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Six Senses Laamu strengthens marine conservation efforts and introduce turtle code of conduct

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Six Senses Laamu is surrounded by the infinite blue waters of the Indian Ocean and every day the resort is committed to making the operation more sustainable while simultaneously raising awareness, to guests and hosts alike, about the importance of marine conservation. Staying true to the commitment of protecting the marine life of the Laamu Atoll, Marine Biologists Jenni Choma and Oscar Ignetik have started new projects on turtle identification and coral health and recovery.

In July 2016, Jenni and Oscar began identifying the Laamu turtle population. A mere six months later, the database currently stands at 138 unique individuals: 67 Hawksbill and 71 Green turtles. Each turtle can be recognized as an individual via photo identification as the pattern of scutes on their face is unique. The sightings database created will allow the Resident Marine Biology Team at Six Senses Laamu to estimate the total populations of both Green and Hawksbill turtles in Laamu and to better understand the movements and behaviors of these species. To ensure the identification process and the interaction with turtles does not have a negative impact on their environment, behavior and movements, the Resident Marine Biology Team has created the Six Senses Laamu turtle code of conduct. Having been trend setters in the Maldives with the creation of the first code of conduct in for Dolphin Watching, the team is hopeful that the turtle code of conduct will also become widely adopted in the Maldives ensuring that every encounter is a positive interaction and does not negatively impact the turtles, their movements and their environment.

In addition to this project, the Resident Marine Biology Team at Six Senses Laamu has created a detailed coral reef survey to monitor the recovery rates post the El Niño bleaching event in 2016. This will allow the team to evaluate both short- and long-term ecological impacts on the entire reef ecosystem and the data will be used to ensure more bleaching resistant species are planted on the artificial reefs and in the coral nursery in the future.

Six Senses Laamu continues to support the research of Manta Trust and this relationship continues to grow from strength to strength. One of the highlight of the partnership in 2016 was another first in the Maldives; a six-week intense study conducted with Dr. Mark Deakos, founder of HAMER (Hawaii Association of Marine Education and Research) in which nearly half of the resident population of 117 manta rays were accurately sized via paired laser photogrammetry. The technique, never before used in the Maldives, is highly championed for its non-invasive nature and is highly accurate for measuring wild free ranging manta rays effectively. The project results were submitted to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN ) and were accepted for presentation at the country’s first ever Marine Symposium in October 2016.

Six Senses Laamu has also partnered with Blue Marine Foundation (BMF), a charity organization dedicated to creating marine reserves and establishing sustainable models of fishing. In the Laamu Atoll, the focus is on the grouper fishery as the populations of groupers throughout the Maldives are suffering from mismanagement and overfishing. Two members of BMF and the Marine Research Center team are on site gathering baseline data on the grouper fishery within the Laamu Atoll and studying grouper spawning aggregations. The team will be the first to identify length-maturity relationships of grouper species within the Maldives, which will then be used to inform policy makers of sustainable catch size limits. They are also fostering local support for sustainable fishing and conservation through an educational and environmental awareness (EEA) program.

Jenni and Oscar have also begun a dolphin sightings database to see patterns in their movements, understand the local population better, and in the long term try to identify individuals and family pods.

The underwater world and the reefs surrounding Six Senses Laamu has had a busy and exciting 2016. The good and hard work of the team has not gone unnoticed and they were honored to have been the only hotel in the world to make the shortlist for the 2017 Ocean Awards, the preeminent prizes for marine-conservation initiatives administered by Boat International and the Blue Marine Foundation. Six Senses Laamu is excited about the many marine and environmental protection related projects on course and in development at the resort and the Resident Marine Biology Team looks forward to sharing more exciting news and data collected from these ongoing projects.

Excursions

Uncover the Gems and Untold Tales of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll Through Personalised and Free-Spirited Adventures with The Nautilus Maldives

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When envisioning the Maldives, one often conjures images of pristine white sands and  luxurious resorts. However, beyond the typical tourist attractions lies a realm of adventure,  cultural immersion, and natural wonders waiting to be explored. The Nautilus Maldives, an  ultra-luxury private island hideaway, is crafting extraordinary journeys in the captivating Baa  Atoll, inviting its guests to embrace escapism through immersive cultural experiences. 

Inspired by The Nautilus’s brand hallmarks of the Art of Bohemia and Free Spirited  Adventures, guests are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and indulge in  transformative experiences. Through encounters with local personalities, guests gain an  insight into island life, delving into cultural roots, traditions, nature, language, cuisine, and  more. 

The Nautilus prides itself on tailoring bespoke experiences to suit the unique preferences of  its guests—whether adventurers, culture enthusiasts, or families seeking more than a  beachside retreat. Guests embark on one of The Nautilus’s luxurious yachts, exploring  treasured spots of the Atoll and creating unforgettable memories that will linger in their  hearts long after their journey ends. 

Discover the roots at the Kendhoo 

Nestled in the northwest of the Baa Atoll, Kendhoo carries a rich tapestry of experiences  weaving together history and culture. Once a vital hub along ancient maritime routes,  Kendhoo’s vibrant cultural landscape is shaped by centuries of influences from Indian, Arab,  and Southeast Asian merchants, as well colonial conquests. Guests can wander its streets, 

indulging in local culinary treats with distinct flavours, and exploring landmarks like the 800- year old house marking the place of prayers of Abdul Barakaath Yoosuf al Barbary, a renowned Islamic scholar. 

Weave your memories of the Maldives into art at Kihaadhoo 

On the beautiful island of Kihaadhoo, guests can immerse themselves in the therapeutic art  of coconut leaf weaving, a cherished tradition passed down through generations. Through  hands-on experiences with the island’s residents, guests can learn to create baskets, hats,  and decorative pieces, fostering a sense of cultural identity and belonging.

www.thenautilusmaldives.com 

Traditional lacquer masters at Thulhaadhoo 

Venturing to the southern tip of Baa Atoll, guests discover Thulhaadhoo island, renowned for  its exquisite craftsmanship in traditional lacquerware. Here, artisans share their secrets of this  ancient art of decorating items with vibrant colours and intricate designs inspired by the  Maldives’ marine life and lush tropics, which has been passed down through generations. 

Guests can even try their hand at creating these unique art pieces, serving as precious souvenir  of their tropical getaway. 

Exploration of the Deep Blue Waters of Dhonfanu 

At Dhonfanu, one of Baa Atoll’s premier diving spots, vibrant coral gardens and diverse marine  life awaits beneath azure waters. In season, there’s also a high chance for guests to encounter  graceful manta rays and majestic whale sharks, igniting the senses with excitement and awe. 

Delve into Poetic Ambiance of Dharavandhoo 

Guests can make a stop at Dharavandhoo island, which boasts a rich tradition of Maldivian  poetry, where locals celebrate history and folklore through the art of storytelling, expressing  emotions, beliefs, and aspirations in the most poetic ways. These enchanting verses, inspired  by the islands’ natural beauty, love, nature, and daily island life, transport listeners to a world  where ocean rhythms intertwine poetic imagery.  

To craft your own cultural journey across Maldivian islands, contact The Nautilus at hello@thenautilusmaldives.com and begin creating your ultimate bohemian dream escape. For more information visit www.thenautilusmaldives.com.

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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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Football legend Lukas Podolski lights up Heritance Aarah with friendly match against Maldivian youth

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In a heartwarming display of football’s unifying spirit, German legend Lukas Podolski traded the grand stadiums for the sun-kissed shores of Heritance Aarah, Maldives, to play a friendly match with a team of eager young players from Meedhu Island. The event saw Podolski donning a custom Heritance Aarah jersey and taking to the pitch alongside the spirited Maldivian children.

More than just a friendly kickabout, the match was a platform for learning and inspiration. The young athletes showcased their skills and learned new tricks from the seasoned pro. The air crackled with a distinctive camaraderie as Podolski’s guidance and encouragement blended seamlessly with the children’s infectious joy.

As a memento of this extraordinary encounter, each participant received a personally signed jersey from Podolski, adding a priceless touch to the occasion. The football star’s presence transformed the friendly match into an unforgettable experience, etching itself indelibly into the memories of the young players and their families.

Podolski later took to his Facebook, sharing photos from the event with the caption, “Football is our global game. A pleasure to meet you all thanks @oneluxury.de & @heritanceaarah #LP10 #football #strassenkicker #enjoy #love.” The post resonated with fans worldwide, celebrating the power of sports to connect people across cultures and backgrounds.

Heritance Aarah, a Premium All-Inclusive resort, offers an idyllic setting for the ultimate getaway, presenting a diverse range of experiences. From the culinary delights crafted by award-winning chefs to the exploration of the captivating over and underwater wonders of the Raa Atoll, the resort sets a remarkable tone for luxury and adventure. With five restaurants included in the Premium All-Inclusive package, exclusive bars, and access to Hatha and Baani with supplement charges, Heritance Aarah offers a holistic experience. The spa and wellness facilities, featuring a hot tub and a fitness center, further enhance the overall well-being of guests, who can also enjoy various activities.

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