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Diving the Maldivian Waters with Atoll Explorer



Maldives Promotion House – Specifically designed for Maldives live aboard diving cruises, Atoll Explorer is the first ship to offer first class cruising in the Maldives. First introduced in 1996, the atmosphere on board is that of an exclusive, well-run, floating family hotel. Expect no pretension but only dedication to seeing that guests are comfortable and enjoying themselves.

Atoll Explorer ( welcomes new initiatives that will improve the experience of Scuba Divers wishing to explore the Maldives. Additional dive sites have been located and made available for dive enthusiasts. This allows up to 15 dives in a week including up to two night dives.

Atoll Explorer offers two cruise itineraries to choose from. Dive sites are located in either the North or South Ari Atolls depending on which itinerary you choose. The first itinerary features shallower style reef dives with generally more relaxed currents, while the second itinerary offers more chances in witnessing whale sharks and manta rays which is simply an amazing experience for divers wishing to see the best of the Maldives.

As a scuba diving destination, Maldives is one of the top dive destinations in the world offering warm waters year round, unparalleled biodiversity and a seascape that is world renowned.

Atoll Explorer completes 7-day cruises throughout the Maldives, catering for divers, snorkelers and holiday makers alike. It is the only liveaboard vessel offering Nitrox facilities and is operated by Euro Divers. Recently, Atoll Explorer reduced the price of its diving packages and courses and removed all additional Dhoni charges to make diving in the Maldives a better value experience.

The two specific dive seasons in the Maldives are the Northeast (November- May) or Southwest (June – September) Monsoons. A factor of the Northeast monsoon is that the currents tend to be a little slower and the water temperature is 2-3 degrees lower than in the Southwest monsoon.

Hence, this will mean water temperatures of around 24-26 degrees rather than the normal 28 degrees Celsius. The diving in the Northeast monsoon depends on which side of the Atoll you dive. On the western side, there are regular encounters with schools of tuna, jacks and other pelagics generally in quite big schools. Also hammerheads and grey reef sharks tend to congregate in shallow water.

If we are on the East side of the atoll, there is generally more plankton in the water and the visibility can be quite a bit lower till about 10-15 meters. However, this does increase your chances of seeing manta rays and whale sharks.

In the Southwest monsoon or the Maldivian dry season, currents can be particularly strong especially around the full moon in January but start to relax in February. March to May generally has good visibility and low currents, which makes for a relaxing diving experience. The key factors of diving in the Southwest monsoon are warmer waters and higher visibility.

With these higher currents in January and February, there is a lot of action to see in the channels as well as on the Thilas on the Eastern side of the Atoll with plenty of pelagics, sharks and other predators. There is also a plethora of marine life on the reefs. Mantas and whale sharks will only be found on the western side of the Atoll.


JA Resorts & Hotels welcomes Khumar Askerova as Director of Sales and Marketing for the Indian Ocean



JA Resorts & Hotels has announced the appointment of Khumar Askerova as the new Director of Sales and Marketing for the Indian Ocean region. Khumar brings with her an impressive 25 years of experience in sales and marketing within the hospitality industry, and a key appointment to the regional team.

The appointment will see Khumar overseeing sales for the company’s Indian Ocean flagship property JA Manafaru in the Maldives and two properties in the Seychelles, the boutique JA Enchanted Island and luxury villa residencies at JA Enchanted Waterfront.

Khumar is a seasoned sales specialist with a diverse background in the hospitality sector. Fluent in English, native in Russian and Azerbaijani, with a good command of Portuguese and Turkish, Khumar’s multilingual skills underscore her ability to connect with a global audience.

Khumar’s most recent role as the Regional Director of Sales & Marketing at COMO Hotels saw her successfully manage a portfolio of key partners, and her expertise extends to new hotel openings, where she has played pivotal roles in the launch and success of four upper-scale Marriott hotels.

Additional Maldivian experience was gained whilst Khumar was Group Director of Sales & Marketing at Lily Beach Hotels also in the Maldives, where she led a cluster team, overseeing sales, reservations, marketing, and revenue for two islands in the Maldives.

Robert El Khoury, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at JA Resorts & Hotels comments, “We are confident that Khumar’s wealth of experience, strategic vision, and leadership qualities will contribute to the ongoing success and growth of our unique properties in the Indian Ocean. We warmly welcome her to our team and look forward to further developing our international presence with Khumar’s global expertise.”

Khumar holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from Baku State University. She has also obtained certificates in Executive Revenue Management & Strategic Pricing from the Institute of Hotel Management and eCornell Hotel Revenue Management Certificate.

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JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa promotes Mohit Dembla to General Manager



JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, renowned as a haven for families and multigenerational travel, has announced the promotion of Mohit Dembla to the position of General Manager.

Mohit Dembla, a seasoned hotelier with extensive experience in the hospitality industry, began his career with The Oberoi Group and later contributed his expertise to prestigious brands including Taj Hotels, Kempinski Hotels, and Minor International across India, the Seychelles, and the Maldives. In 2014, Mohit joined Marriott International as Complex Front Office Manager at Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre and Courtyard by Marriott Hyderabad. His journey with Marriott International continued in 2018, when he joined JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa as Resort Manager for the grand opening. 

Through his tenure at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, Mohit has played a key role in developing and implementing strategies that set the tone for the resort’s success. His dedication, leadership, and commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences have been integral to the resort’s growth. Demonstrating exceptional managerial skills, he has overseen day-to-day operations and made significant contributions to the resort. His promotion to General Manager is a recognition of his outstanding performance, vision, and ability to lead the team in a dynamic and competitive industry.

Mohit’s leadership centers on fostering a people-first culture, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and teamwork throughout all departments, which has contributed to the resort’s success, consistently delivering exceptional experiences to valued guests.

As General Manager, Mohit Dembla will continue to prioritize teamwork, excellence, innovation, and guest satisfaction. He expressed his gratitude, stating, “I am honored to take on the role of General Manager at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa. This resort holds a special place in my heart, and I look forward to continuing my journey here with an exceptional team, crafting unforgettable moments for our guests.”

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THE OZEN COLLECTION welcomes new General Managers: Elisabeth Alleyne at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO and Monica Coppetta at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI



Elisabeth Alleyne and Monica Coppetta, join as the General Managers at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO and OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, respectively, continuing with the progressive brand’s tradition of women leading the resorts.

THE OZEN COLLECTION, an exceptional hospitality brand by Atmosphere Core, is thrilled to announce the appointment of two new General Managers: Elisabeth Alleyne at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, effective from October 2023, and Monica Coppetta at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, effective from November 2023. In their new roles, these two veteran leaders will continue to build upon the strong brand foundation of REFINED ELEGANCE, positioning their respective resorts as the destination of choice for sophisticated global travelers.

Elisabeth Alleyne, a Swedish-Barbadian National, brings over two decades of diverse hospitality experience across Europe, the Caribbean, and in leading luxury cruise liners. A passionate leader, Elisabeth is adept at running smooth operations, regardless of the size of the property. She will play a pivotal role as the General Manager of OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, and says, “My leadership style involves inspiring colleagues with creativity, innovation, and dedication, ensuring opportunities for skill building, internal promotions, and professional development. I will always be hands-on and visible in operations, making sure our guests have an unforgettable visit.”

Italian hotelier Monica Coppetta possesses a strong business acumen, a drive for results, and the ability to articulate luxury, having worked in global boutique and luxury environments for over two decades. With a proven track record in delivering results, whether from the perspective of profit, process, or people, Monica is a perfect fit for the role of General Manager at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI. She states, “I like to connect emotionally with my team, inspiring them to bring their best every day. Creating an inclusive work environment is very important to me, one where women – and all colleagues – are heard, cared for, and have equal opportunities.”

From the very beginning, influential female leaders have shaped the brand. Women are integral to the workforce at THE OZEN COLLECTION, and both properties have always had women General Managers. This appointment further adds to the stellar female senior leadership already in place at Atmosphere Core.

We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion across the company’s portfolio of three brands and eight resorts. And I am delighted to welcome the two talented and dedicated hoteliers, Elisabeth Alleyne and Monica Coppetta to our team.” says Ashwin Handa, the Senior Vice President of Operations at Atmosphere Core.

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