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Dusit Thani to divest Maldives resort to subsidiary in $63 mln strategic move

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Dusit Thani Public Company Limited (DTC), one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, has announced plans to divest Dusit Thani Maldives to its subsidiary, Dusit Thani Freehold and Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust (DREIT).

The sale, which is valued at more than 2 billion baht (USD 63 million), is part of a strategic move designed to enhance DREIT’s appeal to investors whilst allowing DTC to recognise gain from sales, continue to obtain revenue from the property, and receive dividends from DREIT.

“In line with our vision for sustainable and profitable growth, we are continuously seeking ways to improve the efficiency of our asset portfolio to enhance revenue creation, generate returns, and source funds to aid in our business expansion. Recently DTC’s Board of Directors approved a resolution to dispose rights and leasehold rights in Dusit Thani Maldives worth not less than 2,304 million baht, subject to shareholders’ approval,” Suphajee Suthumpun, Group Chief Executive at DTC, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“The sale of Dusit Thani Maldives to DREIT would bring numerous benefits for DTC and DREIT. DTC could recognise gain from the sale, continue to obtain revenue from the property under the lease agreement and hotel management agreement, and also enjoy consistent return from investment in DREIT. Meanwhile, the acquisition of Dusit Thani Maldives would enable DREIT to generate attractive return to unitholders. Furthermore, the increase in fund size would improve the unit trading liquidity, making it more appealing to investors.”

With the acquisition of Dusit Thani Maldives, DREIT plans to issue and offer for sale approximately 365,000,000 new trust units as a part of the source of funds. DTC’s Board of Directors also approved a resolution to subscribe for the newly-issued investment units of DREIT in accordance with the rights offering. This would allow DTC to maintain its investment proportion and receive the dividend from DREIT to use for working capital and further investment.

Located on Mudhdhoo Island in Baa atoll — the Maldives’ first ever UNESCO biosphere reserve — Dusit Thani Maldives blends gracious Thai hospitality with the unparalleled luxury setting of the Maldives. This luxury island resort comprises 94 villas encircled by white sandy beaches, a stunning 360 degree house reef and a turquoise lagoon. With a unique combination of beach and lagoon accommodation, Dusit Thani Maldives provides an unmatched luxurious escape for all travellers.

The resort offers a 360 degree vibrant house reef compliment with a turquoise lagoon, a 750-square metre infinity swimming pool with a lush Banyan tree in the centre, five restaurants and bars with breathtaking views and a Kids Club that is committed to making children’s dreams come true.

The award-winning Devarana Spa at Dusit Thani Maldives encompasses six deluxe treatment pods, which sit elevated amongst the island’s palm trees. For those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, the spa has also developed two stunning ground level treatment rooms. Manicure and pedicure-dedicated area, private outdoor pool, steam and sauna are exclusively available for spa guests.

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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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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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