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Abu Dhabi’s Jalboot to manage luxury marina in Maldives’ Crossroads integrated destination

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Thailand’s premier property development company Singha Estate on Tuesday announced a deal with Abu Dhabi-based Jalboot Holdings to manage its luxury marina at Crossroads, the first and largest integrated tourism destination in the Maldives.

As part of the 10-year exclusive deal, Jalboot will be providing a full spectrum water transport solution for Crossroads, including marina management, water transport and other support services.

“Singha Estate is very excited about this collaboration with Jalboot. They are the perfect partner for Crossroads as our upscale water transportation and services that will bring in the new marina experiences,” Naris Cheyklin, CEO of Singha Estate, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

Jalboot will also open a ‘one stop shop’ retail space at Crossroads’ Township — the project’s leisure and entertainment hub — that will hold agencies for different vessels and spare parts, with a chandlery stocking specialist supplies and equipment. This retail space will include a dedicated VR lounge for visitors to experience virtual tours on many of Jalboot’s vessels available for purchase.

Alongside managing Crossroads’ luxurious berth yacht marina, Jalboot will be providing a comprehensive range of luxury cruise services at the integrated destination totalling six vessels consisting of:

  • Round-trip ferry transportation services to and from Velana International Airport and other nearby islands
  • A yacht chartering service
  • Cutting edge electric Dhoni boats providing inter-lagoon services

Jalboot says its vessels have been uniquely designed for Crossroads, fully equipped with air-conditioning and having the capacity to transport over 4,000 passengers per day. Placing sustainability first, key innovations of the vessels include:

  • Water jet propulsion instead of conventional propellers, which can have a damaging effect on precious marine life and corals; suitable for the geography of the Maldives.
  • Full-scale Solas standard facilities.
  • A catamaran design engineered to enable vessel stability and comfort.

“The creative DNA of Jalboot and Singha Estate are very similar,” Jalboot’s CEO Mohamed Roestali and Group Chief Financial Officer Thomas Rebollini said.

“Singha Estate is a very progressive organisation that has brought the first marina and the first inter-linked resort of its kind to the Maldives. Amongst our many similarities, Jalboot has trail-blazed the creation of a water transport network in the UAE as well. Together, we can create an experience unlike any others in the Maldives.”

According to Jalboot, plans are also underway for inter-island transportation to be completely electric-powered, as it aims to make a significant future investment on marina and yacht management in light of the growth potential of the Maldives market.

Visitors to Crossroads can also look forward to enjoying a show, where Jalboot will showcase new models of luxury vessels. Additionally, the marina is expected to include an upscale boardwalk, featuring a stylish dining experience, hosting celebrity chefs and world renowned DJs.

From the marina management collaboration, Jalboot says it plans to enhance employment opportunities among Maldivian communities by sharing its specialised know-how with a local team at Croassroads marina via a specially formed start-up group.

Founded in 2013, Jalboot Holdings is a leading integrated provider of vessel design, construction and operation of sightseeing and passenger transfer ferry services based in Abu Dhabi. The company has surged to the frontline of the marine transport service industry, and in addition also provides private and commercial boat charters.

Developed by Singha Estate, Crossroads spans nine islands in the Emboodhoo Lagoon and will have a plethora of dining, retail, entertainment, recreational and leisure-lifestyle offerings, including a 50-berth marina. In addition to Hilton’s Curio Collection resort, which will be set exclusively on one of the islands within the integrated destination, Crossroads will also be home to Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and Hard Rock Cafe Maldives — the first development in the Maldives by world-class entertainment and lifestyle brand Hard Rock International.

With its close proximity of a 15-minute boat ride from the Maldives main Velana International Airport and capital Male, Crossroads aims to captivate leisure travellers and family markets with a development spanning nine islands, boasting 1,300 rooms and a retail space of over 11,000 square metres.

The project’s leisure and entertainment hub, The Township will house a variety of international restaurants, retail outlets, a world-class wellness spa, a Maldives Discovery Centre with coral preservation and coral propagation activities, a diving centre, a multi-purpose hall, a kids club, and a cultural centre. World-renowned partners at the Township include Hard Rock Café Maldives, Café del Mar, and two of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi.

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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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