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South Ari Atoll Celebrates Third Annual Whale Shark Festival


on – The 3rd annual Maldives Whale Shark Festival, organised by Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWRP) was bigger and better than ever before, with participants from local communities, throughout Maldives and from around the world!

This year’s Festival saw the participation of 6 local islands: Dhigurah, Maamigili, Fenfushi, Dhangethi, Mahibadhoo, and Mandhoo, collaborating with our dynamic team of highly experienced Maldivian Artists Maeha Zahir, Jauna Nafiz, Dhahau Naseem, Ali Rishwan and Arizlaan, as well as our Festival Storytelling Facilitator, Fazail Lutfi.

The festival kicked off on Friday with ScienceFEST, a conference of Researchers, Marine Biologists and Community members, in Dhigurah, Alif Dhaal Atoll. A new aspect of the Festival, ScienceFEST was an opportunity to discuss conservation projects in the area, share research and celebrate the work of Conservation NGO’s in the Maldives. The event was a big success with 20 presenters attending including representatives from environmental groups Manta Trust and Damage Control.

“It was really great that we were able to so many people together for the Science FEST to be able to generate some really wonderful discussions between everybody and especially to have the Deputy Minister present as well.” Katie Hindle, In-Field Manager, Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme.

Yesterday, on the island of Maamigili in Alif Dhaal Atoll, 500 people came together to celebrate the marine life of South Ari Atoll and the majestic whale sharks that call it home.

The festivities of the day kicked off with huge inter- island whale shark quiz complete with a life size whale shark “bodumas” assault course and a 20ft interactive world map. Cultural stories from each island came alive with a combination of traditional story telling techniques, raivaru and choreography performed by community members, councilors and school children.

Whale Shark Festival

The procession was a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes glittering in the sunshine, as huge kinetic whale shark sculptures danced their way through the streets of Maamigili, accompanied by 3 bodu-beru bands. Each island donned the costumes and mobile artwork which they had made in collaboration with their festival artist in residence and wove their way through the streets. People of ages came together, inspired by the Whale Shark and Maldivian Marine Life, to be part of the festival, creating a feast of color and music that echoed across the host island.

Afterwards, the three festival judges presented awards to Dhangethi for winning the quiz, Dhigurah for best costume, to Maamigili for best Mascot (Kinetic Whale Shark Sculpture), and to Mahibadhoo for best Story Performance. The island team from Dhigurah was awarded the Festival Trophy for best overall contribution before the Festival finale performance kicked off with performances from Dhigurah, Maamigili and Mahibado Bodu-Beru bands. The whole day was brought to a fantastic conclusion with a performance by the Maldivian singing sensation Unoosha with thanks to our Festival Partner Lux.

“This is more than just a Festival it is a celebration of unity within the community. How much we take care of our natural environment. Great team work. Congratulations to the MWSRP and its festival team. Thank you to LUX* Maldives for inviting me to this event, it’s an amazing event. Hope the event continues, the Festival brings boost for everybody, especially because the message of this Festival to me is that everybody has play their part in preserving the natural beauty of this country”. Unoosha, Singer.

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Club Med welcomes travellers to gorgeous resorts in Maldives with up to 40% savings



Club Med, the renowned pioneer of all-inclusive holidays, invites travellers to take advantage of its mid-year offer and enjoy up to 40 percent discount at its five beautiful resorts across Asia, with its two properties amongst the turquoise waters and white beaches of Maldives.

Club Med Kani, Maldives, and Club Med Finolhu, Maldives between them offer unique and immersive activities for guests of all ages and are a perfect embodiment of Club Med’s commitment to provide extraordinary and all-inclusive family holidays across gorgeous locales.

Bruno Courbet, Country Director for Thailand, Indonesia, India and New Markets, stated: “At Club Med, we prioritise the importance of families, couples, and friends coming together to create cherished memories and share quality time. Our special offer allows guests to book their all-inclusive packages, enabling them to embark on this journey of togetherness and create valuable moments that will last a lifetime. With savings of up to 40 percent available until June 10, 2024, our five stunning resorts across Asia provide the perfect setting for unforgettable experiences.”

Club Med’s Mid-Year offer will be automatically applied when customers book the trip from now until June 10, 2024. Indulge in incredible savings of up to 40 percent on all room types at exquisite destinations including Club Med Kani, Maldives, and Club Med Finolhu, Maldives. Promotion is subject to availability, and blackout dates may apply.

Moreover, families can take advantage of year-round family discounts. Children aged 12-17 receive a generous 20 percent off the adult rate, while those aged 4-11 enjoy an impressive 40 percent discount. And for the youngest guests under 4, their stay is complimentary. These exclusive offers exemplify Club Med’s unwavering commitment to crafting unforgettable family holidays while ensuring affordability.

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Sun Siyam Iru Veli maintains Travelife Gold Certification for sustainability practices



Sun Siyam Iru Veli has been awarded the Travelife Gold Certification for the second consecutive year. This esteemed recognition underscores the resort’s unwavering commitment to sustainable tourism and exceptional environmental stewardship.

Achieving the Travelife Gold Certification highlights dedication to minimising environmental impacts, enhancing economic and social benefits for the community, upholding human rights and fair labour practices, and safeguarding animal welfare and biodiversity. This accolade reflects ongoing efforts to integrate sustainability into every facet of operations while delivering luxury experiences to guests.

Key Areas of Excellence:

  • Minimising Environmental Impacts: Sun Siyam Iru Veli has implemented comprehensive waste management systems, water conservation measures, and energy-efficient practices to reduce our ecological footprint. The resort is committed to preserving the pristine natural beauty of the Maldives for future generations.
  • Improving Economic and Social Impacts: The resort is dedicated to supporting the local economy by sourcing products from local suppliers and providing employment opportunities for community members. Community outreach programmes focus on education, health, and well-being, ensuring that the presence positively impacts neighbours.
  • Respecting and Protecting Human Rights and Fair Labour Practices: The resort adheres to the highest standards of ethical labor practices, ensuring a safe, fair, and inclusive work environment for all employees. The resort is committed to upholding human rights and promoting equality and diversity within the workforce.
  • Safeguarding Animal Welfare and Biodiversity: Sun Siyam Iru Veli actively participates in conservation efforts to protect the rich biodiversity of the Maldives. The resort has established policies to ensure the humane treatment of animals and the preservation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

“We are immensely proud to receive the Travelife Gold Certification once again,” said Masdhooq Saeed, General Manager of Sun Siyam Iru Veli. “This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team. Sustainability is at the heart of our operations, and we are committed to continuously improving our practices to make a positive impact on the environment and our community.”

Sun Siyam Iru Veli invites guests to experience the perfect blend of luxury and sustainability. The resort offers a serene escape where guests can indulge in the natural beauty of the Maldives while knowing their stay supports responsible tourism practices.

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OZEN LIFE MAADHOO crowned as Maldives’ best romantic resort



OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, an ultra-luxe private island retreat renowned for its romantic ambiance, has secured the title of ‘Best Romantic Resort in the Maldives’ at the esteemed Travel Time Awards in Russia. This prestigious award underscores the resort’s dedication to curating unforgettable experiences for couples seeking the ultimate romantic escape.

Organised by the publishers of Travel Time magazine, the Travel Time Awards are among the most recognised honours in the country’s travel sector. The gala event, held in Moscow and attended by industry experts, marked the third year of ceremonial presentations acknowledging the best of the best in luxury travel in 2023. Winning hotels, resorts, agents, and destinations were selected through a combined online vote by the magazine’s readers, an editorial panel, travel agencies, and Russian celebrities.

“As one of our most significant markets, Russia holds a special place for us. Receiving this prestigious award is truly an honour and testimony to the unforgettable romantic experience of our castaway island”, says Elisabeth Alleyne, General Manager of OZEN LIFE MAADHOO. “We are deeply grateful for this recognition and are committed to continuing to provide Maldivian dream escapes for honeymooners and couples from around the world.”

Couples seeking a tranquil, unforgettable honeymoon or a romantic celebration will find OZEN LIFE MAADHOO to be the ideal private island retreat. Known for its award-winning villas and exceptional dine-around options, the resort is thoughtfully designed to cater to your every need and want. Guests can enjoy intimate experiences such as private beach dinners and picturesque beach weddings, all set against the serene backdrop of the Indian Ocean’s vibrant blue hues or starlit sky.

An exclusive INDULGENCE™️ Plan, crafted to pamper you from arrival to departure. This all-encompassing holiday plan invites you to revel in the delights of island living without limits. From premium liquor to champagne, indulge in the finest libations as you soak in the breathtaking beauty of the Maldives. Let go of all worries as everything you desire is seamlessly integrated into this comprehensive holiday plan.

At OZEN LIFE MAADHOO peace, relaxation and wellbeing are cornerstones of the guest experience, with island life offering a bespoke journey tailored to individual preferences. The luxury award-winning spa by ELE|NA, one of the Maldives leading wellness brands, embodies the philosophy of the ‘elements of nature’. Guests can choose from a diverse range of holistic treatments, therapies and classes all curated to harness the energies of these natural elements.

OZEN LIFE MAADHOO’s recent accolade at the prestigious World Travel Awards, where it won the ‘Leading Villa Resort’ category, further independently confirms the islands reputation as a top luxury destination. This recognition highlights the resort’s commitment to providing an unparalleled experience for those in search of romance and luxury.

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