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Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort joins UNDP to support SDGs

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Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort and UNDP Maldives has entered into a partnership to work towards achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

An agreement was signed on Monday by Shoko Noda, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives, and Jesus Perez Bustamante, Cluster General Manager for Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort.

In a statement, UNDP said it will work with Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort towards assisting the local communities near the island of Kooddoo, which houses the resort, to create sustainable localised solutions to local problems. The partnership will also involve education to assist local communities and stakeholders to achieve the SDGs, it added.

“This will enable the local community to achieve important progress and set the stage to build an strong and sustainable community through support of the collaborative partnership,” Jesus Perez Bustamante, who thanked UNDP Maldives for the cooperation, was quoted in the statement, as saying.

The SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals set by the UN. The broad goals are interrelated though each has its own targets to achieve. The total number of targets is 169. The SDGs cover a broad range of social and economic development issues, including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice.

UNDP has earlier signed a similar agreement with Soneva Fushi.

Managed by AccorHotels, Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort welcomed the first group of guests in August.

The four-star resort, developed on the island of Kooddoo in Gaafu Alif atoll, boasts 68 stylish and well-appointed villas, comprising 43 overwater villas and 25 beach villas with 20 of them featuring a private swimming pool. Attesting to the Mercure brand promise of an authentic experience, vivid colours and decorative motifs along with warm textures and local design touches are used tastefully throughout the villas in order to create a haven of peace with a strong local character.

Guests are offered several attractive dining options. The all-day dining Alita Restaurant serves Pan-Asian à la carte cuisine and themed buffets, with both indoor and outdoor seating. Vistas, an overwater restaurant and lounge, serves tapas, snacks and handcrafted cocktails, while the Alita Pool Bar offers cocktails and light bites with a view.

Suvadiva Divers, the resort’s five-star PADI dive and water sports centre, provides aquatic excursions to the many unique and wonderful locations nearby. Several water sports options such as snorkelling, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, catamarans, jet skis and fun tubes are also available.

Additionally, the resort has several recreational activities and facilities such as the 50-metre lagoon-side swimming pool, fully equipped fitness centre, tennis court, kids’ club and off-island day trips. The marine-themed Suvadiva Spa at Mercure Maldives Kooddoo, meanwhile, offers a range of treatments and therapies for guests in need of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort is the only resort in the Maldives directly accessible via domestic flight from the main Velana International Airport, with no need for an additional speedboat transfer. The domestic plane transfer to Kooddoo, which also houses a fish processing plant, takes about 55 minutes.

A newcomer to the Maldives booming tourism industry, AccorHotels is on a major expansion drive with two existing properties and another two under development in the island nation.

Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort is the first property to be run in the Maldives by the French multinational hotel chain. The company has since taken over the management of Dhevanafushi from Dubai-based hospitality group Jumeirah, with plans to reposition the luxury resort under the iconic Raffles Hotels and Resorts brand.

AccorHotels is also gearing up for the opening in December of Sirru Fen Fushi, a brand new luxury resort in the northern Shaviyani atoll, with plans to later reposition it under the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts brand.

The company has also signed up to manage another resort being developed in Gaafu Alif atoll.

Set to open next year, the Pullman Maldives Maamutaa resort is a traditional ‘one island, one resort’ property located a 10-minute speedboat ride away from its sister property, the Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort. The five star resort will offer upscale modern facilities such as two swimming pools, a sunset bar overlooking the lagoon, a luxury spa, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a kids club, beach playground, tennis courts, gourmet restaurants, organic gardens, a dive centre and a water sports centre.

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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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