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With Nika Museum, Nika Island transforms into ‘patron’ of Maldives culture, heritage

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Patronage is defined as the support, encouragement, privilege or aid that an organisation or individual bestows to another. In the history of arts, “Patronage” refers to the support that has been provided to artists such as musicians, painters and sculptors.

For this concept, most languages still use the term “Mecenate”, which is derived from the name of Gaius Maecenas who was a generous friend and adviser to the Roman Emperor Augustus. During the Renaissance, not only in Italy but also in Europe, the concept of “Patronage” and “Mecenatismo” allowed arts to flourish, as several groups of Patrons sponsored art and architecture, painting, sculpture and handicrafts.

Can a Maldivian resort turn into a “Mecenate”, into a Patron? Can a hotel preserve, protect and revamp the folklore and heritage of a nation made up of thousands of islands?

At Nika Island Resort, this question turned into a challenge at first. But it has now become a reality, with the recent opening of the Nika Museum.

Nika Museum is the result of the transformation of an old furnace which was used to cast and forge metals. During the conversion of the old furnace into the museum, two dimensions coexisted: the concept of conservation, which is part of Nika’s DNA, and the creation of a new space that constantly interacts with the guests.

At Nika Museum, a maze of tunnels that turn into galleries, coral-made vaults and arches lead visitors through an unexpected space and a unique collection of historical artefacts, art pieces and creations by local artists. This selection of items allows the Nika to share with the community of travellers a fascinating story and to make the local community (re)discover the nation’s heritage which is slowly fading away.

“The new museum is a space that reflects the beauty of a nation; it tells what the nation has been – and hopefully – it can even foreshadow future developments of the Maldives,” Edoardo Caccin, the External Director at Nika Island, said.

“The museum aims to generate awareness among the travellers, to make them understand that the destination they are experiencing cannot be reduced to a series of breathtaking beaches.”

Over the years, Nika Island has been forging close relations with both the public and private sector in Maldives as well as local and international NGOs and artists. The Nika Museum presents itself as a platform for these partners to share their stories with the guests.

At Nika Museum, UNDP explains the main challenges Maldivians face in their daily life, whilst Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) — the largest seaplane operator in the world — describes how the concept of connectivity is evolving along with the development of the hospitality industry. Local artists, poets and dancers share their art and their vision for the country.

“The team of this island wants to celebrate, elevate and spread the unique components of the Maldivian culture among the travellers. How? Simply using the mechanisms and dynamics that belong to all the museums in the world: selected items, handcrafts, artefacts and pieces of art – combined with storytelling – will guide the visitors through the folklore and heritage of the country,” Caccin said.

“Nika welcomes whoever has a story and wants to explain the dynamics that make the Maldivian archipelago a unique destination in the globe.”

In addition to the private collection, the museum is also hosting the exhibition title, “The Island Nation” by Zuleyha Ali.

Zuleyha is a talented Maldivian artist who made history for being the first Maldivian artist to be selected to participate at the prestigious Florence Biennale 2017 in Italy. Zuleyha’s work has been displayed in international exhibitions in Paris, New York, Florence, Chianciono Terme, Singapore, Beijing, Dhaka and Colombo. Five of her paintings have entered the permanent collection of the Chinese Ministry of Art and Culture in Beijing. Two of her paintings have entered Beijing Yi Pu Culture’s permanent collection in Singapore.

Zuleyha’s paintings showcased as part of the collection at Nika Museum illustrate an array of natural scenes that the Maldives has to offer. The collection focuses on the alarming threats the country faces due to environmental concerns such as climate change and global warming.

“I aim to portray my art works as an engaging visual representation that I hope will grab the attention of viewers. I like to focus on and highlight their role in preserving nature. I also find it very important to draw the attention of young minds and adults alike to environmental issues and nature in a positive way, in order to foster constructive and optimistic changes towards a more sustainable world,” Zuleyha said.

Located in North Ari Atoll, Nika is a milestone of the Maldives hospitality industry.

The deserted island of Kudafolhudhu turned into a resort back in 1983. Since its inception, the philosophy and values that shaped this unique boutique resort are the same: privacy, natural sophistication and local heritage.

All of its 43 villas have been built according to the traditional Maldivian architectural style. Being one of the first resorts built in the country, everything on the island has been built using coral blocks, coconut palm trunks and palm leaves. A collection of antiques and unique Maldivian pieces of art decorate the interiors of all the villas.

Nika is a perfect example of a boutique hotel that breaks the dynamics of big international brands that are reshaping the Maldivian hospitality industry. Nika is a heady mix of Italian lifestyle and Maldivian traditions; a unique platform where heritage and natural beauty meet together.

Culture

Celebrate ‘Year of the Dragon’ with Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island’s Lunar New Year offering

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Welcome the ‘Year of the Dragon’ in style with Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island and enjoy a series of exciting events this Lunar New Year. From exceptional culinary experiences to a range of family-friendly activities, there are limited-edition events to suit all guests, running exclusively from Friday 09 to Tuesday 13 February 2024.

For those looking to tantalise their tastebuds, the resort’s ‘Flavours of China’ experience will be sure to delight, offering a culinary journey through the best of Chinese cuisine. Three of Jumeirah Guangzhou’s renowned Chinese head chefs have crafted two set menus – a four-course menu and an eight-course menu – featuring authentic dishes bursting with flavour and colour. For those looking to further elevate their dining experience, a selection of the finest Chinese wines has been carefully curated to perfectly complement each and every dish.

Families heading to the resort to celebrate the Lunar New Year will find plenty to keep the little ones busy, with an exciting variety of seasonal family-friendly events, in addition to the resort’s existing family offering, with over 50 activities available. Whether it’s dragon mask making at MURACA Art Studio or a Chinese lantern release ceremony at Glow, the whole family will love celebrating at Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island, with playful activities designed to create last memories for all. When it comes to downtime, the resort’s spacious one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas offer the perfect space for a family retreat, with separate living spaces and bedrooms providing plenty of space to relax in comfort and style.

For guests looking to unwind in between festivities, they can experience various rejuvenating rituals with the resort’s visiting wellness practitioner Dr. Syed Afzal. Offering personalised guided wellness experiences and holistic therapies, including one-to-one pranic healing and traditional Chinese acupuncture sessions, guests can indulge in the perfect fusion of ancient wisdom and modern wellness to ensure a relaxing start to the ‘Year of the Dragon’. Driven by a deep passion for wellbeing, Dr. Syed assists guests with reaching higher levels of relaxation, rejuvenation, and balance in the midst of paradise within the captivating overwater treatment rooms of the Talise Spa.

Marine life lovers will relish the opportunity to head out on a Dolphin Quest, witnessing the beauty of dolphins in their natural habitat, while those who are looking for a more immersive experience can opt for the Ocean Wonders Snorkelling experience. A Sunset Cruise will also set sail on Monday 12 February, giving guests the chance to experience the beautiful Maldivian sunset while sipping on bubbly to the rhythmic beats of traditional Maldivian Bodu Beru drumming.

Surrounded by a breathtaking natural landscape, Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island offers a luxurious island escape for travellers looking to get away this Lunar New Year. The resort offers 67 beach and over-water villas, each designed in a contemporary style with their own private rooftop terraces, as well as six restaurants and bars which offer Jumeirah Group’s signature dining experiences and unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean.

Guests looking to explore the festivities in more detail will find the programme here, and can take advantage of up to 30% off their booking with the Jumeirah Escapes offer.

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Beach Club at SAii Lagoon Maldives to host Diwali celebrations

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Every year, the Beach Club at SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton is known to deliver its popular Diwali extravagance for the guests as well as the visitors to Crossroads Maldives. This year too, The Beach Club at SAii Lagoon Maldives has announced two remarkable events that will live up to the true spirit of the Diwali the auspicious celebrations of lights, love, and harmony.

On the 11th of November mark the calendars for a Diwali Pool Party at the Beach Club from 02.00 pm until 06.00pm. Dive into the celebration as you enjoy the mesmerising beats spun by the talented DJ while relishing in the beautiful views of our pristine lagoon. Special highlights of the event include a Live Indian Chat Corner, thrilling beach games with exciting prizes, and the entrance is complimentary for children below the age of eleven. With the frequent ferry schedule from the Marina at Crossroads Maldives, this fantastic Diwali celebration is accessible to all visitors, making it a perfect destination to soak in the festivities.

As the sun sets on this magical day, continue the celebrations with a sumptuous Diwali Indian Dinner Buffet with a live performance by a sensational saxophonist performance from 18:30 to 22:00. This incredible line-up of events, promises a delectable journey through authentic Indian cuisine accompanied by the soothing melodies of the saxophone setting the perfect ambiance to elevate your weekend mood.

The Beach Club at SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton is where the vibrant colours of Diwali meet the tranquil blues of the Indian Ocean, creating an enchanting atmosphere that you won’t want to miss this weekend.

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Culture

Celebrate Diwali at COMO Cocoa Island

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Celebrate the magic of Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights at COMO Cocoa Island from November 9th to 12th. Join the resort for a celebration steeped in culture and joy, as the resort illuminates the island with the spirit of togetherness.

Over the four days, indulge in a culinary journey through India’s diverse flavours with a specially curated menus by Executive Chef Kadek and his team. Starting on November 9th, savour the rich and satisfying Thali Set Dinner, offering a diverse array of dishes. A traditional Indian-style tea time will be served at Faru Bar, featuring Masala Chai paired with an Indian-style sweet tea set from November 10th to 12th. On November 11th, enjoy a sumptuous Three-Course Indian Set Lunch, complemented by the delightful treat of mango lassi. The grand finale on November 12th features a Special Diwali Set Menu, immersing you in India’s culinary heritage.

In addition, a special programme of Diwali activities have also been designed for families with little ones, ensuring a memorable experience for everyone.

Nestled in the picturesque South Malé Atoll, COMO Cocoa Island is an intimate island retreat featuring 33 overwater villas set against the backdrop of a stunning turquoise lagoon. The island boasts an exceptional house reef teeming with rich marine life, offering guests a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Maldives. The resort houses an award-winning COMO Shambhala for those seeking for relaxation, which combines the ancient healing and contemporary science

Stay at COMO Cocoa Island this Diwali and enjoy an exclusive room rate with complimentary full-board and return shared speedboat transfer for two adults. Additionally, guests can participate in an activity of their choice during their stay, which includes turtle snorkelling, a sunset cruise, or sunset fishing. Complimentary room upgrades are also available upon arrival, subject to availability.

Book direct with the resort and receive a US$150 resort credit to indulge in more unforgettable experiences during your stay.

For more information on COMO Cocoa Island, Maldives or to book the next stay, please visit https://www.comohotels.com/maldives/como-cocoa-island

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