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Onyx Hospitality Group announces second Maldivian resort, OZO Maldives opening in 2020

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Onyx Hospitality Group has announced plans to open a second resort in the Maldives, OZO Maldives.

Scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2020 under a management agreement with a joint venture company led by Panchshil Realty, the 200-villa private island resort will occupy a secluded island in the Raa atoll, located northwest of the Maldivian capital of Male. ‏

Positioned as a family-oriented resort, OZO Maldives will bear all the signatures which define an OZO, including an enhanced sleep experience, smart connectivity of personal devices in both private spaces and public areas, and curated destination and activity tips by enthusiastic and informed team members.

‏”We are excited to be taking OZO to the Maldives, a destination once reserved exclusively for the ultra-luxury segment. With the opening of OZO, we look forward to redefining the family-oriented resort experience in the Maldives with a property which combines the best of the three key OZO brand signatures — sleep, connect and explore. OZO Maldives will be a great showcase of locally-sourced craftsmanship and environmental education,” Douglas Martell, President and CEO of Onyx Hospitality Group, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“Serving as a strong complement to Amari Havodda Maldives located in the south, this new opening will give Onyx Hospitality Group the opportunity of offering two compelling luxury and mid-scale options in this popular paradise destination.”

‏Featuring design elements and experience touch points inspired by a fictitious castaway explorer named Sebastian King III, an artist and amateur sailor who was shipwrecked and lived alone on the island for eight years before allowing himself to be discovered, OZO Maldives will immerse travellers in a reinterpretation of the legacy he left behind through a series of structures, shelters and landmarks Sebastian creatively constructed from island-sourced raw materials and flotsam washed ashore over the years.‏

Highlights include an upturned Dhoni shipwreck hidden within a jungle which doubles as an activity centre, a crow’s nest-style observation tower, an abandoned lighthouse, Sebastian’s rustic home located within the kids’ club, educational sundial and weather station, and a mangrove discovery walkway.‏

‏The social centre of the island will be the ‘Village’, a collection of rustic driftwood styled retail and dining outlets offering art and craft workshops, bespoke ice cream and refreshments, as well as island-inspired fashions. The island’s large size and natural untouched terrain also offer family-oriented activities including adventure and biking trails, a kids’ campsite, a pitch and putt golf course and various natural and environmental features to appeal to travellers of all ages. ‏

‏Other facilities include OZO’s signature Eat all-day-dining restaurant best known for energising breakfasts, a specialty ‘sunset experience’ restaurant, a rustic and informal ‘Victory Bar’ and floating lagoon pavilions and jungle tree-decks for private dinners. There will also be an island farm run by Maldivian islanders, offering guests natural and fresh organic produce in a unique market garden dining experience.

The resort will also feature Maai Spa, a signature Thai wellness concept, a gym and yoga facility, dive centre and a large landscaped lagoon swimming pool.‏

Of the 200 villas at OZO Maldives, 60 villas will be located overwater while 140 villas will be located on the beach, with 50 beach villas offering larger family-friendly layouts and private plunge pools. Many of the villas will also be either interconnecting or configured with dual key access, to offer flexibility for families and groups of friends travelling together.‏

“OZO Maldives will be a great family-oriented resort with a strong focus on sustainability and environmental education, capped off by all the elements which have made OZO a compelling and high-quality midscale offering. We look forward to adding Onyx to the growing list of international hotel partners we have relationships with, and to working with them on the opening of this property,” Ranjit Batra, President for Hospitality Management at Panchshil Realty, a majority shareholder of the project ownership consortium, said.

‏OZO is a smart, simple and savvy midscale hotel brand offering an enhanced sleep experience and seamless connectivity for travellers who are keen to embark on a deeper exploration of the destination. Since the opening of the first OZO in Hong Kong, the brand has generated consistently positive feedback and continues to exceed midscale accommodation expectations. OZO is currently available in Hong Kong, Koh Samui, Colombo and Kandy, with new hotels being developed in Pattaya, Phuket, Johor Bahru, Penang and the Maldives.‏

‏Within the Indian Ocean region, Onyx Hospitality Group operates four hotels in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, with two hotels in the development pipeline.

In the Maldives, Onyx runs the Amari Havodda Maldives resort, which is located in the southern Gaafu Dhaalu atoll, and accessible by a 55-minute domestic flight to Kaadedhdhoo domestic airport from the main Velana International Airport, followed by a 10-minute speedboat transfer to the island.

Based in Thai capital Bangkok, Onyx Hospitality Group has a growing regional portfolio of 50 operating properties across three core brands in eight countries. The group has a robust development pipeline of close to 30 new properties in markets such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia, and has set a target of having 99 hotels open by 2024 as part of its journey towards being the best medium-sized hospitality player in the region.‏

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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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130 hotels in The Prestige Collection with 4 Maldives properties

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The Prestige Collection has reached 130 hotels in its portfolio, continuing to uphold quality and excellence as core pillars. It represents the most exclusive selection within Keytel, the world’s first alliance of independent hotels.

Since its establishment in 2007, The Prestige Collection has been dedicated to meeting the growing demand for luxury hotels, becoming a reference for hospitality industry specialists. Despite its focus on independent hotels, the collection has successfully attracted prestigious properties from international luxury chains such as Rosewood Villa Magna, Mandarín Oriental Ritz Madrid, and Fairmont Mayakoba in Riviera Maya. These hotels view The Prestige Collection as a complement to their commercial strategy for attracting luxury clientele.

With a prominent presence both nationally and internationally across 36 countries, The Prestige Collection shines in with four distinguished resorts: Baglioni Resort Maldives, Diamonds Athuruga Maldives Resort & Spa, Diamonds Thudufushi Maldives Resort & Spa, and Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa. Internationally, the collection boasts emblematic properties like Armani Dubai, Café Royal in London, The Pierre in New York, and Kappa Senses in Ubud, Bali, among others.

The collection categorises hotels into four distinctive categories, highlighting ideal places to disconnect, properties in vibrant urban settings, coastal options for those seeking serenity, and unique experiences for those seeking singularity.

Furthermore, this milestone coincides with the relaunch of its new experiential website platform. This platform offers users and industry professionals the opportunity to explore the collection in greater detail and drives qualified traffic to the official websites of member hotels.

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Waste Management Corporation (WAMCO) Marks a Significant Step Towards Transforming Urban Waste Management

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Waste Management Corporation (WAMCO) marked a significant step towards plastic waste management with the adoption of dedicated vehicles handed over to boost this transformation of urban waste management supported by The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives.  

In March 2024, UNDP Maldives officially handed over a fleet of six vehicles to WAMCO, which included two electric vehicles (EVs), as part of an initiative aimed at enhancing waste management across the Greater Male’ Area (GMA). This acquisition, facilitated through the financial support of TCCF paves the way for a crucial advancement in bolstering PET collection efforts and tackling the challenge of plastic waste in the Maldives.

“This initiative marks a significant step towards boosting recycling rates and combating environmental pollution in the Maldives,” stated Pek Chuan Gan, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Maldives speaking at the handover ceremony. “Integrating electric vehicles into WAMCO’s fleet and improving PET recycling processes not only lowers carbon emissions but also pioneers renewable energy use in waste management. It’s a vital move for steering the Maldives towards a sustainable and renewable-powered future.”

The provision of electric vehicles marks a continuation of UNDP Maldives’ support to the Government’s vision to introduce renewable energy in key sectors such as waste management that significantly contribute to the country’s renewable energy transition ambition. By embracing clean energy solutions, such as electric vehicles in waste management practices, the Maldives can further reduce its carbon footprint and move closer to achieving its renewable energy goals.

“Utilizing eco-friendly vehicles is a pivotal change for WAMCO, signifying a major leap towards modernizing waste management in the Maldives,” remarked Mujthaba Jaleel, Managing Director, from WAMCO. “This collaboration highlights the shared commitment to environmental stewardship and the potential for such partnerships to catalyse meaningful progress in sustainability and about the positive impact these vehicles will have on our operations and the environment.”

Representatives from UNDP Maldives, WAMCO, and The Coca-Cola Foundation’s unified efforts towards a sustainable future. Photo courtesy: CIAO Advertising.

“Our commitment goes beyond just recycling; it’s about fostering a culture of sustainability,” remarked Saadia Madsbjerg, President, Coca‑Cola Foundation and VP Community Affairs. “By enhancing waste management in the Maldives, we aspire to set a benchmark for environmental stewardship.”

For The Coca-Cola Foundation, together with the stakeholders, the aim is to propel Maldives towards a future where plastic circularity is not just envisioned but actively pursued. By channelling resources and expertise into the heart of waste management, TCCF has made a sizeable contribution in enhancing and attracting investment to this crucial sector in the Maldives. This initiative is a testament to TCCF’s commitment to fostering sustainable practices and promoting the reuse and recycling of plastics, thereby reducing environmental impact, and paving the way for a circular economy.

The fleet handover event held on March 18, 2024, served as a celebration of collaboration in waste management. Representatives from UNDP Maldives, WAMCO, The Coca-Cola Foundation, government officials, and stakeholders came together to mark this significant step and reinforced their collective dedication to building a more sustainable future for the Maldives.

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