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Anantara’s Maldives resorts shine at World Travel Awards’ regional edition

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Two resorts in Maldives operated by Thailand-based Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has won prestigious titles at the regional edition of the 2018 World Travel Awards.

At the African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards, which took place at the Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) in South Africa on October 6, Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort secured Maldives’ Leading Family Resort award, while Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas received the Maldives’ Leading Villa Resort award.

Part of Thai hospitality group Minor Hotel Group, Anantara runs three resorts in the Maldives: Anantara Veli Maldives Resort and Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort in South Male Atoll, and Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas in Baa atoll.

Situated on Dhigufinolhu island in the South Male Atoll is Anantara Dhigu, where luxury meets simplicity. The resort comprises of the most spacious of luxury villas coupled with private plunge pools while just being a quick 35-minute speedboat ride away from the main Velana International Airport.

Anantara Dhigu provides a harmonious combination of both the romantic, adventure and family friendly. Upon arrival guests can peer into the crystal waters below the jetty at puffer fish, sting rays and baby reef sharks.

Choose between villas perfectly positioned to catch the sunrise or sunset, or those that have their own private plunge pool. Among Maldives luxury accommodation, Anantara Dhigu is outstanding with its choice of stylishly designed villas and suites. A number of these villas come with direct access to the powdery white beach and all only steps away from the tranquil lagoon.

Parents can relax while little ones are entertained for hours and spoilt for choice with Anantara’s kids club and numerous activities available. Thrill the family with adventures that include water bobbing, surfing and deep sea fishing. Families can even take a short pontoon ride to the island of Guli Fushi, picnic on the deserted beaches and experience some of the best snorkelling in the Maldives.

The cuisine at Anantara Dhigu is an inspiring Maldives restaurant gastronomic experience. Dining is relaxed and informal, with an array of seafood and meat grills, fine Italian cuisine and varying themed buffet dinners, to lighter meals poolside for lunch.

Anantara Dhigu’s evocative location is matched by a tranquil island design approach that feels like home away from home while providing guests with their every need.

Designed by Maldivian architects Group X Design Associates, Anantara Kihavah offers the luxury of solitude against the world’s most stunning backdrop. Natural materials and motifs inspired by Maldivian heritage fuse to create laid-back luxury. With underwater dining, overwater stargazing, and swimming with mantas and turtles, photo ops abound in dazzling Indian Ocean hues.

Anantara Kihavah is just 35 minutes by seaplane from the main Velana International Airport. Following the scenic flight, guests arrive to a picture-perfect setting surrounded by the jewel-coloured waters and uninhabited islands of the majestic Indian Ocean.

Comprising 74 one-bedroom villas, four two-bedroom residences and a three-bedroom residence, each hideaway boasts large personal infinity-edge pools, dining pavilions, expansive wooden sundecks and ample lounging areas complete with swinging daybeds, hammocks and sun loungers. All villas feature his and hers walk-in wardrobes, rain showers, outdoor showers and over-sized bathtubs big enough for two. Sunken glass bottom bathtubs in the over water villas offer a mesmerising view of the sparkling ocean, both below and beyond the adjacent infinity-edge pool.

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region. World Travel Awards Gala Ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries and international print and broadcast media.

The 2018 African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony marked the sixth leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2018 – a series of regional events to acknowledge the world’s outstanding travel brands. Events on the tour include Ras al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates), Athens (Greece), Hong Kong, Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Montego Bay (Jamaica).

The regional winners will progress to the Grand Final 2018, which is being hosted in Lisbon (Portugal) on December 1.

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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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