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Aimy: from Cambridge University’s Brilliance in Maldives to disrupting hospitality marketing



Maldives has made significant progress on gender equity and equality in recent years. But there is still a lot has to be done; limited opportunities and information for women, and cultural barriers, restrict the choices available to them. In addition, limited resources, cultural barriers and in some cases conservative religious groups combine to restrict the participation and leadership of women in society and business.

A 2010 study found that Maldivian women are the least employed demographic in the resort industry, accounting for only three per cent of the total eight per cent of female workers at resorts in 2010. Local and foreign men constitute 92 per cent of the industry. According to the study’s findings, “culture, religion, and women’s role in the family, the role of the family, safety, geographical spread, transportation, education and awareness” were the main factors preventing women from seeking resort employment at the time.

It was true for Aminath ‘Aimy’ Rausha Haadhee when she decided to join the hospitality industry right after high school. The social stigma of women working in resorts got in the way, with some amongst her family and friends suggesting her to look elsewhere for her career prospect. Some even thought she was making a mistake by moving to an island from capital Male — where most Maldivians go looking for better opportunities. They thought as a straight A student, she could do much better by choosing a career like business management.

But Aimy knew what she wanted to do. So, moving back to her native atoll of Addu after A-Levels and taking up a job at the neighbouring Shangri-La’s Villingi Resort & Spa was a natural start to her dream career. Her dislike of living in the busy, stressful capital city made it easier!

Maldives Insider sits with Aimy, the Public Relations Manager at LUX* North Male Atoll, to find out about her rewarding career, and to gain an insight into the opportunities and challenges faced by locals, especially women in the hospitality industry.

Maldives Insider: How did you get your start in the industry?

Aimy: I actually wanted to study tourism management but my dad and I had to always disagree on it. He thought I should study business management because I was amongst the first Maldivians to get Cambridge Brilliance Award in Commerce in my O-Levels.

MI: How would you describe your first few years in the industry?

A: I finished my A-Levels in 2009 and joined Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort in 2010 as a reservations agent. I spent one and a half years there before going to Malaysia to do my Bachelors Degree in International Business Management. I did an internship in front office at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island during my summer break in 2012. I graduated on August 16, 2014. On August 22, I was already in Cheval Blanc Randheli.

MI: What made you shift your career to sales and marketing?

Even though I was in reservations at Randheli, I was really interested in sales. And I was already doing PR and social media marketing as a hobby. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. If you’re in reservations, you’re very much linked to the agents. It’s up to you to develop your skills in sales. I wanted to learn both marketing and sales. Marketing is more interesting to me because I’m really fascinated by digital and social media marketing, which were my favourite modules at university.

I found an opportunity at Gili Lankafushi for a sales and marketing executive. It was a tempting opportunity because I could do both sales and marketing. So I took the job in 2017. The work environment at Gili Lankanfushi was very open; you could play with your creativity. My Marketing Communications Manager, Tammy Gan, was a very experienced and strong marketing and communication professional, and she pushed me every single time to do better. She’d always ask me, “Why don’t you do it a little differently?” We had a fantastic relationship, so she delegated a lot of tasks to me. That’s how I learned a lot so quickly.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make the shift from reservations and sales to marketing, but it all just came to me when I got into the field. It’s the best fit for me.

MI: How has your career advanced over the years?

A: In December 2018, I got the chance to move to LUX* Resorts. I didn’t think I would leave Gili because the people and work environment there were just non-existent elsewhere. But since LUX* North Male is in development and I’ve never had pre-opening experience, I took the chance.

I joined LUX* North Male Atoll in December. From the very first moment I took up the job, I was neck deep in a variety of things. We were doing sales, all the while getting ready for our #Firstontheisland campaign. That campaign was a wonderful experience. We had a team of about 25 influencers and journalists on the island for four nights. I was managing all of our official social media handles. I’d be getting 40 messages on Instagram alone. That’s on top of taking care of the itineraries, hosting people, doing the admin work and handling sales.

I consider the PR and marketing side of LUX* North Male Atoll as my baby. I remember the first time I came to the island. Since it was in construction stage there were cranes and all sorts of machineries on the island. A lot of people in the industry were betting against us too; they were saying that the resort wouldn’t open and that it wouldn’t be a ‘wow’ property. But the moment I stepped foot inside a villa, I knew I could market it and sell it very easily. Our Instagram reach is proof of that; in a short period of time, we’ve been able to achieve one of the highest levels of following and engagement amongst Maldivian resorts.

MI: What would you say is the secret behind your success?

A: I’ve been giving a lot of commitment and dedication to my work. My work day runs easily to 13-15 hours. There was this one time during my first few weeks at Randheli when a lot of my colleagues in reservations were leaving. I was left alone to handle everything related to reservations for almost five months. I had to handle all agent bookings, special requests and seaplane movements.

When I see the results of what I do — when I stay up for 12 hours to finish my work and it looks perfect — it gives me a great deal of satisfaction. There was this one time during last Ramadan when we did a photoshoot and I had to wake up at 4am and stay with the photographer until 6pm every single day for four days straight. But I loved it!

MI: Has the situation improved for locals, especially women, working in the industry?

A: It’s really difficult for locals to get jobs in the industry, especially when I joined. For me, it took about six months and countless applications to land a job.

It’s improved a little because we can see more and more locals, especially women in the industry. Then again it’s still not easy. I think a lot of international companies see Maldives as a small country and assume that the people will be narrow-minded. But if you really look at it, our literacy rate is one of the best in the world and we’ve more degree holders than most of our neighbours and similar island nations.

MI: What should be done to improve the situation?

A: It’s a work in progress. Things are improving but a lot more needs to be done. A lot of resorts still prefer foreigners over locals, especially for managerial positions. Many qualified people are being rejected countless times, only to find out that someone who isn’t even qualified and has lesser experience has been hired for the post. So, even with experience and education, it’s still difficult for Maldivians to get jobs.

Hospitality jobs used to be a blue collar job, but it’s no longer the same. I notice a lot of youngsters in the industry who work hard — even those that don’t have to work because they get rental income from their houses in Male — but they get a limited number of opportunities to grow their career. So, leaders in the industry need to let the young generation take lead. They need to create opportunities for Maldivians to take up managerial positions.

For me, what I’ve noticed is that if you didn’t move, you’d be in the same place.

MI: What would you say to young Maldivians, especially women who want to join the industry?

A: If you want to do it, just go for it. It opens a lot of doors for you. Working a desk job in Male maybe simple with less challenges, but if you go into the tourism industry it lets you explore yourself and the world around you.

MI: What do you plan on doing in your future?

A: I live by the words of Walt Disney, ‘It’s always fun to do the impossible’.

For me, most of the ideas come from people and the stories they share. I want to tell the untold stories of the ordinary people making it all possible. I’m currently working on a series of stories that showcases the talent of our team members. I think everyone has a story to tell and focusing on their soft side and their experiences will make the guests’ holiday experience more personal.

From a young age, my dream has been to disrupt the industry; t0 do something nobody in the industry has ever done. I don’t know how I’m gonna do it, but I know I will someday.


Award-winning Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives launches indulgence winter offer



Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives recently announced scooping up the title of “Best Boutique Resort in Maldives” for the second consecutive year, awarded by the Travel Trade Maldives which comes as no surprise as it is one of the best destinations to experience the unreal sunsets you will ever see while projecting extravagant character and easy-going exotica.

What’s really shaking things up this holiday season at this cozy luxury boutique island resort is that you will be spoiled for choice with one beach for every day. That is right – home to four beautiful beaches, Wai, Veli, Dhigu, and Divehi, all with their unique character – letting you sunbathe, snorkel, windsurf, and cycle overwater around the island to your heart’s content. Touching down at Kodhipparu, adventure seekers can revel in countless opportunities for wild coral reef dives, parasailing up the sky for a bird’s-eye view of the lagoon, or even simply zen out to sunrise and sunset with the resident yogi.

To celebrate the win, and to rev up the appetite with seaside excursions, the resort announced the launch of the exclusive “Kodhipparu Indulgence” offer with an unparalleled dining experience and a consequential gourmet coma that is fully worth every penny you’ve spent on your extravagant holiday.

Set your seaside expedition dreams to a reality, with attractive offerings from the resort-owned marine sports centre as well as the luxury overwater spa, that will have you wanting to extend your holiday. What’s more, you get to enjoy complimentary roundtrip speedboat transfers saving you quite a few pennies on your vacation.

The little explorers with big dreams are welcome to stay and dine free of charge sharing the room with the parents, whether it is by spending their time decorating some yummy cupcakes or catching a kiddies movie under the stars with popcorn.

If you are looking for a romantic touch, with an ample amount of floating rose petals in your pool, or a swoon-worthy proposal set up at a secret corner of the island out of bounds to others or even a candle-lit dinner on the secluded beaches with you and your beau, all you have to do is message your lifestyle host to work the magic and make it happen for you. With the Kodhipparu dedicated lifestyle host service, everything is just a message away.

As is all good things, this offer is only for a limited time period, so make use of this exclusive indulgence package at Grand Park Kodhipparu comes with an amazing 35% discount on all villa categories.

Simply head over to to book your holiday with a flair of fun, freedom, and serenity that is promised to make you keep coming back for more!

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An Insider

Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry



In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.

Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.

After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.

Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.

In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.

As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.

Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.

Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.

As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.

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Fan Club

A remarkable tale of wanderlust: Naito Takashi’s 103rd journey to the Maldives



The azure waters of the Maldives have long been a magnet for travelers seeking paradise on Earth. Among these wanderers, one name stands out – Naito Takashi, a Japanese tourist whose boundless enthusiasm for the Maldives has led him to visit this tropical haven a staggering 103 times. His unwavering love for this island nation, coupled with its mesmerizing beauty, has turned his visits into a remarkable testament to the allure of the Maldives.

For the past 24 years, Naito Takashi has visited Maldives between three to five times annually, embarking on a journey that has spanned more than two decades. His tale is one of dedication, passion, and a deep-rooted connection with the captivating landscapes that the Maldives offers. Each visit is not just a vacation; it’s a renewal of his profound relationship with the natural wonders that have captured his heart.

Naito Takashi’s 103rd arrival to the Maldives was met with a warm and heartfelt welcome from none other than the Tourism Minister himself, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. This gesture symbolizes the deep appreciation the Maldivian people have for their loyal and devoted visitors. The ceremony held aboard the M/V Blue of the Fun Azul Fleet was a fitting tribute to a traveler who has become an honorary ambassador of the Maldives.

The M/V Blue, Fun Azul Fleet, holds special significance for Naito Takashi. As an avid diver, he has found his perfect companion in this cruise boat specialized in diving charters. The vessel offers schedules tailored to explore the best dive spots around the Maldives’ islands, making it an ideal partner for a diving enthusiast like Naito Takashi. The crystal-clear waters of the Maldives have witnessed countless underwater escapades orchestrated by this intrepid traveler.

The Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism has lauded Naito Takashi’s enduring passion for the nation’s beauty. Their tweet acknowledging his multiple visits serves as a testament to his unique and cherished relationship with the country. He has witnessed the ever-changing landscape of the Maldives, from its pristine beaches to its vibrant marine life, and has undoubtedly contributed to the thriving tourism industry.

Naito Takashi’s story also reflects the profound impact that travel can have on an individual’s life. His unwavering commitment to exploring the Maldives has not only enriched his own experiences but has also brought attention to the natural wonders of Maldives. It stands as a reminder that the act of traveling is not just about ticking off destinations from a bucket list; it’s about forming connections, fostering appreciation, and creating lasting memories.

As Naito Takashi continues his journey through the Maldives, his story resonates as an inspiration to fellow travelers and a tribute to the unyielding allure of this island paradise. His 103rd visit is not just a numerical milestone; it’s a celebration of an extraordinary bond between a traveler and a destination, a bond that has grown stronger with each passing year and promises to endure for years to come.

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