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Groundwork begins for underwater museum in Keyodhoo Island

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Groundwork has begun for underwater museum to be built at Keyodhoo Island in Vaavu Atoll. The work was officially inaugurated by national volleyball team player Ahmed Abdul Kareem (Longay), who is also from Keyodhoo Island. He was joined by the management team of Maldives Getaways Pvt Ltd, consultants for the project, Moosa Niza (MP), guest house operators and people of Keyodhoo Island.

Moosa Nizar (MP) said “This is an important thing for the island and it will to make Keyodhoo a popular destination”. He added “Vaavu Atoll may be small geographically but I’m proud to say we have 20 world class diving in our atoll”.

COO of Maldives Getaways, Dr. Sunny Umar said that “our plan is to develop Keyodhoo as a popular diving destination and underwater museum can help our efforts” He also added “according to estimates 2 million dives are done in Maldives annually valued at USD 250 million. By 2020 it will reach 4 million dives valued at USD 400 million”.

According to Maldives Getaways, the consultant for the project the underwater museum will be opened within this year in the island’s lagoon.

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InterContinental Maldives invites guests to third Manta Retreat in March 2024

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After the successful launch of the Manta Retreat in 2022, the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort is gearing up for its third Manta Retreat, scheduled to take place from March 9th to 12th, 2024. This unique experience offers guests an opportunity to delve into the world of manta rays, their natural habitat, and the conservation efforts led by the Manta Trust.

The Manta Retreat, designed for travelers seeking an extra dimension to their vacations, encourages participants to explore and understand these majestic creatures while contributing to ocean conservation. The retreat will be led by Meral Hafeez, the Manta Trust base leader at InterContinental Maldives, who will guide participants through an immersive experience.

The focus of the third Manta Retreat will be on meeting the manta rays that inhabit the surrounding waters of the island, emphasizing their protection and ocean conservation. Meral Hafeez expressed her enthusiasm for sharing the wonders of Maldivian marine life, stating, “I can’t wait for everyone to experience their first manta ray and the wonders of the deep!”

This year’s retreat coincides with the Maamunagau Manta Season in March, where young manta rays gather in the resort’s lagoon, offering a unique opportunity for up-close encounters. The Maamunagau Lagoon serves as a crucial research ground for the Manta Trust team, allowing guests to actively participate in the identification and naming of manta rays through the Manta ID workshop.

The Manta Retreat package, priced at USD 1490 per guest, includes two manta ray snorkeling trips, a guided house reef snorkeling experience, the chance to name and adopt a manta ray, and various workshops covering manta rays, plankton, and coral restoration.

For certified divers, dedicated dive spots around the resort provide opportunities to observe the natural manta ray ‘spa’ at cleaning stations, showcasing the fascinating symbiosis of marine life in the Maldives.

The purpose of the Manta Retreat goes beyond education and exploration; it also serves as a fundraiser to support the valuable work of the Manta Trust. Guests staying at InterContinental Maldives can enjoy the resort’s luxurious facilities and accommodations while those not participating in the retreat have plenty of entertainment options.

To book the Manta Retreat or for more information, visit InterContinental Maldives Sustainability or contact the reservations team at reservations.icmaldives@ihg.com or on WhatsApp at +960 730 9300.

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Conrad Maldives Rangali Island unveils undersea academy for young ocean explorers

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Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has introduced the Undersea Academy, a new three-day educational journey for children aged 5-12. The programme is an exciting blend of learning and fun, designed to spark a love for the ocean among the young travellers.

The journey begins with the unveiling of oceanic wonders, where the first day features an engaging Marine Biology talk at the resort’s kids club, Majaa Explorers Hub and a mesmerising visit to the world‘s first Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, offering a glimpse into the aquatic world as the children descend five meters below the sea and discover a variety of fish swimming overhead the 180 degree acrylic dome. The adventure continues on the second day with a glass bottom boat tour. This thrilling marine expedition brings the mysteries of the deep to life, providing an up-close view of the vibrant sea life. The final day will see the young explorers put their learnings to the test in a fun and interactive session, finishing with a graduation ceremony to honor their newfound knowledge and passion for the marine world.

The Undersea Academy exemplifies the resort’s dedication to environmental education and conservation, designed to ignite passion for the new generation of ocean enthusiasts. This program presents the thrill of exploration with the delight of learning, all set against the breath-taking backdrop of the Maldives. Offered at US$150++ per child, the program runs from Monday to Wednesday at Majaa Explorers Hub until 28th February 2024. This enriching three-day experience promises to be an enriching journey into one of the world’s most exquisite locations for sea life.

Outside of the new academy, the family-friendly resort invites younger Conrad Maldives guests on further adventures, from taking part in sports and games, arts and crafts, culinary workshops, snorkelling trips and even enrol in the bubble maker class where kids get familiar with the basics of scuba diving. The resort’s Marine Biologists also holds regular talks about its coral adoption program offering the chance for younger guests to learn about the importance of corals in the ocean’s ecosystem.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island features one and two bedroom spacious beach and water villas perfect for families or for the ultimate indulgence, The MURAKA – the world’s first underwater residence. The Muraka is a unique three-bedroom, two-level residence with a master bedroom submerged over 16 feet below sea level. Above water, the residence offers living and dining areas with two bedrooms and a bathroom with an ocean-facing tub, an outdoor deck, infinity pool, and a private 24-hour butler. Down the spiral staircase or elevator guests will be greeted by the private underwater aquarium and architectural masterpiece. With a 180-degree curved acrylic dome, the master bedroom has floor-to-ceiling windows in the bathroom and walk-in closet, and a dedicated tunnel viewing theatre.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest loyalty program for Hilton’s 22 world-class brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard WiFi. Members also have access to contactless technology exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, where Hilton Honors members can check-in, choose their room and access their room using Digital Key.

For more information about the Undersea Academy, please visit please www.conradmaldives.com or email mlehi.maldives@conradhotels.com or contact +960 6680629.

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Umair Badheeu sets new, national freediving record at AIDA Philippines National Championship

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Maldivian freediver Umair Badheeu has achieved a new national record with a dive to a depth of 62 meters in the bi-fin category. His accomplishment was made possible with the support of Kaimoo Resorts and Hotels, a key sponsor and advocate for Umair’s pursuit of excellence in freediving.

Competing among 14 international participants, Umair’s performance not only secured a new national record but also surpassed his previous bi-fin category record of 60 meters by a margin of two meters.

Reflecting on the challenges of transitioning from his training in Egypt to competing in the Philippines, Umair said: “Adapting to reduced buoyancy due to warmer waters and encountering jellyfish were part of the new environment.”

This marks the third national record Umair has achieved. He previously set two national records of 62 and 64 meters in the free immersion category of free diving at the Andrea Zuccari World Cup held in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt in October. Free immersion freediving is a discipline that requires divers to descend and ascend pulling a rope.

Umair’s switch from training in free immersion in Egypt to the bi-fin category for this tournament demonstrated his adaptability: “It felt like shifting gears, utilising distinct techniques, and returning to a more familiar discipline. This dive marks a confident depth for me, focusing not just on depth but also on refining dive times for a more enjoyable experience,” he remarked.

“Kaimoo’s support has been instrumental, offering me the freedom to train. This support has allowed me to focus on honing my skills and achieving new heights in my freediving,” Umair added.

“Umair’s third record-breaking dive this year is a testament to his exceptional skill and determination. Kaimoo is thrilled to continue supporting Umair’s journey in the world of freediving. His achievements inspire us, and we congratulate him on this impressive feat, looking for-ward to his continued success,” said Mohamed Manih Ahmed, Kaimoo’s Managing Director.

With this record-breaking achievement, Umair now looks forward to a period of rest before gearing up for the upcoming freediving season.

Kaimoo Resorts and Hotels is a leading tourism company in the Maldives that manages five properties across the country. In addition to Embudu Village and Summer Island Maldives, Kaimoo also operates Equator Village in Addu Atoll, and the Mookai Hotel and Mookai Suites in Male’.

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