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VOL 14 | SEPTEMBER 2017 |


Equator Village

Official Host of South Asian Travel Awards 2017


Largest international fair in The Maldives


committed to enhancing quality of life in the Maldives

Experience the ultimate speed nationwide

12 Costa Cruises

to begin sailing from and to Maldives

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to start flights to Maldives in October 2017


umbai-based budget carrier GoAir has planed to start its flight to Maldives commencing from October 2017.

The airline has been granted rights to operate to Maldives, Iran, China, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. GoAir will be flying from Mumbai to Male 7 flights per week. GoAir is India’s fifth biggest airline by market share. It recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for 72 A320 Neo aircraft in a deal worth about $7.7 billion. This followed a similar agreement for 72 A320neo (new engine option) placed in 2011 bringing the total order book to 144 aircraft.


ingapore Airlines (SIA) has unveiled its new in-flight safety video, which takes viewers on a panoramic journey across various locations in Singapore, beyond the traditional space of an aircraft cabin.

Thai Air Asia

commences its flights to Maldives

In this feature, viewers follow the Singapore Girl as she travels to familiar landmarks such as Boat Quay, The Intan Peranakan Home Museum, River Safari, Haji Lane, Adventure Cove WaterparkTM, Henderson Waves, Capitol Theatre and Gardens by the Bay. At each location, she meets diverse characters engaged in different activities that creatively demonstrate the safety instructions. The new safety video is a result of a bilateral agreement signed between SIA and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in June 2017, aimed at jointly promoting inbound travel to and through Singapore, and showcasing the city state to a global audience. Under the partnership, SIA and STB will jointly invest SGD$10 million combined, over three years, to collaborate on marketing activities, event promotion campaigns and technology initiatives which will facilitate ease of travel, and enhance the delivery of the right experiences to the right people, at the right time, and at the right place. “Our new safety video provides a more captivating way of effectively presenting safety information to our customers as compared to the more conventional approach that we have taken up to now. At the same time, it proudly showcases many familiar spots in our home base of Singapore to a global audience,” said Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mr Campbell Wilson. “We are delighted that SIA’s new safety video offers a warm and refreshing take in conveying safety information by weaving in Singapore’s vibrant cultures, attractions and sights. Through this video, which also celebrates the places and people it features, millions of travellers on board will get to acquaint themselves with the alluring possibilities that the city offers, while noting the latest in safety information,” said Ms Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board. “It is like taking our customers on a walk through Singapore,” said Ms Elizabeth Quek, who is a member of SIA’s cabin crew and was chosen to represent the Singapore Girl in the new safety video. “The locations featured in the video help show Singapore as a modern cosmopolitan city with unique culture and heritage, and I am honoured to be part of this wonderful journey.” The new in-flight safety video will be screened on SIA flights from the end of the year.


hai AirAsia has started their operations into to Velana International Airport, Maldives . The first flight on this new sector flew from Don Mueang International Airport and landed at Velana International Airport at 11:30 am on the 11th of August 2017. The first Air Asia Flight from Thailand carried over 170 passengers into Maldives. The airline was received at the airport with a grand welcome. According to Thai AirAsia’s passenger sales agent, the airline would operate daily flights between Bangkok and Male’. Tickets are sold at a special promotional rate of USD 99 one way from BKK/ MLE or MLE/BKK.


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EQUATOR VILLAGE Official Host of South Asian Travel Awards 2017

Taj Burrow Wins 2017 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy



outh Asian Travel Awards (SATA) has announced Equator Village in Addu atolls’ Gan island as the Official Host of the 2017 edition of SATA scheduled to take place from 27th - 28th October.

event a celebration of hospitality in the Southern atoll of the Maldives. The Gala & Awards ceremony of SATA 2016 was held at Mount Lavinia Hotel, Sri Lanka and received more than 270 nominations. This year, participation from properties and services of Nepal, Accordingly Sri Lankan Airlines has Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives confirmed special airfares for all SATA has increased Nominees traveling to Addu City. SATA is positioned as the only hospitality The Maldives Marketing & PR recognition brand endorsed by Corporation, Council of Addu City and multinational organisations and consists the relevant authorities have ensured of over 400 nominations from top notch there full commitment to make this brands across the South Asian region.

Work Starts On Emboodhoo Lagoon project In The Maldives


he Australian veteran, who had already won the twin-fin division, was the deserving winner with his thrilling performance in the pumping right-hand reef of Sultans where he won against free surfer Rob Machado in the thruster

“Everyone in this event surfs so amazingly I really had to surf out of my skin to win this thing. If I do get to come back next year, I’ll be over the moon. It’s definitely one of the sickest events on the planet.” Said surf champion, Taj Burrow Burrow hasn’t lost much of his competitive tenacity since retiring from the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) a year ago. He consistently posted huge scores through all three divisions and into the grand finale. In the final of the Thruster event, he even posted the only perfect 10-point ride of the event for a super deep tube ride. “This is such an amazing event, I would have retired earlier if I knew this is what life would be like, it’s too good. I’m so stoked I got to come back here after a win last year, we get so spoiled at the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa and then to come just around the corner and have waves that are this good is such a treat, it’s an incredible place. Winning again is really special to me.” he added. Local wildcard Ismail Miglal (MDV) also had his best performance in thruster division posting a heat total of 12.50. He wasn’t able to overcome Hobgood in his Semifinal but was stoked to have had the opportunity to surf with and against his surfing idols. “This was the most amazing experience of my life, Staying in luxury and having my home breaks with no one else out was so cool. It was an honour to surf with my heroes. ” said Miglal “Watching them surf taught me a lot about my surfing and how I can improve. I loved the experience and will never forget it.” 2017 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy | Finals Thruster Division 1. Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.73 2. Rob Machado (USA) 14.93


onstruction has started on a major new integrated tourism and leisure resort that will spread across nine islands in the Maldives. Emboodhoo Lagoon in the South Male Atoll is being celebrated as the biggest tourism project in the Indian Ocean destination’s history. The multi-island complex will combine a township and marina with hotels, shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. Construction on the first phase of the project, costing $311.5 million, started earlier this week and will include a marina, Cafe del Mar beach club, restaurants and bars, Camper and Nicholsons marina, wedding venues and several hotels.

Lagoon is Hard Rock

Twin-Fin Division 1. Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.67 2. Rob Machado (USA) 14.80

International, which will be opening a new concept resort featuring ‘Rock Star’ suites. Phase one of the development is due to be completed in the third quarter of 2018 with the second phase scheduled within the next five years.The development will eventually feature 1,300 hotel rooms including a resort with “highly-exclusive” water villas.

Moosa Zameer, the Maldives’ minister of tourism said: “This new world-class leisure development is set to further enhance the Maldives’ international reputation as one of th e world’s top tourist destinations.” The Emboodhoo Lagoon project is being developed by The first hotel brand to confirm a property at Emboodhoo Bangkok-based Singha Estate Public Company.

Single Fin Division 1. Rob Machado (USA) 15.67 2. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.33

Chairman Chutinant Bhirombhakdi said: “Singha Estate sees a great opportunity in creating the company’s biggest and most exciting project to date in the Maldives. The overall development which, when fully completed, will ultimately extend across nine islands, has been conceived to meet the leisure-destination desires of the world’s large and rapidly-growing medium to upscale leisure segment.” Upon the completion, the project is thought to be able to provide more than 5,000 job opportunities and “to reignite and stimulate the country’s tourism economy”, its developers said.

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Six Senses Laamu Appoints Wayan Sudarma as Executive Chef Chef Wayan joined Six Senses Laamu as an executive sous chef in February 2016 and was promoted to executive chef earlier this month. Staying true to the brand’s core value of Pioneering Wellness, Six Senses Laamu continues to focus on health in cuisine and Wayan is no stranger to wellness menus and programs. He has a large appreciation for local, fresh and organic ingredients and is keen on incorporating these in all menus.

Balinese by origin, Chef Wayan has profound knowledge of Asian cuisine and always ensures that his personal modern twist is added on every dish. “Experimenting with the local ingredients and with the fresh produce from the organic garden to create a true Six Senses experience, is definitely a call to a chef ’s creativity. Culinary innovation through sustainable practices is a beacon for the team, while we ensure that we deliver the best quality service to even the most discerning pallets,” Executive Chef Wayan said.

Having worked alongside Michelin-star Chefs such as Stefano Cavallini and Jesper Koch, Wayan has enhanced his already vast professional culinary skills. His generous and outgoing character is highly valued by Six Senses Laamu guests, who very often approach him for his signature Balinese satay chicken recipe. Marteyne van Well, general manager of Six Senses Laamu commented, “It is with great pleasure to announce the appointment of Chef Wayan as executive chef. His aptness in delivering the finest culinary experiences to our guests while maintaining focus on a healthy and sustainable aspect, make him a valuable asset to the team and we look forward to his culinary leadership.”

Pravin Kumar General Manager of Park Hyatt Maldives Legendary Footballer Marcel Desailly Shows Off His Skills At Jumeirah Vittaveli The beautiful resort island of Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives paid tribute to the legendary French footballer Marcel Desailly with a friendly futsal match held in his honor. Mr. Desailly was an extremely successful footballer in his time and played for top level clubs such as Chelsea, AC Milan and Marseille. He also won the UEFA Champions League with both Marseille and Milan, and was part of the legendary French football team of 1998 which included the likes of Zidane, Vierra and Henry, Barthez, Thuram and Trezeguet. Furthermore Desailly won the 1998 World Cup and the Euro 2000 with the French national football team. The match held in honor of the legendary French footballer was an event that everyone in the resort gathered to witness. The smiling Mr. Desailly took part in the match himself and showed the spectators what a unique and phenomenal player he still is even after retirement. The match was extremely competitive and filled with excitement as both teams strived hard to succeed, but in the end, it was Team Desailly that earned the win with a final score of 8-4 After the match Mr. Desailly took time to take pictures with the spectators and sign autographs as well as take part in a some recreational futsal activities with the players. “My stay here in the Maldives had been very good.I got to promote football which is my passion apart from a lovely holiday at a quality hotel, filled with entertainment.” Said Mr. Desailly, Speaking to reporters “I would like to note the good work that the Maldives is trying to do in Football with all the challenges. I got the chance to catch the local league matches as well. All in all my stay here, it was the whole package.’’

Pravin Kumar has recently been appointed the new General Manager of Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa. According to the resort Pravin has great aspirations and aims to continue improving on the hard work of previous General Manager, Mariano Silvestri “It is with great delight that I take on the role of General Manager of Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa.” says Pravin Pravin started his career in hospitality after graduating from high school, and enrolling into a Hotel School. Like many pioneers of the industry, Pravin trained and developed his skills in different departments of the hospitality industry. Initially starting of with the inspiration of becoming a chef he later moved on to the Front Office and thereafter into the Food & Beverage department. During the early days of his career Pravin was working in Kathmandu and several cities in India like Mumbai, Pune and Mangalore. In 2003 his first job with Hyatt began as he joined the Grand Hyatt Mumbais pre-opening team. Progressing from there he eventually moved out of his home country and had the opportunity to work with people from all over the world. Pravin worked at Starwood Hotels in Dubai, the Grand Hyatt Mumbai in India, and the Grand Mauritian in Mauritius at different positions before taking over as General Manager at Park Hyat Hadhaa Maldives.

According to Pravin, his favourite thing about Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is the simplicity and genuineness of his colleagues. “While indigenous flora and fauna, 360 degree coral reef, and an uninterrupted view of horizon over majestic Indian ocean adds to the unique persona of Hadahaa, it’s truly our colleagues who bring life to the resort” says Pravin “The fact that we all work and live together 24/7, it literary makes us one big family with different backgrounds.” Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa features 50 spacious villas either perched over the water with seeing ocean vistas or nestled within native vegetation ensuring tranquillity. The Resort is also host to many private dining experiences inspired by the islands’ natural surroundings. “The Park Hyatt team look forward to seeing Pravin rise to the challenge of the new job and improve a hotel that already appears a perfect haven to the many who visit each year.” says the resort in a statement Secluded and serene, the five-star resort is situated on a private island, 55km north of the Equator in one of the largest and deepest atolls in the world, North Huvadhoo.

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“SPECIAL MOMENTS IN STYLE” celebrate the festive season with Baros Maldives


aros Maldives has announced plan to celebrate the Festive Season from 22 December 2017 to 2 January 2018 with a special programme for all guests.

According to the resort, the programme will feature a theme of, “ Special Moments in Style” for which the colours of gold and champagne have been selected for the stylish settings complementing the natural lushness and beauty of the cozy tropical island. “On some evenings there will be cool jazz sessions or music for dancing under the stars.” Said the resort in an announcement. One of the biggest hallmarks of the festive season and Baros it self is Dining Style. As such Baros will feature stylish events like a Champagne Pairing Dinner at the prestigious Lighthouse and a Festive Seafood Menu at the Teppanyaki Hut in the re-modelled Cayenne Restaurant. Furthermore On 24 and 31 December there will be gala and gourmet dinners. Finally On 25 December and 1 January 2018, the resort invites guests to indulge in a lavish celebration breakfast at the island’s Lime Restaurant, where there will be a spectacular countdown to the dawn of the New Year. “The resort’sSerenity Spa will be open throughout the festive season for guests to feel their best for the island’s Special Moments in Style.” The resort added.

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

According to the resort, Many of the Special Moments in Style will be complimentary, such as Festive Season Cocktail Parties, and the resort’s Anniversary Reception and Cultural Show on 26 December. In addition to the wondrous dining activities, To enhance the seasonal celebrations, special marine activities, nature walks, island and fishing excursions, sunset sailing and dolphin watching cruises have been arranged says the resort. Baros Maldives is a private boutique island resort only 25 minutes by resort speedboat from the Maldives International Airport. With 75 elegant overwater and beachside villas many with pools, three gourmet class restaurants, two bars and a cigar and shisha lounge, Baros Maldives is the perfect retreat for the Festive Season.

Wins First place in Bed Decoration Competition 2017


he Bed Decoration Competition hosted by Maldives House keepers forum (MHF) in conjunction with Food and Hospitality Maldives (FHAM) concluded with Adaaran Prestige Vadoo receiving first place. The Bed Decoration Competition, was the first of its kind held within the country and saw the participation of more than 50 housekeepers from over 25 resorts and organisations in the Maldives. Participants that took place in the competition were judged by a panel of well qualified pioneers of the travel and hospitality industry. After carefully reviewing the exceptional work presented by the participants, the judges concluded the winners for this years bed decoration competition. “I would like to thank everybody for the creativity, dedication and absolute passion we saw from everyone.” said Janet, one of the judges of the competition “I think because it was the first time for many people, they were focused on the decor and seem to forget some their basic housekeeping procedures that would normally be able to do in their sleep. But overall I think these are all things to bear in mind for the future” She added

The Adaaran Prestige Vadoo team consisting of Hassan Majeed and Ahmed Hafiz received First price with a Plaque of recognition and Gold Medals in honour of their recognition. “We are extremely proud of this victory especially since this is the first Bed decoration competition in the country and we have come out on top.” Said the winning team representing Adaran prestige Vadoo “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the management of Adaran and especially our Executive housekeeper and Assistant housekeeper for always guiding us to reach out and do our best” they added. The runner ups for the events were the Baros Maldives Team consisting of Hassan Nizam and Hassan Mohamed Followed by the Hulhule’ Island hotel team consisting of Hasher Mohammed and Abdul Barre Qasim coming in Third Place. The Maldives Housekeepers Forum is the official Executive Housekeepers Association of Maldives working as a non-profit Association of Professional Housekeepers, which has been formed to provide a platform for Professional Housekeepers to play a more active role in a very crucial aspect of the hospitality industry of Maldives.


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A Coffee Lovers Delight - Starbucks in the Maldives


elect beverages from the international coffee company, “Starbucks: have been introduced to the Maldives. The products were unveiled during the Food and Hospitality Asia Maldives 2017 by the events grand sponsor, Lily Group.

Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971 and at present, it operates at over 23,768 locations worldwide. Two popular flavours, Cappuccino and mocha of the Starbucks 200 ml Frappuccino series has now been made available to the Maldivian Market. In addition to the Starbucks beverage collection, Lily Group has also introduced an array of assortments including the Starbucks honey waffles, Mixed nuts and Starbucks Crisps At present these products will be available from Lily F&B outlets and select shops and restaurants in and around Male’ City According to the Assistant Director of Lily International, Faizal Ali this product launch will aim to test how well the Maldivian market receives the product and hopes to introduce more Starbucks products based on the demand. “The Maldives is a coffee lovers paradise. Compared to neighbouring countries in the region, the Maldives is no foreigner to Coffee” Said Faizal Ali “I believe the Maldivian community will receive Starbucks with great delight and I am deeply humbled to be able to introduce one of the most recognised coffee brands in the world to the country” He added. Lily International popularly known as Lily F&B Suppliers is a subsidiary company of the “Lily Group”. Lily Group was established 35 years ago and is a significant market player in the wholesale, shipping, tourism and many other sectors. Lily International works with companies in over 40 countries around the world. In 2011 Lily International opened up the first international franchise food outlet, “Marry Brown” in the Capital city Male’. During the Same year, “Grape Expectation” was established as a separate business entity to streamline and further strengthen its business in marketing and sales of alcoholic beverages and cigars to the resort industry. Some of the major international brands represented by Lily International includes, Fonterra, Nestle’, Evian, San Pellegrino, Perrier, Diversey and many more.

“FSM to Procurement, We’re Here.” Our dedicated onboard operations team navigates through channels of long stretched lagoons, to deliver fuel straight to your docks.

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Grape Expectations Bartenders Challenge 2017


he annual Grape Expectations Bartenders Challenge concluded at Bandos Maldives Resort on 2nd August 2017. The much-hyped event was one of a kind gathering that lasted for two days on the resort. Along with high quality brands such as Giffard, Danzka, Plantation Rum and Real Cocktail Ingredients, the challenge demonstrated the unique skills of top-level bartenders working in the Maldives. Grand winners of the annual Grape Expectations Bartenders Challenge 2017 1st Overall Champions – Nehemia Caesaro – Bandos Island Resort 2nd Overall Champions – Jun Carloine Custodio Sava – Anantara Dhigu 3rd Overall Champions – Federico Fregoni – Palm Beach Special Awardee Fastest Bartender – Karthik Manjiny – Lily Beach Resort Most Engaging Bartender – Adriel Mendoza – Bandos A few Words from Mr. David Chan (Judges Panel) 1. What are your thoughts on the competition? Grape Expectations (GE) initiated this competition 4 years ago, to elevate the standard of bartending in the resorts of Maldives. As one of the judges, I am glad to be able to witness the skills and creativity that this competition is presenting and the new heights that its reaching year after year. 2. What do you think of the contestants and their cocktails? I see that many resorts are participating and supporting their talented

bartenders to join the competition with well-thought out concoctions featuring the richness of ingredients unique to Maldives. And this is good ultimately in the promotion of Maldives exoticism. 3. How important do you think is the role of bartender? In his/her social role, a bartender ensures that his/her guests experience an environment that is perfect for them to feeling relax after work. In his/her professional role, a bartender besides mixing popular cocktails, also concoct customized cocktails to suit each guest, so it is indeed a very important role. 4. How will this competition improve the standards of Maldives? This competition is open to all, whether to compete or to watch, competitors and audience alike will get to learn from the competitive standards that are current. Resorts in Maldives are internationally popular, bartending standards can be improved to world-class level when resorts are exposed to each other standards. 5. Can you tell us bit about yourself? I have been semi-retired for almost 2 years now. I was the former Vice Principal of the Singapore Hotel And Tourism Education College in Singapore with almost 30 years of teaching experience. I am also serving as Honorary Secretary (General) of the Association of Bartenders & Sommeliers Singapore (ABSS), training partner of Grape Expectations (GE). 6. How can the standards of bartenders in the Maldives be improved even further aside from such competitions? Training. That is the most important thing that can be done.

7. Was it difficult to judge this competition? Yes, the standards are higher every year, concoctions are more unique and it is hard to select only the top 3 when many bartenders came with good and creative cocktails. GRAPE EXPECTATIONS Grape Expectations Pvt Ltd strongly supports “Wine Training” and it is the most active Approved Program Provider for Wine and Spirit Education Trust certifying more than 100 students annually through 3 levels of training. Grape Expectations Pvt Ltd works with ABSS Singapore, which conducts the companies’ International Bar Association certification-training in the Maldives every year. While WSET and Grape Expectations Pvt. Ltd. Training Programs have heavily focused on Wine, four years ago the company decided to expand their training programs and develop a Professional Bar Challenge, providing relevant support and training for participants. “Barman creations” better known as “mixology cocktails”, is a practice seen only amongst a few Top-Tier resorts of the Maldives. As such,the company employs its own in-house Mixologist, who travels to the resorts to teach the local bartenders the most modern techniques and latest trends in the industry. A key requisite for Every Barman is to be presentable at all times. Cleanliness is the key requirement on top of good technical and practical knowledge. As a Barman one needs to understand the sequence of preparation, have good knowledge on the use of ingredients and should be able to please even

the most difficult customers. Taste, creativity, presentation, speed, precision executing the recipe etc. All these are characteristics, that should be expected from a Professional Barman. The ultimate prize is not just a Trophy, but to be established as ‘the-best-of-thebest”. Every Year the prize is fully sponsored and the winner gains entrance to the Elite bartender JWC-course, lasting 10 days in Singapore, along with students from around the world. The Winner of this tournament will represent the Maldives at the Asia Pacific Cocktail Competition to be held in Singapore. Second and Third prize, winners will get a 3 day stay in Singapore and an opportunity to assist the public Asia Pacific Cocktail Competition in ClarkeQuay and the finals at the Gala-Dinner with the best Barmen across Asia. The profession of a Barman is one that is continuously evolving. Grape Expectations Pvt Ltd wishes to communicate to all professionals in the Maldives,that just standing behind the Bar and having the most well assorted spirit selection on the shelf is not enough to be called a “Top-Barman”. For the coming year in 2018, the company will be adding a few additional Challenges like Barista or/ Mock-tail preparations and a Flairing category as well. This will surely raise the level of professionalism required to be the “Grape Expectations Bartender Challenge” Champion.


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Largest International Fair In The Maldives Concludes FHAM 2017


ne of the largest Hospitality events in the Maldives, The Food and Hospitality Asia Maldives has come to a close after a full three days of showcasing innovative ideas, products and incredible talent from industry professionals. The inauguration for the event was officiated with a speech by the Minister of Economic Affairs Mohamed Saeed who explained the key roles that the fair plays in expanding the Maldivian economy and market to the outside world.

The International Culinary Challenge saw an estimated 500 entries from Chefs coming in from resorts, hotels and restaurants operating in the Maldives and Across South East Asia. The FHAM Culinary Challenge was designed to act as a meeting ground and to serve as an ideal platform for the local & international food and beverage executives to meet with the chefs and discuss their requirements on a one to one basis during the event.

“This is a key event which helps to establish networks between companies. While it facilitates opportunities for foreign firms in the Maldives, more chances are also opened for local businesses,” Said Mohamed Saeed during the inauguration ceremony.

Exhibitors at the fair stated with delight that it provided unparalleled opportunities for them to showcase their latest products, services and innovations. FHAM is an all-inclusive platform that creates and interactive environment for exhibitors and clients to familiarise themselves with new product launches taking place in the Maldives.

The event which was held from 8th August 2017 to 10th August 2017 at the Dharubaaruge Convention Centre in the Capital city Male’ saw the participation of more than 100 trade stalls and more than 4000 attendees over a span of three days. In addition to the numerous stalls, the event was host to a Culinary Challenge, Barista Competition, Bed Making & Decorating competition, Cocktail Championship, Industrial seminar and concluded with an Award Ceremony.

Some of the major highlights from this years fair included, the introduction of Starbucks Coffee by lilly, the introduction of Kangen water and Adaran prestige Vaadoo coming in first place for the bed making and decorating competition. FHAM 2017 was Organised by Dhivehi Expo Services together with event partners CDC Events & Travels Pvt. Ltd. FHAM is the only event endorsed by the Chefs’ Guild of Maldives and organised in collaboration with the Chefs’ Guild of Lanka.

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Costa Cruises- to begin sailing from and to Maldives Europe’s number 1 cruising company, Costa Cruises has announced its 3 nights and 7 nights sailings from and to Maldives starting this November. Costa Cruises was the first ever cruise liner to offer cruises directly from Maldives to Mumbai Last year and this year, Costa cruise is introducing shorter 2 nights sailing options. This leaves guests from the Maldives the option to cruise on a 3 nights itinerary from Maldives to Colombo or a 3 nights itinerary from Cochin to Maldives. Guests also have the choice to opt for 7 nights Maldives to Mumbai & 7 nights Mumbai to Maldives. The Italian cruise liner will be home-porting in Male a month earlier than last year and will perform a series of weekly sailing from November 2017 to march 2018 “Costa Cruises is expanding its sailing offerings to include shorter sailing of 3 nights from Maldives which confirms it’s strong interest in the region.” Said Ms. Nilani Gupta, Managing Director of Lotus Destinations (Representative of Costa Cruises in India)

“The cruising market in the region has come a long way from only a select group cruising in far away locations to today a much wider audience holidaying on ships cruising directly from Maldives and india” She added According to Costa since announcing the launch of cruising from Maldives last year, they have seen interest and bookings from a wide a variety of travel groups including families, senior citizens, honeymooners and experiential holiday agencies. There has also been a lot of interest from corporates who are set to book the first few sailings. The builtin infrastructure on the ship makes it particularly easy for cooperates to hold large events in one location.

For this special occasion the classic cruise ship Costa neoClassica, will take cruisers through some of the marvels of the indian ocean . This classic cruise ship has a total of 654 cabins including sea view cabins and suites with private balconies. The Costa neoClassica is fully equipped to entertain its guests with a casino, theatre, disco, ballroom and a grand bar. A wellness centre spread across 1,300 sqm with a gym, four Jacuzzis and two swimming pools are also on board to enjoy a day of wellness while those who would like to go shopping can enjoy a shopping spree at the cruise lines very own duty free shopping centre. Those who would rather unwind and relax while enjoying a good book will be delighted to know that the cruise offers a wide selection of books in the library. “Cruise holiday is something that will soon change the perception of what Maldivian’s look for when spending vacations and honeymoon getaways. We started exploring this concept a year ago and we are confident that our previous guests and those new to cruising will find it an appealing choice when planning their next holiday.” Said Mr. Mohamed Firaq, Managing Director of Inner Maldives Holidays. “We received significant interest form Maldives for the costa cruise sails which began in December last year and continued till march 2017 and we are looking forward to promote new itineraries and exciting destinations towards the new years holidays” Added Mr.Firaq Enhancing the cruising experience further is the grand gastronomic adventures that the cruise line has to offer. Ranging from exquisite wine and food from Italian regional menus to a vast range of scrumptious vegetarian and vegan dishes and a wide variety of indian cuisine.

Since its inception in 1998, Inner Maldives Holidays has been a multi-award winning company in the travel and tourism industry of the Maldives. The company specialises in providing professional travel services to the tourism industry of the country. Standing today as a dynamic and strategically diversified group of companies with primary interests in tourism, aviation, logistic, solutions and trading, Inner Maldives is the winner of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Travel Agency’ at the World Travel Awards 2007 and 2009. The company has been also featured in New York Times as “one of the nation’s biggest tour companies” (04/01/2005) and is also highly recommended by Lonely Planet.


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SATA Partners signing ceremony

Official Host - Equator Village

Platinum Partner – Ooredoo Maldives | CEO of Ooredoo Maldives Mr. Najib Khan

Gold Partner – The Hawks | GM Of The Hawks Pvt Ltd, Mr. Hussain Aman

Silver partner - Coca Cola | General Sales Manager of Maldives Aerated Water Company Pvt Ltd Mr. Srikanth Gundemoni

Auditors- Crowe Horwath Maldives | Managing Partner Mr. Hassan Mohamed

Videography Partner -Nern Pvt Ltd | Director CFO Mr. Abdhullah Ashfaq


he South Asian Travel Awards is the first ever regional Travel Awards endorsed by Multi National Associations providing the Tourism sector of the South Asian Region with recognition towards their facilities and service excellence. The South Asian Travel Awards aims to encourage and raise service standards within the regions of the Tourism industry. The endorsement of organizations include Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Colombo Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation (MMPRC), Maldives Association of Travel Agents & Tour Operators (MATATO), Confederation of Associated Tour Operators (India), Association of Travel

Travel Media Partner - MV Hotels | Director Mr. Mohamed Areef

Photography Partner - Digital Studio | Operations Manager Ms.Nadha Waheed

Agents (ATA) Maldives, Association of Travel and Tour Operators India (ATTOI), Association of Professionals in Tourism (APT, India), Kerala Hotel General Managers Club (KHGMC), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Liveaboard Association of Maldives (LAM). The brand is the first of its kind with affiliations from regional associations ensuring the process within a smooth and transparent procedure. The judging panel will consist of high profile senior representatives selected from destinations with vast knowledge and background of the industry to assure an accurate and fair process. SATA is a Highrise concept .







A perfect choice for travelers who are looking for a comfortable accommodation with an affordable price. The hotel offers plenty of recreational activities such as shing trips, snorkeling, watersports, scuba diving, dolphin cruises, including airport transfers.

Candle Light Dinner


Sandbank Trips

Dolphin Cruise

Night Fishing


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committed to enhancing quality of life in the Maldives Interview with Nestlé’s Head of Sales, Deepal Abeywickrema


eepal Abeywickrama, Senior Vice President - Sales at Nestlé, has been with the ‘Good Food, Good Life’ company for over 31 years. Strong experience across four Nestlé markets overseas, in diverse roles ranging from operations to food service and now sales, has propelled him to his current position in the world’s number one Food and Beverage Company. He shares with us some of Nestlé’s core beliefs and values that have contributed to its success. “Nestlé is always committed to the welfare of the community it operates in. We believe our purpose as company is to enhance the quality of life for everyone and contribute to a healthier future. We are proud to be living our purpose, and to offer our Maldivian consumers Nestlé’s much loved brands of the highest quality” says Deepal. Nestlé has been deeply rooted in the country for decades, winning the hearts of local consumers with world renowned brands like Maggi, Nescafé and most especially, Milo. Milo has made its mark in the community and is a flagship product that has become intertwined within the Maldivian sporting industry, sponsoring national events on numerous occasions. By strongly supporting school level sports, Milo has helped children lead a more active lifestyle. Overall, Nestlé owns more than 2,000 brands that are sold in 191 countries. It is hoped that, given the successful reception of the Maldivian market towards Nestlé, new products from the company will be featured on local supermarket shelves in the coming years. “We are constantly looking for opportunities to present the Maldivian market with new and more exclusive Nestlé products” says Deepal with confidence. “The Maldivian market possesses great potential because of its strategic location and very popular tourism industry. The country has five times more visitors coming in and out than the population of the country itself. This provides us a great opportunity to market Nestlé products” Deepal explains, praising the Maldives for its geographical position. Nestlé draws on more than 150 years of nutritional expertise to bring consumers products they can trust. Deepal offers some insight to the elements that have sustained Nestlé’s success for so long. “Nestlé’s marketing strategies can be summarized in three main points: Availability, Visibility and Accessibility. Nestlé products are not put under the carpet; anyone can reach our products, anytime, anywhere. We also have the largest R&D network of any food company in the world, and use bestin-class technologies and processes to ensure the quality and freshness of our products.” Although there is a lot to be said for the successful marketing strategies Nestlé employs, it is important to highlight that Nestlé’s success doesn’t

just come from good products. It also comes from Nestlé’s ability to be global but act local, serving the interests of local consumers. Nestlé has been present in the region for over 110 years and has formed a deep bond with the local community. Generations of consumers in this part of the world have grown up with Nestlé products. According to Deepal, this strong bond with the local community is another element that helps the company thrive, no matter where in the world it operates. For example, in terms of its business in the Maldives, a key element of Nestlé’s success lies in its long-term relationship with strong and respected distributor partners such as Lily Enterprises, MHA Pvt Ltd, Seenco Pvt Ltd and Lily International Pvt Ltd. “Nestlé considers its investments a two way opportunity, because when we invest in a country and make our products available there, we also like giving back to the country. If you look around, you can see Milo, for example, sponsoring and supporting sport events. This isn’t just a marketing scheme. It is our wish to enhance, support and help develop the youth of this country.” he explained. ‘Food and Hospitality Asia Maldives (FHAM) 2017’, the leading event for the hospitality and tourism industry in the Maldives, reflects Nestlé’s latest support for the island. Nestlé Professional has partnered the event as Platinum Sponsor for the International Culinary Challenge. Nestlé Professional is Nestlé’s leading food and beverage solutions provider for the out-of-home culinary sector, including hotels, restaurants, fastfood establishments, cafés, hospitals and schools. It has been an integral part of the Maldivian culinary industry since its inception in 2008. Using its global expertise, Nestlé Professional delivers business ideas and solutions to its customers; leveraging the strength of Nestlé’s wide portfolio of products to drive profitable growth for its business partners. It also supports the development of local chefs, empowering them to be strong contributors to the country’s economy. “Partnering ‘Food and Hospitality Asia Maldives (FHAM) 2017’ is our way of celebrating our long standing relationship with the Maldivian culinary industry. Tourism is the largest economic industry in the Maldives, playing an important role in earning foreign exchange revenue and generating employment. Events like this therefore hold a significant importance in supporting tourism. It helps to skill-up the local culinary fraternity; equipping it to cater to Maldives’ growing popularity as a tourist destination” says Deepal. “We are committed to continue partnering the Maldives in its growth and development, and to support the country by sharing our global knowledge and expertise. We look forward to building even deeper bonds with this beautiful island” he added

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Ceres – Nature’s Perfect Juice. Ceres is an amazing Drink that utilises fruit straight from nature with the wholesome goodness found in it’s raw form. The human body needs to replenish the boys essential nutrients and every-one has their own methods when it comes to restoring essential body fluids, vitamins and minerals. Whether its after a good workout at the gym or a tiring day at the office, A cup of pure fruit juice is equivalent to a single fruit enriched with natural fruit sugars,fructose and glucose.

Not all fruit juices are drinkable in their natural state Fruits such as Guava and Apricot are often too thick for a straw and grapefruit are simply too sour or bitter. In order to bring the juice to a drinkable consistency, the fruit puree is blended with other fruit juices. The blended juices are then flash pasteurised, deaerated and poured into sterilised packaging mate-rial. The flash pasteurisation (exclusion of air and the most up-to-date aseptic packaging methodol-ogy) guarantees the product a 12-month shelf life without adding any preservatives. The companies choice of using Aseptic packaging ensures that No matter how far Ceres juices travel, when the cartons are opened, it’s the very same Valley goodness and natural perfection that is delivered to wherever you are. This packaging is also the main factor behind the companies ability to deliver drinks without the use of any preservatives or colorants. The real secret to the great tasting fruit drinks by Ceres lies in the core of Ceres Valley. Tucked away in the Heart of Mother Nature between sheltered mountains, The valley is a phenomenal nat-ural

wonder that establishes the perfect conditions to produce the tastiest fruits. Ice cold winters ensure the trees sleep heavily and healthy while the hot african summers wake and activate the sugar, creating sweeter, Juicier Ceres fruit. Exotic fruits are sourced further afield to extend and complement the delicious harvest. “The Valley where streams feed the lush orchards and the deep soil gives life to the succulent fruit used in the beverages.” Reeds a statement by Ceres Ceres Fruit Juices is a Beverage Company based in Paarl, South Africa. Since the early 1980s, Ceres Fruit Juices has been successfully exporting its brands to a number of international markets. At present Ceres exports to more than 84 in Africa, Europe, The Far east, Middle East, Asia and North America. In the Maldives, Ceres Juice is partnered with Lily international as the brands offi-cial distributors and whole sale retailers. Ceres fruit juice can be found in shops, resorts, cafes and restaurants all over the country.

Ceres all natural Fruit Juice offers a host of incredible benefits such as : • Ceres exotic flavours of All Natural 100% Pure Fruit Juice are filled with the whole-some goodness of vitamins and minerals found in fresh fruit. • Contains no added sugars or preservatives, this drink is

nutritious and great tasting with a flavour range that will nourish the body and delight the taste buds while proving to be a perfect drink for the whole family

• Tucked away in a crescent of mountains at the Southern tip of

Africa, lies a beautiful fertile valley called Ceres blessed with abundant sunshine and fertile soil, it is home to some of the world’s most succulent fruit. Sun-ripened to perfection, the fruit from this valley is full of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

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VANI Hotels & Resorts is thrilled to announce the development of its first resort in the Maldives. AVANI Fares Maldives Resort will be located on Fares Island in the Baa Atoll and is scheduled to open in Q4 2019. Ideal for millennial minded travellers, this untouched, private 12.4 hectare island will provide a natural playground surrounded by a soft white sandy beach and every colour of blue imaginable.

hallmark, will serve a mix of comfort food and artisanal deli snacks around the clock.

The resort will also feature a speciality restaurant, AVANISPA, AVANI Kids Club and a large communal swimming pool and pool bar. The nearby Ahivahfushi Beyru dive site offers amazing reef diving with a plethora of sea life including Hawksbill Turtles, Reef Sharks and Manta Rays. It’s an underwater Eden This USD 70-million resort development is a joint venture for snorkellers and scuba enthusiasts. partnership between Minor Hotels and Cyprea Group. Cyprea Group’s diversified Sri Lanka and Maldives business portfolio The resort’s secluded northern location is easily accessible includes ownership and operation of Club Med Kani Maldives and is 45 minutes by sea plane from Male and 30 minutes by Resort located in North Male’ Atoll. speedboat from the newly opened domestic airport on Baa Atoll. Alejandro Bernabe, Group Director AVANI Hotels & Resorts said: “The AVANI design philosophy is interestingly relaxed “The Maldives is the ultimate beach destination in the world and contemporary and in tune with the environment of this and we are excited to deliver an alternative hospitality offering development, using natural textures, colours and materials that in the region. AVANI is a true lifestyle brand. Imaginatively reflect the location whilst incorporating advanced technology blending genuine hospitality and modernity with savvy design and contemporary style. The AVANI experience is designed to and modern conveniences.” satisfy important guests’ needs,” said Bernabe. The new upscale AVANI Fares Maldives Resort will comprise 200 guest rooms, including standard rooms and a selection of AVANI Hotels & Resorts was launched in 2011 as a sister villas. Every attention will be given to wellbeing. The décor brand to Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, which currently will be a blend of comfort and modernity, soothing materials, has three resorts in the Maldives, including Anantara Kihavah textures and high-tech equipment such as complimentary which is also located in the Baa Atoll . Offering all the details WiFi, media hub docking station and 40-inch flat screen TV. that matter, AVANI blends genuine hospitality and modern lifestyle features with a passion for design. The brand already On arrival guests will immediately be welcomed by an has a presence in the Indian Ocean with two resorts in Sri arresting view of the Indian Ocean from the open plan lobby. Lanka and one in the Seychelles. This communal living space will blend reception, lounge, meeting space, all day restaurant and The Pantry, an AVANI



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Diving in Gaafu Alifu Atoll


aafu Atoll, a paradise for underwater enthusiasts with scores of healthy coral islets and undiscovered dive sites is home to Kooddoo Island. Channel dives which see common encounters with sharks and exotic marine life are a popular activity amongst serious and recreational divers. Two of the best channels in the atoll can be found on either end of Kooddoo island.

The Newly opened Resort Mercure set on Kooddoo island has made these sites readily accessible to guests year-round by a short 10 minute cruise by Dhoani ( traditional Maldivian boat ). In addition to the amazing dives channels, just north of Kooddoo is a small reef that is host to a dozen green turtles of which a great number are large and mature. Furthermore during January – April, a unique experience can be found at a special site near Koodoo island which sees whale sharks come to the surface to feed on zoo plankton that are lured behind a boat with the aid of a special lighting method.

The Kooddoo channel regarded as home to the best dive site of the atoll also known as house dives is an extravagant location where divers can expect to see an array of stunning marine life including Grey Reef Sharks, Black-Tip Oceanic Sharks and Hammerhead Sharks. In recent years with the rise of mid-scale resort accommodations This channel is a popular such as Mercure Resort has made destination for live-aboard dive Gaafu Atoll an easily accessible boats around January and March dive site for tourists. but due to long transits from Male’ through open water and unpredictable weather they do not operate there in other months.



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A more rewarding way to travel for business

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Profile for The islandchief

The Islandchief , Travel Tabloid 14| September issue 2017  

Monthly Travel Tabloid

The Islandchief , Travel Tabloid 14| September issue 2017  

Monthly Travel Tabloid