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Paradise secures triple win at World Luxury Hotel Awards, Qaisar named world’s best General Manager

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Paradise Island Resort and Spa has received three accolades at the 2017 World Luxury Hotel Awards, with the resort’s General Manager Qaisar Naseem winning the Best General Manager in the world award.

At the 2017 World Luxury Hotel Awards gala held at the Kulm Hotel St Moritz in Switzerland on Saturday, Paradise Island Resort received the global award for the best Luxury Water Villa Resort and a continental award for the best Luxury Beach Resort.

Meanwhile, Qaisar was crowned the Best General Manager in the world. He had in 2015 won the same award in the Indian Ocean continental category.

The prestigious award comes days after he was appointed Group General Manager of Villa Hotels and Resorts, which runs Royal Island Resort and Spa, Holiday Island Resort and Spa, Sun Island Resort and Spa, and Fun Island Resort and Spa, in addition to Paradise Island Resort.

A native of Fuvahmulah island, Qaisar joined the tourism and hospitality industry in 1997 as a receptionist at Thudufushi resort.

After spending a year in Thundufushi, Qaisar joined Villa Hotels to work as an Administrator at Royal Island Resort and Spa, which was under construction. He oversaw several aspects of the project, including construction, earning himself the position of Assistant Manager when it opened in 2001. While officially holding the title of Assistant Manager, he served as the Acting Resort Manager when the Resort Manager left in 2004.

Qaisar moved to Malaysia in 2006 to pursue a degree in hotel management. Upon his return in 2009, he was appointed the Resident Manager at Paradise Island Resort. A year later, Qaisar assumed the post of General Manager — a title he held until his latest promotion.

Over the past eight years, Qaisar has led Paradise Island Resort to receive several international and local awards, including recognitions in the World Travel Awards, World Luxury Travel Awards and Maldives Travel Awards. His personal accolades include being named the Best General Manager in the Indian Ocean category at the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2015, and Tourism Personality of the Year 2017 at the Maldives Travel Awards.

Set on the island of Lankanfinolhu in the North Male Atoll floats a little piece of paradise, which is accessible by just a 15-minute speedboat ride from the main Velana International Airport.

Luxury villas and suites overlooking the Indian Ocean are linked to five fabulous dining choices and the nightlife, offering a true Maldivian experience. Paved pathways wind through lush grounds, inter-linking Beach Bungalows, Haven Villas, Haven Suites and Ocean suites as well the Araamu Spa, all contributing to the natural awe-inspiring beauty of the Maldives.

The Villa Water Sports Centre, located at the northern end of the island, offers courses in windsurfing and catamaran sailing in addition to excellent facilities for a variety of water sports, including fun tubing, canoeing, catamaran sailing, water bike, wake boarding, knee boarding, glass bottom boat tours, etc. The centre, is equipped with the best equipment and facilities.

Paradise Island Resort is also home to a Diveoceanus dive centre. The PAD-certified centre offer the full range of diving adventures, including beginner classes.

Established in 2006, World Luxury Hotel Awards is the pinnacle of achievement in the luxury hotel industry offering international recognition as voted by guests, travellers and industry players alike. Over 300 000 international travellers vote each year, during a four-week period to select the winners. Luxury hotels have the opportunity to participate in the World Luxury Hotel Awards by entering hotel categories that showcase their unique selling points and destinations.

A full profile of Qaisar can be found here.

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Pulse Hotels & Resorts unveils new residential project: The Coral Residences, Kandima

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Pulse Hotels & Resorts, one of the leading innovators in Maldives tourism, has introduced The Coral Residences, Kandima. Nestled on the northern end of the lush and green three-kilometre-long Kandima Integrated Island Resort in Dhaalu Atoll, this residential development is a first of its kind and promises to redefine luxury living in the Maldives.

Designed and crafted with meticulous attention to detail, The Coral Residences, Kandima, is a unique, integrated beachfront residential community with exceptional 5-star service, situated in the shimmering blue heart of the Maldives.

The Coral Residences comprises of 40 exquisitely designed two bedroom and three bedroom apartments. All apartments feature contemporary design and chic interiors, high-end finishes, state-of-the-art appliances, and unobstructed panoramic sea views across the Indian Ocean. Residence owners will enjoy exclusive access to a host of premium facilities, including a private beachfront pool, a gourmet restaurant and bar, dedicated fitness and recreation facilities and a 24-hour concierge service.

Buyers of The Coral Residences will be able to own their apartments under the new strata title ownership program. Owners’ apartments will be part a rental program, managed by Pulse Hotels & Resorts. Residents will have the access to the full range Kandima’s 5-star resort services, including its restaurants and bars, spa, recreation, and other amenities to complement their lifestyle. With its emphasis on comfort, convenience, and community, this development offers a truly elevated living experience.

“We are thrilled to introduce The Coral Residences, Kandima, to discerning local and international buyers,” said Sanjay Maniku, Managing Director of Pulse Hotels & Resorts. “With its unparalleled design and amenities, homeowners can take advantage of a limitless world of activities and experiences on offer at Kandima. We believe this development will set a new standard for luxury living in the Maldives, as well as bringing a new definition to the Maldives family vacation.”

The Coral Residences is realised by Pulse Hotels & Resorts, the creators behind The Nautilus Maldives, Kandima Maldives, and Nova Maldives. Known for their innovative hospitality concepts, Pulse Hotels & Resorts ensures that each property offers exceptional experiences and world-class service. The development has commenced and is expected to complete within Q3, 2025.

For more information, high-resolution images, and to schedule a private viewing, please contact Aishath Ihuma, Director of Business Development at +960 7788986 or aishath.ihuma@coralresidencesmaldives.com.

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Weixin Pay supported to boost Chinese tourists to Maldives

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On May 27, Zihuny Rasheed, Deputy Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives), and Etienne Ng, Weixin Pay’s Country Manager, Singapore and Regional Director, Southeast Asia, WeChat Pay, signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during ITB China 2024, pledging to support more Maldivian merchants to accept WeixinPay to provide Chinese tourists with a convenient payment experience. Visit Maldives is the Official Destination Partner for this year’s edition of ITB China.

“China is a key source of tourists for the Maldives, and we greatly value the experience of Chinese visitors,” said DMD Zihuny Rasheed. “We plan on promoting the acceptance of Weixin Pay throughout the country, offering Chinese tourists the payment option they are familiar with and prefer. I have used Weixin Pay during my visit to China via linking an international card, and I can attest to the convenience of the mobile payment option.”

Ibrahim Faisal, Minister of Tourism of the Maldives, expressed his support, “Excited that we’re introducing Weixin Pay for Chinese visitors, which is another step in establishing Maldives as their top destination. Now, it’s easier than ever for Chinese travellers to enjoy their stay, hassle-free. We look forward to further enhancing their experience,” he wrote.

According to Etienne Ng, Weixin Pay is currently being piloted at the country’s airport duty-free store, as well as in popular restaurants like Sala Thai and City Garden. Additionally, a range of hotels and resorts are participating including, JEN Maldives Malé by Shangri-La, Adaaran Select HudhuranFushi, Adaaran Club Rannalhi, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, Velaa Private Island, Cheval Blanc Randheli Private Island, Dhawa Ihuru Maldives, Ayada Maldives, Marriott Bonvoy, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and Angsana Velavaru in Maldives with strong support from the Bank of Maldives and local merchants. Making smooth progress, the initiative is expected to have 8,000 merchants nationwide that integrate the payment option.

“Weixin Pay is committed to providing users with safe and convenient payment services. Since the visa exemption policy was implemented, more and more Weixin Pay users have chosen to travel to the island country. Through our cooperation with Visit Maldives, we aim to provide Chinese users with the same convenient experience in the travel as they experience at home,” he said.

In February 2023, an Agreement on Mutual Exemption of Visa Requirements signed between the Maldives and China took effect as China expands its visa-free policy to benefit more countries. Consequently, the Maldives has consistently ranked among the top overseas destinations for Chinese tourists during popular travel periods such as the May Day and National Day holidays.

According to data from Visit Maldives, the country welcomed over 1.8 million tourists in 2023, a new national record. The Chinese market has been a key source market for the Maldives. As of 11th May 2024, it is the number one source market with 91,073 tourist arrivals.

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Indian influencer Niki Mehra in Maldives

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) hosted a familiarisation trip with Amilla Maldives for high-end influencer, Niki Mehra, from India to experience the luxury and romantic offerings of the Maldives from 3rd – 6th May 2024.

The familiarisation trip was a great opportunity to Niki Mehra, a renowned Indian model, fashion, beauty and travel content creator and social media influencer with over half a million followers who has carved a niche in the Indian fashion industry with her unique sense of style. During her time in the Sunny Side of Life, Niki Mehra showcased luxury to romantic experiences of the destination.

The trip promoted Maldives through social media platforms of Niki Mehra while highlighting experiential itinerary offerings of the Maldives. Additionally, the influencer trip assisted MMPRC in propelling growth in the luxury travel segment and honeymoon market by showcasing the Maldives as a premier honeymoon destination for the Indian travellers.

The Indian market has been a strong market for the Maldives over the years, currently ranked number 6 with 46,970 tourists as of 13th May 2024. Additionally, MMPRC showcased the Maldives in OTM and SATTE held earlier this year. MMPRC is committed to boosting the arrivals from the market and has exciting marketing activities planned for future, including joint campaigns, familiarisation trips, participation in major events and other campaigns which provides numerous opportunities to showcase the breathtaking Maldives to the market, attracting more Indian travellers.

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