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Eydhafushi hosts students, environmental NGOs from across Maldives for Baa Atoll Manta Festival 2019

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The second Baa Atoll Manta Festival has successfully concluded on the island of Eydhafushi in Baa atoll.

The Baa Atoll Manta Festival, collaboratively spearheaded by Manta Trust, the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Baa Atoll Education Centre (BAEC), Baa Atoll and Eydhafushi Island Councils, and Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, engaged over 50 businesses and environmental organisations from September 20-21.

Dozens of stalls and activities featured educational games designed to excite 320 participating students from 13 schools about marine conservation.

The memorable opening ceremony featured a welcome dance by students of Manta Trust’s Moodhu Madharusaa Marine Education Programme from BAEC, dancing to the theme song ‘Hanifaru Bay’, written by Abdulla Muaz. Inspirational speeches were given by Baa Atoll Council President Mabrook Naseer, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director General Ibrahim Naeem, Minister of State for Environment Dr Abdulla Naseer, and Chief Guest Vice President Faisal Naseem.

Vice President Naseem highlighted the sacrifices the community has made to be a part of the Biosphere Reserve and the importance of continuing to protect the Maldives’ precious environment, including the world’s largest recorded population of reef manta rays (Mobula alfredi).

A total of 13 stalls open to the public featured marine conservation themed games and goodies from NGOs including the Olive Ridley Project, the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme, Atoll Marine Centre, Zero Waste Maldives and BeLeaf.

Visitors engaged in competitions offering sustainable prizes, printed their own personalised reusable bag and shopped from Male businesses including Island Bazaar, Oevaali Art shop and Pepper Dots.

Manta Trust offered the unique opportunity to swim with manta rays in virtual reality, whilst Maldives Post offered the international crowd the chance to send manta-themed postcards home.

Despite unfavourable weather, which affected snorkelling-based activities, students were able to engage in a wide range of educational events at the school.

Saturday, September 21, saw the students getting involved in a waste segregation session for World Coastal Clean-up Day, hosted by BAEC, Soneva Fushi, Parley and Manta Trust. Students from 13 islands bought jumbo bags of beach clean-up waste to the event and engaged in a hands-on session to learn how to properly separate recyclables.

A live art competition saw exciting prizes awarded to paintings, which creatively highlighted the plight of the ocean, with the adult category winner receiving return flights from festival Airline Partner, Manta Air.

Saturday afternoon brought the school drama competition, with each performance centred around a different charismatic megafauna species. BAEC received a standing ovation following an emotional performance focused on the threats of fishing on manta rays. Thulhaadhoo took home the second prize whilst K. Dhiffushi won third place following a performance packed with creative costumes.

In the month leading up to the festival, 200 students of 10 schools from Baa and Raa atoll were taken snorkelling with manta rays by partner resorts and the Biosphere Reserve team. Students spent an hour inside the world-renowned Hanifaru Bay, snorkelling with up to 50 of these gentle giants.

The trips built on the event’s aim to inspire young Maldivians to become ocean advocates and engage more with water-based activities, featuring snorkelling equipment funded by donations from last year’s festival.

For Ifaasha Abdul Raheem, the festival’s school coordinator, the experience was memorable.

“This has been one the best experiences in my life! Manta festival has not only boosted my love towards nature, but it also has made me a better person in every possible way. This festival has brought an immense impact to our youth to fall in love with our environment and made them realise the crucial role they can play in their community! Most importantly, this was an opportunity for our students to explore, learn and a golden chance to show their creativity and love towards nature. I loved every bit of it! Glad to be part of this amazing event,” she said.

The festival concluded with an energetic prize giving ceremony and an air of anticipation and excitement for the next event.

The festival was generously sponsored by 15 resorts: Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Vakkaru Maldives, Ocean Dimensions at Kihaa Maldives, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, The Nautilus Maldives, Reethi Faru Resort, Milaidhoo Island Maldives, Sea-Explorer and Reethi Beach, Finolhu, Amilla Fushi, Dusit Thani Maldives and Ocean Group, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort, Euro-Divers Maldives and Meeru Island Resort, and Soneva Fushi.

Media Partner PSM and Online Media Partner Eydhafushi Times covered the festivities were covered by. BAC hosted the 260 visiting students overnight, whilst guests reached Eydhafushi with support from Travel Partner MTCC and Airline Partner Manta Air.

Photos: Thoriq Abdul Rahman

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Discover ultimate privacy at Nika Maldives

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Imagine a place where the world fades away, leaving you with nothing but the gentle sound of waves and the soft touch of sand beneath your feet. A place where privacy is not just a promise, but a guarantee. Welcome to Nika island Resort & Spa, Maldives, the only resort that offers private beaches for an unparalleled experience of seclusion and tranquility.

At Nika, your very own private beach awaits. Picture yourself enjoying a personalised BBQ under the stars or designing your own destination dining experience, tailored to your every desire. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a family feast, the possibilities are endless.

John Miller, a recent guest at Nika, shares his unforgettable experience: “Staying at Nika’s private beach villa was the ultimate privacy I’ve ever experienced. Born in London, I’ve never known such seclusion in my entire life. The resort is lush with vegetation, and the fauna and flora are simply amazing. It’s a hidden gem in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The local stories and the museum displays are fascinating.”

But the allure of Nika doesn’t end there. The resort’s dive centre offers exceptional dive courses, taking you to spectacular dive sites that reveal the breathtaking underwater world. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, the wonders beneath the surface will leave you in awe.

After a day of exploration, indulge in the Lotus Spa at Nika. Offering a range of excellent massages, from traditional local techniques to various modern varieties, the spa promises to rejuvenate your body and soul.

Nika is a small resort, yet it is brimming with entertainment and activities. From water sports to cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone. It’s a sanctuary where you can ground yourself, reconnect with nature, and discover a level of privacy that is truly extraordinary.

Escape to Nika and hide away at your secret beach. Here, the ultimate privacy and relaxation await.

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Unwind and Explore: Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa Invites Families to a Rejuvenating Summer Escape

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Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa, an all-pool villa haven nestled amidst the breathtaking natural seascapes of the Indian Ocean, invites families to embrace the joy of relaxation and the spirit of adventure this summer with a slew of experiences designed to inspire playful discoveries and foster tranquil reconnections with the mind and body.

Fun for All Ages

Budding adventurers and creative little spirits alike can discover new adventures at Krakengiri Kids’ Club, one of the largest kids’ clubs in the Maldives. Led by a multilingual team of certified childcare professionals, young guests can engage in an exciting array of daily activities that combine learning and play.

Upstairs, Re:Fuel, a rooftop lounge for teens, hosts engaging milkshake-making workshops and fun family movie nights under the starry Maldivian sky.

In June, the resort offers a Holiday Camp for teens, who can personalize their wellness experiences as follows:

  • Pick up new sports such as tennis, pickleball, and badminton on the multi-purpose court with the hotel’s resident Sports Animator
  • Work out with a personal trainer at the fitness center
  • Try aerial yoga for beginners, yoga for better sleep, breathwork, and meditation with the resident yoga practitioner
  • Enjoy a restorative massage in the overwater treatment villas of Amingiri Spa.

The experience is available at USD 150++ per person for a combination of any two 30-minute sessions.

Restful Retreats

Amingiri Spa introduces Water Connect, a private in-villa pool experience guided by a certified water shiatsu specialist. The gentle movements and targeted massage techniques melt away tension and create a deeply relaxing sensation akin to being cocooned in the womb. The serene escape is available between 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at USD 150++ for 30 minutes.

Starting in June, guests can indulge in a brand-new Sleep Wellness menu designed to ease the mind and body into a state of deep and rejuvenating slumber. Guests can choose to unwind with a calming signature massage on the spa’s Skye Deck, bask in the timeless glow of an evening hammam ritual in the modern hammam room, or embrace tranquility with an in-villa session incorporating guided meditation, yoga, and breathwork.

Exclusive Offer

Guests who stay a minimum of four nights enjoy the added value of a half board meal plan and complimentary shared roundtrip speedboat transfers with Maldivian Bliss. This offer is available for stays through to December 20, 2024.

From May through to September 30, 2024, children stay and dine free: parents staying with two young children ages 11 years and below in an Overwater Suite with Pool and any of the Two-Bedroom Beach and Overwater Villas will also enjoy the half board meal plan and complimentary shared roundtrip speedboat transfers when booking Maldivian Bliss. Hilton Honors members enjoy full points for their stay. Terms and conditions apply.

Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 22 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly on the hotel’s website will have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors app.

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Maldives Madridistas: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands Nets Exclusive Football Camp Partnership with the Real Madrid Foundation

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Younger guests at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands can embrace new patterns of play this summer at an exclusive, Maldives-first Real Madrid Foundation football camp. From 4 July – 12 August, a youth coach will lead a comprehensive Real Madrid Foundation programme of daily soccer sessions for ages 5-9yrs, 10-14yrs, and 15-17yrs. The coach will be joined by an elite player ambassador from UEFA’s all-time no. 1 ranked football club toward the end of the programme.

This summer’s inaugural Patina Maldives x Real Madrid CF Foundation football camp is the first edition in an ongoing partnership, with additional future football camp dates to be confirmed. Led by a licensed Real Madrid Foundation coach, sessions will focus on developing each participant both individually and as part of the group, in order to ‘Play The Real Way’ – the training methodology that combines play, as well as sports values.

Sessions will take place on a new, purpose-built 6 a side astroturf pitch located near the Fari Marina Village at Patina Maldives.

All participants will receive an official camp football camp shirt, shorts, socks, drawstring bag, sweatbands, and cap; while those completing a minimum of four days’ coaching will also be presented with a Real Madrid Foundation participation certificate.

Real Madrid Foundation football clinics at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands are priced at USD195++ per child per session for guests of the resort. Bookings are also open to guests from neighbouring resorts, from USD250++ per child per session.

Rates at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands start from USD2,054 (approx. GBP1,620) per night based on two adults sharing a One Bedroom Pool Villa including daily breakfast, complimentary Guest Benefits, tax, and service. Terms and conditions apply.

For more information and reservations, please visit https://patinahotels.com/maldives or contact reservations.maldives@patinahotels.com. For more information on Pathways, please see here.

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