FIYA - June 2014 Edition

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Lian Slayford Lian is a qualified archaeologist and dedicated travel writer. Travelling throughout the world from an early age, she enjoys bringing the beauty and magic of different countries to others through her writing. Lian currently lives in Surrey, United Kingdom, with her two young children.

Shane Conroy Shane Conroy is an experienced freelance travel writer with an incurable case of wanderlust. When he’s not flying around the world, he’s based on the southern beaches of Sydney in Australia.

Nick St Clair Award-winning writer and journalist with many years of proven experience working with some of the world’s most recognizable names and brands: currently specialising in environmentalism and sustainable tourism for like-minded organizations across the four corners of the globe.

Donna Richardson An experienced journalist from the UK, she is currently a freelance travel writer specialising in the area of budget travel in the Maldives

Anita Suwerics From Australia, Anita has lived in Asia for the past six years, working at the Phnom Penh Post in Cambodia and most recently at DestinAsian in Indonesia. Now freelancing, Anita spends most of her time travelling and hanging out with her Golden Retriever Milo.

Published For Villa Air Pvt. Ltd. Villa House, 5th Floor No.7, Kandidhonmanik Goalhi Male’ 20181, Republic of Maldives

Published By Squid Media Pvt Ltd. M.Ziyaaraiydhoshuge. Izzudeen Magu,,

Cover compiled by


Zooshan Ibrahim

Ibrahim Iujaz Hafiz Mohamed Shafraz Naeem Ibrahim Nahshal Nasir Ali Nishan (Millzero)

Inflight Magazine of FlyMe is designed and published by Squid Media, a comprehensive one-stop, digital media solutions for all organizational communication needs.


THISISSUE 10 Celebrating

28 Little Country

Maldivian Culture

with Big Ideas

16 Honeymoons In

Visit to the Museum




Surf Is Up!

FlyMe Is Co-sponsoring the MATATO Travel Awards 2014



Creating the ‘Flying Whaleshark’

Why the Maldives Won the Title of the World’s Best Island Destination in 2013

40 05

EDITOR’S NOTE Assalaamu Alaikum, and welcome to the 4th issue of FIYA, the inflight travel magazine of Flyme. We have some very interesting articles and news to share with you in this issue. A trip to the Maldives is a surfer’s dream, as you will see in Anita Suwerics’ rundown of all you need to know about catching some waves off the islands. You’ll also get a unique glimpse into local Maldivian culture in Donna Richardson’s piece offering a fascinating look at the history of the Maldivian people. Our newest section, “Visit to the Museum” will offer an interesting look into artifacts that made their mark in the history of our country. Find out why our country is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world, and discover the many breathtaking resorts that abound throughout the islands, featuring absolutely luxurious rooms and amenities beautifully complemented by pristine beaches and crystalline waters, in Shane Conroy’s magnificent feature. Also, learn about why the Maldives were honored with the incredible title of the World’s Best Island Destination in 2013. Lian Slayford outlines what a paradise the country is, leading it to beat out Jamaica, Barbados, Sicily, Madeira and many other islands throughout the world for this impressive distinction. Our huge update on Flyme’s new seaplane will surely delight, as we’re bringing you an inside look into the artistic creation of this incredible aircraft, straight from the artist himself, the incredibly talented John Stahr. I hope you have a wonderful stay in the Maldives and look forward to seeing you here again.

Mohamed Shafraz Hafiz @ShafrazHafiz Previous Issues


take a bit of maldives...

H. East Light, Ameer Ahmed, Magu, Male', Republic of Maldives Tel: +960 300 6886 Fax: +960 333 0884 E-mail:


If this is the first time flying with Flyme, we would like to say ‘Welcome’ and if you have experienced our hospitality before then it certainly is ‘Welcome back’! We have a range of interesting articles in this issue which we hope will give you a better insight in this amazing environment, as well as our operations. Over the years the mode of travel in and around the Maldives has seen many changes - with airlines coming and going - but the seaplane remained the aircraft of choice. Simply, because there has always been more water than land available for aircraft to land! In recent years this has changed substantially with the building of new airports on reconstructed islands. One great example is the airport on Maamigili Island, known as the Villa Air International Airport. Owned and built by the Villa Group, it is the first privately owned airport in the Maldives. Where in the past the only mode of passenger transfer from Male’ to South Ari Atoll has been either by boat or seaplane, the dynamics changed considerably with the introduction of Flyme and the land-based air transfers from Male to Maamigili. The 17 minute flight, in style and comfort, is the best way to start your holiday and offers the perfect alternative to other modes of transport. Flyme, operated by Villa Air, is in its 3rd year of operation and continues to grow - serving the tourist as well as local market. Flyme also connects Male’ to 8 other domestic airports. But the most exciting news of the year is certainly the announcement of the Flyme SEEPLANE that arrived on Maldivian soil in April. For the first time in many years there is something fresh entering the local travel market and it takes the form of a ‘Flying Whale Shark’ - a very different version of a seaplane. Read more about that, and the amazing process of painting the aircraft, in this issue. The SEEPLANE will be operational at the end of May, so we hope you get to witness and experience a flight in this unique aircraft. This also means that Flyme can now offer you a total travel solution for your time in the Maldives, without you missing out on the seaplane experience. Have a great holiday and hope to see you again soon. We value your input on our service and products, so please send your comments and suggestions to Best wishes Flyme Marketing


draree ams.




Villa Hotels & Resorts, Villa Building, Ibrahim Hassandidi Magu, Male’, Maldives. +960 331 6161

+960 331 4565


By Donna Richardson

The perfect time for tourists to find the real Maldives outside of the holiday brochures is during Eid, when the Muslim inhabitants mark the end of a month of fasting known as Ramazan.

As the month of Ramadan draws to a close, everyone searches the sky for the next full moon. When it is spotted, the nation indulges in the three day festival of Eid-UL-Fitr, also known as Kuda Eid. Prayers are offered to Allah and homes are cleaned and decorated as people gather to feast and exchange gifts and sweets amongst their family. Women dress themselves beautifully, applying henna (Mehndi) on their hands and men wear new white clothes.


Another five days of festive celebrations, following the last day of Hajj, marks Alhaa Eid (also known as bodu eid) involves games and musical performances from island to island. While the main focus is celebrating Islam, the history of these festivities originates from a cauldron of ethnicity. Early historical records show that the Maldivian ancestry is made up of multiple ethnic groups including Africans, Arabs, Sinhalese and Indians, each with their own beliefs.

The most popular story of the conversion to Islam involves getting rid of a demon that came from the sea every month. ‘Abul Barakat’ saves the nation and the king converts to Islam. Ironically, no one talks or admits anything pre-Islamic apart from that. Other heroes like ‘Ali Rasgefaanu’ (King) ‘Boduthakurufaanu’ and many other folktales have inspired a lot of stage plays, films and story books. In particular ‘Dhonhiyala aai alufulhu’ is the Maldivian version of Romeo and Juliet. These tales exist only to be performed. Script is an art form within Islam but generally restricted to mosques where Arabic calligraphy can still be seen beautifully mounted. The “Mashi Maali parade’’, which means “Ghosts of Mud”, is held on the island of Kulhudhuffushi and Vaikaradhoo during Eid celebrations. Participants cover their body with mud from the marshes and parade in the street. Again, it is thought to have been introduced by Islamic settlers.

Originally Maldivians followed the Dravidian Mother-Goddess worship and its rituals. Then the country practiced Buddhism about 2,000 years ago with an unprecedented flourishing of the Maldivian culture, including an ancient script. However, about 800 years ago the country was converted to the Muslim religion ands since the conversion, the ancient Mother-Goddess cult has managed only to live on in the local folklore, which is still marked by the fear of female spirits.

As centuries went by, Islam became intertwined with the local traditions and some have been preserved in the form of plays depicting folklore stories passed down by ancestors showing the cultural and ethnic ways of life and superstitious beliefs. Live theatrical pantos such as the Dheli Maali folklore tale are still performed on the island of Fulidahoo. The play tells the story of a demon from the underworld that comes to snatch children and forms part of the annual Eid celebrations.


There are also folk stories involving ghosts and black magic. “Dhamu Higun” is a traditional dance and music performance held during eid celebrations in Kuldhuffushi and tells the story of how ancestors banished evil spirits from their land. All dancers and drummers are disguised, while their songs are sung to the beat of spooky music. “Koadi Negun” is another dance performed on the eve of Eid. The men take part in decorating the Koadi with coconut leaves. In the evening, the “Koadi” is tied to a

coconut tree and the dance is performed around it. Women must find a man to bring it down for them, and then, they reward him with a bath and a feast.” Of all Maldivian traditions, “Bodu Beru”, dancing to the beat of a drum, is the most famous form of music. It is also the oldest, believed to have originated in East Africa and brought to the islands by African sailors. Also known as “Baburu Lava” (Negroid Song) Bodu Beru is thought to have been introduced to the Maldives in the 11th Century AD.


The ‘’Dhandi Jehun’’ is a traditional dance of Maldives with variations from atoll to atoll. The participants are all men who dance in a single group of 30. The dance takes place in the street and lasts an hour. Dhandi Jehun is accompanied by “Unbaa music or “Thaara” songs which are sung by a lead singer as the group dances and walks to the beat of the music.” Meanwhile, young women perform the “Bandiyaa Jehun”, an adaptation of the Indian pot dance. Dancers mark time to the beat on the metal water pots they

carry, tapping them with the metal rings on their fingers. A uniform dress is worn by the performers consisting of a long skirt and a blouse known as “Dhigu hedhun”, a local dress. One of the traditional dresses worn by women of the Maldives is called “Kasabu Boavalhu Libaas”. This features intricate weaving known as “Kasabu” and “Boavalhu” means neckline, hence the name. The Libaas is known as the basic dress design. Some islanders, particularly in Madaveli in Gaafu Dhaalu, have made these dresses a cottage industry.

dressmakers in the Maldives is Fathmath Fariyaalu who makes dresses for people far and wide. Overall, the Maldives has a rich and varied cultural history, and tourists willing to venture beyond the resorts can see a world full of wonder.

One of the most famous

Photography by Ibrahim Iujaz Hafiz


“Dhandi Jehun”


Your Perfect Escape Designed for pure relaxation with its sun kissed powdery beaches, crystal clear waters and mesmerizing underwater life, these perfectly located retreats are a true escapist dream. Riding with the dolphins, alfresco dining by the beach or indulging your senses at the spa, discover Maldives at your own pace. When you stay with us, our promise to deliver an affordable luxury holiday stays true.



SUN SIYAM RESORTS Pvt Ltd H.Maley-thila, Meheli Goalhi, Male’, Rep. of Maldives T +960 332 5977 F +960 331 8273 E www.


Park Hyatt Handahaa, Maldives

By Shane Conroy



Just name your desire, and there’s an experience to match. The Maldives has been a popular honeymoon destination for many years, and with good reason. The 25 low-lying coral atolls form an archipelago that stretches for 860 km through the most pristine areas of the Indian Ocean. Whether you’ve dreamed of a deserted island experience, want to lay your head in a luxury over-water villa, seek the adventure of a private cruise, desire the pleasures of a day spa or hunger for a world-class culinary experience, the Maldives has the ultimate honeymoon experience for you.

DESERTED ISLAND DREAMING If you want to celebrate your honeymoon in complete seclusion, then stunning Maafushivaru Island is for you. Along with luxurious accommodation, world-class cuisine and the natural wonders of South Ari Atoll, the island resort also offers an authentic deserted island experience that will leave you feeling like Robinson Crusoe. Couples can board a yacht to the nearby uninhabited island of Lonubo where romantic picnics, candlelit dinners and even a private overnight stay await. It’s just you, the white sand beach, the endless night sky and your beloved. Visit

OVER-WATER WONDER Velassaru Island is the perfect Maldivian location for over-water luxury. There’s no need to stroll far from your king-sized bed in Velassaru’s signature Water Villa. The large over-water villa is perched above the turquoise lagoon and features a full sea-facing wall that opens onto a private over-water terrace with direct access to the lagoon. Living spaces are bathed in warm, natural light, the bathroom features a free-standing bathtub and the king-sized bed is draped in sheer linen and silk. If you can gather the motivation to leave your villa, you can reenergize in the over-water yoga pavilion or ocean-front infinity pool.

Island Hideaway, Dhonakulhi




REST AND RESTORE SAIL AWAY HOME The Maldives offers too much diverse beauty to limit your experience to just one beach. The Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru gives honeymooners the option to experience the surrounding reefs on a range of three-, four- and seven-night cruises aboard the resort’s luxury catamarans. Explore the vibrant under-water world of the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve by day, and enjoy fine dining under a blanket of stars on your private yacht by night. Then, retire to your well-appointed cabin to be lulled to sleep by the gentle tides of the Maldives.

If you prefer the pleasures of a day spa to the sun and sand, then you’ll find your ideal honeymoon experience at the world-class Jiva Grande Spa at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa set on one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives. Jiva Grande is an authentic Indian spa that blends ancient healing wisdom with contemporary therapies. From aromatherapy massages and yoga to a vast range of traditional royal beauty treatments, you’ll feel like the king and queen of the Maldives as the award-winning therapists transport you to cloud nine. Visit



We haven’t forgotten the gourmands among us with this ultimate romantic dining experience at Baros Maldives. One of the Maldives’ most luxurious resorts, Baros is a small coral island surrounded by a pristine beach and vibrant reef that is renowned for its supreme hospitality. But the jewel in its crown is the incredible Lighthouse Restaurant. Set in a distinctive over-water pavilion with a sail roof, watch the golden hue of the sunset as you dine on the country’s most acclaimed dishes – such as cognac-flamed lobster bisque and yellowfin tuna rossini. Visit

Flyme is proud to be a co-sponsor for the MATATO travel awards this year. As an integral part of the travel and tourism industry in the Maldives, Flyme actively supports the local industry. The (MATATO) Maldives Travel Awards is a recognized label initiated with the idea of providing the Maldives tourism sector with recognition for their facilities and service excellence provided to guests. Awards are presented to nominees in different categories on various sector and standard bases. The Maldives Travel Awards aim to encourage and raise service standards within the Maldivian tourism industry. Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) hold the exclusive rights of the award.

CRITERIA The awards judging criteria are based upon facilities and service excellence provided by the participant. Size of a property is not taken into consideration during the nomination or voting process. In order to proceed with registration, the participant should operate within the Maldivian Tourism market and service delivery should be within the Maldives.

NOMINATIONS In order to participate in the Maldives Travel Awards™, participants can self-nominate or be nominated by guests, travel agents and/or tour operators. Previous award winners will automatically be nominated to participate in the following year. Once we receive nominations, evaluations are carried out by a selected panel of adjudicators appointed by the event organizer, Highrise, and patent rights holder of the award, Maldives Association of Travel Agents & Tour Operators (MATATO). Following confirmation and official entry, the organizers and managers of Maldives Travel Awards will arrange an ‘official’ site visit or a meeting in Male’ with the officials from the respective participant to confirm the participation in Maldives Travel Awards. To enter, an online registration form must be completed, along with an official participation confirmation letter by the participant, sent addressed

EVENT MATATO Maldives Travel Awards 2014 is the 3rd annual edition, to be held 21st November 2014 at Kurumba Maldives. This only of its kind event in Maldives will be attended by representatives from across the Maldives tourism and hospitality industry, including resorts, hotels, guest houses, Liveaboards, domestic and international airlines, travel agents and tour operators. The function will comprise an award ceremony, a banquet dinner and a programme of Maldivian inspired entertainment. This will be followed by an after party Previous editions have been held at Paradise Island Resort & Spa and Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort.


In Association with

Beverage Partners

City Hotel Partner

Technology Partner

Media Partners


Associate Partners

Sound & Lights Partner


Text and photographs by John Stahr; compiled by Iselle McCalman

Stahr Design/Artistic Aviation’s shop and design studio is located in the beautiful hills of southwest Eugene, Oregon. Since 1983, the studio has designed and custom painted over 1000 motor coaches, tractor- trailer rigs and aircraft, along with hundreds of smaller custom units such as specialty and tow vehicles. In 1995, they started producing artwork and custom paint designs for aircraft, which has now become their main focus. John explains: “ Our innovative creations are grounded in classic design, which is the first and most important facet of a Stahr Design/Artistic Aviation paint scheme. It starts in the studio where the design is worked up with input from both the client and the designer. Colors, textures, themes, artwork and logos all come together to create an exterior which makes a statement…the all-important first impression. Everyone is bound to notice the exterior - this is why the design is so important. On the leading edge of new paint techniques and materials, we strive for that final distinctive look”.

Diary of the artist The original idea of a having an image of a whale shark on the new aircraft was that of the Flyme marketing department. The basic design concept was then sent to America where John Stahr, renowned American aircraft artist, reworked it into the painting we have on the SEEPLANE today. As you can imagine, painting an aircraft by hand is quite a challenge and even more so if it has thousands of spots and dots in different shades of blue and white. So, once agreed on the final image and placing of the logos, the fun started. John sent us detailed email descriptions of his progress as he set about creating the ‘Flying Whale Shark’. ‡ Wipaire installed the floats and the actual pain ting took place in their factory

And the name?... Many people look at the name ‘SEEPLANE’ and tell us there is a spelling mistake. Of course it is not the case, because with our SEEPLANE you will go on sightSEEing flights and SEE a lot more that you would in any other way! And since it is an amphibious aircraft we cannot call it just a seaplane.

7 March

Starting tomorrow, I will be drawing the full size shark down the long white wall of the shop level of my studio....

9 March Cutting the masks for the project today. Like a giant billboard design....all those little lines and circles will be perforated like a giant dress pattern to be transferred onto the plane via airbrush as a guide for the painting process.

10 March I am up at 3:30 AM in order to catch my 5:30AM flight to MSP.... today’s work day starts early, then I lose 2 hours flying east ...a rolled up full size pattern and a selection of masks are tucked under my arm, some simple painting tools are packed into my luggage. ‡ Wipaire factory in Minnesota

11 March Tuesday morning and I am ready to start with the painting which is mostly laid out for big colour. I will put in a long day tomorrow, and you will be amazed at the progress. It always starts out like a rocket, and then slows down as the detailing gets down to business. After the pattern is form fit to the fuse shape, the outline is laid out to make the basic shape of the whale shark. The primary lines to


It will have the blue to aqua blend and the light rays filtering down through the water. One needs to back away from the plane to take it all in, and the little detail elements which seem like big spots up close, turn into dots from a distance. This is not my normal style of rendering so I am learning this “pointillest” style on your execution. When we get to those trademark spots that whale sharks have, it will really start to come to life. The final aqua colour added to surround the giant fish will really make it pop out.

start the background colours are being airbrushed through the pattern, which has tiny holes wherever you see the lines….the same design will be laid out on the other side when the paper pattern is reversed on the other side.

13 March It is starting to take form... painting lots of colour dots, spots and textures tomorrow!

12 March I am first painting the shadows from the bony lines of the shark. This will set up the placement of all the other colours to be painted tomorrow. It is so much easier to paint this on the normal landing gear...but would take twice as long if I had to balance on a ladder to do every part were it up on the floats. I placed the camera up high to get this look at the bony layout lines that run down the top of the fuse…. what you see here is sort of a charcoal layout sketch for the big picture…. I would have sprayed the deep blue sections that will set up the background for all the dot details, gills, lines, the eyes and open mouth at the front of the plane… but I need to adjust the colour a bit and will do that in the morning.

14 March I spent a lot of time today applying the subtle spotted texture to the deep blue areas of the whale shark… so the background is pretty much all done, and now I have a couple days of detailing with lots of spots, highlights, and the other elements like gills, eyes and open mouth. I am very pleased with it and getting to like it more every day. By Sunday, I should be reversing the masking paper to prepare to spray the aqua that surrounds the shark.


We are spraying it with fast drying base coat colour to do all the artwork and design on top of it, so the colour dries flat and lifeless until the urethane clear coat goes on, and suddenly the colours are rich and the whole design takes on a mile of depth, the darks recede, and the highlights come forward creating the illusion of a 3D whale shark in the water…..

15 March Top designs are nearly done, except for clear coat which goes on later.

16 March Tail blend of blue and aqua is, now I have about 2500 spots to paint! The roof top back of the shark is done.

18 March The plane goes into the big spray booth tomorrow for the rest of the aqua and clear coat process. All that is then left is a shop full of parts and masking paper... with paint flying all over the place!

17 March The plane is set for the rest of the aqua on the belly, and prepping for clear coat on the artwork, you can see the rudder after the aqua is on. Then all the paper comes off the shark, and the clear goes on fast after that.


BE PART OF THE ‘FLYING WHALE SHARK’ HISTORY The waiting is finally over… After months of preparation, the Flyme SEEPLANE was welcomed to the Maldives at the end of April and is now truly settled in. Looking up into the blue skies, you will see the ‘Flying Whale Shark’ gracing the skies of the Maldives - representing one of the most sought-after sea creatures found in the waters around the islands. The Flyme SEEPLANE will introduce you to a different seaplane experience. This is your chance of a lifetime to see the islands like never before… cruise along in a beautiful aircraft with air-conditioning, leather seats and large windows for witnessing those extra special moments. With two pilots and a cabin crew on board, you are in safe hands as you savour the views. You will be transported to another world of blue skies and turquoise waters. Based at Maamigili, the Flying

Whale Shark SEEPLANE will initially serve the resorts in the South Ari Atoll on a fixed day schedule.

Direct bookings for non-resort pax $85 (Flights from Male’ could be possible in future)

Experinces Available • Photo Flights • Sightseeing • Excursions to neighbouring islands • Personalised ‘honeymoon’ trips • Whale shark spotting...and many more.

Total # of pax per flight : 7

Take advantage of the introductory offer!! Duration of flights 20 minutes, but longer trips can be arranged in advance. Resort bookings Refer to the rates of the resort where you are staying

We fly you in style! 26

Minimum # pax per flight : 4 The aircraft can also be booked for private use. E-mail enquiries and bookings: • Flyme supports the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme –





Filitheyo Island Resort & Spa

To say that environmentalism and sustainability are important to the Maldives is a serious understatement.

A very green blueprint

Protecting the marine life

The Maldives may well be Asia’s smallest country by area and by population, but when it comes to sustainability, it’s a country that thinks big.

The Maldivian government has also designated 31 marine areas to be protected from human interference with a wide ranging series of measures.

Not one of the 1,200 coral islands that make up this archipelago is more than 1.8 metres (six feet) above sea level, giving the Maldives the dubious pleasure of being the lowest country in the world. If sea levels continue to rise unabated, climatologists predict that the vast majority of the Maldives will be completely submerged by the end of this century.

The government has implemented a far-reaching strategy which encourages tourism, while at the same time protecting the country’s ecosystem; placing eco-tourism at the very heart of its blueprint for the future.

To start with, all types of commercial fishing are strictly prohibited, and it is an offence to remove any marine animals from protected areas. Furthermore, coral mining and sand mining have been outlawed together with the dumping of waste of any type.

Nihilistic viewpoint aside, there is another strong argument for protecting the environment, which is purely economic. The country’s tourism industry attracts over half a million people every year; ostensibly to enjoy its white sandy beaches, stunning coral reefs and spectacular marine life. This fragile ecosystem is extremely susceptible to environmental damage and climate change; so it should come as no surprise to learn that sustainability isn’t just a marketing tool, it’s a fundamental part of Maldivian life.

The Maldivian Ministry of Tourism operates a strict policy which oversees the allocation of land and the construction of all new resorts. All new resorts are assigned their own uninhabited island and are limited to developing no more than 20% of the land; furthermore, they must take responsibility for a second island which is to be maintained solely as a preserve. Equally importantly, every resort must operate as a self-reliant operation, generating their own electricity and water supplies while managing recycling, waste and sewage in order to prevent water pollution, which is the single biggest cause of damage to the coral reefs.


The world is also aware of the need to protect the Maldives The solid waste produced by the Maldives has been growing exponentially over the last decade and to date has simply been dumped onto randomly selected uninhabited islands causing a huge environmental headache for the government.

The future

The World Bank-managed fund supports the development and implementation of a climate change strategy and action plan for the Maldives; helping to build a climate-resilient economy and society and a carbon neutral development path.

As a result, waste management has become one of the burning issues for the Maldives. In order to assist the Maldives in dealing with the problem of waste management and the threats posed by climate change, countries across the world have contributed $millions to the Maldives Climate Change Trust Fund.


Despite its best efforts to combat the damaging effects of climate change, the Maldivian government acknowledges that it also needs to find other solutions in order to protect its population. There is one option, however, that might be a shining light on this dire issue: solar panels. The Maldives has an incredible amount of days filled with beaming sunlight, making it a perfect location for solar panels, which could help to reduce the effects of climate change on the country. However, the lack of expertise and capital in place to delivery such a technology isn’t there. Only time will tell if this proves to be the Maldivian environment’s saving grace.


In this new series, we will look into our history and culture of the Maldives through the artifacts available for us at the National Museum of the Maldives


Turban worn with royal attire.

Quran Holder Quran holder with the name “Sultan Sujaee Mohamed Imaadhudheen” inscribed on it (1704 - 1721 AD, 1180 - 1187 AH) inscribed in Arabic.

Tea Urn Tea urn used to keep prepared tea warm, inside the palace. “Sultan Mohamed Ghiyasudhdheen” (1767 - 1773 CE, 1180 - 1187 AH) inscribed in Arabic.

Knives with cover Knives with fish tooth handle. On the blade of RM1060 “Ali Ibnu Hassan Ibnu Hussain Dhoshimeynaa Kileygefaanu” is inscribed on one side and “Dhoshimeynaa Kileygefaanu, 1157 AH” on the other side.



Shoes worn with official attire.

Gathaafaige with Boa and Foali Parasol and Umbrella

Gathaafaige (Traditional type of handloom) used for weaving the neckline of Maldivian national dress “Libaas”

Pa rasol and umbrella hoisted above Sultan by his servant when he goes on official outings

Cap Chessboard with chess pieces

Cap with royal emblem for the Sultan attached to the front, used with official attires

This chessboard with chess pieces made from fish tooth were brought from the Old Sultan’s Palace. (Early 20th Century)



Chair and foot stool

Period: 18th - 19th Century CE (12th - 13th Century AH)

This throne chair and footstool was prepared for Abdhul Majeedh Rannabandeyri Kileygefaan after the majority of the special parliament’s decision on 31st March 1943 AD for Abdhul Majeedh to be the next Sultan of Maldives.

An hourglass used in Maldives before the introduction of clocks

Drum Stand with drum and frame This drum stand was used to hang royal drums and is stored at the royal room “Naabuskhaanaa”. On the religious occasion of “Hithi”, this stand is plugged into the ground where ceremonial rituals take place, so the royal drums can be hanged. The drums and drum frame with this stand are the ones that was used in this ceremony

Crescent The wooden Islamic Symbol of the cresent moon and star was attached at the center of the two linear poles behind the royal throne chair on special occasions during the rule of Sultan Mohamed Fareed Al-Awwal (1954 - 1968 AD)


By Anita Suwerics



While still not as established a surfing destination as Indonesia or the neighbouring Sri Lanka, the pristine Maldive Islands boast some of the globe’s most impressive swells. From the consistent waves of the tourist-oriented Malé Atoll to the more unpredictable swells of the lesser-known Central and Outers Atolls, these are some of the warmest and most pristine waters out there. With a huge array of reef breaks, ranging from mellow peaks with short or long swells to fast and hollow pits, the Maldives holds waves bound to put a smile on the face of any surfer.

The Conditions

The Beginnings

Best Breaks

While it was the O’Neill Beep Blue Surfing Competition in Lohifushi that popularised the Maldives as a surfing destination in the 1990s, the history of modern surfing in the archipelago dates back to the late 70s. The story goes that in 1973 an Australian surfer Tony Hinde was hired as a help on a ketch sailing from Sri Lanka to Reunion Island in Africa. Tony discovered the impressive swells of the Maldives after his ship went off course and ran aground on the island of Malé. It wasn’t long before Tony married a local, changed his name to Tony Hussein Hinde and started a surf camp.

Some of the islands in the Kaafu Atoll, such as Thulusdhoo and Maafushi, offer both luxury resorts as well as more affordable accommodation that’s not going to break the budget. Featuring most of the archipelago’s popular surf breaks, the islands also offer direct access to the waves of both the North Malé Atoll and South Malé Atoll.

The surf season in the archipelago depends on the atolls, but usually runs between March and October, with the biggest swells hitting the shores from June to August. With the waves usually ranging between three and eight feet, both beginners and experts are bound to find their slice of paradise here. With the water temperature ranging between 23 and 28 degrees, surfers can leave their wetsuits at home, although rash vests are recommended as protection from the sun. It is also recommended that surfers bring their own boards and booties as these can be difficult to rent in the Maldives.

The best spots in the area recommended for intermediate surfers include Chickens with fast rides of up to 500 meters; Cokes with hollow and tubular waves breaking over a shallow reef; and Jailbreak


with hollow waves with a steep takeoff. Beginners should try the consistent swells of Lohis, said to be the hollowest and most photographed waves in North Malé Atoll.

Many of the resort and guesthouses cater to surfers by providing regular dhonis, group taxi boats, to nearby break spots. Those willing to forgo the comforts of a resort can opt to stay on a live-aboard surf charter—a sure way to wake up at a chosen surf break and make the most of the waves before the resort-based surfers arrive on dhonis. Those wishing to get away from the crowds and experience the archipelago’s lesser known swells should consider chartering a boat with one of the surf outfits and heading to the Central and Outer Atolls, where the swells tend to be bigger and less predictable. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, this island nation in the Indian Ocean holds something to impress surfers with any level of experience. One thing is sure, those who surf in this tropical island paradise once usually come back for more.

Photography by Ibrahim Nahshal Nasir


Why the Maldives Won the title of the World’s Best Island Destination in 2013 By Lian Slayford

The Maldives have once again won the coveted title of ‘World’s Leading Island Destination in 2013’. For the third year running, the Maldives Islands were presented with the award at the glittering World Travel Awards ceremony held in Dohar, Qatar at the end of 2013. The beauty and magic of the Maldives captured the hearts of the world’s leading executives and CEOs in the travel industry, triumphing over Madeira, Sicily, St Lucia, Jamaica, Crete, Barbados, Mauritius and many other islands from all around the world. Travellers from all corners of the world arrive in the Maldives envisaging crystalline blue waters, endless sunny skies and fabulous weather. What they experience, however, is a taste of paradise not come across anywhere else.


Fantastic Beaches One of the reasons the Maldives has won the title of the World’s Best Island Destination in 2013 is due in part to the fact that these islands have some of the greatest beaches found throughout the world. With over a thousand islands making up the Maldives, you will be spoilt for choice. Whether you prefer golden sands or pure white shores, the beaches here are so picture perfect that millions of people travel thousands of miles to experience them for themselves.

Island Hideaway, Dhonakulhi

A Range of Resorts


As the Maldives are made up of individual islands, each one is home to a unique bespoke resort. As such, visitors have a vast variety of resorts to choose from. Brands such as the Banyan Tree and The One and Only compete with each other to provide guests with the most luxurious of resorts. Butlers, private chefs, chauffeurs, masseurs, private swimming pools and pillow menus are just a few of the things which make resorts in the Maldives so appealing. A range of family, diving oriented and budget resorts have also sprung up, only adding to the list of the reasons why the Maldives has taken the prize for World’s Best Island Destination three years running.

Island Hideaway, Dhonakulhi

Underwater World There is no place on earth that can be compared to the Maldives when it comes to diving opportunities. With warm, crystal clear waters, divers from all over the world come here specifically to experience the vast array of marine life that calls this slice of heaven home. The reefs are perfectly safe for all divers which only increases its magnetism. Tropical fish of all colours dart all around you, including the largest fish in the world, the graceful whale shark. Reef sharks can be found throughout the Maldives and are a highly popular sight with divers due to their non-aggressive behaviour.

Bandos Island Resort & Spa

Independent Travel One of the most appealing characteristics of visiting the Maldives is the fact that guests have a huge amount of freedom and independence throughout their stay. A few decades ago, visitors to these beautiful islands remained in high class private resorts, kept away from the local population. As such, backpackers stayed away from the Maldives. However, in recent years the Maldives has become much more open, and guests can now mingle with the friendly locals as they hop from island to island. There are a number of privately owned guesthouses throughout the islands and an increased ferry system has been put in place, resulting in a much more independent and accessible destinations.

Fullmoon Maldives


Past Awards The Maldives has won many other titles in various categories at the prestigious World Travel Awards. These include the World’s Most Romantic Resort 2013 and World’s Leading Island Villas 2013 for Boras Island; the World’s Leading Water Villa Resort 2013 for Conrad Maldives on Rangali Island; and the World’s Leading Airport Resort 2013 for Hulhule Island Hotel.

Filitheyo Island Resort & Spa


With these and many other nominations, the Maldives have proven to the world just why they are considered such an outstanding destination. The commendations presented by the eminent World Travel Awards demonstrate that the distinctiveness and beauty of the Maldives ensures that they continue to be seen as the world’s best island destination.

Flyme is a privately owned Maldivian Airline operated by Villa Air, which is part of the Villa Group. Our objective is to provide an exceptional service to all passengers on our airline and to sustainably contribute to the economic growth of the Maldives. The flexibility and reliability presented by the airline’s flight schedules affords passengers a unique and convenient service. Since air travel is a major means of getting around, you might as well do it in style! Launched in 2011, Flyme is now comfortably in its 3rd year with a vision to become a world-class regional airline through excellent service and innovation.

Although the airline operates from Ibrahim Nazir International Airport in Male, Flyme can boast with its own airport, Villa International Airport Maamigili, where passengers are received in style before being transported to the various resorts. All technical facilities are also located here. Our passengers can expect a safe, comfortable, quality air-travel experience, with the added benefit of frequency, including night flights, and reliability. Although not always possible due to the late arrival of international flights, our aim is to provide on-time departures. As of May 2014 Flyme is also offering excursions and sightseeing flights on the ‘Flying Whale Shark’ SEEPLANE.

Passengers requiring special attention All passengers in wheelchairs or requiring assistance can be accommodated by forwarding a request to the Customer Service Department at least 3 days before the flight arrival.

Baggage liability We take the utmost care with your baggage. To assist us, please remove all valuable/fragile items from the checked baggage. We will make every reasonable attempt to return mishandled baggage within 24 hours, compensate passengers for reasonable expenses associated with delayed delivery as required. Verified baggage claims are settled on the basis adopted by IATA (International Airlines Transport Association). Although there is no obligation to replace damaged bags, Flyme will evaluate such claims on a per-case basis. Refer to the Customer Information leaflet you received before boarding. If for some reason you did not receive it, please ask your cabin crew for a copy.

Liquor laws No alcohol is allowed outside the resorts in the Maldives. So, when departing your resort please ensure that you have no alcholic beverages in your bags, as these will be confiscated at the airport.

Water All water in the Maldives are desalinated, so please use sparingly. Bottled water for drinking is available at all resorts.

For any information or queries, do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service Department at


Our Fleet Flyme uses a technologically advanced fleet of aircraft that are among the best for the short haul air travel. The ATR 42-500 and 72-600 turbo propelled aircraft is the latest evolution of the ATR family. This type of aircraft is ideal for the domestic air transport service in Maldives due to its excellent performance, optimum passenger comfort and outstanding reliability. It is also ideal for use in the Maldives because of its high manoeuvrability in shorter air strips such as those in some of the Maldives domestic airports.

legroom. Additionally, the high capacity air-conditioning system, soft cushion leather seats and the seat fitting, ensuring sufficient elbow room provides passengers with comfort levels equivalent to those of jet aircraft. All aircraft are fitted with night flying instruments which means your transfer can take place regardless of the time you arrive. Flyme SEEPLANE is a Cessna Caravan C208 amphibious aircraft. This type is extremely popular in American and Africa for various applications. Fitted with the latest technology avionics, air-conditioning and leather seats, it guarantees the best sightseeing experience.

The configuration and seat capacity planning in our fleet provides very comfortable


We fly you in Style


Flyme had a successful visit to ITB fair 2014, Berlin

Flyme sponsored the CB Cup 2014 winning team trophy

Flyme Staff celebrated the International Thalassemia Day 2014




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MAIN ROADS Boduthakurufaanu Magu

Fareedhee Magu

Majeedhee Magu

Ameer Ahmed Magu

Orchid Magu

Medhuziyaaraiy Magu

Chaandhanee Magu





A fisherman drags a sailfish on the sidewalk on his way to sell it at the Male’ fish market on the opposite side of the road Photo: Ibrahim Iujaz Hafiz