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Great night life in Maldives with ‘Bodu Beru’



By Niuma Ugail

It so happens that Lisa from North Yorkshire, England was browsing through various holiday brochures. For her next holiday, she wants to visit an exotic place. The Maldives, of course is a place she has heard of, but never visited before. Stunning weather, pristine beaches and clear waters – that’s what comes to her mind when she thinks of the Maldives.

Then, a thought crossed her mind, “What about night life? Apart from watching the shimmering night sky and counting stars, what else can I do during evenings in a quite place like the Maldives?”

Well, your choices on pub crawling might be rather limited when you are holidaying in a remote island. However, nightlife in the Maldives is far from boring. There is a variety of options to choose from. As the saying goes, when in Rome do as Romans do, and so when you are in a remote island in the Maldives you must experience night life the Maldivian way.

In this respect, the traditional Maldivian music and dances are not to be missed. Bodu Beru, Thaara, Lagiri and Bandiya are some examples of how the locals combine traditional music with local dance moves. In particular, experiencing the famous Maldivian cultural dance of Bodu Beru is certainly a must.

Bodu Beru performers on a resort island in Maldives. PHOTO/ COCO COLLECTION

Bodu Beru in local Dhivehi language literally means the “Big Drums”. It has its origins and roots in East Africa, and therefore Bodu Beru invokes a certain type of inner feelings that one cannot explain. Historians believe that music came to the islands of the Maldives around the 11th or 12th Century AD – this is something the Africans and the Arabs passed to the islanders on their route to Asia. Like everything else, the traditional forms of this type of music and dance moves have evolved over the years and have neatly blended in with modern cultural norms.

When first seen, Bodu Beru would appear to be a mindless form of dance without any particular structure to it. However, this is far from it. In Bodu Beru, usually there are 10 to 15 people in a group. There is a lead singer who sings a traditional song and the rest sings the chorus. There are five to six drummers called Beruverin. The Beru or the drum is the main and most special instrument used in this traditional music. The drum itself is locally crafted with material readily available on the islands. For example, to craft a good drum one needs a piece of hollowed coconut wood with both ends of it covered either by manta ray or goat skin. A coir fibre wire can be tied to the wood piece which acts as a strap.

To play Bodu Beru, one would need to wear the traditional costume – usually a sarong and a white shirt. All the members in the band wear the same design of clothes. A typical Bodu Beru dance takes place on an open sandy beach where one half of the drummers will often face the other half, all standing in a row. The drum master will often sit at the centre, with a big drum giving the tempo and leading the rest of the musicians.

Tourists join in and dance during a performance of Bodu Beru. PHOTO/ KURUMBA MALDIVES

The most interesting and intriguing thing about Bodu Beru is that it gets people to stand and dance – perhaps because of its original connection to Africa! The music starts with a slow beat and in due course would lead to a hyperactive and almost to a frantic set of beats and moves. When the tempo of the music increases it naturally allows dancers to move all around in an improvised stage, in a very ample way, turning and twisting their bodies, moving their arms up and down, looking at each other or not, entering into some kind of phase that appears to be uncontrollable. The moves all come together in response to the beating of the drums. Along with the drums, dancers slowly start to sing a slow traditional Dhivehi song in a very languorous voice that progressively rise and speed up. As the song continues, the rhythm picks up and people come out of the chorus and dance to the music. As the rhythm of the drums takes on the night, the scene and the music can quickly become hypnotic. If you have the desire to invoke an inner state in you and increase the dopamine level in your brain without resorting to an illicit substance, then Bodu Beru certainly is the choice for you.

For a tourist, the traditional Bodu Beru dance is on the menu in almost all resort islands. Usually there are two to three evenings in which Bodu Beru is performed on resort islands. During those nights, guests can join the fun and are encouraged to join the chorus, singing and clapping along to the music. The Bodu Beru songs usually have rhyming words which makes it easy to follow and sing along, even if you do not understand Dhivehi. More importantly, the dance moves, surely, are easy to pick up. Besides, once you start moving to the rhythm of Bodu Beru, the “inner dancer” gets invoked, even if you have never danced before!

Note: Niuma Ugail is a Maldivian journalist currently reading for the BA in Public Relations with Journalism course at Leeds Beckett University in the UK. 


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



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. 

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 and begin creating your ultimate bohemian dream escape. For more information visit

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InterContinental Maldives invites guests to third Manta Retreat in March 2024



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 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



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 & @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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