Turtles in Laamu – safe and protected – again

Building upon the success of Laamu’s first ever inter-island Turtle Festival in 2016, the entire community recently came together for the second Laamu Turtle Festival. The event took place on the local island of Gan, and was jointly organized by the Gan Island Council, Laamu Atoll Police Department and Six Senses Laamu. This year’s theme was once again Turtles in Laamu – Safe and Protected, aiming to raise awareness about the importance of sea turtles and providing a platform for community engagement about greater marine conservation.

The festival brought together one resort, two NGOs, three local businesses, four government agencies, 10 island councils, 12 schools, and upwards of 1,000 people to pledge Turtles in Laamu – Safe and Protected. All seven species of sea turtles are on the endangered species list, mostly due to human pressures such as harmful fishing practices and plastic pollution. Laamu Atoll is lucky to have large populations of both Green and Hawksbill turtles, however, poaching of turtles and their nests still occurs and it was agreed that everyone in the community needs to stop this practice from happening.

President of the Gan Island Council Shiyam Ahmed, and Laamu Atoll Police Commander Sultan Bishar welcomed everyone to the festival and introduced the day’s activities. There were educational stalls and games aiming to raise awareness about these marine animals and why it is critical that people do not harm them, as well as cultural performances, contests and prizes, food, music, ensuring everyone had lots of fun!

The guest of honor, Abdul Gafoor Ali, known as Gabbe, was the first Maldivian to sail around the entire country in a catamaran, in efforts to raise awareness for the conservation of the marine environment. He emphasized the necessity of improved waste management when he said, “If we want to protect turtles, the first thing we need to do is protect their habitat. When I sailed across the Maldives I saw a lot of trash in our beautiful ocean. In Kureli Kandu, the channel between Laamu and Meemu Atolls, I capsized my catamaran and had to be in the water for four hours. There were so many plastic bags, bottles and caps in the sea, I almost cried. It is our duty to reduce our waste to protect our marine habitats and save our marine life.”

To ensure the festival’s important messages are conveyed every day of the year, the Blue Marine Foundation team painted their fourth wall mural in Laamu, and called on all attendees to pledge their protection of turtles by signing it and recording a video pledge. Now, every time someone passes by the festival site, they’ll see the wall full of reminders that Turtles in Laamu are Safe and Protected.”

Marteyne van Well, general manager of Six Senses Laamu added, “Last year in Maavah, the festival was such a great success that it wasn’t a question of whether we could hold another one, but more of a question of when we could hold it. Our aim is to, year on year, increase our positive impact in Laamu and maintain efforts as a community to protect turtles. Last year, students from five schools in Laamu attended the event and today we have students from 12 of the 13 schools, so clearly we have achieved our goal.”

About Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a beautiful coral house reef. Most of the villas and facilities are built overwater, however beach villas and on-land dining is an option. All villas offer a sense of privacy and seclusion, with an amazing view of the Ocean and Maldivian nature.

Six Senses Laamu offers a wide range of dining options, with cuisines from around the world, an ice cream parlor, an overwater wine cellar and a signature Chill bar.

Many activities, excursions and options are available for everyone to enjoy, both overwater and underwater, in addition to the Six Senses Spa.

About Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas operates 11 resorts and 30 spas in 20 countries under the brand names Six Senses, Evason and Six Senses Spas.

Six Senses resorts are set in locations of incredible natural beauty that will stop you in your tracks, and an uncompromising level of service that will stay with you long after you’ve left. Each property has a distinctive personality, but shares a commitment to community, sustainability, wellness and design. This award-winning approach extends to new openings, including the urban concept premiering in New York in 2019.

Six Senses Spas incorporate local healing traditions with holistic rejuvenation treatments administered under the guidance of expert therapists and visiting practitioners. They constantly explore and rethink the typical spa model to offer pioneering wellness, not only in all resort spas, but also in standalone spas in prestigious hotels and premier class lounges.

Evason properties continue the philosophy to protect their natural environments and cultures. Family friendly, these properties also provide a strong value focus, while offering a vast array of personal guest experiences.

SriLankan becomes First International Airline to fly to Gan Island

SriLankan Airlines will consolidate its positioning as the largest airline operation in the Maldives, by commencing services to Gan Island on 1 December 2016, becoming the only airline to operate international flights to Gan International Airport, with four flights per week.

Gan Island operations will facilitate visitors’ travel to any destination in the world via SriLankan Airlines’ global route network, reaching 102 destinations in 47 countries and 1,000 destinations under the oneworld alliance.

Gan is the most populated island in Addu Atoll (also known as Seenu Atoll) and is the southernmost atoll in the Maldives. SriLankan flights will depart from Gan every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 09:05, arriving in Colombo at 11:25. Likewise, flights will depart from Colombo at 07:01 and arrive in Gan at 08:20hrs.

Crew, SriLankan Airlines. SriLankan becomes first international airline to fly to Gan Island

The commencement of services to Gan is part of the recent strategic shift by SriLankan Airlines to heighten its focus on its network in South Asia, namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and also in the Middle East, including destinations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman. The airline will also intensify its focus on the Far East including Japan, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia. Gan is one of 11 new destinations in the Asia-Middle East region to which Sri Lanka’s national carrier is commencing services in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Crew, SriLankan Airlines. SriLankan becomes first international airline to fly to Gan Island

SriLankan provides rapid connections through Colombo to its global network, including over 100 weekly flights to 11 cities in India, and a wide range of destinations in the Far East and the Middle East. Passengers can enjoy SriLankan’s modern fleet and a service which provides passengers with comfortable seats, state of the art entertainment systems, excellent in-flight cuisine, and flight attendants famed for their warmth and caring nature.

Crew, SriLankan Airlines. SriLankan becomes first international airline to fly to Gan Island

SriLankan’s office in the Maldives is located at:

SriLankan Airlines Ltd, C/o ACE Aviation Services Maldives Pvt Ltd.
H. Thuniya Building (2nd Floor), Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Henveiru, 20066 Male,
Republic of Maldives.

It can be reached on:

Telephone: +9603333668
Fax: +9603333669
Email: [email protected]

Operating Hours: Sunday to Thursday (9:00hrs to 18:00hrs)
Saturday (9.00hrs to 15.00hrs)
Closed on Fridays

SriLankan is also part of oneworld’s network of more than 1,000 destinations in 160 countries.

Former Royal Air force Contingent visits Maldives

The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has welcomed 28 former members of the Royal Air Force (RAF) who arrived in Maldives today. The officials of MMPRC welcomed the group with cultural performance, Visit Maldives Year gift packs were also distributed to the members.

RAF Vets welcome cermony1The contingent is in Maldives for a reunion event to be held in Addu to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of their departure from Gan. Royal Air force Reunion event will be held in Addu from 24 -31st March 2016, series of activities has been organized as a part of the event.

RAF Vets welcome cermonyIn March 2010 many of them visited Gan for the celebrations and since then Most of them have been visiting Addu on regular basis due to their affection for the Maldives. Former RAF officials who stayed in Gan during WWII are much respected citizens of UK, being decorated war veterans and some hold prestigious positions in the private sector.

MMPRC is proud to welcome the contingent given that this Visit Maldives Year. The Visit Maldives Year 2016 will be a yearlong campaign to boost the tourism of the country, targeting a total of 1.5 million tourist arrivals during the year. A number of international and national events, competitions and awareness programs will be carried out by Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation together with the Tourism Industry to display the richness of Maldives as a destination and portray Maldives as the exotic place it is, to the world.