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Jumeirah Vittaveli launches semi-submarine service

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Jumeirah Vittaveli

Maldives.net.mv – Guests at Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives, can now explore the resort’s stunning house reef from the comfort of a semi-submarine thanks to a partnership with Best Dives Maldives, the dive school at the resort.

This is the first service of its kind in the Maldives which takes guests on a journey to explore the resort’s marine eco-system.  The upper body of the vessel remains above the sea surface at all times while the bottom section is 1.3 metres below the water. The large windows of the underwater hull enable guests to enjoy spectacular views of the underwater ecosystem, creating the illusion of a real submarine dive.

“We are happy to partner with Best Dives Maldives on this exclusive new facility for our guests. One of the biggest attractions of the Maldives is its colourful underwater life, and with our new semi-submersible, this world is now open to everyone – even experienced snorkelers and divers will find this new way to explore the marine environment exhilarating,” said Jumeirah Vittaveli’s General Manager, Amit Majumder.

Jumeirah Vittaveli

The semi-submersible vessel will take guests on excursions along the resort’s house reef several times a day and a night-excursion is available to explore the unique night-time wonders around Jumeirah Vittaveli. During the day, guests can admire the colourful reef and its inhabitants in a safe environment under the guidance of the professional Best Dives team. As opposed to a snorkelling excursion, the guide will be able to point out marine creatures to all attending guests and explain their characteristics. After dark, guests can admire the entirely different underwater world that unfolds when the sun sets. They might see minuscule polyps on the coral reefs come to life and feed on surrounding plankton, or be able to observe eels, stingrays and sharks. These experiences are otherwise reserved only for the more adventurous divers.

The semi-submersible at Jumeirah Vittaveli can accommodate twelve guests and excursions will be available at USD 95 per person for a voyage duration of 30 minutes. Children under 11 years will be entitled to a 50% discount, and children 5 years and younger will be able to join the semi-submersible ride at no charge. Night-time excursions will be priced at USD 110 per person. Children will have to be accompanied by an adult at all times. All rates are subject to applicable government taxes plus 10% service charge.

News

Green Globe Recertification for VARU by Atmosphere

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VARU by Atmosphere has secured the prestigious Green Globe Recertification for sustainable resort operations, following a rigorous audit encompassing over 44 mandatory core criteria. Located in the North-West edge of Malé Atoll in the Maldives, the 5-star resort offers a truly Maldivian experience by incorporating aspects of local traditions and cultures, structural design – fused together with bursts of chic tropical vibes.

Green Globe recognises organisations that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainable management, social responsibility, cultural heritage, economic stability and environmental conservation. Regarding this latest certification, Mei P Pun the General Manager of VARU by Atmosphere says, “Sustainability is at the core of our philosophy ‘Joy of Giving,’ and we believe in genuine, impactful changes. The goal is to create delightful guests experiences, while remaining respectful towards the local environment and community. For example, as part of biodiversity conservation, we are working towards building a coral garden. A frame of corals has been successfully tested, and the program will be launched this year”.

Sustainability is an essential part of the long-term business growth at Atmosphere Core, the company that manages VARU by Atmosphere. There is continuous effort towards driving CORE IMPACT — across Communities, Operations, Resources and Environment. Elaborating on this approach, Mei adds, “We are progressively integrating KPIs for sustainability into our performance management planning. While goal setting is important, I also believe in making the initiatives educational, fun and purposeful for both guests and colleagues. We hope that our efforts can drive real change and become tomorrow’s standard”.

As a part of the Atmosphere Colleague Development Program (ACDP), the Learning & Development team identifies, develops and encourages potential high performers. Following dedicated mentorship, the resort recently celebrated the graduation of four colleagues through the program. This achievement proves the efficacy of ACDP in sculpting hospitality leaders.

Community initiatives by the resort team reflect a genuine desire to make meaningful contributions to society. A recent initiative is the ‘Give Back Day.’ As a part of this program, the VARU team partnered with Fivathi Orphanage to organise a special Iftar event for 90 children. Similarly, the team recently organised a trip to nearby K. Huraa island to promote hospitality opportunities in for Maldivian youth, fostering economic empowerment and a sense of belonging within the community. During the pandemic, VARU by Atmosphere stepped up to support local communities by providing essential supplies to the Health Center. Contributions included face masks, new bed sheets, towels, and testing kits that served as a lifeline.

The resort embraces its responsibility to tread lightly upon the Earth by minimising operational impact on the island ecosystem. From energy-saving measures to waste reduction strategies, every aspect of operations aligns with environmental conservation goals. Noteworthy initiatives include 99% energy-efficient LED lighting, renewable solar energy infrastructure, paperless check in, island kitchen garden and a water bottling plant to eliminate plastic waste. By botting water in-house, the resort eliminates the use of more than 100,000 plastic bottles a year. There is also a focus on reducing waste generation, and recycling in partnership with leading recycling companies in the Maldives.

Water use is also carefully audited. Guests are encouraged to participate in the Towel and Linen Reuse Programme, wherein they can opt for a change of sheets and towels every third day to save water. A wastewater treatment centre ensures that grey water is used for irrigation and gardening, thus saving a considerable amount of portable water.

The resort also prioritises centralised sourcing while favouring local supplies, such as sourcing fish directly from local fishermen, and importing specialty items only. Furthermore, the team actively engages in reef and island cleaning activities, underscoring its commitment to preserving the natural beauty of the Maldives for generations to come.

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Awards

Maldives wins in 2 categories at Marine Diving Awards in Japan

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) has announced that the Maldives has been awarded 3rd place in the “Best Area Overseas Division” and 2nd place in the ” Best Overseas Destination I Want to Visit for the First Time”, in the “Marine Diving Awards 2023,” as voted by divers nationwide in Japan.

Marine Dive Fair  is Japan’s largest comprehensive diving fair, which has been leading the diving scene in Japan for over 50 years. Marine Diving Fair is one of Asia’s largest SCUBA diving exhibitions, and the Marine Diving Awards are determined by the online vote of divers across Japan. Rankings are determined after a six-month voting period. The 32nd edition of this prestigious award serves as a reference for experienced divers, as well as those who are considering starting diving in the future, and professionals in the diving industry.

The results announcement and top awards ceremony for the Marine Diving Awards 2023 takes place in April, at the stage of the Marine Diving Fair 2024 being held in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Destinations, instructors, and diving shops that ranked highly in all eight categories, including Seas Worth Diving Into, Seas to Visit in the Future, Outstanding Professional Divers, and Best Diving Shops, are honoured during this time.

The Maldives, which represents approximately 5% of the world’s coral reefs, boasts hundreds of diving sites and is home to over 2,000 marine species. Moreover, it is one of the few regions in the world where you can observe manta rays and whale sharks year-round.

Japan is a significant market for the Maldives. Prior to the pandemic, Japan was the ninth top tourist market to the Maldives. From January to March this year, 9,333 Japanese tourists arrived in the Maldives, compared to 2,271 in the same period last year. This 310% increase in arrivals compared to last year signals a great boost to the Maldives tourism industry. Japan is currently ranked 15th in tourist arrivals.

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Love

Maldives among top choices for babymoon romance

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Maldives has soared into the top 5 most popular babymoon destinations according to a new study by My 1st Years.

Babymoons, pre-baby getaways for expecting parents, have seen a surge in popularity in recent years. The UK alone has witnessed a staggering 128% increase in searches for “best babymoon destinations” in just the past three months.

To understand expectant parents’ travel dreams, My 1st Years analyzed Google search data for hundreds of destinations worldwide. The Maldives secured the coveted fourth place, surpassing Italy, Australia, and Portugal.

This tropical paradise offers the perfect escape for parents-to-be seeking relaxation and rejuvenation before welcoming their new arrival. Imagine soaking up the sun on pristine beaches, swimming in crystal-clear waters, or indulging in pampering spa treatments – pure bliss!

For expectant couples seeking a luxurious and unforgettable babymoon experience, the Maldives offers a truly idyllic setting.

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