Gran Meliá Maldives will be a resort located in Kalhudhiyafushi in Thaa, an atoll located 40 minutes from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, as well as a short ride by speedboat or seaplane from the domestic airport at Kaadedhdhoo. Scheduled to launch October 2017, Gran Meliá Maldives will be amongst the very best of the luxurious international resorts, operated by brands such as Shangri-La, Park Hyatt and Jumeirah, as guests can experience one of the best fishing destinations in the Maldives.
Set amongst virgin coral reef, the Gran Meliá hotel will offer 95 private villas, including 100 rooms, as well as three restaurants, a bar and café, spa, leisure centre and several retail shops. The hotel will also be able to arrange and host exclusive private events and romantic dinners on a smaller nearby island. 66 per cent of Maldivian visitors are honeymooners or guests who wish to enjoy an idyllic beach holiday with exceptional diving.
During the contract signing, Maria Zarraluqui, Director of Expansion for Meliá Hotels International, commented, “Opening a Gran Meliá hotel in the Maldives has been a dream for us for a long time, but we were always waiting for the right project to come along. This hotel meets all our expectations. We are confident that our unique Gran Meliá brand will enhance the magic of these privileged islands, giving a new meaning to the concept of luxury.”
The Maldives consists of more than 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean, formed of two rows of 26 atolls running from north to south. Both chains of atolls (the largest with an area of only 8 km2) are located approximately 700 km from Sri Lanka and 400 km south-west of India. Due to its unique features and exceptional beauty, the Maldives has become one of the most exclusive havens for tourism, mainly from Europe and Asia, which now generates over 25 per cent of the country’s GDP, followed by fishing which generates 60 per cent of foreign exchange receipts.
Meliá Hotels International
The Director of Expansion for Meliá Hotels International, Maria Zarraluqui, together with the Company’s Hotel Development team in the Middle East, once again attended the most important Hotel Investment Conference in the region, taking the opportunity to meet with the owners of the new hotels: Huravee International from the Maldives, ASICO from Kazakhstan, and Albwardi Investments, with whom Meliá has already successfully partnered in Dubai, before announcing all of the new agreements.
Meliá Hotels International currently operates two hotels in Dubai and Qatar, and has 10 additional hotels in the pipeline in the region, all due to open between 2017 and 2020. The properties will be managed under the Meliá Hotels & Resorts, ME by Meliá, INNSIDE by Meliá and Gran Meliá brands. The United Arab Emirates and Gulf Cooperation Council countries are becoming an increasingly strategic hub for eastern and western countries to do business, with Dubai International Airport ranked as the busiest airport in the world last year, underlining MHI’s efforts to link its strategy in Europe and Americas with the Asia-Pacific countries.