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VOL 06 | JANUARY 2017 | www.islandchief.com

WORDS OF WISDOM MR. PAUL DORAI RAJ

pg: 12 ETIHAD AIRWAYS NEW OFFICE IN THE MALDIVES

pg: 2 OOREDOO HAS INAUGURATED ITS NATIONWIDE SUBMARINE CABLE

pg: 3

TAJ - TIME IS AN ART FORM

EXPLORING THE ALIEN UNDERWATER

pg: 19

pg: 22

BREAKWATER

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AIRLINE PRESS

Danish Air Once Again Cruises To Gan, Addu City

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enmark’s Danish Air Transport (DAT) has once again started operating its chartered flights to Gan, Addu City, located at the south of Maldives. The first Danish Air Transport flight landed at Gan International Airport on 21 December 2016 with 70 tourists. These flights are being conducted in association with Canareef Resort and Primo Tours similar to last year’s flights which were conducted along with Primo Tours and Splendid Asia. The DAT’s A320 aircrafts with 180-passenger capacity will be

used in operations, while the airline is scheduled to conduct eighteen flights to Gan, until April next year. The direct flights from Denmark to Gan will be conducted on Wednesdays. The new flights will be an added excitement to Addu City, which has seen Sri Lankan Airline starting operations to the Atoll as well as a new seaplane terminal at Gan International Airport. The Danish Air Transport flights to Gan will boost the tourist arrivals in the region as well as its economy

Etihad Airway’s New Office In The Maldives

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t a posh ceremony to celebrate the five year anniversary of commencing operations in the Maldives, Etihad Airways opened the doors to its new office at the heart of the business district in the capital Male’ City. Speaking at the ceremony held at Hotel Jen by Shangri-La, the airline’s Country Manager Hassan Al Hashimi hailed the expansion of the airline’s flights to the Maldives since its commencement in 2011. Etihad Airways currently operates daily flights to the island nation. He also pointed out the major role Etihad Airways plays in carrying tourists from different corners of the world to the Maldives. Mr. Hashimi expressed his delight at the airline’s popularity among Maldivians, declaring that its objective is to connect the archipelago with the world. He also rejoiced Etihad Airways’ achievement in claiming the World’s Leading Airline award consecutively

over the past eight years at the World Travel Awards. Mr. Hashimi thanked the Civil Aviation Authority and the airline’s ground handling partner, Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) for their cooperation in Etihad’s operations. The UAE non-resident ambassador to the Maldives, Abul Hamid Abdul Fattah Kazim Al Mulla also graced the ceremony with a few words and expressed hopes to further strengthen and expand relations between the Maldives and UAE outside the field of aviation. Highlighting the popularity of the Maldives as a tourist destination in the Gulf, he added that Etihad’s new office will facilitate passage to those in the Gulf anticipating vacations in the Maldives. The ceremony also saw the appointment of Etihad’s new General Sales agent, Aviation Services Ltd, in collaboration with a Sri Lankan firm.

pic: breakingtravelnews

Qatar Airways to welcome UnionPay credit and debit cards

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atar Airways will now accept UnionPay credit and debit cards through its website for ticket and other sales, expanding payment options for customers around the world. With more than 5.8 billion cards issued globally, UnionPay is an international bankcard network and is the preferred method of payment for the Chinese market. The option to pay with UnionPay cards provides Qatar Airways travellers with a high quality and secure payment service worldwide, and is accepted in 160 countries and regions. Qatar Airways chief ex ecutive Akbar Al Baker, said: “Our partnership with UnionPay International, one of the world’s most popular bank card issuers, provides our global customers with more flexible payment options when they choose to book with Qatar Airways.

“We are committed to finding ways to better serve our customers; from our recently launched Apple Pay feature to our new digital membership card for our valued Privilege Club members. “We are tireless in our pursuit to provide the most secure and convenient options to travellers as we go places together.” The option to pay with UnionPay cards provides Qatar Airways travellers with a high quality and secure payment service worldwide. Customers ac ross the globe can book Qatar Airways tickets using their UnionPay cards by selecting the UnionPay logo on the payment page. Customers will be re-directed to UPI’s website to fill out their payment credentials, with a successful completion of the payment resulting in a Qatar Airways’ confirmation page and booking reference number.


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CURRENT NEWS

Ooredoo’s Nationwide Submarine Cable paves way for 4G+ Connectivity across Maldives; new innovations expected to hit the travel & tourism sector!

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oredoo has inaugurated its Nationwide Submarine Cable, an important investment by the company to strengthen its networks, as part of its commitment to power a Digital Maldives. The multimillion dollar fiber upgrade has allowed Ooredoo to provide 4G+ connectivity across the Maldives, paving the way to greater digital inclusion and socioeconomic opportunities. The company has also begun work to provide high speed broadband services to all islands and resorts in the Maldives. The enhanced connectivity across the Maldives is extremely positive news for local communities and also businesses; especially the large number of new and upcoming guesthouses and resorts in all corners of the nation. Powered by its nationwide submarine cable, and global experience in catering for the corporate and hospitality sector, Ooredoo is expected to bring innovative ICT solutions which can enable companies to deliver the best customer experience, and help businesses to more effectively manage

communication costs and energy use. Across the world, the importance of smart tourism is being felt, with amenities such as free Wi-Fi deemed to be a crucial part of the travel experience. As such, Ooredoo’s nationwide connectivity and innovative corporate services will play a key role in driving the smart tourism sector across Maldives. Minister of Home Affairs, Honourable Azleen Ahmed highlighted that Ooredoo’s network upgrade will support the government’s vision of making Maldives one of the best connected countries across South East Asia, and contribute to taking the ICT industry of the Maldives to the next level. He noted that Ooredoo continues to demonstrate the power of investment in bringing socioeconomic development to the nation and thanked them for their continuous service to the Maldives. Chairman of Ooredoo Maldives Board, Khalid Ibrahim Al Mahmoud highlighted Ooredoo’s commitment to the people of Maldives and

Helicopters to fly the skies of the Maldives again The Government of Maldives announced plans in December to re-start helicopter operations in the archipelago, more than 15 years since the island nation ceased using choppers after a series of accidents that resulted in multiple fatalities. Speaking during a ceremony on Wednesday to mark this year’s International Aviation Day, Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer stated that aviation remained a top priority for the government and revealed multiple proposals from interested parties to begin helicopter operations in the Maldives. Despite the earlier disasters, the minister is confident that helicopter operations could provide a major boost for the tourism industry in the transfer of tourists to and from the scattered island resorts. However, he was also quick to assure that the government would look at a safety first policy before re-commencing helicopter operations. Minister Zameer highlighted the importance of exploring new ways for transportation as the country is set for the opening of several new resorts in the near future.

connecting them to the countless benefits of the digital age. A strong and resilient infrastructure foundation is crucial to ensure digital and financial inclusion across the nation, which is a key part of the government’s vision of building a digital nation and connecting its people to the digital economy. The CEO of Ooredoo Maldives Vikram Sinha spoke of the company’s strong belief in the power of ICT technologies and broadband services in connecting societies to new and life enhancing opportunities for socio-economic development. With fiber being the backbone of digital nations across the world, he emphasizes the need to utilize the full potential of the nationwide submarine cable immediately. The launch of Ooredoo’s 4G+ network and subsequent roll-out of high speed broadband services across all corners of the Maldives will open up important development opportunities for local communities and businesses, and we are eager to see what they come up with next!


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A record number of Wealthy Tourists travels to Maldives on Private Jets for the Festive Season

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record number of wealthy and popular figures of the world has visited the Maldives during the holiday season. While Maldives been among the most prestigious destinations for the cream of wealth , it has also been notable that world’s most top figures constantly visits the Maldives on their special occasions and on vacations.

remarkable as popular footballers from English and Spanish league including former England Captain David Beckham with his family and Bollywood celebrities did flew to the Maldives. The main airport Velanaa International Airport in Male’ Atoll was full of private jets parked making December 2016 a record month of Jets flown to the destination.

The festive season of 2016 has been more

1000 RF note was designed by a young and energetic local named Abdulla Nashaath.

True Beauty in Money: Maldivian 1000 Rufiyaa Note.

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t seems that Maldives is not just famous for its beautiful sandy beaches and alluring underwater marine life, this time the country has garnered world recognition with its exquisite one of a kind 1000 currency paper note. The currency note has seized the attention of several at the ‘Bank Note of the Year Award’ also known as the ‘Oscars of Bank Notes’ by the International Bank Note Society. The 1000 note designed for the 50 years of independence celebrated by Maldives last year features on one side a whale shark seen from above in a sea of azure blue. The other side meanwhile shows a turtle with the sandy beaches and corals showing the proudest traits of the Maldives in a manner so captivating that even most Maldivians

The currency note has seized the attention of several at the ‘Bank Note of the Year Award’ also known as the ‘Oscars of Bank Notes’ by the International Bank Note Society.

were quite surprised by the beauty of the note. Simple and yet so elegant that it has overtaken designs of the American dollar note and others notably famous for their beauty. The Maldives 1000 Rufiyaa Note does not just overflow with beauty, but it also contains several security features which minimize the risk of counterfeiting. However the reason that the nomination for this award is so special to the country is that the 1000 note that has been lauded for its beauty is that it was designed by a young and energetic local named Abdulla Nashaath. His creativity and artistic approach in designing the new 1000note is being celebrated all over the country and has gathered the

attention of people from all over the world. Other notes on this list include Switzerland’s 50 Franc Note, England’s 5 Pound Note, New Zealand’s 60 Dollar Note, Belarus’s 100 Ruble Note, Australia’s 5 Dollar Note, Sweden’s 100 Kronor Note as well as India’s 2000 Rupee Note. The winner of the ‘Bank Note of the year’ award will be selected by the members of the International Bank Note Society in early 2017. The Maldives 1000 Rufiyaa Note has no weak links compared to others on this list and every Maldivian will be hoping that the exotic design of an artistic young local will be selected as the best of the year.

Nasandhura Hotels New Building: Reshaping The Male’ City Skyline

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asandhura has made an announcement to sell apartments in their new hotel. Nasandhura, the oldest and most iconic hotelier in Male, the capital city of Maldives has made an announcement to sell apartments in their new hotel which is currently under construction and is expected to include a number of apartment suites. A total of 118 apartments in the new tourist hotel built at the location of the former Nasandhura Palace Hotel property are to be sold out to the public. Construction began in 2015 and is rapidly moving forward according to officials. As the oldest tourist hotel in Male’, Nasandhura obtained this land along with the plot of land next to it under rent for the next 50 years. Their plans are to build a Tourist Hotel with the apartment suites in their new 20 storey building which will be the residential building in Male’ City. Information has been released stating that 13 different types of apartments will be made

A total of 118 apartments in the new tourist hotel built at the location of the former Nasandhura Palace Hotel property are to be sold out to the public.

available from the largest residential building in the Maldives. The 13 different types of apartments range from tworoom to four-room apartments and large penthouses, all the apartments in the building will be more spacious compared to the apartments available in Male’ City. The penthouses will be located on the top most floors and are being developed in accordance with the latest fashion and furniture of the best quality and design. Some of the apartments are reported to have two floors while some apartments are over 3,000 square feet in size along with modern facilities and furnishings. Those living in the apartments can also access hotel facilities including the swimming pool, gym, saloon and a shopping mall. The new building is being constructed by a Chinese private company, and eventhough 118 apartments is reported to be offered to the public, the prices have not been announced yet.


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VOL 06 | JANUARY 2017 | www.theislandchief.com

RESORT PRESS

Fritz Will ‘Storm’ Milaidhoo Maldives With His Barista Skills

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he newly opened boutique five star resort, Milaidhoo Maldives, will welcome Fritz Storm who is an ex world-champion barista to the island in January 2017, where he will liven up the resort even more with his unique skills garnered from his years in the industry. He will demonstrate the art of delivering the perfect cup of coffee in addition to holding coffee tasting classes with the guests, as well as an informal seminar where he will give an introduction to coffee and its deep history as well as its culture. Moreover guests can also take barista classes where they’ll learn the art of how to make the perfect cup of coffee and try their hand at latte art. The tastings, classes and seminars are all complimentary to Milaidhoo guests from the 7th to 8th January 2017. Milaidhoo differentiates itself from other resorts in the Maldives and has its own singular style of luxury called ‘reinvented luxury’. Fritz Storm’s visit is part of its sincere commitment to offering authentic and meaningful experiences. Fritz’ visit has excited Milaidhoo Maldives into offering coffee lovers the chance to win a three-night stay for two on a half board basis. All that is needed to do is take a creative picture of their coffee, post to Instagram with the tag @Milaidhoo, with the hashtag #MilaidhooMoment. The judge for the most creative shot will be Fritz himself and will review the entries when he visits Milaidhoo with the winner scheduled to be announced on 12th January. The prize is as stated before, a three-night stay for two adults, on a half board basis, between 1 May 2017 and 20 December 2017.

Fritz Storm who is originally from Denmark became the World Barista Champion in 2002, and granted him the opportunity to travel the world and learn more about coffee production, selection, quality and cultures. Fritz’ goals have been set to improve the quality and knowledge of coffee around the world, taking into consideration the local cultures, history and profession; and to give people a coffee experience through better quality and understanding.

Adaaran Resorts Hosted Their Annual Travel Trade Beach Party @ Hudhuranfushi

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daaran Select Hudhuranfushi hosted the groups annual Travel Trade Beach Party with colorful celebrations on 15th December 2016. The Party was graced with the presence of the Sri Lankan and Chinese High Commissioner, as the Leading travel agencies, hoteliers and other major names in the travel industry of Maldives. Live music kept the guests entertained in a huge compound right by the beach. Cuisines from all around the world were available for dinner with Mexican, Japanese, Mediterranean delicacies available, as well as an open cocktail and mocktail bar.

Adaaran Resorts hosted this party to appreciate and honor the travel partners of the industry who had helped Adaaran the most throughout the year.

Adaaran Resorts hosted this party to appreciate and honor the travel partners of the industry who had helped Adaaran the most throughout the year. As such, Gold and Platinum Partner awards were given out to express their gratitude. While Aspire Maldives, Sunset Maldives and let’s go Maldives won the Gold Partner awards, Capital Travels Maldives, Traveler’s Free, Resort Life, Moodhu Holidays and Ace Travels Won the Platinum Partner Awards. Party games, Dancing and a lucky draw concluded a memorable night for the attending guests with many of them taking home wonderful prizes.


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Jumeirah Vittaveli Recycle Christmas Tree

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he biggest challenge was our annual Christmas tree – made up of an iron structure, lit from within and covered by transparent wrap, the tree glows each night in a colourful display of Christmas colours. Our tireless elves have been working all year on collecting used food wrap from the kitchen in preparation for our grand Christmas tree unveiling. The food wrap will be dismantled

after January 6 and packed in separate 500g parcels. Each guest who takes one parcel home with them to deliver it to a recycling facility will be rewarded with a USD 20 resort credit by Jumeirah Vittaveli – an initiative that reduces waste in the beautiful Maldives while making us all remember that Christmas is the season of giving and supporting each other.

Inauguration of Kooddoo Airport VIP Lounge

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ooddoo Airport VIP Lounge has been inaugurated by Hon. Vice President of Maldives Mr. Abdulla Jihad dated 01 December 2016. “We are pleased to announce that from the 1st December 2016, Kooddoo Airport (GKK) will be offering a VIP Lounge facility for passengers departing from Kooddoo Airport. The Lounge will be under the management of Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort and has been developed to provide a comfortable environment for travellers while they wait for their scheduled departures and will offer following services: Free WiFi Selected reading materials Smoking Area Restroom Areas Satellite television Quality selection of food & beverages. Outdoor Balcony Secure Luggage Storage

The VIP Lounge operating hours will vary to suit the daily flight schedules of Maldivian Airlines for all flights departing from Kooddoo onwards to Male’, informed Scott Bowen – Cluster General Manager – Mercure Kooddoo & Pullman Maamutaa, Maldives Bringing stylish mid-scale accommodation to the pristine south of the Maldives. Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort provides one of the best value accommodation options in the spectacular Maldives. With 68 villas including 43 located over water and 25 scattered along the white sandy beach. The resort is built using local materials, bright colours and stylish furniture and interiors designs to reflect the Maldivian culture and the spirit of travel. Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort is scheduled to open in February 2017.

Kooddoo Airport (GKK) will be offering a VIP Lounge facility for passengers departing from Kooddoo Airport. The Lounge will be under the management of Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort and has been developed to provide a comfortable environment for travellers while they wait for their scheduled departures

Michelin starred Italian chef Carmelo Greco at Coco Bodu Hithi

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enowned for the resorts’ sophisticated and relaxed dining atmosphere, Coco Bodu Hithi is pleased to announce the arrival of visiting Michelin starred chef, Carmelo Greco. Arriving to Maldives on 18th March 2017, Greco will be spending 2 weeks at Coco Bodu Hithi, during which he will be creating exclusive dinners and interactive master classes for the resident guests. Greco’s reinterpretation of Italian cuisine has been surprising taste buds for over three decades. Born in Sicily, Greco grew up in Piedmont and discovered his love for culinary pleasures in his uncle’s hotel and restaurant. After attending hotel management school, Greco worked

in the legendary restaurant Da Guido under the experienced head chef Lidia Vanzino Alciati. Greco admires his recently deceased mentor who was one of the first people to have an impact on his cooking style: “Lidia was the grande dame of Piedmontese gastronomy. With her respectful behaviour towards traditional Italian cuisine, which she cultivated and reinterpreted, she contributed to the history of Italian cooking”. After years of improving his skills in Italy, Greco came to Germany at the age of 20 and proved to have plenty more to offer than typical Italian pizza and spaghetti. After three years, Greco and his partner opened restaurant Osteria

Enoteca. Word got around quickly that being a guest of Carmelo Greco meant experiencing first-class Italian cuisine that could not be found in Germany before, earning the restaurant a Michelin star in 1996. In November 2010, Greco opened his own restaurant in Frankfurt, Ristorante Carmelo Greco. The menu shares classic Italian recipes dear and near to Greco’s heart. He explains. “We only work with the best and freshest ingredients, which is also why our menu constantly changes according to the general state of the market.” Greco constantly gathers inspiration from regular visits to star chefs’ restaurants. For Greco, cooking is an ever evolving process and a

never ending search for new flavour combinations. He states, “I want to keep cooking, experimenting with ingredients and making my friends and family happy with delicious food until I am over the age of eighty, if possible.” Greco’s signature creations include his Filetto Rossini with Fassona beef, a creamy Tortelli Carbonara and Amatriciana, and a rich Vitello Tonnato, some of which will be offered in his menu at Coco Bodu Hithi. It is with a passion to deliver fresh and flavourful creations that he arrives at Coco Bodu Hithi next year, bringing with him the classic tastes of Italy to the sunny beaches of Maldives.


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NEW OPENING

AN ISLAND TO CALL YOUR OWN: INTRODUCING FOUR SEASONS PRIVATE ISLAND MALDIVES AT VOAVAH, BAA ATOLL

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our Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the world’s leading luxury hospitality company, announced Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll, the first private island in the company’s portfolio and the world’s only exclusive-use UNESCO hideaway located in a World Biosphere Reserve. Opening in late 2016, this secluded five-acre (two-hectare) oasis transcends the private island experience. “Entirely yours” from the moment of booking, the island’s seven bedrooms, Beach House, Dive Centre, Ocean of Consciousness Spa and 62-foot (18.9-metre) yacht extend the spoils of the Maldives’ only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to up to 22 guests on an exclusive basis. Truly capturing the imagination, Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah couples legendary care with limitless living. Alongside the Four Seasons Private Jet and the company’s array of Extraordinary Experiences, the island showcases the company’s commitment to offering the world’s most discerning guests the best of a destination, while surrounded by the personalised service and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of Four Seasons. “Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah will redefine exclusive luxury, opening as a tropical haven

Euro Divers Spreading Their Business Across The Maldives

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uro Divers is set to open a new dive centre in the Maldives next year.

The new centre, which will be based at Dhigali Maldives in Raa Atoll, is set to open on 5 May, 2017. As well as diving, a range of alternative watersports will also be offered. The new centre will be Euro Divers’ third centre in the Maldives, with the company already running operations in Ari Atoll and Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll. For more information on the new dive centre, check out www.euro-divers.com.

for those who seek an unprecedented experience of private luxury alongside Four Seasons legendary service,” said Mike Crawford, President, Asia Pacific. “As the latest addition to our Extraordinary Experiences collection, the island speaks to the company’s commitment to perfecting the guest experience and our ability to re-imagine the limits of luxury travel in creative and innovative ways. It’s just one of the many ways we’re constantly evolving our offerings to deliver the kind of memorable, fully-customised and exclusive experiences our guests want and value.” “At Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, guests can design their own experience,” commented Armando Kraenzlin, Regional Vice President and General Manager, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. “They can treat the island as a space to spend captivating moments with family and friends; a place to play to the extreme and explore to their heart’s content; a secluded sanctuary to retreat and spa; the most exclusive VIP venue to celebrate and party; or an inspiring landscape to meet and motivate.” Many experiences – from yearround manta ray sightings to mindexpanding kids’ activities – focus on the surrounding UNESCO territory,

guided by a team that has already spent a decade protecting it. Indeed, Four Seasons developed Voavah in close coordination with local environmental consultancies to ensure proper maintenance of the balance between man and nature, culture and conservation – in keeping with the prerequisites of the Atoll’s UNESCO Biosphere designation. Voavah days revolve around the double-storey Beach House and adjacent white sands, crystal waters and abundant reef – all exemplary even by Maldivian standards. The Beach House hub offers an open-air living room, dining room, kitchen, pool deck, gym, library and loft lounge, while seven bedrooms span three separate locations: on the beach, over the lagoon or elevated in panoramic Mezzanine Suites. As all other aspects at Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, dining on the island is tailored to the mood of island guests, meal by meal, from poolside to The Beach House dining room, at the water’s edge or on a sandbank. A 62-foot (18.9-metre) private yacht – Voavah Summer – invites exploration of a dazzling and undisturbed UNESCO territory. From diving with whale sharks to snorkelling with year-round manta rays, swimming with neighbourhood turtles, fishing for

dinner, visiting local islands, surfing unknown breaks and cruising into breathtaking Baa Atoll sunsets, the possibilities on Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah are endless. Expanding horizons, The Ocean of Consciousness Spa offers bespoke over-water spa therapies and rituals; yoga, meditation and pranayama classes; high-end beauty treatments; and Rossano Ferretti hair consultant on call. In the mood for a party? On Voavah, there are no neighbours, no paparazzi and the possibilities are endless. Groups can create one-of-a-kind birthday surprises and celebrations, fly in big name acts or create their own mini music festival or beach party, all perfected with a sprinkling of Voavah magic. The island is accessible via a 40-minute seaplane transfer from Malé International Airport, or a 20-minute speedboat ride from Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah will be the fourth addition to the company’s Maldives collection, including Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, and Four Seasons Explorer.


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RESTAURANT REVIEW

Breakwater: Stylish with a hint of elegance

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y visit to the Breakwater Restaurant, one of the most beautifully situated restaurants in the Maldives graced me with a memorable understanding of how Maldivian restaurants work and what they try to implement. Breakwater Restaurant is one of the best situated restaurants in the Maldives. With stunning views of the beach and ocean right beside the restaurant, it is worth visiting just for its spectacular views. A modest atmosphere surrounded the restaurant with a beautiful night sky view and the aroma of freshly cooked dishes spread across the warm seating area lined with tables gazing out into the ocean. A common saying is that restaurants cleanliness can always be judged by its restrooms. Breakwater was acceptable for me that night with its averagely clean lavatories. Wanting to sample the standards of the restaurant, I ordered a one of mocktail from the menus, which took less than five minutes to reach me. Waiters were polite and very respectful in their behavior, and were cautious as well as keen to keep my satisfied. The drinks were refreshing and energizing which actually got me excited for the rest the night to come. As the restaurant boasts a multitude of dishes from various cuisines, I wanted to experience the expertise of the restaurant and its chefs in the art of gastronomy. I selected the lamb chops from the sumptuous menu. When it came, I was not disappointed by the mouthwatering aroma that hit my nostrils. The restaurant provided good on its promise of providing a range of tasty dishes from various cuisines. The lamb chops were exquisite and came with a side of potato and vegetables which complemented each other well. The boiled vegetables paired along with the gravy filled lamb chops and potato was very tasty, which I took as a testament to the chef’s skills and the standard of the Restaurant itself. Everything at the restaurant are well priced and not expensive than any

other restaurant in town. Specialty dishes such as sea food might cost a little bit more, but other dishes were priced along the same scale as other restaurants in the city, with some dishes costing less than they normally would at other restaurants. I briefly got the chance to meet with the head chef and the manager of the restaurant on my visit to the restaurant. Chef Chamara divulged his previous work experiences in restaurants such as City Garden in the Maldives. He also explained how he tries to satisfy his customers and noted that there nothing that is not available from the restaurant if a customer asks. Chef Chamara says that various cuisines such as Mexican, Indonesian, Italian and Indian influences his cooking style and he tries to adapt these dishes with a hint of Maldivian cuisines so that the customers are left satisfied with an amazing experience. Manager, Mr. Hassan Zareer also shed some light on the aspirations he has for the restaurant with a new menu as well as a dining area. Mr. Zareer also explained the difficulties the restaurant faces with noise pollution as the restaurant is located in one of the busiest areas of the city. He also backed chef Chamara and reiterated that there is no dish that the Breakwater Restaurant cannot provide to its guests upon request. Able to house more than 200 customers the breakwater restaurant treats its staff like its family and everyone has their own tasks with no supervision required. Such is their dedication of the staff that Mr. Zareer informed that the restaurant takes good care of its staff. During my visit, I als o got the opportunity to visit the backstage of the restaurant and see the staff go about their routines. Highly dedicated and focused, it was like a well oiled machine with everyone sticking to their specific tasks. One of the most notable moments

in the night was when the manager invited me to sample a new entry into the menu of the restaurant, Truffle oil French fries. After trying out the French fries I had nothing but praise for the leaps that the restaurant is taking in the industry, and without a doubt would recommend the restaurant as the best French fries in Male’ city that I have tasted so far. A stunning environment, combined with good food, Breakwater is one of the best restaurants in town and is only looking to get better in the future. I would recommend the restaurant for anyone, whether it is a romantic dinner, or a get together with colleagues, the restaurant is a wonderful location.


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Banyan Tree and AccorHotels announce strategic partnership

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anyan Tree Holdings today announces that it has entered into a heads of agreement with AccorHotels. Under a long-term partnership, both parties intend to collaborate to develop and manage Banyan Tree branded hotels around the world. Banyan Tree will also have access to AccorHotels’ global reservations and sales network, as well as its loyalty programme Le Club AccorHotels.

Kaani HOTELS

AFFORDABLE MALDIVES

AccorHotels will invest an initial SGD 24 million (c. €16 million) in Singaporebased Banyan Tree and both parties will then co-develop the brands owned by Banyan Tree around the world. This investment will be made through a mandatory convertible debenture that at conversion will give AccorHotels an approximately 5% stake in Banyan Tree. AccorHotels has an option to purchase an additional approximately 5% stake. Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree, said: “This agreement is not only transformational for Banyan Tree, but is also an innovation for the global hospitality industry. With the current consolidation of mega hotel companies, smaller but also global players – many family-controlled – are also seeking strategic alliances with the global giants. Our strategic alliance with AccorHotels allows us to remain an independent company, enabling us to continue securing hotel management agreements on our own and yet accelerating Banyan Tree’s speed and scope of expansion but with AccorHotels helping us to grow our brands around the world.

KAANI BEACH HOTEL

KAANI VILLAGE & SPA

KAANI GRAND SEAVIEW

KAANI PRINCESS

We believe this agreement will propel our brands rapidly to global reach and range and strengthen our ability to embrace change and innovation in the hospitality industry with a strong global partner. We are excited and committed to this partnership.” Sebastien Bazin, CEO and Chairman of AccorHotels, said: “Our collaboration with Banyan Tree is a great opportunity to complement our business proposition to owners with iconic brands, while always better servicing our guests. Banyan Tree Holdings has created key leading positions across Asia with luxury resorts, one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. We will bring scale to the network through our ability to develop and manage hotels under the Banyan Tree brands globally, hence strengthening our leadership in the luxury hotel space. We are confident that our investment will create incremental value for our shareholders.”

Our collaboration with Banyan Tree is a great opportunity to complement our business proposition to owners with iconic brands, while always better servicing our guests. Banyan Tree Holdings has created key leading positions across Asia with luxury resorts, one of the fastest growing segments in the industry

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

Snorkeling

Sandbank Trips

Dolphin Cruise

Night Fishing

Picnics

BOOK NOW! Tel, Viber, Whatsapp: +960 9630595, WeChat: +960 7771187 Email: reservations@kaanihotels.com

www.kaanihotels.com


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INTERVIEW

Words of Wisdom By Mr. Paul Dorai Raj General Manager Singapore Airlines Indulge in the amazing journey undertaken by the General Manager of Singapore Airlines, Mr. Paul Dorai Raj, who is an industry expert with a unique eye for the market that has taken him and the Singapore Airlines to the very top of the Aviation Industry. Mr. Dorai Raj enlightened us with his distinctive tactics in the market and also had a few words of wisdom for the industry collectively that can help in shaping its future and development. Q: WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE THE GENERAL MANAGER IN SINGAPORE AIRLINES?

I have been with Singapore Airlines for more than 29 years, and have had the privilege of being able to work in six different countries such as South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Australia , Canada and Saudi Arabia apart from our head office in Singapore. Being stationed overseas has taught me to appreciate the unique culture of each country and how to interact with the people there. This includes the staff who are based in that particular office. As the head of an overseas office, I’ve learnt how to motivate my staff so that they can perform to their best of their abilities, and push to excellence as a team. As leader of the team, it is crucial to know how to be quick to react to market condition and activities of our competitors. I also need to have a strong sense of integrity and drive to keep with the fast changing selling environment and technology. I find that building genuine relationships with industry partners, agents , hoteliers and the tourism authorities allows me to build up credibility amongst these industry players and enables me to be updated on the latest news within the aviation industry. Q2: APART FROM THE STRINGENT STANDARDS OF SINGAPORE AIRLINES, WHAT WORK ETHICS DO YOU EMPLOY AS YOU GO ABOUT YOUR DAY? As the SQ office in Maldives is made up of a small team, it is important that we are a cohesive team and support one another as much as possible. I try to lead by example by creating an ‘open door’ policy. This means that my door is always open to all staff, be it for work or personal agenda. Anyone is welcome to speak to me whenever they have issues or difficulties at work or home. And I take the time to listen to them and see how best I and the company can assist them. I also try to provide opportunities for staff to develop more in-depth knowledge about the various aspects of the Company. This is

done by allowing staff to be part of different projects and duties so that they can multitask and be more well-rounded in terms of their work experience. At SIA, excellent customer service is a cornerstone of what the Airline represents. I constantly remind my staff that we should aim to provide the highest standard of service as that would be what our customers expect when they choose to travel with us. Q3: HOW IS SINGAPORE AIRLINES DIFFERENT FROM YOUR CLOSEST COMPETITORS? We prefer to focus on our own products and how they are designed to meet the needs of our customers, rather than to make comparisons with other carriers. We are committed to constantly innovating and improving our product and service offerings to provide our customers with the very best premium air travel experience even in the face of recent challenges faced by the airline industry. In the years ahead, Singapore Airlines will continue to focus on its premium positioning and on the fundamental values that drive our success. The key elements of safety, a zealous focus on our customers, product innovation and leadership, as well as network connectivity, form the foundation of our competitive offering and will continually be strengthened. Q4: SO, ARE THERE ANY NEW SERVICES OR PROMOTIONS THAT ARE IN THE WORKS FOR DESTINATIONS TO OR FROM THE MALDIVES? In particular for the Maldives market, we have an attractive 30 -day advance purchase fares to key destinations such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur , Hong Kong , China and Bangkok Additionally, we have recently expanded our network to new destinations such as Wellington, Canberra, Dusseldorf (for SIA) as well as to Fuzhou, Vientiane and Luang Prabang (for SilkAir). We have also improved our frequent flyer

membership programme, KrisFlyer. For instance, we have improved our earn-andredeem options. This is based on feedback from customers who have requested for more ways to use their KrisFlyer miles. Members can now redeem for benefits on the ground such as KrisShop products and cash rebates for groceries and health & beauty products with the Dairy Farm group. In addition, KrisFlyer miles can also be used to redeem for flight vouchers with Scoot and Tigerair, or mixed with cash to pay for tickets on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, when booking on singaporeair.com Members do not need to be regular flyers to earn miles, as KrisFlyer collaborates with close to 200 non-airline partners. Members can therefore earn miles from spending on their credit cards, groceries, petrol, retail shopping, and travel services such as hotels and car rental. With an increasing trend of online shopping, KrisFlyer miles can also be earned through the KrisFlyer Spree portal, with over 2000 merchants worldwide to choose from. For members who travel regularly, tier benefits that focus on the airline travel experience await them. These include lounge access and other airline priority services. We continue to review our programme regularly to ensure it becomes more attractive and relevant for our members. For more information, please visit www.krisflyer.com Q5: ABOUT THE MALDIVES, WHAT DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE AVIATION INDUSTRY HERE? The Maldives is an important market in the Singapore Airlines network. Singapore Airlines in the Maldives has come a long way since our inaugural flight in 1984. Maldives will continue to be an integral market to SIA, a market that contributes considerably to our overall network revenue. Once the new airport in Maldives is ready and opens in 2018, I believe that facilities within the airport will allow carriers like Singapore Airlines to better serve our customers.


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CRUISE LINER

Mumbai to Goa Ship services to resume after 26 years

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hip services between Mumbai and Goa to resume once again since the last trip approximately 26 years ago. It’s a joint decision of Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) to bring this service back to light again. A senior official from MMB said, “The service is expected to start by end of March or April next year, currently we are evaluating proposals from various shipping companies who have shown interest in starting the service.” The ship will depart from Ferry Wharf or Bhaucha Dhakka in Mumbai and will ride up to Goa. The journey will have stops at various locations. Halts include Dighi in Raigad district, Dabhol and Jaigad in Ratnagiri

district, Vijay Durg and Malvan eventually terminating at Panjim in Goa. According to the MMB official, “Service was closed down in 1989 after boats operating en route were requisitioned by Indian Navy for its Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operations in Sri Lanka. Subsequently, boat services could not be launched as Konkan Railway had started functioning on the route. MumbaiGoa Highway was widened and air fares became competitive, making air journeys to Goa affordable for the middle and upper-middle classes.”

Mumbai-Goa Highway was widened and air fares became competitive, making air journeys to Goa affordable for the middle and upper-middle classes

visibility of the exceptional growth in the number of passengers requires a demand for Mumbai-Goa regular ship service. Tourists as well as regular passengers concerned with safety, time and also their budget, have shown interest, the official added. MMB officials expect services between Mumbai and Jaigad to start in January next year. It’s great news for people who missed travelling by ship from Mumbai to Goa. Here is a chance for enthusiasts to be a part of such journeys. What a beautiful trip that used to be! Our older generations would speak all about their journey. The passengers would be a lively bunch of Goans, tourists, hippies, Konkan coast travellers, all enjoying it like a family.

During the 80’s, ship services from Mumbai to Goa was the only way to travel. Due to other means of transport, the demand for ship services decreased. However, the

Neo Classica Cruise liner In the Maldives

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he Costa Cruises Cruise liner, Costa Neo Classica was in the Maldives for a few days in December, offering interested locals, packages between Colombo Sri Lanka, Mumbai India and Male’, Maldives. Packages for the stunningly beautiful and gigantic cruise liner were introduced to the Maldives by Inner Maldives Pvt Ltd. The Director of Inner Maldives, Mr. Ahmed Ijaz stated that the packages consisted of an all

inclusive package for 475 USD per person for three days and two nights in Colombo, Sri Lanka and an all inclusive package for 999 USD for seven days and 8 nights in Mumbai, India. Mr. Ijaz also noted that his company has been receiving a lot of demand for these packages. He stated that the cruise liner will operate twice a month between Male’ Maldives and Mumbai, India until March 2017. He concluded by saying that they have plans to

packages consisted of an all inclusive package for 475 USD per person for three days and two nights in Colombo, Sri Lanka and an all inclusive package for 999 USD for seven days and 8 nights in Mumbai, India.

operate the cruise liner in the peak tourist season of 2017 as well. The cruise liner departed on its journey from the Maldives to Sri Lanka on 17th December 2016. Cruise liners are a common sight in the Maldives, but they are almost always filled with tourists. The neo Classica cruise liner and the efforts of Inner Maldives will bring a largely unknown element of travel to the local population who are now doubt, excited and enthusiastic about the prospect of such a cruise.


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TH E DE F INIT IVE TEA EXP E RIE NCE

IMPORTED & DISTRIBUTED BY

Lily International Pvt. Ltd | H. Coal Field, 2nd Floor | Kalhuhuraa Magu | K. Male’, 20085, Republic of Maldives T: +960 333 2882 | F: +960 333 2893 | E: info@lily-international.com | W: www.lily-international.com

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ADVERTORIAL

FANCY A CUPPA? By Aminath Ishrath

“It was a visit to a tea house in Prague, when I was 15 that first opened my eyes to the world of tea beyond the shores of the UK. After school I travelled to China and discovered an ancient tea culture, alive and well. I was fascinated by the quality of the tea production, the dedication to terroir and the approach to tea-drinking which strove to get the best out of the amazing tea leaves. The ceremonies, the traditions, and the knowledge and skill of the tea farmers I met were a revelation. I was hooked. I wanted to share all this with tea drinkers who hadn’t had my good fortune.” – Edward Eisler

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he man inspired by Asia’s great tea culture, Edward Eisler is the Founder of JING tea. Available to people in over 90 countries and offered in the world’s finest hotels, Michelin starred restaurants and retailers, JING sources and shares authentic teas produced by masters using skills handed down over generations. Picked and expertly made, then packed at source for unrivalled freshness, their teas arrive as fresh as they left the garden. With JING inspiring the world to drink tea at its best, the design of their teaware brings out the distinct flavours of these quality teas. As most tea-drinkers would have experienced, ceramic teapots stain easily. These teapots are difficult to clean, and they also keep the flavour of the residual tea. If you brew a different tea in the same pot, you risk the leftover tea tainting the flavour of your fresh brew. JING prides themselves on their fine collection of crystal clear borosilicate glass teapots made by masters with a minimum of five years’ experience in hand-blowing and crafting glass. The process of making each piece of glass is thorough: at least 10 different steps over four days, as the glass is slowly heated and then precisely cooled. No matter your desired temperature of tea, JING teapots are made to withstand and retain the heat. They aim to experience the full character and flavour of our tea leaves and our glass teapots avoid compromising that flavour and freshness. Another plus? Glass teapots also allow for a soothing aesthetic – where you can enjoy watching the leaves unfurl, the tea steep and develop its rich colour. To explore the varieties of JING tea, let us take you through a selection of compatible teas for the time of the day, or to accompany some flavours you may encounter daily. A morning cup of tea is just what you need to wake up. In the mood for a hearty breakfast? Brew a cup of JING’s Assam Breakfast! The ultimate breakfast tea that is strong and bursting with flavour, JING uses 100% Assam in their Assam breakfast blend because it provides the perfect combination of strength,

assertiveness and rich malty flavour that is so satisfying in the morning. Bonus? It is perfect served with milk! Everyone reaches that point mid-morning where you just need to step away for a break, and Matcha is the best tea to energize for the next task. JING sources their Matcha from Kagoshima, on the tip of Southern Japan, crafted using only the very best traditional methods. Perfect to re-energize, Matcha is a concentrated hit of caffeine and antioxidants and when properly whisked, JING’s Matcha is creamy and sweet. To offer the authenticity of this Japanese art, JING has created a classic and modern Matcha whisk set as the perfect vessel. Afternoon tea; the time of the day when tea connoisseurs can truly experiment! JING has created pairings for afternoon teas in some of the best hotels in London, and each sandwich or pastry matches differently. The Assam blend is a great match here as well, but another lovely pairing is Earl Grey or Oolong. JING does not use flavourings to mask low quality tea, but rather aims to balance the texture of the tea. JING’s Earl Grey is a perfectly focused rich Ceylon tea scented with zesty bergamot. JING’s Oriental Beauty Oolong is also highly aromatic, with notes of apple, grape and fragrant wood. It is great for the afternoon, and pairs well with light pastries. Done for the day and looking forward to a comfortable night’s sleep? JING’s herbal teas are packed with flavour and naturally caffeine free, created using freshly picked and dried whole herbs, flowers or fruits. From lively peppermint, to floral chamomile and zesty lemongrass, JING’s herbal blends are never dull. JING tea sets itself apart with a strong tea from its beginning to its end: no is compromised, or left unconsidered. tea leaves sourced from skilled, passionate workers, not just with love for tea, but with respect for the land, JING does not believe shortcuts to great and inspiring tea. is tea as it’s meant to be!

belief in element With great in JING


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EDITORIAL

Holiday Season Celebrations For 2017 In The Maldives Set To Be Unforgettable

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aldives has a long history of making everlasting memories especially for their visitors. The countries many heavenly resorts have been gearing up for the upcoming holidays of Christmas and New Year Celebrations with months of work to make it an unforgettable and astounding experience for everyone involved. Let’s take a look at a few of the planned activities and itineraries of some of the best resorts in the country.

HOLIDAY SEASON AT W MALDIVES: PARTY OF A LIFETIME From December 11th to the Start of the new year of 2017, W Maldives offers you year-end festivities with an exclusive spin, The schedule includes sunset sessions, cruises, gala dinners, a pool party, a cocktail party, and the most intriguing – party on a deserted island! All these events are complimented with music performed by DJs. This includes breakfast with international DJs. Inspired by graffiti artists, W Maldives has decided to take a different approach on the holidays to the norm. The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be hosted by the cool sounds of W Maldives’ resident DJ; Ivan Zubo from Slovakia. A complimentary glass of champagne and snacks will be available upon arrival. Events kick-start on the Christmas eve, with the Dreamscape Sunset Cruise. Watch the sunset on this two-mast yacht ‘escape’, where guests can enjoy champagne and canapés along to festive mixes by DJ Kane Ian from Singapore. For the most anticipated event, New Year celebrations at W Maldives will start to celebrate the beginning of 2017 with the party of a lifetime. Remarkable firework displays are planned to wow the crowds at W Maldives as the clock strikes midnight, with an impressive line-up of DJs. Special guest performances include Céline Roscheck, a talented and alluring violinist from Vienna, DJ Ivan Zubo, DJ Justin Paul and DJ Kane Ian.

KURUMBA MALDIVES: TAKING AFTER TRADITION FOR HOLIDAY SEASON Kurumba Maldives has revealed some of the amazing arrangements planned for the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays for their guests. Beginning with a series of gastronomical miracles, presented by the Executive Chef Glen Cooper and his culinary team, guests can enjoy a varied selection of delicacies and classy, cosmopolitan events. The festive events will include chic activities such as wine tastings set in the sparkling blue lagoon, cocktail mixology classes and cooking demonstrations, fashion shows for the more sophisticated moods of patrons. On Christmas Eve, dinner in the Thila Restaurant will showcase an exciting and vibrant buffet complete with live cooking stations, followed by entertainment at Kandu Bar, which is a must attend event not to be missed. On Christmas Day, Kurumba’s team will perform the classic Christmas Carols at Kandu Bar which is an annual tradition. Kid’s parties will also be organized at the pool side to meet the one and only, Santa Claus. Boxing Day will be commemorated with a special barbeque organized by the poolside for a more informal treat. On New Year’s Eve, the theme “White Party” will be the main event with red carpets and celebrations with bubbles. A comprehensive and lavish buffet will be served in the Thila Restaurant. Entertainment during dinner and a few surprise performances will culminate with a fabulous awards ceremony, including categories such as “Best Dressed”, as well as a raffle draw. The party will then move into Kandu Bar as the night makes progress, with songs from one of the most popular live bands in the Maldives and a mixture of classics and best tunes from the resident DJ. Kurumba Maldives is celebrating the success of 2016 and will bring in 2017 in an unforgettable and exceptional style as always.

JUMEIRAH VITTAVELI: PRIMED AND READY FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON Jumeirah Vittaveli will also be on the frontline of those celebrating the Christmas and new year holidays in the Maldives in style. The resort has is set to include a night-time astronomy session, a live band, a belly dancing show by the international artist Viktoria and fire dancers. At Samsara, a magician and a DJ will perform and there will be a traditional festive gala dinner. At the newly opened Indian signature restaurant Swarna, guests can indulge in a special thali night. A multi-course degustation menu will be available at the overwater fine dining venue Fenesse. On 25 December, Samsara will serve a breakfast buffet and traditional delicacies. The restaurant will offer extended hours for late risers. In the evening, guests may enjoy a special oysters and bubbly night at Fenesse. The live band will perform at BarEE and the resident astronomer will hold another insightful night-time session. Russian Santa Claus Ded Moroz and his helper Snegurochka will be delighting the children with special treats. Guests can attend a special pre-dinner cocktail reception, followed by live performances, including fire dancers, live band, magician, belly dancer, and the classical pianist Sophia Lisovskaya who has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. After a lavish New Year’s Eve gala dinner at Samsara, a seven course degustation menu at Fenesse, or the signature Swarna thalis, however guests do not want to miss the DJ in his countdown to midnight and dance the night away! On 6 January, an important date in the Russian festive calendar, Sophia Lisovskaya will hold a classical piano performance at Samsara, followed by a showcase of the in-house fire dancers and performances from belly dancer Viktoria. Guests can then party the night away with the live band and DJ or learn about the sky above with the resident astronomer. Truly a breathtaking experience it will be as it gets the heart pounding with excitement by just hearing about it!


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LIGHT & SHADE - THE REGIONAL SPECIALIST OF WINDOW BLINDS, CURTAINS & SHADE SOLUTIONS

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ight & Shade window solutions are versatile, yet sophisticated, providing added protection to interiors. The available designs cover a vast range of options from energy-efficient roller blinds to natural Bamboo Blinds, from Venetian Blinds to Zebra Blinds, the company matches any size requirement. One of the most successful and in-demand exterior blinds, the Monsoon Blind is also offered by Light & Shade, perfectly suitable for the rapidly changing weather conditions that client countries such as Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles are famed for. For the team at Light & Shade, creativity has come in two forms; through innovative thinking, and through an unparalleled understanding of their customers’ progressive lifestyles. It is a combination that has worked wonderfully well for the company that completes ten years of operation this year, celebrating a rapid growth curve. From humble beginnings as a subsidiary of Rainco, a leading Sri Lankan manufacturer of umbrellas and rain wear back in 2006, Light & Shade has made huge strides to become a recognized lifestyle solutions brand today. A small-scale operation evolving into a fully integrated manufacturer of vast product range of window coverings, shade solutions and much more, the company represents many global brands in the local market today. The defining characteristic has been the daring creativity. Innovation powers the company’s vision of creating better lifestyles through technology, design and usability, while at the same time meeting and exceeding customer satisfaction. The superior quality of products and exceptional customer service has enabled Light & Shade to make their presence felt regionally, reaching out to overseas markets such as Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius. The company also caters to the huge demand of regular Roller Blinds in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles, popular among

consumers and widely used in city apartments, offices, suburban homes and hotel resorts across all four countries. Light & Shade roller blinds are optimized to protect any premises from harmful sun rays, while at the same time, protecting all furnishing and interior décor within the premises. Light too, can be well regulated to either create a soft, diffused daylight effect, or a complete blackout. In addition, the design of the window can be customized with printed curtains according to client specifications. For shade solutions, the company offers extra protection in the form of extended tensile Fabric Canopies in an assortment of designs and colours. They are ideal for transition spaces between indoors and outdoors, and protect clear glass windows from direct sunlight and glare. Light & Shade Sun Shields add elegance to outdoors with its colour, style and craftsmanship. Solutions include Awnings, Canopies, Tents, Marquees, Shade Sails, Pergolas to Artificial Thatch and Outdoor Fabrics. One of the more novel concepts introduced to the South Asian region through Light & Shade is Wallpaper, a trend that is catching up quite rapidly across the sub-continent. The company caters to the demanding market as the exclusive agent for international wallpaper brands such as Versace, Haute Couture and Architects Paper. Having entered the local market as pioneers in introducing Bamboo Blinds, the company was able to discover the perfect components and designs that suited the weather conditions and home requirements of tropical countries like Sri Lanka. This insight enabled the company to move on to the Maldives market, offering similar solutions based on geographical location, weather patterns as well as social progression. Today, the company is in an enviable position of being the only manufacturer of Timber Venetian Blinds in both Sri Lanka and Maldives. “We can say we are now specialists in the industry in the South Asian region,” comments

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Irshad Akthar, Chief Operating Officer of Light & Shade. “We have deep knowledge of the external factors that affect the demand of our products and solutions, and also understand the customer satisfaction factor perfectly well. Our Monsoon Blind, yet another pioneering product introduced by Light & Shade is the perfect example of this successful equation. The blind is ideal for the hospitality sector in the South Asian region, as it enables hotel or property visitors to enjoy their tropical scenery, no matter rain or shine.” Added to this, the company is now introducing technologically advanced solutions with rain and wind sensors for remote controlled motorized awnings, which are able to retract and close at the hint of rain or high winds. “We know our strength is in creating innovative solutions through novel ideas that are also practically applicable in the real world,” he states. When it comes to the future and sustaining their place in the industry, as well as the demand, Light & Shade works towards initiating solutions that use more environmentally friendly material and low energy consuming components. From measurement of the windows or shades right up to the installation, followed by superior aftersales services, the company has satisfied more than 10,000 customers across Sri Lanka and Maldives, with some major hospitality projects such as Adaaran Resorts, Anantara Kihavah Villas, Gili Lankanfushi, Four Seasons Resorts and well over 200 more projects in their portfolio of international clientele. Quality and trust have been closely associated with Light & Shade, an attribute that the company is committed to preserving through extensive focus on service and after-sales care. Light & Shade’s future objective is to adapt to international markets and provide clients with improved ranges and customized solutions, offering superior service in both innovation and quality, keeping pace with new technology entering the market.

We have deep knowledge of the external factors that affect the demand of our products and solutions, and also understand the customer satisfaction factor perfectly well. Our Monsoon Blind, yet another pioneering product introduced by Light & Shade is the perfect example of this successful equation.


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SPONSORED CONTENT

TAJ

TIME IS AN ART FORM

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ime. A precious gift. Engrossed in the pages of a sleek brochure with this captivating pull out quote, I only had fifteen minutes to kill before the boat speeds into a tranquil lagoon… The gentle yet rhythmic beat from the traditional Maldivian drum, Bodu Beru, hit my ears softly as the boat comes to a stop… A smiling face lends me a hand as I step on to the jetty, and take in the breathtaking view of one of the largest natural lagoons in the Maldives… Welcome to Taj Exotica Resort & Spa! Located in South Male’ atoll, on the island of Emboodhu Finolhu, an intimate haven awaits. With sincere service excellence being the hallmark of the brand, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives is home to 64 luxurious villas and suites. Nestled within the light foliage on the island are the Deluxe Beach Villas and Suites with direct access to the beach. Scattered across the azure water with infinite views of the ocean are the Lagoon Villas and the opulent Rehendi Presidential Suite. All the villas offer personalized butler service, lavish Molton Brown amenities, plush Ploh bath wear, and the comforts of modern contemporary living and design. Pull yourself away from these private hideaways for just a second, only to explore the gastronomical delights the resort has to offer. With 3 restaurants, 2 bars and multiple alternate dining venues, cuisine from around the globe is at your plate here. At 24 Degrees, indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner with a side of

ocean views and a dash of sunlight. For a twist at this restaurant, book dinner at the Japanese live Teppanyaki bar to experience an interactive dinner. Over at Deep End, savour freshly grilled seafood and fine dishes inspired by the world’s best chefs and recreated by the team of chefs at Taj, led by the visionary Executive Chef, Sheroy Kermani. Taking classic fine dining and refining it to suit a relaxed yet elegant island style, Sheroy has turned Deep End around to an award-winning restaurant. Looking to unwind? With sunset views at Equator Bar and light finger food and cocktails at Poolside Bar, every spot on the island makes for a lazy afternoon or a romantic evening. Living, wining and dining, how else do you unwind without a care as to what day it is? By indulging in the many experiences available to create your own Taj time! Your butler can create every ambience that you are craving, let it be a picnic on a deserted island with nothing but the waves to interrupt you, a cooking class with the chef to take home some tips, a Maldivian high tea to truly experience the flavours of the country, or an intimate sunset cruise around the island where you might spot some dolphins on the way back. Further challenge your adventurous soul by venturing out on a scuba dive to world-famous spots nearby, or head out on a paddleboard for a quiet afternoon in the lagoon. Whether you are staying for a week or two, every orange hued sunset brings new life to Taj. At the Southern tip of the island, a dedicated oasis of wellness awaits. Rooted in tradition and inspired by ancient Indian healing rituals,

Jiva Grande Spa offers holistic treatments and ceremonies. Embracing the natural philosophy behind the brand, all Jiva products are bespoke and contain Indian herbs, pure essential oils and active botanical ingredients. A signature treatment of Jiva Spa is the Samattva balance; a yoga treatment that takes you through a meditative journey of three hours. Starting off with a personal consultation, this journey takes you through a series of body postures and breathing techniques to restore the energy centres of the body and clear the mind. The pinnacle of Jiva Grande Spa at Taj Exotica Maldives is their approach to Ayurveda. With a certified Ayurveda physician in house, each guest is entitled to a complimentary consultation after which a routine is prescribed. With a strong belief that each and every human being is unique, Ayurveda does not follow a pattern of treatments, but prescribes an ideal plan for each individual. The over-water treatment rooms with relaxation decks and panoramic lagoon views for days, flowing spaces designed with Vastu philosophies in mind, each treatment area open yet intimate; a team on hand to understand your mind and body; this is one of the only eight Jiva Grande Spas in the world for you. For the romantic at heart, the gourmet in you, and the calm state of mind that your body so desperately needs, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives is for you. A place where moments translate to lifelong memories… A place to discover your Taj Time!


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INDUSTRY NEWS

Maldivian Bodyboarders shines at 3rd Annual Quick Silver Cherating International Surfing Competition

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he 3rd annual Quiksilver Cherating International Surfing Competition presented by Pahang Ministry of Tourism & Culture Malaysia, has announced Maldivian bodyboarders as winners of the event. Ali Khushruwan ( Kuda Ayya ) won 1st Place, Aswan Mohamed (Dhooni ) 2nd Place, Ali Javed won the 3rd Place & Syed El Hussein made to 4th Place at Quiksilver Cherating International Surfing Competition 2016. The event was hosted by the Cherating Boys, Ombok Cherating cafe and Kam’s surf shack. A total prize purse of 15,000 ringgit was given out in the

Men’s and Women’s Open’s, as well as the Master’s, Grom’s, Longboard and Bodyboard divisions. The competition attracted up to 120 competitors from countries across Asia including Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Maldives, Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines. Team of young athletes who have brought good name to the island nation in surfing has once again won major positions at Cherating International Surfing Competition held in Malaysia during December 2016.

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EXPLORING THE ALIEN UNDERWATER WORLD AT JUMEIRAH VITTAVELI!

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ow you can experience the natural beauty of the Maldives like never before at Jumeirah Vittaveli Maldives!

Just 20-minutes away from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Jumeirah Vittaveli is a world class location whether it is an intimate escape or an indulgent family retreat that you seek. Jumeirah Vittaveli offers unmatched diversity, subtle luxury and personalized exploration and is looking to only add to these traits. Jumeirah Vittaveli, easily distinguished as one of the best resorts in the Maldives, is now offering its guests the opportunity to explore the best aspects of the Maldives up close and personal. The coral reefs and the natural marine life that has travelers from all over the world traveling to the Maldives is now at your fingertips at Jumeirah Vittaveli in a whole new manner.

One of the biggest attractions of the Maldives is its colorful underwater life, and with our new semi-submersible, this world is now open to everyone – even experienced snorkelers and divers will find this new way to explore the marine environment exhilarating, -Jumeirah Vittaveli’s General Manager, Amit Majumder.

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the Maldivian reefs compared to other places throughout the world and marveled at the abundance in marine life here in the Maldives. This could be one of the main reasons for the introduction of the semi submarine excursion at Jumeirah Vittaveli. Speaking with some of the enthusiastic passengers of the submarine, it was clearly visible how much they were impressed with it. A very captivating experience for the family as a whole, it was described as a very nice and pleasant experience by Tatiana Patrick, from Australia. “We are happy to partner with Best Dives Maldives on this exclusive new facility for our guests. One of the biggest attractions of the Maldives is its colorful underwater life, and with our new semi-submersible, this world is now open to everyone – even experienced snorkelers and divers will find this new way to explore the marine environment exhilarating,” said Jumeirah Vittaveli’s General Manager, Amit Majumder. Speaking with the Director of Best Dives, Mr. Ahmed Razee, it was clear how popular the activity was with three to four tours four days a week. Mr. Razee explained the secrets behind the introduction of the submarine. He stated that this was actually a very unique and innovative idea, and the first of its kind in the Maldives. He also pointed out that there was actually very few family oriented activities like this, for the whole family to enjoy as a whole and the submarine would address this issue perfectly. In addition, Mr. Razee stated that the smiling submarine also gives guests who are not as strong as others at sea, the opportunity to experience the surreal beauty of the underwater world of the Maldives. Mr. Razee described a brighter future, with the submarine operating at other resorts such as Centara Ras Fushi and also divulged that there was another larger submarine that will be operational by late December. The new submarine is expected to host more than 13 passengers and is only the first step of developing this innovative and one of a kind adventure. Truly a breathtaking memory!

In partnership with Best Dives, Jumeirah recently introduced a semi submarine, which is the first service of its kind in the Maldives. The attractively designed submarine rests on the jetty of the resort with its bright red colored body and the joyfully painted smile on its hull, waiting to carry the guests of the resort towards a seemingly endless journey of the untouched world underneath the waves at Jumeirah Vittaveli. The voyage can be anticipated as a unique and amazing experience surely, but you can never know just how much! Capable of seating 8 passengers apart from the crew, the inside of the submarine is filled with harmonizing music and air conditioning, making the ride as comfortable as taking a nap. Vast windows line up the sides of the submarine, giving the perfect view of the astounding natural beauty of the reefs and the pristine marine life. The adventure continues after dark as well. As night falls guests can admire the entirely different underwater world that unfolds trough night time excursions. You might get to see minuscule polyps on the coral reefs come to life and feed on surrounding plankton, schools of fishes darting by the windows while one or two massive underwater giants lounge around the colorful corals, if you are lucky, you may even spot a shark or a turtle! As a semi submarine, the vessel floats both over and underwater at the same time, bobbing softly across the Indian Ocean. The submarine is not only home to splendid views of the underwater, but also the sea and sky with the tiny islands of the Maldives on the horizon as well. A tour usually lasts around 30 minutes, during which the submarine takes you to one of the three dive spots of the island nearby. Information about the reefs, fishes and the submarine is provided by the helpful team throughout the trip. Eugene Ozhigibitsev, a Russian dive instructor from Best Dives, expressed the uniqueness of


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The Islandchief - Travel Tabloid 06| January 2017  

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