Guesthouses to control half of Maldives traveler bed limit by 2028

Guesthouses to control half of Maldives traveler bed limit by 2028

Guesthouses in the Maldives have 8,000 beds between them.


The guesthouse market will control half of the Maldives tourist accommodation capacity by 2028, the Maldives Association of Travel Agencies and Tour Operators (MATATO) said.

MATATO president Abdulla Giyas Riyaz said that the guesthouse sector was the fastest developing sector of tourism in the country.

According to the Tourism Ministry the tourist accommodation capacity or bed capacity for the Maldives is 42,929 per night. This figure is divided among 792 establishments including high-end tourist resorts on private islands, guesthouses and hotels on inhabited local islands and cruise vessels.

Resorts controlled the majority of the accommodation capacity with over 30,000 beds, while 459 guesthouses had 8,000 beds between them as of July this year.

“19 percent of the bed capacity in the Maldives is controlled by the guesthouse sector. Hulhumalé alone has 1,750 beds in 83 guest houses,” Riyaz said.

While Malé’s suburb Hulhumalé has the majority of guesthouse beds, Maafushi has over 1,000 beds too. The rest are distributed among guesthouses scattered around other islands near the capital.

“These numbers are very interesting,” Riyaz said, “The guesthouse sector is just 10 years old. But this is the fastest growing sector in Maldivian tourism.”

“I estimate that within the next 10 years, 50 percent of the tourist bed capacity in Maldives will be controlled by guesthouses.”

Riyaz was speaking at the MATATO’s Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition, held in Hulhumalé.

Ukulhas in Alifu Alifu atoll took the top accolades, as the leading guesthouse island of the Maldives and leading beach island. Reveries Diving Village in Laamu atoll was named the leading guesthouse.

Mingozzi takes up culinary administration of Kanuhura, Maldives


Chef Michele Mingozzi has joined Kanuhura, Maldives, with strong international experience and reputation, having worked in numerous remarkable fine-dining establishments around the world.

His experience includes time at two- and three-Michelin star restaurants in Italy, Germany and London.

His passion for food and flavour took him to the Philippines, the Middle East, Singapore and Fiji, where he headed the kitchen for the celebrated Laucala Island Resort, owned by Dietrich Mateschitz, the owner and founder of Red Bull.

Taking over the culinary reign at Kanuhura, Maldives, chef Mingozzi will be responsible for the resort’s eight dining outlets as well as numerous destination and special dining locations and experiences. Chef Michele will focus on high-quality, fresh food blended with Maldivian food culture with worldwide food traditions.

Comprising three main restaurants, the culinary concept at Kanuhura Maldives aims to add value to the guests’ dining experiences by implementing diverse, smaller dining outlets in different locations set across the island, including the Chef’s Herb Garden where guests can pick fresh ingredients and cook alongside the culinary team while dining under the stars at a ‘secret’ table surrounded by flickering candles at the heart of a gorgeously lush and aromatic herb garden.

Key sushi dishes from the innovative Sushi Swing Bar menu include the sumptuous Champagne Yuzu Lobster roll, Truffle Creamy Lobster Tempura roll and the Waygu Beef roll.

Locally sourced tuna is used in the menu, as well as reef fish whenever possible.

Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort to open in December

Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort About to open in December

Marriott International has announced the forthcoming debut of Westin Hotels & Resorts in the Maldives with the opening of the Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort in October.

The resort is set to herald the Westin brand’s wellness positioning in the Maldivian oasis.

Nestled on a beautiful coral island in the Baa Atoll, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site, the Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort will feature 70 villas and suites, 41 on island and 29 overwaters.

Poised over the sea on stilts and with an area of almost 200 square meters each, the overwater suites are amongst the largest a resort has to offer in the Baa Atoll region.

Assembled by award-winning Milan-based architects Peia Associates, the resort’s design takes inspiration from the ocean with a visionary approach towards environmental sustainability.

The dining options include three resort restaurants and a rooftop bar.

The all-day dining experience at Island Kitchen stays true to the Westin brand’s ‘eat well’ pillar through a thoughtful menu combining Chinese, Indian and Maldivian fare.

The Pearl is the resort’s specialty restaurant and is the ideal venue to indulge in exquisite Japanese cuisine in an elegant setting with exceptional ocean views.

At Hawker, guests can sample authentic Asian food in a casual and buzzing restaurant and bar with a live kitchen.

The Sunset Bar is a relaxed lounge serving tapas and imaginative cocktails created by talented mixologists.

3D printing innovation to help coral development in Maldives

3D printing innovation to help coral development in Maldives

Moulds were slotted together underwater, like a giant aquatic LEGO set, to create the new reef.



The world’s largest and the Maldives first 3D-printed reef was installed by a resort at the weekend, with the technology being used to help protect coral reefs.

The artificial reef, assembled with hundreds of ceramic and concrete modules, was submerged in seven metres of water in a part of the lagoon where Summer Island Maldives  is building a new coral reef ecosystem.

Coral reefs are under threat from climate change. In 2016 a particularly strong El Nino weather event, which caused sea temperatures to spike, devastated coral reefs across large parts of the Maldives. Climate change makes these coral ‘bleaching’ events increasingly likely and severe.

The project started in Australia, where industrial designer Alex Goad of Reef Design Lab used computing modelling to design reef structures similar to those found naturally in the Maldives.

A 3D printer took 24 hours to print moulds which were then cast in ceramic, an inert substance similar to limestone rock, and shipped to the Maldives. They were filled with marine concrete on the resort’s beach before being taken into the lagoon and assembled.


Like a giant aquatic LEGO set the 220 ceramic, concrete-filled moulds were slotted together underwater to create the new reef.

Coral fragments, grown on the resort’s existing and extensive coral nursery, were transplanted onto the 3D reef. In a few years, when the corals have colonised the reef, the resort wants a new reef teeming with fish and other marine life.

If the 3D printing technology proves successful, it could be a new way of helping coral reefs adapt to a warming climate.

“This is a science project, it’s a research project,” said Alex Goad. “3D printing technology helps us to mimic the complexity of natural reef structures, so we can design artificial reefs that closely resemble those found in nature.”

Goad will make his modular 3D designs open source, so other researchers in the Maldives can benefit from them without having to pay a licence fee.

The resort aims to study the reef with the help of marine biologists over the next few years, to see if the 3D version is better at encouraging coral growth than existing methods of artificially growing corals, such as with steel frames.

It has also introduced other environmental initiatives including the adoption of solar energy, a ban plastic straw usage and phasing out imported drinking water.

Resort manager Mari Shareef said these policies were popular among guests and staff.

“We want to help promote a culture of environmental stewardship, not just at Summer Island, but across the Maldives,” she said.

UK explorers support tourism figures in Maldives

UK explorers support tourism figures in Maldives



Latest figures from the Maldives show that the destination saw an 11.2 per cent increase in the number of UK travellers who visited in the first six months of 2018, when compared with the same period in 2017.

In total, 57,535 UK tourists arrived in the Maldives from January – June 2018, compared with 51,737 in 2017.

June itself also welcomed a 6.2 per cent growth in the number of UK tourist arrivals, when compared with the same month in 2017.

Overall, 6,459 travellers from the UK visited the Maldives in June 2018, compared with 6,081 in June 2017, accounting for 6.9 per cent of all tourist arrivals to the Maldives and therefore representing the third largest inbound market for arrivals globally, after China (17.5 per cent) and Germany (eight per cent), respectively.

With regards to total worldwide arrivals, 93,786 travellers visited the Maldives in June 2018 and this represents an increase of ten per cent when compared with June 2017, which welcomed 85,222.

The first six months of 2018 have seen 726,515 global tourists visit the Maldives, an increase of 10.5 per cent when compared with the same period of last year.

This year the Maldives will further confirm its status as one of the most attractive holiday destinations for UK tourists, with the opening of at least 23 new resorts.

The island nation was also recently crowned as the Indian Ocean’s Best Spa Destination at the World Spa Awards.

Commenting on the increase of tourist arrivals, the Maldives minister of tourism, Moosa Zameer, said: “We are once again very pleased to see a notable increase in the number of UK and worldwide arrivals to the Maldives.

“The increase is testament to the country’s world-class tourism industry and with several exciting developments planned for the remaining months of 2018 and into 2019, including the opening of a number of resorts, we look forward to welcoming even more UK tourists to our shores.”

Voters asked to make voices heard in front of World Spa Awards

Voters asked to make voices heard in front of World Spa Awards



Voting for World Spa Awards – the global initiative to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence in the spa and wellness sector – closes on August 17th, 2018.

Spa industry professionals – senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators and media – along with spa consumers, are invited to cast their votes to decide which spa organisations are the leaders in their field.

Voting takes place across the whole spectrum of the global spa industry with categories including Best Hotel Spa, Best Spa Design and Best Spa Destination.

The winners will be invited to attend the 2018 World Spa Awards Gala Ceremony, which will take place at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort on October 26th.

Hundreds of industry leaders from around the world are scheduled to attend the spa tourism event of the year.

Unrivalled luxury, stunning beaches, an amazing underwater world, as well as spectacular spa and wellness offerings, make the Maldives the destination of choice for World Spa Awards.

A spectacular 40-minute seaplane flight from Malé International Airport, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort promises an unrivalled private island escape in the southern Dhaalu Atoll.

An eco-conscious design draws on island-inspired style and contemporary architectural elements, villas come with private plunge pools.

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is home to the unique lobster-shaped Iridium Spa, which is the largest overwater spa in the Maldives, making it the perfect venue to celebrate the brilliance of the global spa industry.

Launched in 2015, World Spa Awards is a dynamic awards programme designed to drive up standards within spa and wellness tourism, by rewarding the organisations that are the leaders in the field.

Event partners for the fourth annual World Spa Awards include The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Visit Maldives, Trans Maldivian Airways and Bastien Gonzalez.

World Spa Awards is the sister event to World Travel Awards, currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Football Celebrity Spent A Holiday In Maldives

Mo Salah's Maldives visit jumped on by tourism managers


Footballer Mo Salah’s trip to the Maldives has been seized on by tourism bosses in the troubled holiday destination, days after the European Union pressed ahead with sanctions over the worsening political and rights situation in the country.

The popular Liverpool player posted photos of himself in the Maldives following his World Cup stint, the Egypt Independent reported.

He can be seen on the beach and enjoying watersport activities.

Salah had chosen the Maldives for a post-tournament family vacation, said Visit Maldives. “Have you made up your mind to visit us yet?” asked a tweet.

He has more than six million followers on Twitter, with each of his Maldives holiday snaps garnering thousands of retweets, likes and comments.

The Visit Maldives tweet about Salah’s vacation is the account’s best-performing one by a long way.

Maldives populace to almost a million by 2054

Maldives populace to almost a million by 2054

The population projection means there will be twice as many people living in the Maldives.



The Maldives population is expected to reach almost one million by 2054, with more than half of the country’s nationals living in the Greater Malé area, a United Nations report published Wednesday said.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) also said the 2054 population figure would consist of 57 percent Maldivians and 43 percent foreigners.

Its overall population projection of 974,359 means there will be twice as many people living in the Maldives, according to the report.

Another key finding says that many of the bigger atolls will lose close to one-third of their population due to internal migration and a declining fertility rate, whereas the 2014 census showed that the majority of the population was living in the atolls.

The Maldives will also have 75 elderly people to every 100 children compared to 17 per 100 in 2014 and, while the child population currently accounts for 28 percent, it drops to 18 percent by the end of the projection period.

“The time has come for the Maldives to highlight population and development issues within the overall socio-economic development strategy of the country,” said the report.

“To do so, it will be necessary to reinforce the institutions dealing with population and development issues, especially those located in the President’s Office including the Economic and Youth Council and the Social Council.”

There was a continued need for affordable housing schemes in order to help people relocate to Greater Malé, better mechanisms to deal with the ageing population and greater emphasis on female education, said the report.

Outing islands to be worked close Malé

Outing islands to be worked close Malé

The capital lacks a natural beach and its residents flock to suburb islands at weekends.



Two picnic islands are to be built near the capital, a state-owned company said Tuesday, more than a year after the project was first launched.

The Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC) said they will be in Galufalhu lagoon, which is 15 minutes from Malé.

Uninhabited islands that are open to the public for recreational use are known as ‘picnic islands’ in the Maldives.

Kuda Bandos and Feydhoo Finolhu, previously used as picnic islands by residents of the congested capital city, were controversially leased for resort development. Malé lacks a natural beach and its inhabitants flock to the suburb islands of Hulhumalé and Vilimalé on weekends.

The government has so far failed to deliver on a promise to allocate a new picnic island near Malé and the restart of the project comes as the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party, in its manifesto for the September presidential elections, pledged to develop a picnic island for Malé residents..

Around MVR50 million (US$3.24 million) has been estimated as the total cost to reclaim the seven hectares needed for the two islands, MITDC managing director Mohamed Shahid said.

“We are hoping to finish the reclamation work within two months and complete the whole project in six months,” he was quoted as saying by Mihaaru.

The company said that affordable services – such as day rooms, a barbecue area, a restaurant and water sports facilities – would be available on the two islands.

Shahid added that the reclamation work would be handed over to a company this month.

The project was first announced more than a year ago, when MITDC said it was evaluating bids for developing a picnic island  near Malé.

The company sought expressions of interest in March 2017 and offered, as an incentive, a 50-year lease to develop a tourist resort on a portion of the reclaimed island.

An MITDC official told the Maldives Independent at the time that the company was evaluating proposals but declined to provide further information.

Oman Air to come back to the Maldives

Oman Air to come back to the Maldives


Oman Air will resume its service between Muscat and Malé in the Maldives.

Flights will recommence for the winter season from October 28th and will be operated by the new Boeing 737 aircraft.

Oman Air flights from Muscat to Maldives will operate on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the flight from Maldives to Muscat will operate on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The Maldives is a beautiful chain of 26 ring atolls, made up of more than 1,000 coral islands, located only three and a half hours away from Oman.

Well known for its beaches, blue lagoons and extensive reefs, the Maldives is an incredibly popular tourist destination with an increasing number of international visitors arriving year on year.

Abdulaziz Al Raisi, chief executive of Oman Air, said: “We are delighted to be resuming our Maldives route and look forward to welcoming our valued Oman Air guests on board our latest Boeing 737 aircraft.

“We thoroughly encourage our friends from Europe and the rest of our network, flying to the Maldives to stop over and explore Oman en route.

“Our new Maldives service offers holidaymakers the perfect opportunity to explore Muscat, the metropolitan capital of Oman before escaping to the beautiful shores of the Maldives.”

The relaunch of the Maldives service comes at an exciting time, as Oman Air recently started their flights to Istanbul in June with operations scheduled to Casablanca in July and Moscow in October.