Maldives’ First Female Boat Captain

Kurumba, Maldives are excited to announce that over the past five months, have been training Miss Aishath Rizuna “Rizu”, Maldives’ first female boat Captain.

Aishath Rizuna “Rizu”, Maldives' first female boat Captain
Aishath Rizuna “Rizu”, Maldives’ first female boat Captain

Rizu started to work at Kurumba, Maldives back in November 2011 as a Kids Club Attendant. In November 2012 she was promoted as Supervisor in Majaa Recreation. From her background, Rizu was born and raised in Funadhoo, Shaviyani Atoll. Her father is a fisherman so Rizu has sweet memories about the time when her father taught her how to swim, snorkel and fish in a traditional Dhoni boat. At the very young age of four, Rizu’s father taught her how to drive a small boat, and by the time she was a teenager she was sailing small boats in the lagoon of Funadhoo. Rizu’s father (Mohamed Nazim) curiously also worked in Kurumba at a young age thirty years ago and has been a great support to Rizu’s evolving career.

Aishath Rizuna “Rizu”, Maldives' first female boat Captain
Aishath Rizuna “Rizu”, Maldives’ first female boat Captain

We are delighted with the support of our twelve male Captains, who certainly gave her all the necessary help needed for her practical training as well as her theory course. Rizu is still developing her skills and knowledge of the Maldivian oceans, which will take some time. Whilst she will continue her role as Majaa Recreation Supervisor, these additional skills can be used in the future from time to time when guests are looking for a female crew.

Mohamed Shameem, Fleet Manager of Kurumba, Maldives commented: “Rizu is a very energetic individual and has always been very keen to become a boat captain. I can see that she has a bright future in the maritime field.”

Maldivian To Add Three More Routes To China

Maldivian, the national airline of Maldives has announced that three new destinations to China will be added to its network commencing in February 2015. The three additional cities are Xi’an, Nanjing and Changsha.

Xi’an is the capital of Shaanxi province, located in the northwest of the People’s Republic of China, in the center of the Guanzhong Plain and is formerly romanized as Sian. Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu province in Eastern China. It is rich in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China during the rule of several dynasties. Changsha is the capital of Hunan Province in South-Central China.

Maldivian started flights to China in July 2013 with Chongqing the 4th largest city in China after Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin as the first destination. Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province in the heart of China which is one of the major commercial hubs in the country and one of the biggest metropolitan cities was added to its network an year later in July 2014.

China - Maldives flights Maldivian
Maldivian flight

With this increase in flights to China, Maldivian will have access to a larger share of the Chinese tourists visiting Maldives. Chinese tourism is the fastest growing market in the world and accounts for 30 percent of all visitors to the Maldives.

Maldivian is owned and operated by the state owned Island Aviation Services Ltd and is the leading domestic airline of the country. Maldivian was operating only domestic flights until 25th January 2008 when it commenced its first regional operations with the first flight to Trivandrum, India. In addition to daily flights to Trivandrum, the flag carrier now flies to Chennai – India and Dhaka – Bangladesh as well as China.

Maldivian continues to operate daily flights to 9 airports within the country. The carrier was formerly known as Island Aviation and was re-branded in August 2008.

Akon To Perform In Maldives This January

The Ministry of Tourism of the Maldives is organising a free concert in the capital city Malé for the 8th January with the acclaimed Senegalese-born and current US-based R&B and hip hop artist Akon.

The event was announced through a video message from Akon which was shown during the Tourist Arrival Countdown show held on New Year’s Eve where two Indian Bollywood musicians Salim – Sulaiman performed.

Salim - Sulaiman perfoming at National Football Stadium on New Year's Eve.
Salim – Sulaiman perfoming at National Football Stadium on New Year’s Eve. Photo credit: Haveeru

This is the second attempt by the four time grammy nominated artist to perform in the Maldives. The first attempt was in 2010 which was cancelled after the tickets were sold saying the technical assistance and security measures were not up to par.

The 2010 performance attempt was hugely opposed by the then Islamic Ministry and several religious groups. Speaking in response to public discord over two Indian musicians playing in the Maldives on New Year’s Eve and Akon’s performance scheduled for Thursday to the local daily newspaper Haveeru, Tourism Minister Adeeb said that foreign artists and musicians are invited to perform in the Maldives as a means to promote tourism and has nothing to do with religion and that they are simply a means to promote Maldives as a brand.

He also said “These shows are for promoting Maldives’ tourism. While the entire world has started to see Malé City as a lair that harbours members of the Islamic State or extremist militants, foreign artists performing here will show the world what the situation here is truly like. Maldives does not belong to the Islamic State.”

Pop/Dancehall/Reggae singer Sean Paul
Pop/Dancehall/Reggae singer Sean Paul

Akon’s announcement to perform in Maldives comes after Jamaican Grammy Award winning International star Sean Paul – who was supposed to perform during Tourism Arrival Countdown Show 2014 – cancelled at the last minute after a YouTube video was released threatening the artist with death if he performed in the Maldives.

Sri Lankan Firms Invest In A New Maldives Resort

Sri Lanka’s Brown Investments along with partners, Palm Garden and Eden Hotel have jointly bought Bodufaru Beach Resort Private Limited. Bodufaru Beach Resort Private Limited is a limited liability company in the Maldives who holds a 50 year head lease for the island of Bodufaru Finolhu in Raa Atoll of the Maldives to develop a tourist resort.

Raa Atoll is a Northern Atoll of the Maldives and to-date very few islands have been developed as tourist resorts in this atoll. ‘Bodufaru Finolhu’ directly translates to big reef sand bank in the local language (Dhivehi). It is a tiny island, in fact a sandbank with sparse vegetation located on a huge lagoon and a large house reef. This provides an opportunity to build several overwater bungalows which is one the favorite types of accommodations in Maldives resorts.

In a stock exchange filing the three companies Brown Investments, Palm Garden Hotel and Eden Hotel revealed that they have jointly invested 1.5 million US dollars to acquire the Maldives company and subsequently the rights to develop the resort. Each company invested 500,000 US dollars for a 33.33% of the equity.

Bodufaru Beach Resort Pvt Ltd will now be an associate of Eden Hotel Lanka PLC and a subsidiary of Palm Garden Hotels PLC and Browns Investments PLC. The companies have not yet given a schedule for the start of the construction and opening of the proposed resort.

Amilla Fushi Holds A Soft Opening

Amilla Fushi has held its soft opening on 21 December 2014, with the official opening set for 1 February 2015. Founded and managed by The Small Maldives Island Company, Amilla Fushi sets itself apart with a new modern approach on the ultimate, authentic Maldives experience with neat, contemporary architecture and a luxuriate feel, bringing a new way of doing things to a destination.

Ocean Lagoon House 2 Bedroom, Amilla Fushi
Ocean Lagoon House, Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi in the local language (Dhivehi) means ‘my island home’ – promises to offer genuine, warm hospitality, inviting and with impeccable service by the charming ‘Katheebs’ (island chief) Amilla Fushi is determined to show its guests the perfect holiday of your dreams experience in the Maldives. As Amilla means your own, there are no ‘paywalls’ obstructing guests from enjoying the UNESCO biosphere, Baa Atoll.

Tree House, Amilla Fushi
Tree House, Amilla Fushi

Unlike many resorts, at Amilla Fushi all watersports, whether motorised or not are complimentary. A free 50 minute spa treatment daily is certainly a bonus and with child caring included at the Kids Club, guests can have a worry free holiday for the whole family.

Beach Bazaar, Amilla Fushi
Amilla Fushi

Within snorkeling distance Amilla Fushi’s house reef boasts its ‘Blue Hole‘ dive site. Dive Butler International provides scuba diving services to beginners and experienced divers.

Pool, Amilla Fushi
Pool, Amilla Fushi

Island Houses of two or more bedrooms directly connecting under one roof are perfect for families. Lagoon Houses, 12 meter high tree houses and Ocean Reef and Ocean Lagoon houses range from 200 – 600 sq meter all have their own large pool. Beach residences of three to six bedrooms occupy 1000 – 3000 sq metre will also be available from April 2015, upon completion.

With modern elements incorporated,the architecture is inspired by the traditional Maldivian house and every detail was considered to keep the natural habitat intact.

Ocean Reef House, Amilla Fushi
Ocean Reef House, Amilla Fushi

Renowned Aussie Chef Luke Mangan prepares the food at a reasonable price. Lonu meaning Salt in Dhivehi is the over water restaurant to enjoy barbecue flavors with tropical ingredients .

Bazaar Bar is setup around the largest pool in the Maldives, giving the opportunity to enjoy diverse culinary offerings ranging from Tapas, and the first proper Fish and Chips shop and Joe’s Pizza.

Environmentally Conscious Kurumba Maldives Staff Rescue Corals

A team of volunteers joined forces with Kurumba staff on Wednesday (December 17) to rescue corals from a land reclamation project and help create the largest coral frames in the Maldives.

Thanks to the efforts of the team two massive 20ft coral frames packed with transplanted coral have been created on the house reef at Kurumba. The two adjacent frames are the largest of their kind in the Maldives and together form a new 40ft-long coral garden.

Kurumba Corals
Kurumba Corals

The group of Kurumba staff, Maldivians, expats and local NGO Save the Beach Maldives, spent the day searching underwater for live coral colonies in a section of water designated for land reclamation.

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The lagoon, which was abundant in marine life and various varieties of coral including staghorn and table coral, is due to be filled in in order to create more land for housing between the inhabited island of Hulhumale and the former resort Club Faru.

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Equipped with sturdy gloves the snorkelers and divers removed entire coral colonies by hand and placed them one-by-one in crates attached to buoys.

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They targeted resilient staghorn coral but other species including some rare black coral were also saved from the site. When the boat returned to Kurumba the corals were unloaded by the volunteers and placed on the two 20ft underwater frames.

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It is the first time such a project has been attempted in the Maldives on such a large scale. The 40ft section of transplanted coral will be kept under close observation by marine biologists.

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The volunteers used a tried-and-trusted coral transplantation technique which has already proved successful on a smaller scale at Kurumba.

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It is hoped that the recently-transplanted coral will adapt well to its new environment and eventually completely engulf the metal frames stretching 40ft across the sea bed a few metres off the shore at Kurumba Maldives.

 

Kurumba Maldives Staff And Volunteers Create Largest Coral Frame

A team of volunteers joined forces with Kurumba staff on Wednesday (December 17) to rescue corals from a land reclamation project and help create the largest coral frames in the Maldives.

Working with corals, Kurumba Maldives

Thanks to the efforts of the team two massive 20ft coral frames packed with transplanted coral have been created on the house reef at Kurumba. The two adjacent frames are the largest of their kind in the Maldives and together form a new 40ft-long coral garden.

Working with corals, Kurumba Maldives

The group of Kurumba staff, Maldivians, expats and local NGO Save the Beach Maldives, spent the day searching underwater for live coral colonies in a section of water designated for land reclamation.

DSC03663

The lagoon, which was abundant in marine life and various varieties of coral including staghorn and table coral, is due to be filled in in order to create more land for housing between the inhabited island of Hulhumale and the former resort Club Faru.

DSC03736

Equipped with sturdy gloves the snorkelers and divers removed entire coral colonies by hand and placed them one-by-one in crates attached to buoys.

DSC03657

They targeted resilient staghorn coral but other species including some rare black coral were also saved from the site. When the boat returned to Kurumba the corals were unloaded by the volunteers and placed on the two 20ft underwater frames.

DSC03784

It is the first time such a project has been attempted in the Maldives on such a large scale. The 40ft section of transplanted coral will be kept under close observation by marine biologists.

DSC03875

The volunteers used a tried-and-trusted coral transplantation technique which has already proved successful on a smaller scale at Kurumba.

DSC03758

It is hoped that the recently-transplanted coral will adapt well to its new environment and eventually completely engulf the metal frames stretching 40ft across the sea bed a few metres off the shore at Kurumba Maldives.

Working with corals, Kurumba Maldives

Flavours from Down Under in Maldives Resorts

NEW LUXURY MALDIVES RESORTS HAVE A DISTINCTLY AUSTRALIAN FLAVOUR

“Our guests expect the unexpected. And that is exactly what we are aiming to deliver them”
Michael Flynn, Chairman of The Small Maldives Island Co.

The Small Maldives Island Co. will open two resorts in the Maldives over the next twelve months, both described by Chairman Michael Flynn as “Nu-luxury at its finest”. Located in the UNESCO protected Baa Atoll, Amilla Fushi will launch in December this year, followed by a luxury beach club concept resort called Finolhu late 2015.

Partner with The Small Maldives Island Co. in the venture is Coastline Maldives*, one of the Maldives’ largest private companies and developer of the new Baa Atoll airport.

While Amilla and Finolhu will capture the heart and spirit of the Maldives, there is an enormous Australian influence. Both Flynn and his partner Tom McLoughlin are Australian. However, they have a combined twenty five years experience in International hospitality and tourism; Flynn as senior hotel marketing executive for international hotel companies in Asia Pacific and Tom as the visionary behind the award winning Huvafen Fushi resort in the Maldives.

The highest profile Australian recruit is leading chef and long term Maldives visitor, Luke Mangan, who is eagerly looking forward to taking responsibility for food and beverage at both resorts as “island restaurateur”. “We will be a foam, gel and smear free zone, thank goodness” proclaimed Mangan. “We will have caviar and foie gras and truffles if people want them, but my goal is to deliver the opposite of overcomplicated and stuffy food”.

Ocean House, Amilla Fushi
Ocean House, Amilla Fushi

“It’s all about fabulous fresh produce. We’re blessed with local seafood. Fishermen will deliver straight from their boats to us and the lobster tank will actually be in the ocean under the signature restaurant Lonu. And we are planning to have the world’s best fish and chips at The Fish and Chip Shop in Baazaar”, he added.

“The Maldives has evolved into one of the most sought after luxury resort destinations where resorts have their own island and house reefs abound. It is evolving, however, from being a honeymoon destination to a haven for celebrities and high end families who want anonymity and true luxury for their holiday experiences” said Flynn.

“We are bespoke operators, exclusively in the Maldives. We understand the culture and want to give our guests a genuine Maldivian experience, but with an effortless, understated sense of luxury” said Director Tom McLoughlin.

“Think homes, not rooms or suites” added Flynn. “We are very excited about the uniqueness of the accommodation at Amilla. You can buy a home here with a fifty year lease, or, for a slightly shorter stay there are beach, lagoon, ocean lagoon and ocean reef houses, plus twelve metre high tree houses, all with private pools”. The words Amilla Fushi which are Maldivian for ‘my island home’ are the central theme of the resort. All room categories from one to six bedrooms are designated ‘homes’ as even the smallest accommodation is 200sq metres of space, while the largest is a remarkable 3000 sq metres.

Rates start at $2,000 per night at Amilla. Over a dozen airlines fly to Male from Australia and the breathtaking sea plane flight to Baa Atoll Airport takes just twenty minutes.

http:/www.facebook.com/amillafushi

*Coastline Maldives – supplying and building Maldives history for over twenty years. Developing and investing in Maldives future – airports, resorts and energy.

For further information, please contact:

Brooke Tabberer
TABBERER TERAKES
Tel: +61 409 844 467
Email: [email protected]

Palm Beach Resort & Spa Maldives — for a Sporting Holiday

With 3 restaurants, Palm Beach Resort offers a wide choice of Italian specialties, international and local delicacies, both buffet and à la carte in the presence of breathtaking scenery of an unspoilt nature.

For its guests Palm Beach Resort offers a wide range of activities from fitness gym equipped with Techno-Gym by the sea to tennis, water sports, excursions and land sports.

Set in Madhiriguraidhoo island in Lhaviyani Atoll, reachable by seaplane in 40 minutes from Malé, Palm Beach Resort & Spa is surrounded by the wonderful Indian blue ocean and 4km of white sand coves.

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Its large 138 accommodations placed along the shore with beautiful sea views are equipped with every comfort: air conditioning, separated open air bathtub and shower, typical Maldivian swing “hindoli” and furnishings, minibar, phone and safe deposit box.

Coconut Spa Center is the place to be for one who seeks relax on idyllic sandy shores enjoying luxurious treatments of the expert care of our therapists.

In a place where the Indian Ocean offers the best underwater habitat could not miss the diving center Palm Beach. Our experts will guide you safely through thilas, giris, reefs, drop-offs, corners, channels and wrecks, turtles and manta ray. Our diving center can be the best choice for learning to dive but even an equally rewarding one for further exploration by the already qualified.

Palm Beach Resort & Spa means Italian hospitality in Maldivian paradise inspiring extraordinary journeys for the soul.

OBLU by Atmosphere to open in November 2015

Following the remarkable success within just an year of opening of Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives, the five-star premium all-inclusive resort – Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts has launched a sub-brand, OBLU by Atmosphere. This “value” focused brand is envisioned to expand with the four star segment covering the entire Indian Ocean region.

“Genuine Value” is the key brand essence of OBLU by Atmosphere. All of its portfolio will deliver value for the cost conscious traveler without compromising the characteristics familiar with the Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts’ top class service and quality.

The sunset pool bar from above, Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives
The sunset pool bar from above, Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives

OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli, is scheduled to open in November 2015 as the first resort under this brand. The resort will feature contemporary Maldivian architecture in a trendy fresh vibrant color palette.

Helengeli is famed for its exotic house reef and being located in the eastern rim of the North Malé atoll, unparalleled dive locations are within the vicinity of the island. Currently the resort is going through a complete renovation to provide the brands four star all inclusive product for a luxurious holiday experience of value.

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts aims to expand OBLU by Atmosphere operations across numerous destinations in the Indian Ocean region within the next 4-5 years.