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Maldives says resources deployed to ramp up main airport development

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Relevant resources have been deployed to accelerate the development of the main airport, Maldives government has announced.

In his presidential address to the inaugural sitting of the parliament for the year on February 7, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said the slow progress of the development of Velana International Airport relative to the rapid expansion of the tourism industry, poses a persistent challenge to the tourism sector and curbs its optimal performance. Without the completion of a new terminal, the full potential of the new runway at the airport cannot be realised and more tourists cannot be brought in, he added.

“Our economic progress and tourism industry are inherently tied to the ongoing project to develop and expand Velana International Airport. The need to improve the services currently offered, and to expand the capacity of the airport is paramount to accommodate the increasing number of tourists and travellers,” the president said.

A newly developed runway at the Velana International Airport was inaugurated in September 2018, but it has yet to be used for flight operations.

Meanwhile, construction of a new international passenger terminal has stalled.

Designing and construction of the new 80,000 sq ft passenger terminal, which is expected to cater to at least seven million passengers per annum, has been contracted to the Saudi Binladin Group.

The new terminal, which costs USD 350 million, is part of a USD 800 million mega project to expand and upgrade the main Velana International Airport. The project also involves building the brand new runway and a seaplane terminal as well as other support facilities, including a fuel farm that can store 45 million litres and a 120,000 tonne cargo facility.

USD 570 million of the USD 800 million needed for the project have already been raised from international financiers, especially Arab funding agencies. It includes a USD 100 million loan from Saudi Fund for Development, a USD 50 million loan from Kuwait Fund and a USD 50 million loan from OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

China EXIM Bank has also granted a loan of USD 400 million for the new runway, which has been contracted to Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) of China.

State-owned airport operator Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has also invested USD 50 million from its own funds.

The airport is a key infrastructure that supports the Maldives multi-billion dollar tourism industry. Expansion of the airport is expected to boost tourist arrivals to the island nation as it aims to attract at least two million tourists by 2020.

By the end of last year, 1.4 million tourists from around the world visited the Maldives. There were 145 resorts and 521 guesthouses in operation, with a total of 44, 860 beds.

The government aims to attract around 1.5 million tourists to the Maldives this year and to increase that number to 2.5 million per year by 2023.

Reflecting the government’s pledge, the state budget for 2019 includes MVR 104,200,000 (USD 6.7 million) for tourism promotion, up from MVR 34,733,333 (USD 2.2 million) this year and the previous year.

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Villa Resorts hosts over 200 travel agents from India to showcase its transformation

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Villa Resorts, a leading Maldivian resort group, recently hosted a series of events for over 200 travel agents from India.

The events were held to highlight the company’s recent rebranding and to familiarise travel agents with the significant changes made as part of its strategic Blue Ocean Shift.

Villa Resorts has a significant market presence in India, and the events were part of the company’s ongoing efforts to work closely with its partners to showcase its transformation and enhancements in its products and services.

The familiarisation events drew over 200 participants, making it one of the largest series of events for travel agents ever hosted by a Maldivian resort group.

Villa Resorts plans to continue hosting similar events throughout the coming year to promote its growing portfolio of resorts to the Indian market.

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‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion: Four draws, countless winners, more to go

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The ‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion, which launched with great fanfare on June 23, continues to captivate audiences across the nation with its promise of incredible prizes and adrenaline-pumping excitement. As Coca-Cola moves forward, the company has announced not one, but four draws that have rewarded lucky winners with exciting prizes!

The ‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion has been a huge success, with dozens of lucky winners taking home amazing prizes, such as Benelli motorbikes, helmets, and Charged drink cases. The promotion, which started on June 23, has been attracting customers from all over the Maldives, who have been enjoying the refreshing taste of Charged caffeinated beverage and the thrill of scratching their cards to reveal their codes.

So far, four draws have taken place, each one broadcasted live on Television Maldives (TVM) at 9:30pm. The winners of the Benelli motorbikes were Mohamed Adam, MD Musharraf, Mohamed Rasel Hossain and Ahmed Zahir who were ecstatic to receive their prizes and thanked Charged for making their dreams come true. The winners of the helmets and drink cases were also delighted with their rewards and encouraged others to join the promotion.

But don’t worry if you haven’t won yet, because there are still more chances to win! The ‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion is not over yet. That means you still have time to grab your favourite Charged drink, scratch your card, and send your code to 2626 via SMS.

As the exciting journey continues, there are two main draws left in this thrilling event, scheduled for September 24 and October 20. You could be the next lucky winner of a Benelli Leoncino 250 motorbike! But the excitement doesn’t stop there; be sure to keep an eye out for the daily draws, with winners announced regularly on the @ChargedMaldives Instagram page. You could stand a chance to win a Charged branded helmet, or a Charged drink case.

Charged, a ground-breaking addition to Coca-Cola Maldives’ beverage portfolio, is available in 250 ml, in 100% recyclable aluminium cans, in line with our packaging strategy to use 100% recyclable packaging material. The caffeinated beverage is now widely available at major retail outlets, hotels, restaurants, and cafes throughout the Maldives.

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JEN Maldives Malé by Shangri-La unveils Oro’s 100% Arabica Rose Coffee

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JEN Maldives Malé by Shangri-La has introduced a special coffee to their collection – Oro’s 100% Arabica Rose Coffee. This latest addition to the menu of Jen’s Kitchen On-the-Go aims to provide coffee lovers with the unique and delicate taste of Oro’s Arabica Rose.

The hotel was alive with excitement on Thursday evening with the launch of Oro’s 100% Arabica rose. Media personnel and coffee enthusiasts were treated to an exclusive tasting experience of freshly brewed Arabica Rose Coffee along with some tasty finger foods.

The highlight of the evening was a lucky draw giveaway, extending an invitation for all the guests to participate and win a Skechers Maldives voucher and coffee voucher from Jen’s Kitchen On-the-Go.

Oro’s Arabica Rose Coffee is now available at Jen’s Kitchen on-the-go. It is the perfect spot to refuel with coffee, tea, freshly squeezed juices, or a light bite. Customers can now enroll to become a Shangri-La Circle Member and earn points with every purchase at Jen’s Kitchen On- the-Go and enjoy the rewards at Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts worldwide.

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