Global ground handling specialist Universal Aviation has announced expansion into the Maldives through a joint venture with leading local travel agent and tour operator Inner Maldives Holidays.
In a statement, the US-based company said its subsidiary Universal Aviation Maldives would be starting services by early June at the Maldives’ main Velana International Airport. Support services would also be provided at the southern Gan International Airport, as well as offering specially negotiated rates for local hotels and tours, it added.
“We identified the Maldives as a destination that can be high risk and stress for our clients,”Charlie Mularski, Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific at Universal, said.
“In partnering with Inner Maldives, we feel confident that we will be better positioned to enable our clients’ mission success in the country. Our focus on international standards, processes, customer service, ramp safety, and compliance combined with Inner Maldives local talent and expertise will be provide great value to our shared clients.”
Mularski stressed that Universal’s entry into the Maldives would also boost the local economy with new jobs, and improve international standards and recurrent training for business aviation throughout the country.
“We are looking forward to working closely with the Maldives government to continue to identify ways in which it can further improve the country’s aviation infrastructure, leading to further growth and development,” he said.
Managing Director of Inner Maldives Holidays Mohamed Firaq also echoed the sentiments.
“I am delighted about this development. This is another first for Maldives and Inner Maldives,” he said.
“We are proud to partner with a global leader such as Universal and certain that this will add to the confidence and offer world-class service for commercial jets arriving into Maldives.”
Universal Aviation, the ground support division of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., has more than 40 locations in 20 countries, including 19 in the Asia-Pacific region with the addition of Universal Aviation Maldives. The Texas-headquartered company offers products and services including international flight planning and scheduling, weather briefings, fuelling programmes, aircraft ground handling and aviation security.
Inner Maldives Holidays is one of the pioneers in launching outbound packages and holidays in the Maldives offering exciting and discounted holidays to Sri Lanka, Dubai, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Bali, Krabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seychelles and many more.
The company, which currently has business operations in Dubai, Seychelles, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, has also won multiple international awards, and has been recognised as a leading wholesaler for inbound tourists into Maldives and leading FBO at the airport for private jets. It is also affiliated to its sister companies, including Ace Aviation Services Maldives, Ace Travels Maldives and Spence Maldives, representing major airlines and brands in the Maldives.
Velana International Airport serves as the main gateway to the Maldives, renowned world over for its unique natural beauty and luxury tourist resorts. More than 30 international airlines, including major players such as British Airways, SriLankan Airlines, Emirates and Etihad Airways, operate scheduled flights to the airport, carrying over a million tourists per annum from across the world to the island paradise.
Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) holds its 34th Annual General Meeting
The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) held its 34th Annual General Meeting at Kurumba Maldives today, with a total of 100 members in attendance.
The day’s events began with a welcome address from the Chairman of MATI, Mr. Mohamed Umar, who also presided over the session. The agenda included an address from the Secretary General, Mr. Ahmed Nazeer, the review and approval of the minutes of the 33rd AGM, the review and adoption of the Annual Report and Financial Reports for 2023, the approval of the 2024 budget, the appointment of auditors for 2024, the welcoming of new members and election of executive board members to the two vacant positions (by-election).
In the member discussion session, the following topics were covered: the Government’s aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2023 and renewable energy generation in the Tourism Industry, new terminal of Velana International Airport and developments, employment challenges, the Industrial Relations Act and trade unions, environmental conservation and the significance of creating and executing efficient management plans for protected areas like the South Ari Marine Protected Area (SAMPA).
Following the official proceedings, the Minister of Tourism Hon. Ibrahim Faisal and the Minister of Economic Development and Trade Hon. Mohamed Saeed joined the forum. The Ministers provided remarks and engaged in a Member Q&A session. This session provided members with the chance to directly engage with the Ministers and delve into crucial industry topics. The queries focused on the Economic Outlook, forthcoming development plans and immediate challenges and issues affecting the Tourism Industry.
A video presentation was also showcased that delved into the extensive work undertaken by MATI in 2023. The video also touched upon the Tourism Industry’s performance over the past 5 years, as well as the current and projected human resource capacity of the sector.
In his closing remarks, the Secretary General highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing industry challenges and called for greater unison amongst industry stakeholders, ending with an acknowledgement of the promising start to the year in terms of arrivals.
Executive Board Members elected to the 2 vacant positions (by-election):
- Ibrahim Shareef, CEO and Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited
- Renato De Olivera, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands and representative of Marriott International
Unlocking power of travel storytelling at Travel Creators Exchange 2024
Join us for the Travel Creators Exchange 2024, taking place on February 1, 2024, at the Hotel Jen in Male’, Maldives.
This dynamic event provides a platform for networking and collaboration among Maldives-based travel creators, fostering connections, idea-sharing, and the establishment of lasting partnerships to expand opportunities and monetise content.
Our lineup of distinguished speakers includes:
- Zihuny Rasheed, Deputy Managing Director of MMPRC, will present on “Power of Digital Storytelling: Collaborative Strategies for Destination Promotion.” MMPRC actively markets the Maldives globally, utilising a comprehensive approach that includes travel trade shows, roadshows, digital marketing, and more.
- Amjad Thaufeeg, Commercial Director of Kuda Villingili Maldives Resort, brings over 23 years of hospitality industry experience. He will discuss “The Role of Content in Tourism Marketing,” drawing on expertise in revenue, customer service, sales & marketing, and human capital development.
- Suresh Dissanayake, Assistant Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Heritance Aarah & Adaaran Resorts, with nearly two decades of experience, will shed light on “What does a Sales and Marketing Director Do?” He brings extensive luxury hospitality experience and a proven track record in sales, distribution, and marketing.
- Vishal Amir Ahmed, a versatile cinematographer and content creator, will explore “Who is a Content Creator.” Currently associated with Various Arts Studio, he specialises in providing multimedia solutions to various clients.
Organised by Maldives Insider, Maldives Virtual Tour, Travel Trade Maldives, and Hotelier Maldives, this collaborative effort aims to empower Maldives-based travel content creators and elevate the Maldives as a premier destination for captivating travel storytelling.
Acclaimed contemporary artist Ana Pušica explores perpetuality and community at Patina Maldives
Ana Pušica Kramer, an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist, joins Patina Maldives for an exclusive art residency in the now infamous Fari Art Atelier. From January 22 to February 22, 2024, Ana Pušica will grace the shores of the Fari Islands, weaving a vibrant narrative of colour and emotion across her larger than-life canvases.
Her artistry transcends boundaries, melding abstraction and figuration into awe-inspiring masterpieces. Having exhibited globally, from New York to Beijing, Ana’s paintings are a physical, intuitive act rooted in movement. Described as a “beautiful fluorescent thunderstorm,” Ana’s art explores light and colour, capturing the energy of life itself.
The Fari Art Atelier which has previously hosted the likes of Daniel Arsham, Chris Stamp and David Nott, will be transformed into Ana’s studio and gallery showcasing her enthralling artworks—a mesmerising journey through poetry, memory, and the vibrant interplay of colour. Guests at Patina are invited to delve into Ana’s world, where each stroke reveals layers of meaning, evoking sensations of intense lightness and boundless interpretation.
At Patina Maldives, Ana will immerse herself in a month-long residency, inviting the Patina Malidves community or guests and team to witness her artistic fervour firsthand. Guests will have the rare opportunity not only to observe her creative process but also to engage with and create art alongside this luminary.
Experience artistry at its most exclusive
Experience Ana’s captivating exploration of colour and emotion in her spellbinding artworks displayed at the Fari Atelier.
Art Workshops: Message in a Bottle
As part of a collaborative artwork, Ana invites Patina guests to participate in short workshops, actively contributing to the creation of a permanent installation at Patina Maldives.
Open Studio Session
Join Ana for an exclusive open studio session, offering guests a behind the-scenes look at her creative process.
Ana Pušica residency package
Discover a world where creativity knows no bounds as Ana Pušica, the maestro of contemporary art, transforms Patina Maldives into an immersive canvas of inspiration.
Book now to secure your experience.
For more information and reservations, please visit Patina Maldives or contact
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