making a Difference

Radisson Hotel Group, one of the world’s leading hotel groups, has received confirmation and validation of its near-term Science Based Targets (SBTs) aligned with its commitment to be NetZero by 2050.

The authentication has been provided by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) a partnership between experts such as CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and the United Nations Global Compact, which drives ambitious climate action in business. It places Radisson Hotel Group amongst top companies in the world who align with the COP climate goals and set their carbon reduction targets according to science.

Over the past 10 years, Radisson Hotel Group has made great strides and made excellent energy efficiency gains of 30%. These reductions will continue to increase more hotels are certified with green building certificates. In 2021, the Group reduced its carbon emissions by 22% per square meter compared to 2019 and reduced its water footprint by 23% per square meter versus 2019. Radisson Hotel Group has defined its own Build Planet guidelines. ‘Build Planet’ hotels are renovated or built based on a series of sustainable conditions from the preliminary assessment phase through to the operational phase and these conditions include the use of sustainable materials and an efficient use of resources. The Group’s Build Planet guidelines provide an additional framework and modelling tools for forward thinking asset owners who are looking to join the path to net-zero.

Earlier this year, Radisson Hotel Group announced its support to essential initiatives that accelerate Responsible Tourism worldwide: the implementation of the cross-industry Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality and Hotel Sustainability Basics initiative. Building on its long heritage as a leading sustainable hotel group, the Group has also reaffirmed its commitment to People, Community, and Planet as an award-winning employer. By activating one of the company’s pillars of Responsible Business, Think Planet, Groups’ Resort in the Maldives – Radisson Blu is gearing towards saving the environment through its various initiatives. Resort’ team actively protecting the environment by using its own Water Bottling Plant on the island; linen and towel reuse programs which are offered to all guests, in the effort to reduce water and energy usage. Preserving the environment by minimizing the single-use plastic in the resort as it is in the resort’s interest to support the preservation of natural resources of the destination.

Federico J. González, CEO, Radisson Hotel Group, commented: “Radisson Hotel Group has a strong, long-standing history of pioneering sustainability initiatives in the hospitality industry. Our Responsible Business pillars of Think People, Think Community, and Think Planet play an important part not only in our transformation plan, but also of what we see as our duty as hoteliers to establish a better tomorrow. We are taking clear action and affirming our commitment to be net-zero by 2050, not for our commercial gain but to create concrete change and encourage others to join us on the journey to net-zero, and eventually net positive.”


Paradise Island Resort Initiates a Coral Garden Restoration Programme

As part of a continuous pledge to prioritize ocean conservation and protect the natural environment, diveOceanus at Paradise Island Resort have initiated a Coral Garden restoration programme to preserve and protect the coral reefs for the future.

Leading the program are diveOceanus Manager Hussain Saanim and Assistant diveOceanus Manager, Mohamed Arzan, supported by Marine Scientist and consultant for Villa Hotels & Resorts, Azim Musthag. The team have collectively kick started the coral project at Paradise Island Resort and will later introduce the program at Sun Island Resort and Royal Island Resort. The diveOceanus team will nurture and reproduce the resilient coral fragments from the Paradise Island house reef which will then be planted on designated coral frames and placed back in the house reef. The restoration programme aims to reproduce healthier coral which will be resilient to ocean temperature changes and in future foster a healthier and more robust house reef. In alignment with the necessary government and fishery ministry regulations, the diveOceanus team established the Coral Garden program in the month of September, prior to the approaching hottest months of the year from December – March when the ocean temperatures rise considerably.

Phase one started with an extensive survey of the Paradise Island lagoon to observe the condition of the coral reef. This proved successful as the team found a substantial amount of healthy coral reef which had survived global warming and bleaching events. Collecting numerous broken coral fragments, the team

placed the coral in dedicated coral nurseries in the lagoon located near the Italian restaurant, Farumathi, to nurture them before later transplanting them to frames which is where they will continue to flourish and create a new home for a variety of marine life.

Following the successful installation of 30 coral frames with around 20 coral fragments in the lagoon near Farumathi Italian restaurant, the team will access the progress of the frames before placing further frames in different areas of the lagoon and nearby the water villa jetty. The concept of creating a new coral reef will ease the pressure on the natural coral reef that is damaged and encourage marine life to habituate the new coral frames and create a new reef that guests can also appreciate and explore, whilst the house reef renews in their absence.

The Coral Garden restoration program started with the objective to have several sustainable initiatives running at the resorts to support ocean conservation and environmental sustainability, while also involving guests that wish to make a difference towards a greener future. Through specialized education and conservation efforts, the diveOceanus team aim to introduce the Coral Garden program to local communities and schools in order to raise awareness and educate the younger generations on the importance of taking care of the Maldives natural environment.

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Maldives Is The World’s Leading Destination For The 3rd Year In A Row!

In a moment of triumph for the nation, the Maldives has successfully secured the title of the World’s Leading Destination for the third year in a row at the World Travel Awards 2022. The Maldives received several awards including the most prestigious title in the global tourism industry for the third year running. The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (CEO & MD of MMPRC / Visit Maldives), Mr Thoyyib Mohammed, and the Minister of Tourism of the Maldives, Dr Abdulla Mausoom, accepted the award on behalf of the nation at the awards ceremony held at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Oman. The Maldives beat out 18 other countries for this title- Dubai, Portugal, Indonesia, and Greece among them.

In addition to this prestigious title for the Maldives, MMPRC attained the title of the World’s Leading Tourist Board this year – the first time that the Maldives has secured this award. Some of the largest tourist boards in the world with extensive reach and budget were nominated for this award. MMPRC won this award competing with 28 other prominent tourism boards including Incredible India, Tourism Australia, and Visit England.

“This accomplishment is a testament to the popularity and vibrancy of the Maldives as a tourist destination. The industry’s achievements throughout the past three years reflect the resilience of the Maldives tourism industry amidst any crisis – and that united, we can achieve anything.” Minister of Tourism H.E Dr Abdulla Mausoom stated, speaking at the ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, CEO & MD Thoyyib stated that “It is truly an honour to win the prestigious title of World’s Leading Destination for the third year in a row. This year is our Golden Jubilee of Tourism in the Maldives, and I couldn’t have asked for a better achievement to mark 50 years of welcoming visitors to our shores. This award is thanks to the guidance of our government, the support of our partners, and the hard work of the tourism industry as a whole. And of course, our visitors- we are blessed that people from around the world love the Maldives so much. This is also the first year that MMPRC, also known as Visit Maldives, secured the title of the World’s Leading Tourist Board. It feels like an affirmation of the hard work of our team over these past few years, pushing through the toughest global crises of recent times. Thank you to everyone for voting for the Maldives, and I hope to welcome you soon to the Sunny Side of Life.”

Tourism pioneer and celebrated local entrepreneur, Mr Hussein Afeef, also commented on the success achieved by the Maldives at this year’s World Travel Awards. He stated that he considers it a blessing that the entire tourism industry, the cornerstone of the economy, has come together for the betterment of the country. He congratulated all tourism industry stakeholders, organisations, and every citizen of the nation for this outstanding success. Mr Afeef added that MMPRC’s efforts to raise the Maldives to new and radiant heights are appreciated by people around the world, congratulating the organisation, the board members, and employees for securing the World’s Leading Tourist Board title this year.


The Maldives first secured the title of the World’s Leading Destination in 2020, in the midst of the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nations struggled as world borders closed and international travel ground to a halt. It was the same in the Maldives as well, at least for a few months, as the travel and tourism industry was


disrupted as it had never been before, and the future looked grim.

That was until MMPRC decided to switch the online platforms and continued marketing the Maldives, advising people around the world to dream of the Maldives now, and Visit Maldives later. The Government’s efforts and plans for the reopening of the borders were drafted with the contribution of the entire industry, emphasising the unique geographical formation of the Maldivian islands as the key USP of the one-island-one-resort concept. These characteristics make the Maldives one of the safest destinations for visitors even amidst the pandemic. The rest of the world was constantly being made aware of the stringent safety measures and procedures in place for tourists. The nation reopened their borders for international travel on July 15th, 2020, while most other countries were still struggling with stunted travel options. More importantly, the country reopened their borders with extensive safety guidelines and measures in place so that every traveller could visit the Maldives with peace of mind.

As for MMPRC, the organization carried out over 412 different marketing activities in 22 global markets, partnering with several international PR agencies to ensure that every visitor in every market still continued to see the beautiful sights of the Maldives despite global border closures. 314 activities were carried out during this pandemic as part of the crisis recovery plan; some of these include fairs (online as well as offline), webinars, FAM trips, online roadshows, outdoor campaigns, digital media campaigns and more.

Securing the title of World’s Leading Destination in 2020 was a remarkable testament to the hard work of the Maldives tourism industry. Every relevant government agency, organisation, and stakeholder in the industry came together and made continuous contributions


By the time 2021 rolled in, more and more countries around the world began to reopen their borders for international travel. While this meant that more travellers could start visiting the Maldives again, it also meant more competitors were reemerging for the Maldives. The tourism industry itself evolved as hybrid activities became the norm, and the number of visitors looking up information online about the nation skyrocketed and the Maldives officially became the most googled destination in the world. The aforementioned one-island-one-resort concept, the distinct geographical features, and the constant promotion continued to give the Maldives an added advantage over other destinations.

At MMPRC, the organization decided to take this opportunity to tap into an under-utilised market segment of tourism, the MICE travel segment, as travellers around the world began to experience the inevitable ‘zoom blues’. The ‘Redefining MICE’ campaign was a great success and prompted even more travellers to see the Maldives truly as a destination with something for everyone. Several marketing activities and campaigns were carried out in 2021, providing a platform for tourists from around the world to relive their happy memories and rediscover the wonders of Maldives. MMPRC carried out 209 different marketing activities in 24 global markets in 2021. These include 109 marketing campaigns, 60 fairs & virtual events, 10 roadshows and 30 familiarisation trips. With interviews and other participation, over 400 activities were conducted in 2021.

to revive and restore tourism in the Maldives. In 2020 Maldives competed against 22 other destinations including Dubai, Malaysia, Spain, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka to win the title.

Winning this title for the second year in a row in 2021 proved to us that the hard work of the Maldives tourism industry was appreciated by visitors and organisations from around the world. The tiny nation won the top title competing against 18 other destinations including the biggest names in global tourism such as Dubai, Indonesia, Spain, Vietnam, USA and Greece.


There were many who did not expect the Maldives to retain the top spot once all other nations reopened their borders and initiated their efforts to revive tourism in their respective countries. Retaining the place at the top while competing with fully-active destinations from around the world is the greatest proof that people all over the world love the Maldives and voted for us time and time again.

MMPRC conducted a total of 149 activities in 22 global markets over the first three quarters of 2022, targeting the travel trade and consumers alike, with a reach of over 8.6 billion. One of the key focuses of the strategies was to maintain brand visibility in the global markets.

Apart from promoting the Maldives as a premier luxury destination with various affordable options and diverse experiences, the messaging was clearly communicated to build confidence in the destination. MMPRC augmented this with the Tourism Golden Jubilee messaging, to veer visitors towards the celebratory mood in the Maldives tourism industry this year, to great success.

Winning this award a third year in a row, especially during the Golden Jubilee Year of Tourism, has not only fortified the nation’s place as a tourism hotspot but also as a leader in the global travel trade.

Even amidst the pandemic, Maldives has welcomed over half a million tourists in 2020, 1.3 million in 2021, and are close to reaching the 1.6 million milestone in 2022.


Celebrating Milestones and a Wealth of Awards at Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives

This award season was phenomenally successful for Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives. Starting with the award for Indian Ocean’s Leading Villa Resort at World Travel Awards, followed by a trio of awards at the World Luxury Hotel Awards the resort has been recognized for its’ unique and boutique concepts, culinary experiences as well as sustainability ethos.

The signature fine dining restaurant Firedoor, famous for its Josper grill and the dining concept emerged as the Best Luxury Boutique Restaurant in the Indian Ocean for the third consecutive year. Firedoor’s menu is designed to cater to those who appreciate the joys of selective degustation in a meticulously designed ambiance where the music, the wine menu, and the fine arts of culinary come together to create a superlative experience.

The spa was recognized as the Best Luxury Boutique Spa of the Indian Ocean for its sensation range of treatments, stellar guest reviews and innovative wellness experiences provided to the guests since its opening. For the third year in a row The Spa at Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives has been maintaining their position as one of the extraordinary spas of the Maldives. Every year the

team thrives to outdo themselves and this year the spa has launched several new transformative additions to its menu such as iridology, deep skin tissue analysis as well as aura reading. The kids’ spa pampering program at Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives is increasingly gaining attention and momentum as an experience which is made uniquely for kids.

Last but not least, the Best Luxury Boutique Resort Award as well as the World Travel Awards’ Indian Ocean’s Leading Villa Resort award is a genuine appreciation of the creative direction and brand concept of the resort where the philosophy of loving hospitality. It has been a tremendous team achievement for the entire resort as well as the Park Hotel Group where a considerable investment goes into education, sustainability and excellence so that the guests from the world over can discover love at every turn at Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives.

Lily Beach Wins Leading AllInclusive Resort in the Maldives at World Travel Awards 2022

For the sixth time in this decade, Lily Beach Resort & Spa Maldives has won the Maldives’ Leading All- Inclusive Resort title at the prestigious World Travel Awards.

Presented at the 29th Annual World Travel Awards Programme, the coveted award is a testament to the exceptional and heartfelt service that Lily Beach delivers, ensuring guests return time and time again to make limitless memories at the resort.

The team at Lily Beach said, “We are thrilled that the resort has been crowned the Maldives’ Leading All Inclusive Resort, and we would like to thank all our friends of the resort for voting for us. Each guest may come as a stranger but they leave as a friend, and we are always delighted to hear when we have exceeded expectations by making sure every detail is taken care of.”

From the resort’s generous Platinum Plan, complete with a scrumptious buffet and premium á la carte dining, to offering a fantastic selection of drinks and a choice of excursions – all included within the plan –it’s no surprise Lily Beach Resort & Spa is so popular with families, couples and honeymooners alike. With a promise to keep building on its success, coming back better than ever for next year too, Lily Beach strives to create unforgettable memories with exciting special events every year. Such as welcoming guests the currently ongoing World Cup Football Camp with Marcel Gurk, as well as announcing an exciting array of activities for Halloween and the Festive Season.

LUX* South Ari Atoll Shines With Numerous Awards This October

October was a successful month for LUX* South Ari Atoll, the renowned Maldives destination of The Lux Collective. Once again, the property confirmed its status as one of the leading resorts in the tropical country with a series of notable wins.

The 6th edition of South Asian Travel Awards not only named LUX* South Ari Atoll the “Leading Luxury Resort” in the Maldives but also recognised its continuous strive to conscious hospitality with the “Leading Eco-Friendly Resort” award.

The Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 named LUX* South Ari Atoll among “The Best Resorts In The World” for Indian Ocean. Offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience for every guest, the resort was ranked once again in the coveted list.

The signature LUX* Shining Service also resulted in receiving the “Travellers’ Choice 2022” award by TripAdvisor. With the consistent rating of 5 out of 5, LUX* South Ari Atoll was recognised as one of thetop 10% of destinations listed on the international platform.

Earlier this year, LUX* South Ari Atoll won nine awards from this year’s Hotel Asia Exhibition & International Culinary Challenge. Competing in a variety of categories, from hot cooking to artistic showpieces, the team of resort’s chefs received one Gold, four Silver, and five Bronze medals. With eight restaurants offering different cuisines to its guests, LUX* South Ari Atoll turns every holiday into a culinary journey with crafted menus.

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