Guesthouses to control half of Maldives traveler bed limit by 2028

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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.
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.


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"Walk down the glass floor aisle to say yes to your love, surrounded by the stunning vistas of the Indian Ocean at Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli has launched an enchanting overwater wedding pavilion, offering wedding ceremonies and vow renewals.

The Wedding Pavilion sits serenely tucked away in the resort’s overwater fine dining complex, adjacent to French fine dining venue Fenesse, the newly opened wine library Cuvée, and the tranquil overwater lounge Cyan. Panoramic glass doors provide 360 degree views, and decorations can be adjusted to suit the wedding couple’s personal wishes.

“The Maldives provide a wonderful, romantic location for weddings, and we have arranged a number of stunning ceremonies, on a secluded beach, a remote and deserted sandbank, and even an underwater exchange of vows. We can now offer this spectacular new venue to guests who wish to celebrate in style at Jumeirah Vittaveli. Imagine watching your partner appear to walk on water and down the glass floored aisle that stretches over the shimmering turquoise lagoon,” said Amit Majumder, General Manager, Jumeirah Vittaveli.

The wedding pavilion can be booked for ceremonies in advance or once guests are on location. Additional romantic packages include the Wedding Ceremony in Paradise or the Romance in Maldives offer which includes a romantic dinner by the beach and couple’s spa massage. Marriages at the resort are purely ceremonial and not legally binding.

Enhance your romantic escape and stay at the picturesque Private Ocean Retreats. Cocoon yourselves into this indulgent hideaway with a loft-style bedroom upstairs, overwater hammocks, private infinity pool and full outdoor daybed. The Villas are freestanding in the lagoon ensuring maximum privacy while only a two minute ride on board the complimentary boat service from the main island. The Private Ocean Retreats are designed to offer all the resort services at your fingertips, from in-villa dining, to yoga on your own open air deck, to an indulgent couple’s massage.

Jumeirah Vittaveli offers romantic escapes as well as a variety of land- and water-based activities, including the destination’s first ice rink, a PADI Dive base, water sports centre, six restaurants and bars, and two lounges; an underground tasting room and a wine library will open soon. 

5 reasons why celebs still love the Maldives

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5 Reasons Why Celebs Still Love To Visit Maldives

Luxury holiday destination the Maldives is a firm favourite for celebrities. We found out why.

According to the 2018 Worldwide Travel Trends report from Kuoni, the Maldives has topped the luxury holiday booking list for the 15th year in a row and the islands are as popular as ever, especially with the celebs. 

Recently spotted celebrities include former Made In Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh, This Morning’s Philip Schofield, Mummy Diaries star Billie Faiers and former Strictly Come Dancing pro Ola Jordan.

But just what makes the Maldives so popular year after year as a luxury holiday destination? From treetop cocktail bars to a new floating island spa, here are a just a few of the things that attract the rich and famous to the islands.

1. The Wellness Revolution – Gili Lankanfushi

World-leading international wellness practitioners are visiting the luxury eco-resort, Gili Lankanfushi this year, offering revolutionary treatments and workshops throughout 2018.

Inspirational speaker, writer and mentor Jody Shield who will be taking over the island from 22-29 August and from the 10-17 November Chloe Brotheridge, hypnotherapist and anxiety expert will be leading workshops that help with issues including anxiety, confidence and sleep problems.

Best of all group sessions are free to guests staying on the island.

2. Watch the sun set with cocktails high up in the trees – Dhigali

An Instagrammers paradise, the two storey Haali bar on Dhigali is shaped like a giant birds nest and sits at the western tip of the island overlooking the island’s sandbank.

Head there around 6 p.m and enjoy a delicious cocktail on the top level viewing spot, or relax in a comfy beanbag out on the beach - the perfect place to capture the breath-taking views of the sky while it changes colour.

3. A foodie’s paradise - Kuramathi

One of the most popular resort in the Maldives, Kuramathi offers a choice of nine a la carte restaurants, three buffet restaurants and seven bars on this large island.

From Thai, Indian, fresh seafood, Mediterranean and teppanyaki dining to a choice of over 100 cocktails, it would be a shame not to sample as much as possible.

4. Stay in a floating spa resort - ScubaSpa

Five per cent of the world’s reef area can be found in the Maldives and with it comes a great diversity of marine life, a reason many choose to holiday here.

The floating Resort By Scubaspa, a 50-metre purpose-built ‘safari yacht’ with PADI 5 Star Dive Resort Status visits many different dive sites but does it in style and comfort combining premium spa treatments, four spa therapists, a yoga master and four chefs.

Whether a dive enthusiast looking for a bit of self-indulgence or a couple with different interests – this floating island has appeal and can offer inclusive spa treatments, dives, or a combination of the two.

5. Let your children become little VIPS – Niyama Private Islands

Resorts in the Maldives might be known for luxury but they’re evolving to include children and help them have the little VIP exeperience.
Kids at Niyama are able to embark on safaris, explore wildlife, go gourmet with Master Chef classes, scout for dolphins with luxuries re-invented to thrill guests 12 months to 12 years old.

The Maldives Islands

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About The Maldives Island

Maldives Island

Specks of emerald green enveloped by dazzling turquoise waters like scattered beads in the ocean; white powdery beaches, tall palms lean on towards the sea, crystalline white sands giving way to crystal clear waters, shades of turquoise blend flawlessly with deeper hues of blue; pristine coral reefs and some of the most incredible underwater life on our planet.

Rising from the deep blue of the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean are more than a thousand islands and thousands more reefs that form the Maldives.

What better place to relax and enjoy yourself than the romantic dunes that adorn these islands. Imagine a place that is nothing but surf and sun; where paradise meets reality. You can choose any of the ninety resorts islands across the Maldives for your honeymoon or holiday stay; allowing yourself the freedom to explore everything is amazing tropical wonderland has to offer. Everything has been designed with the luxury and comfort of travellers in mind, which is why per capita it is the busiest tourist area in the world. Half a million people every year rediscover this paradise.

Sunny, unique and unspoiled, the Maldives is an archipelago comprising 1,190 low-lying coral islands scattered across the equator, in groups of 26 naturally occurring atolls which are divided into 20 for administrative purposes. Maldives islands are characterized by a unique coral nature and thus they posses unique tourism resources though in a one-sided way, namely in the submarine and littoral environment of the islands, lagoons and reefs, associated with the year-round tropical climate.

These small, picturesque islands with dense tropical vegetation including shrubs, flowering plants and tall coconut palms surrounded by blindingly white beaches, crystalline lagoons that exhibit all shades of blue is the combination that has acclaimed Maldives as paradise on Earth.

Tourism in Maldives

Tourism which was introduced in 1972 has successfully developed in the past years. The tourism in Maldives has been rapidly growing the number of tourist arrivals and resorts islands over the last ten year period.

On the European market, Maldives today rank among the most attractive travel destinations in the tropics. Maldives offers large natural resources for tourism and encourages eco-tourism to protect the sensitive environment and underwater life.
It is not only divers and snorkelers who enjoy the profuse underwater resources, but also beach tourists are attracted by the nature of the beaches and the climatic conditions as well. This environment really guarantees relaxation and recreation.

The Maldives Honeymoon

Celebrate your special honeymoon in Maldives at the most beautiful and romantic islands of Maldives.

You could enjoy the privacy and intimacy of a secluded, natural setting and a warm inviting atmosphere, where the sunsets are spectacular!

The resorts offer you not only the crystal clear waters and azure blue lagoons, food is tasty and services are excellent.

As a welcome token, almost all resorts offers honeymooners fruit plates and flower decorated rooms on the arrival night – a romantic promise of what lays ahead. On request, resorts also arrange romantic candle-lit dinners on the beach and also champagne breakfast served in the privacy of your own room, to make your romantic holiday memories that will last a lifetime!

This Luxury Hotel Is Working To Bring Sustainable Tourism To The Maldives

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This Luxury Hotel Is Working To Bring Sustainable Tourism To The Maldives

The Maldives are composed of beautiful islands set in pristine blue waters; many of those islands are undeveloped and uninhabited. However, a recent government initiative means a burst of development to support tourism, which is one of the nation's main sources of income. The Independent reports that this decision has been hotly contested, with Tourism Minister Mahmoud Shaugee resigning after it was announced that 31 more islands would soon have hotels built on their shores.

"There is only so much that an economy can absorb," he said. "I think it is important that we protect the future of the tourism industry for the people of the Maldives ... I have not specifically detailed the reasons for my resignation but I shared with journalists here that I have a difference of opinion with the government's policy. There are certain issues I have a difference of opinion over and I do not want to move forward with those policies."

This is a serious issue: What attracts tourists to the Maldives is its unspoiled beauty, and the preservation of its unique ecosystems should be paramount. But the archipelago also needs the business brought by visitors to sustain its economy. With that in mind, the builders of Soneva Fushi have created a luxury hotel designed to protect the island wonders around it, and are working towards making their establishment zero-waste through their innovative recycling program.

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Fast Company interviewed Soneva Fushi's CEO Sonu Shivdasani, who founded their hotel in 1995. Even then, before sustainable tourism became an important topic of discussion, Shivdasani and his wife Eva considered their impact on the area as they built up their hotel. But they've still come a long way.

“We didn’t cut any trees down, we moved buildings, changed the architecture slightly to fit in among the trees,” says Shivdasani. “What we were doing back in 1995 would be like 20 out of 100 now in terms of all the different things we’re doing now.”

In 2008, the hotel built the first solar array in all of the Maldives, and plans to achieve its goal of getting 75 percent of its energy from renewables within the next year. They're also on the path to becoming carbon-neutral, and have a recycling program that processes 90 percent of the hotel's solid waste. They even process glass, food waste, jungle trimmings, and polystyrene with their own own pyrolysis system. They are working on the final 10 percent, which includes items like plastic, paper, and cloth.

Interestingly, they've turned some aspects of recycling into an activity for guests, inviting glass artists to come and turn the broken down wine and water bottles into art. They have moved on to workshops where guests turn leftover plastic into souvenirs of their time at Sovena Fushi.

The hotel also aims to have an eco-friendly menu, and charges guests an additional fee to pay for eco-friendly measures, such as planting trees in Thailand. The fee has raised about 5 or 6 million dollars over the years, according to Shivdasani.

Soneva Fushi may not be the cheapest ticket to the Maldives, but it's an example of how there is a market for both tourism and island stewardship, as well as a map. 

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru dispatches submarine experience

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Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru dispatches submarine experience

Deep-Flight produces the world’s highest performance personal submarines.

From today, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru will become the first place to launch submarine excursions in DeepFlight’s most advanced model yet: Super Falcon 3S.

In a world exclusive, DeepFlight Adventures take up to two guests on a once-in-a-lifetime sub-aquatic ‘dive’ exploration of the Maldives’ only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Landaa Giraavaru’s Baa Atoll home.

With a professional pilot at the controls, passengers can skim over coral formations; fly through shoals of brightly coloured fish; encounter creatures like turtles, sharks, dolphins and rays; and explore the Maldivian waters down to a depth of 37 meters – all without getting wet.

Brought to the Maldives in collaboration with leading water sports operator, Ocean Group, the Super Falcon 3S represents the pinnacle of personal submarine technology: an environmentally friendly, battery-operated submersible that offers unparalleled underwater ‘flying’ from the safety, comfort and style of a personal pressurized and air-conditioned cockpit, with individual viewing domes.

The Super Falcon 3S has also been designed with the environment in mind: its electric and acoustic emissions have been minimized so as not to disturb marine life, and it never lands on the seabed or reefs.

The pilot narrates each dive with a real-time commentary, educating and inspiring guests about the wonders of the underwater ecosystem.

Commenting on the launch, Four Seasons regional vice president, Armando Kraenzlin, said: “At Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, we have long been aligned with DeepFlight’s mission to bring awareness to the oceans.

“These submarine excursions redefine marine exploration and bridge the gap between the world we see above the waves and the one that exists below.

“We couldn’t be prouder to be the first resort in the world to launch the Deep-Flight Super Falcon 3S.”

Maldives sees sharp increment in UK entries in mid 2018

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Maldives sees sharp increment in UK entries in mid 2018

The Maldives has announced double-digit growth of 17.5 per cent in the number of UK travellers who visited in March 2018, when compared with the same month last year.

In total, 11,829 UK travellers visited the Maldives in March, compared with 10,063 in March 2017.

The destination has just been confirmed as the host of the World Spa Awards, with the event set to take place in October.

Overall, the Maldives welcomed a total of 32,633 UK tourists during the first quarter of 2018, representing a 12.2 per cent increase when compared with the same period of 2017, which saw 29,088 people from the UK arrive at the destination.

Globally, in March 2018 the Maldives recorded an 18.5 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of international visitor arrivals, welcoming a total of 133,466 arrivals.

This brings the total of global arrivals to 420,103 in the first three months of 2018, representing a positive growth of 17 per cent when compared with 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 and what is believed to be the world’s first undersea residence at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Commenting on the news, the Maldives minister of tourism, Moosa Zameer, said: “We are very pleased to see such a significant rise in both the number of UK and international tourists to the Maldives which is largely thanks to the work carried out by the Embassy of Maldives, MMPRC and the tourism industry stakeholders at large.

“The UK continues to establish itself as one of the most valuable inbound markets for tourism to the Maldives and with a number of exciting new tourism developments launching this year, we look forward to welcoming even more visitors during the remaining months of 2018.”

Zitek takes up sous culinary specialist part

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Zitek takes up sous culinary specialist part at St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort has announced Olda Zitek has been appointed as executive sous chef.

Zitek will join the private island resort in early May 2018 from Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square where he worked as executive sous chef from November 2016.

Prior to this, Zitek held the position of head chef at Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel London, after roles in other five-star London hotels such as Claridge’s and The May Fair Hotel.

Zitek will support the executive chef at The St. Regis Maldives in supervising operations at the resort’s six distinct dining venues, which offer sophisticated cuisine from around the world.

He will oversee the entire culinary team, which delivers exceptional food and drink experiences to guests.

Commenting on the appointment, Alexander Blair, general manager, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Olda join us at The St. Regis Maldives.

“We pride ourselves on delivering unrivalled experiences and exceptional service, so Olda’s background with some of London’s most luxury hotels means he is great fit for our team.

“We look forward to working with him and can’t wait to see to see his skillset being put to use for our guests.”

Zitek is originally from the Czech Republic and is fluent in Czech, English, and Slovak.

World Spa Awards

St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort will host the World Spa Awards later this year.

Taking place on October 26th, the event will welcome leaders from the global wellness industry to the Maldives.

Find out more on the official Website:-

Sun Aqua divulges Sun Aqua Iru Veli, Maldives

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ATM 2018: Sun Aqua divulges Sun Aqua Iru Veli, Maldives

Sun Aqua is launching the third property in their portfolio; Sun Aqua Iru Veli, an exclusive resort on the island of Aluvifushi, a private island for guests only in the heart of the South Nilandhe Atoll.                                                                     

The resort is scheduled to open in October 2018.

True to the Sun Aqua brand, the new resort is laid-back and stylish with a playful vibe.

Iru Veli is a five-star premium all-inclusive resort of 125 villas and suites, all with private pools. Across the lagoon and along the beach, a variety of over-water and beach front villas offers total seclusion in open spaces.

All villas, whether couples’ suites or extended family villas, feature vistas across the Indian Ocean in true Maldivian style.

Sun Aqua Iru Veli is a quick 40-minute seaplane ride from Malè and the international airport. Features include an infinity pool, a fully equipped recreation centre, a variety of activities and water sports such as jet ski, wind surfing, fun rides, catamaran sailing etc.

Sun Aqua Spa, with its six treatment pavilions and hydrotherapy area, is perched over the lagoon as an over-water spa offering a range of treatments combining western and eastern philosophies.

Dining options include an all-day dining restaurant with an international menu, a grill restaurant set on the beach with focus on fresh seafood and meat dishes, and an over-water restaurant with Italian specialities.

There is also the option of making dinner a private affair with the resort’s destination dining.

As an added flavour, Middle Eastern guests will be happy to learn that the Sun Aqua Signature, the premium all-inclusive plan, includes one daily shisha per couple at the Shisha Lounge free of charge.

Sun Aqua brand is a visionary creation from Sun Siyam, one of the most forward-thinking and dynamic hospitality companies in the Maldives.

With Maldivian entrepreneur Ahmed Siyam Mohamed at the helm, Sun Siyam aims to create a collection of hotel and resort brands across the Indian Ocean and Asia infused with his uniquely passionate and colourful spirit.

The vibe is unpretentious and laid-back yet is punctuated by bursts of vivid colour and quirky touches.

Sun Siyam Resorts will be attending the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai until April 25th at stand AS2350.

The Maldives' new star Villa is submerged

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The Maldives' new star Villa is submerged

A sprawling villa at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

On a recent trip to the Maldives, my itinerary was planned around a single hotel amenity: a bungalow with a two-story waterslide. In the luxury-friendly Maldives, more than anywhere else on Earth, it's extravagant design features rather than location or good restaurants that make a hotel.

Enter Conrad Maldives Rangali Island with the region's first underwater bungalow. When it opens late this year the Muraka ("coral" in Dhivehi, the local language) will have cost US$15 million ($20.4 million) to build, and the experience of sleeping 16.4 feet (5m) below sea level can be yours beginning at US$50,000 ($68,262) per night before taxes.

"The Muraka promises a unique experience that is not available anywhere else in the world," architect Ahmed Saleem explains. While it's true that there aren't many hotel beds suspended below sea level, encased in glassy tunnels and surrounded by tropical fish, Saleem was more concerned with creating a full experience than designing a single, iconic room.

The Muraka's bedroom, below the sea.

So guests to the Maldives - an archipelago in the Indian Sea, southwest of India - will be flown to a private seaplane jetty and picked up in a speedboat for their ensuing use.

The suite itself is set apart from the Conrad's beach villas and bungalows so its residents don't have to see other humans-or set foot on dry land-if they don't want to. The price includes four dedicated butlers in a nearby structure for round-the-clock service, a chef, a set of jet skis and an on-call fitness trainer. Guests are upgraded to Diamond Honors Hilton status and given a 90-minute spa treatment per day.

The sunset-facing deck of the Muraka.

The structure itself is made of steel, concrete and acrylic, with one level above the water and another below. It's more castle than hotel suite, with enough nooks and crannies to sleep nine guests plus a gym, butler's quarters and space for a private security detail.

But not all the action happens under water. The top floor has two bedrooms, a bathroom with an ocean-view tub, a sunset-facing deck and an infinity-edge pool. Guests can descend below sea level down a spiral staircase or elevator. There, nothing but a curved acrylic dome separates the king-sized bedroom and living area from the reef just beyond. The bathroom, with its see-through walls and ceiling, feels like a bona-fide fishbowl. But privacy isn't an issue, unless fish make you feel shy; the villa is far from the rest of the resort. The deep underwater darkness-or simply feeling lost at sea-might be more unsettling.

Conrad isn't the first to take on underwater residences. In Dubai, the developer Klenienst has been developing a community of partially submerged homes called the Floating Seahorse within the cluster of islands known as the Heart of Europe. The project was announced in 2015 with a projected completion in 2016; only three such homes have been completed to date. According to a local news source, one sank near the Burj Al Arab hotel, another "toppled into the sea while being transported onsite", and the third is a prototype that's being stabilised with sandbags.

An underwater bathroom at the Muraka.

That's all to say: Creating a self-contained island residence with undersea sleeping quarters is challenging, at best. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has experience in that architectural arena thanks to Ithaa ("mother-of-pearl"), its underwater restaurant where diners enjoy eight-course feasts below a see-through, acrylic canopy.
Still, Saleem says, "Designing an undersea structure such as Ithaa and designing a sleeping and living experience is vastly different." Among his main concerns was safety. The restaurant, he says, is in shallow waters and always fully staffed; evacuating from the Muraka in the event of an emergency may have to happen unattended. A sophisticated air-quality monitoring and alarm system will help; so will safety instruction briefings like the ones on airplanes.

The project's scope presented logistical concerns. Saleem had to devise a lighting and design scheme that wouldn't reflect off the acrylic walls. "We couldn't use bright colours or variations of white, as that would reflect too much and impede the undersea experience," he says. He had to work with marine biologists to ensure the villa wouldn't affect the surrounding corals. Then the 600-ton structure had to be built on land in Singapore, hoisted onto a crane, and transported in a specialised ship that could moor near the reef and submerge the suite.

Ithaa, the underwater restaurant at the Conrad.

Even in the Maldives, whose resorts are known to command some of the highest prices globally, this type of building isn't sustainable as anything more than a one-off. "There are no immediate plans to create additional undersea residences at this point," Saleem says.

To Martin Rinck, who oversees Hilton's global luxury and lifestyle brands including Conrad, the debut of the underwater villa is a way to stay ahead of the industry. It's "a perfect example of the out-of-the-box thinking that meets guests demands before they even have them," Rinck says.

Nowhere is it more important to drive these types of trends than in the Maldives, where about a dozen ultra-luxe hotels will open this year. "The Maldives is indeed a competitive destination, but also a destination where guests expect the best," Rinck says. It's also a destination for which travellers are willing to shell out for the best. The starting price of US$50,000 may sound like a lot to pay per night, but the region claims a handful of private island villas at comparable prices that are popular, too.

One of the above-sea-level bedrooms at the Conrad's underwater villa.

"After 20 years in the Maldives, it's important that Hilton keeps pace with its newer, shinier competitors," Rinck says: "We need to continue meeting the expectations of travellers looking for that 'go big or go home' experience."

Private Islands to welcome first private planes

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Niyama Private Islands to welcome first private planes

Niyama Private Island

Niyama Private Islands have become accessible via private jet for the first time.

The news follows the opening of Dhaalu Airport in November, which is a mere ten minutes by speedboat from the hotel.

Niyama is the only resort in the Dhaalu atoll region to offer this luxury service, which is set to further cement the resort’s reputation as one of the leading luxury hotels in the world.

Combining unrivalled privacy with exceptional hospitality, Niyama Private Islands is the luxury Maldivian choice for discerning travellers.

Guests are now able to soar over sparkling atolls in the comfort of their own private jet, breeze through the VIP lounge at Dhaalu Airport before speeding across the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean to a jetty reserved exclusively for traveler arriving via jet.

For those wanting to continue their quest for complete solitude, Niyama offers a quintet of overwater pool villas - known as The Crescent – which fan out over the ocean in stunning isolation.

The epitome of luxury and considered one of the most exclusive villas in the Maldives, The Crescent accommodates 22 people and comes complete with private infinity pools, indoor and outdoor bathrooms, direct access to the crystalline waters of the Indian Ocean as well as private chefs and butlers guaranteed to provide heartfelt personalised service.

There are five two-bedroom over-water Studios which enjoy their own private stretch of beach away from the main resort.

The Studios are available for hire individually, or for large families and groups, they can be hired collectively.

Set across two spacious private islands, appropriately named Play and Chill, connected only by a single wooden bridge across the Indian Ocean, Niyama Private Islands is a truly special Maldivian resort in the south-western atoll of Dhaalu.

The twin islands take barefoot luxury to an exotic new level with their distinctive edgy feel and extraordinary range of activities which allow the stylish, aspirational traveler to expand on the traditional Maldivian itinerary.