Maldives tourism icon Dr Ibrahim Umar Maniku dies

Maldivian tourism icon Dr Ibrahim Umar Maniku has passed away.

The 68-year-old died Wednesday evening while undergoing treatment at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

A medical doctor by training, Maniku was the first anaesthesiologist in Maldives. After returning home from his medical training in Germany, he began working at the main government hospital in capital Male.

For years, he juggled his time between long hours at the hospital treating patients and attending critical matters at his family business, Universal Enterprises.

Maniku retired from his professional career after a distinguished service record, but continued to be deeply involved in the running of Universal, which has since become one of the largest conglomerates in the Maldives.

As a director of Universal, Maniku led Baros Maldives, which is still owned and operated by Universal. His vision and innovative spirit helped elevate Baros to the pinnacle of luxury hospitality in the world.

Maniku was instrumental in transforming the Maldives hospitality scene. He conceptualised and led the development of several award-winning resorts, including Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, Niyama Maldives Private Islands, Milaidhoo Island Maldives and The Nautilus Maldives.

Outside the hospitality sector, Maniku explored his passion in business by expanding his investments. Through such investments, he introduced Coca-Cola to the Maldives, and launched Manta Air, a game-changing domestic airline.

Maniku also served as the Honorary Consul of Germany in Maldives for years before retiring last year.

Maniku is survived by his German wife and two children.

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