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Meet Mr. Sehgal, the GM of Taj Exotica



Maldives Promotion House – In this highly competitive world, only a handful of people reach the top, and there are even fewer who having reached the top become successful. Mr. Girish Sehgal – General Manager of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives is a popular figure in the Hospitality Industry of Maldives.

Within a short span of 13 years Mr. Sehgal has made his way through the ranks of the Hospitality Industry from a Management Trainee to a General Manager of the multi award winning resort.

Mr Sehgal grew up in Dehra Dun, a picturesque valley nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. Known for its rich cultural heritage, Mr Sehgal was from a very young age exposed to Indian values and traditions. During his school days he volunteered with SPIC – MACAY (Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Among Youth) to promote Indian Classical music among the youth. He says “Sadly most of the youngsters today are averse to their own culture. They think that the West is probably the thing to emulate, and that your own culture is best left to the older generation.”

It was through his association with the above society that he first got introduced to the Hospitality world. He said, “When I was growing up in Dehra Dun, which is known for its educational institutes, I found most of the children  aspiring to be engineers, doctors. However none of these careers interested me. Having met some good hoteliers, and hearing about their experiences I decided to take up hospitality. I was keen to explore world and the aspect of travelling, meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds; and learn about various countries and cultures fascinated me.”

After his 13 years of being a student, he started his career at an Institute of Hotel Management in India in the year 1993. He spent three years at the Institute. In 1996 he joined Leela Kempinski the flagship property of the Leela group for a two year Management Trainee program.

After completion of his training his travels brought him to the Maldives for the first time in 2000, where he had the opportunity to work for Four Seasons Resort at Kuda Huraa, Maldives as a Front Desk Manager.

“I was very excited when I first came here. It was amazing. I couldn’t stop telling my family and friends about the place. The warm clear waters, the abundant marine life was just wonderful.” Mr. Sehgal said.

Mr. Sehgal spent one and half year working in the Maldives and was then sent to the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston. “I worked for Four Seasons for about eight years in four different countries, including Maldives.”

After spending two years as a Rooms Division Assistant Manager at Four Seasons Boston, Mr. Sehgal was promoted as the Director of Guest Services where he opened Four Seasons Resort in the Bahamas. Thereafter he worked in Four Seasons Toronto for about three years and joined Taj in 2008.

His first posting with the Taj group was at the charming, heritage property Taj West End, nestled amidst lush 22 acres of lush gardens in the tech city of Bangalore in India. There he officiated as the Executive Assistant Manager, Accommodation. He worked at this property for just under a year and was chosen for the Taj General Manager program and after its completion he returned to the Maldives to join as the General Manager of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in early 2009.

“I came back to Maldives after about eight years. It is wonderful to be back here and this time with my wife and our two young children. I have always had fond memories of Maldives. The best thing about Maldives is the breathtaking natural beauty, the stunning marine life and variety of water sports, which our elder son enjoys a lot” he said.

Mr Sehgal has a thirst for knowledge. He looks at life and all its experiences as lessons. When asked if he would study to further his career, he smiled in confirmation. “I have never stopped learning. In fact the industry has taught me a lot. I have been in all the different departments of hotels, from housekeeping to Room Service, and Food and Beverage to Guest Services and Front Office and the heart of the house departments as well,” he said.

“I recently got selected for an MBA at Glion, Switzerland. This course is rated at among the top three in the world, and I’m very excited about it,” Mr. Sehgal added.

Mr. Sehgal has worked in three island resorts, one in the Bahamas and two in the Maldives. When asked about the challenges he faces on an island resort, he said “Every place has its own challenges; however, I think it is more about the mindset. It is most crucial to have the right people around you. The right team! As there are no challenges that a unified team with same vision and goals cannot overcome. In Taj  Exotica , we all work as a team and enjoy the challenges that come our way.”

What Mr Sehgal has said is evident by the 13 international awards won by Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives within the last year and a half, including the Best Leading Hotel of World award, several Conde Nast Reader Choice awards and so on.

Mr. Sehgal is a warm and friendly person with a very calm demeanour. He teaches us that nothing is too hard. He shows us through his own experiences that determination is the key to success. As long as you work hand in hand with the rest of the team with passion and dedication there is a lot that can be achieved.

We at Maldives Promotion House congratulate Mr. Girish Sehgal on his achievements and wish him more success in his career ahead. We thank him for his words of wisdom and advice and for his kind gestures, hospitality and time. Thank you.

An Insider

Oriana Migliaccio: The Marine Guardian Transforming Conservation in the Maldives



At the heart of Anantara’s commitment to tailored luxury and authentic experiences lies the passionate work of Oriana Migliaccio, a marine biologist whose devotion to oceanic preservation resonates deeply in the sky-blue waters of the Maldives. Oriana, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer with a PhD in Life and Biomolecular Sciences, embodies the spirit of discovery and conservation at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, and Naladhu Private Island Maldives.

Raised on the sun-kissed shores of Naples, Italy, Oriana’s early years were steeped in the wonders of the Mediterranean Sea, a rich biodiversity hotspot. She frequently spent winter breaks at the aquarium. “It is this deep love for the marine world that got me interested from an early age in pursuing a career in marine biology,” she reflects. Following her passion, Oriana earned her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Marine Biology in Italy. Her journey then took her to the Maldives for an additional master’s in Tropical Marine Biology, where the allure of tropical environments steered her focus towards specialising in coral reef biology and conservation. This newfound dedication culminated in earning her PhD in the United Kingdom, solidifying her commitment to preserving marine ecosystems.

Oriana’s expertise, honed in the jungles of Borneo as a Conservation Manager and Dive Leader, now flourishes in the Maldives. Her initiatives span coral reef restoration, sea turtle protection, and sustainable practices, all pivotal to the region’s marine ecosystem. A crowning achievement is her creation of the “Reef Hero” PADI specialty, a course designed to educate divers on coral conservation, nurturing a new wave of ocean stewards.

“I created the ‘Reef Hero’ course during my time as a marine biologist and dive instructor in Malaysian Borneo. This course, focusing on coral reef restoration and rehabilitation, was inspired by my diving students’ desire to positively impact the oceans they love exploring. Witnessing the adverse effects of marine issues like debris, over-fishing, pollution, and global warming, this inspired me to create guidelines that can be used by recreational divers to save coral reefs around the world.” – Oriana Migliaccio

In April 2023, Oriana joined Anantara, where her role transcends traditional boundaries, as she immerses guests in a world of marine wonders through various interactive initiatives:

  • Marine Talk on Coral Reef & Marine Life: Weekly educational sessions that spotlight the vital role of coral reefs and the importance of responsible diving.
  • Discovering Marine Biology for Kids: Fun, interactive lessons that spark young minds’ curiosity about the underwater world.
  • Workshop on Repurposing Ghost Nets: Transforming abandoned fishing nets into bracelets, raising awareness about their impact on marine life.
  • Marine Biologist Corner: An open forum for guests to engage with Oriana, deepening their understanding of marine conservation.
  • Visit the Coral Nursery: Snorkeling adventures to coral nurseries, where guests explore coral species and participate in the resort’s coral restoration efforts.
  • Coral Adoption: Encouraging guests to play an active role in coral restoration, either by planting corals or sponsoring a coral rope, and tracking their growth.

“In the Maldives, a country faced with pressing environmental challenges, sustainability and environmental conservation are not just trends. They are a necessity,” Oriana emphasises, outlining the long-term goals for sustainability and marine conservation at Anantara’s Maldives resorts. “The survival of this tropical paradise is intertwined with adopting sustainable practices and reducing the anthropogenic impact on the environment.”

Following the devastating coral bleaching event of 2016, Oriana has been instrumental in Anantara’s HARP initiative (Holistic Approach to Reef Protection), aimed at rehabilitating damaged coral reefs. With over 10,000 corals grown and planted since 2017, the project is on course to double this number, enhancing marine biodiversity. Guests are invited to become coral gardeners, contributing to the project’s success while receiving progress updates on their adopted “baby corals”.

Collaborating with esteemed organisations like the Olive Ridley Project, Manta Trust, and the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program, Oriana’s work includes a photo-ID programme for studying sea turtles, manta rays, and whale sharks. She invites guests to join as citizen scientists, aiding in data collection during their underwater explorations.

Oriana Migliaccio’s contributions reflect the essence of Anantara’s luxury experience — unique, immersive, and deeply connected to the local environment. Her passion and dedication are not just preserving the ocean’s beauty but also inspiring guests to become active participants in its conservation, ensuring its wonder endures for generations to come.

For more information on Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, please visit 

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An Insider

Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry



In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.

Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.

After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.

Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.

In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.

As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.

Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.

Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.

As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.

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An Insider

Hamzath Ameen: Elevating human resources



In the fast-paced and thriving hospitality industry of the Maldives, where exceptional service and guest satisfaction are paramount, there are individuals who stand out for their dedication, expertise, and leadership qualities. Hamzath Ameen is making his mark as a proficient human resources professional in island resorts of the Maldives. With an impressive career trajectory and a passion for excellence, Hamzath has become a respected figure in the industry.

Hamzath Ameen was born and raised in Addu Atoll, a region known for its stunning natural beauty and vibrant culture. Following his schooling, he pursued his higher education at Cyryx College in Male’, where he successfully completed an Advanced Diploma in Business Management. This academic foundation laid the groundwork for his future career in the dynamic world of hospitality.

Hamzath embarked on his professional journey at Dhonveli Beach Resort, where he assumed the role of Accounts Officer. This initial foray into the hospitality industry allowed him to gain valuable insights into the financial aspects of resort operations and the importance of maintaining accurate records and efficient systems.

Eager to expand his horizons and broaden his skill set, Hamzath sought opportunities at various reputable companies and resorts throughout the Maldives. His determination and exceptional work ethic caught the attention of industry professionals, leading to his appointment as the Human Resources Officer at Furaveri Island Resort. Recognizing his potential, Ameen quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to the position of Assistant Manager, and subsequently, Human Resources Manager.

During his tenure at Furaveri Island Resort, Hamzath made significant contributions to the establishment’s human resources department. He spearheaded various initiatives to enhance employee engagement, streamline recruitment processes, and foster a positive work culture. Under his leadership, the resort witnessed an increase in employee satisfaction and a notable reduction in turnover rates, solidifying Hamzath’s reputation as a skilled people manager.

In 2022, Hamzath accepted an exciting new opportunity and joined Rihiveli Maldives Resort as the Human Resources Manager. With his wealth of experience and proven track record, he assumed a pivotal role in overseeing the resort’s human resources functions, including recruitment, training and development, performance management, and employee relations. Hamzath’s strategic approach and ability to build strong relationships with staff and management alike have made him an invaluable asset to the resort.

Hamzath Ameen’s journey from an Accounts Officer to a respected Human Resources Manager exemplifies his commitment to personal growth and professional excellence. Through his hard work, dedication, and leadership abilities, he has successfully carved a niche for himself in the competitive Maldivian hospitality industry. Hamzath’s passion for nurturing talent, fostering positive work environments, and delivering exceptional guest experiences continues to make a lasting impact on the resorts he has served.

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