Soneva names Aisha Ali as sales director for Maldives DMCs and Gulf market

Soneva, the award-winning luxury resort operator, has appointed Aisha Ali as Director of Sales – Maldives DMCs and GCC Market.

Aisha will be based in Maldivian capital Male.

Aisha’s career in the hospitality industry began in 2006 when she was hired in a reservations position for Soneva Gili (now Gili Lankanfushi).

In 2009, she joined the Six Senses Resorts & Spas team as a Sales and Marketing Executive, working on sales for Soneva Fushi, Soneva Gili, and Six Senses Laamu until June 2012 when Six Senses was sold.

Aisha continued working in the roles of Sales & Marketing Executive and Sales Manager for Soneva Resorts until 2016.

Aisha went on to work for Anantara as the Assistant Director of Sales for Anantara Kihavah in the Maldives. There she spent the next two years developing the resort in the Middle Eastern, Chinese and Indian markets, while also supporting three other Anantara resorts.

In 2017, she left the resort life and moved back to Male to spend more time with her daughter.

Later, Aisha joined a new B2C travel company called Premier Destination, where she was responsible for launching the brand and establishing it as a high-end, luxury B2C travel company in the Maldives. She also led the overall operation of the company for over three years.

Nationally, only four per cent of the workforce in resorts in the Maldives is female, compared to women constituting 45 per cent of the workforce in industries such as education, healthcare and the civil service.

The ‘Women in Soneva’ initiative is a recruitment drive aimed at achieving a more balanced representation of female hosts at Soneva in the Maldives and Thailand.

At Soneva Fushi, female hosts currently make up 14.3 per cent of the workforce, while the target is 30 per cent. Soneva Jani is at 18.26 per cent, with a target of 30 per cent.

For Soneva to meet its target of being the best employer of women in the Maldives, the resorts have been implementing several measures:

  1. Aim to improve conditions in the workplace for women and beat the trend of low ratios of female employees in Maldivian resorts.
  2. Make Soneva Jani and Soneva Fushi feel as secure and safe as possible for women Hosts.
  3. Offering secure women-only accommodation, sitting room and washing areas
  4. Ensuring appropriate structures and processes to deal with issues surrounding sexually inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment.
  5. Offer gender awareness training for all Hosts to understand the responsibility they have to their fellow men and women, and act accordingly.
  6. Ensuring at least one women’s activity a month in the Host Activity Calendar.
  7. Providing a wide selection of women’s products at resort canteens

Soneva currently runs two resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, and luxury yacht, Soneva in Aqua. The world-leading luxury resort operator also operates Soneva Kiri resort in Thailand.

Soneva Fushi inspires the imagination with 63 spacious beachfront villas, ranging in size from one- to nine-bedrooms, hidden among dense foliage and located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Watch classic movies at the resort’s outdoor Cinema Paradiso. Choose from nine different dining options, five hundred wines and 11 types of pillow. Unwind at the on-site Six Senses Spa. Nature’s resources are transformed into art at the Glass Studio, while The Den gives children the freedom to live their island dream. Glorious days are spent star-gazing at the Observatory, sampling organic delicacies and exploring the coral reef.

Inspired by a word that means ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is located on a collection of five islands, and a beautiful, 5.6km lagoon.

The resort currently comprises 24 overwater villas and three island villas, with additional villas to be built in Chapter 2. Each Water Villa opens to its own stretch of sparkling lagoon and is complete with a private pool and a retractable roof to stargaze from the master bedroom, while many villas also have slides from the top deck into the water below.

Explore the glimmering galaxies from the resort’s state-of-the-art observatory or spend time indulging in a range of activities including water sports, scuba diving, wellness therapies, dolphin cruises and bicycling along the island’s many trails.

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