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Reefscapers, Reviving the Reefs



Maldives Promotion House – Maldives is famous for its numerous coral reefs of unmatched beauty. With a house reef for every island Maldives has remained among the top destinations for scuba diving. Since tourism began in the late 1960s professional divers and underwater photographers from all over the world have flocked to experience the beauties of the Maldivian underwater.

However the coral bleaching of 1998, famously known as El Nino which swept across the Pacific in 1998, affected the Maldives in more than one way. Devastated the Maldivian reefs and bleaching some 90 percent of shallow-water corals, El Nino left a major scar on the underwater beauty of Maldives.

Fortunately Maldives swiftly recovered and a major portion of the reefs retained their beauty. Since then many companies and organizations local and international have assisted Maldives in bringing back the underwater life that once again has begun to thrive.

Among others Four Seasons Resort Maldives is also one of the resorts that share the common interest of saving the Maldivian reefs. After teaming up with the environmental consultancy, Seamarc in 2001 Four Seasons established a coral propagation project called Reefscapers which has become one of the most successful programs of its kind in the world.

Committed to returning the reefs to their original condition by transplanting coral fragments in artificial reef structures which will grow into reefs, Reefscapers has managed to transplant over 120,000 fragments.  Through a careful process of attaching coral fragments to frames with cable ties, they have managed to log the identity, location and coral genotype of each frame deposited, in a central database.

The growth of each coral frame is regularly monitored, documented and photographed to learn about the types of marine life attracted to the artificial reefs.  The team hopes to develop more resilient coral offspring that can withstand high ocean temperatures and global warming, by increasing the reproduction of the most successful clones.

The team has managed to successfully transplant 80,000 coral fragments in 843 frames around Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. Some 40,000 coral fragments in 419 frames have also been transplanted around Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa. According to the team, the corals show a promising 80 percent survival rate.

While their efforts have led to a 20 percent increase in coral cover surrounding the Resorts, marine biologists around the world have begun to implement techniques developed through Reefscapers, for the global development of artificial reef generation.

We at Maldives Promotion House support such projects and hope that the Maldivian reefs thrive and develop, under the caring hands of the team. We hope that in the future the reefs will become much more colorful and beautiful then they were before.


JOALI Appoints Özgür Cengiz as Global Wellness Development Director



JOALI, the luxury hospitality and lifestyle brand, has announced the appointment of Özgür Cengiz as its Tourism Group Global Wellness Development Director, effective February 15th, 2024.

Cengiz brings over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and wellness industry. His career began with the opening team of Turkey’s first wellness resort, Richmond Nua Wellness, followed by leadership roles at Jumeirah in Azerbaijan and One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives.

In 2016, Cengiz joined JOALI as the Resort Manager for JOALI Maldives, the brand’s first art-immersive resort. He then played a pivotal role in establishing JOALI BEING, the Maldives’ first wellbeing island, as its General Manager.

Under Cengiz’s leadership, JOALI BEING garnered global recognition as a leading wellness destination. He is credited with creating the unique concept, curating a team of specialists, and introducing a diverse range of treatments – solidifying JOALI’s position as a wellness powerhouse.

Cengiz’s dedication extends beyond JOALI. He served as the Maldivian ambassador for Global Wellness Day for seven years, is a respected speaker in international wellness forums, and judges the Global Spa & Wellness Awards. His innovative approach and solution-oriented mindset have earned him widespread respect within the industry.

Hakan Öztürk, Tourism Group Managing Director of Gürok Group (JOALI’s parent company), commented on the appointment, stating that Cengiz’s “extensive knowledge and passion will truly redefine the wellness offerings for the brand from a broader perspective” as JOALI expands its portfolio.

In his new role, Cengiz will oversee the wellness strategy for the entire Gürok Tourism Group, encompassing innovative activations, expansion plans, and strategic development for both JOALI BEING and JOALI BEING Cure.

Cengiz’s appointment strengthens JOALI’s commitment to providing exceptional wellness experiences and signifies their continued dedication to pushing boundaries within the industry.

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Sun Siyam Resorts Boosts PR & Communications Team with Appointment of Erika Magora for Sun Siyam Iru Veli & Sun Siyam Vilu Reef



Sun Siyam Resorts has announced a dynamic addition to its PR and Communications team with the appointment of Erika Magora as Cluster Assistant PR & Communications Manager for Sun Siyam Iru Veli and Sun Siyam Vilu Reef. With an impressive background in law from the UK, coupled with a diverse upbringing in the Philippines and Malaysia, Erika brings a unique blend of skills and experiences to our renowned luxury resorts.

Prior to joining Sun Siyam Resorts, Erika served as the key figure in managing Marketing Communications at the prestigious 5-star luxury resort, The Datai Langkawi in Malaysia. Her collaboration with international media, partners, and agencies has significantly contributed to the resort’s global presence. She has worked with top journalists, production crews and PR partners from the UK, Europe, Australia, America and Asian regions. Erika also has experience in sales and marketing when she played a pivotal role in the Asia Pacific region’s sales and marketing for Foodpanda, a leading delivery brand in Asia. 

I cherish the cultural diversity and distinctions of both properties that I work for. Sun Siyam Iru Veli fascinates me as it revels in its private luxury tranquility, attracting a premium market. In Sun Siyam Vilu Reef, the naturally playful environment and genuine warmth of the people that create an inviting haven for repeater guests, captivate me. Both are beautiful, each in its unique way. Embracing diverse media and markets adds excitement to my work. The pristine beach and sea in both places energize me, fueling my passion for what I do.” expressed, Erika.

Claudia Klingbeil, Group Director of PR & Communications at Sun Siyam Resorts said: “Erika’s appointment underscores our dedication to assembling a team of talented individuals who not only possess exceptional professional capabilities but also embody the diverse cultural tapestry that defines our global clientele. We are confident that Erika’s passion for communication, coupled with her international perspective, will elevate our PR and Communications efforts to new heights of success.”

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Harshal Kumar Appointed as Cluster Executive Chef for Hurawalhi Island Resort &  Kudadoo Maldives Private Island



Crown and Champa Resorts has announced the appointment of Harshal Kumar as  the Executive Chef for Hurawalhi Island Resort and Kudadoo Maldives Private Island.  With an illustrious culinary journey, spanning years of dedication and expertise, Harshal  brings a wealth of experience and innovation to his new role.Harshal’s journey began  with a graduation from the School of Hotel Management, HTMI Switzerland New Delhi,  laying the foundation for a remarkable career. He enhanced his skills at prestigious  establishments such as The Claridges Hotels New Delhi and V Qutab Hotels & Resort, 

Mahindra resorts, where he showcased his culinary proficiency and commitment to  excellence. 

Throughout his distinguished career, Harshal has garnered numerous accolades,  including being a gold medalist in the South American Chef Competition and  representing the Chef’s Culinary Forum of WACS. His talents have earned him global  recognition, with collaborations alongside renowned chefs such as Australian celebrity  chef Luke Mangan and Michelin-starred chef Dominik Kappelar. Notable highlights of  Harshal’s journey include his tenure with Gordon Ramsay for his pop-up restaurant,  Bread Street Kitchen, at Amilla Fushi Maldives, where he elevated culinary experiences  to new heights. His exceptional leadership and culinary vision led to his promotion to  Cluster Executive Chef for Kudadoo and Hurawalhi Island Resort in 2023. 

In his own words, Harshal reflects on his culinary journey: “I stand in the heart of the  kitchen, surrounded by the symphony of sizzling pans and the aromatic dance of herbs  and spices. It all began with a love for food – the magic of transforming simple  ingredients into extraordinary creations that tantalize taste buds and evoke emotions.” 

As Executive Chef, Harshal is poised to craft exceptional menus for the most  breathtaking undersea restaurant in the Maldives and to oversee culinary operations  at both Kudadoo and Hurawalhi. His passion for culinary excellence and dedication to  creating unforgettable dining experiences will undoubtedly elevate the guest  experience to new heights. 

Nestled amidst the pristine beauty of the Maldives, Hurawalhi Island Resort and  Kudadoo Maldives Private Island offer unparalleled luxury and tranquility. With pristine  lagoons and powdery white sandy beaches, these resorts provide the perfect backdrop  for unforgettable holiday experiences. 

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