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Visit Maldives hosts important events in Dubai

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Visit Maldives has hosted several events on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) on May 17.

The two events, Maldives Media Meet and Connect with Maldives, Your Safe Haven, were hosted for the Middle Eastern media and the travel trade respectively.

The Maldives Media Meet press event was attended by key travel trade media of the UAE and Middle Eastern region.

Speakers at the event were Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of Visit Maldives, Aminath Shabeena, Maldivian ambassador in the UAE, and Fathimath Afra, Deputy Chief Marketing Officer of Visit Maldives.

During the Maldives Media Meet, key updates from the Maldives were shared.

Thoyyib addressed the topics of how Maldives is tackling the pandemic and strategic opening of borders for the revival of tourism, updates of health and safety measures, “I’m Vaccinated” campaign to vaccinate all tourism industry employees, as well as the future initiatives such as the celebration of 50 years of tourism in the Maldives.

Shabeena talked on the angle of foreign policy and updated on the ongoing discussion between the two governments on establishing a travel corridor which is anticipated to happen in the near future.

Marketing challenges and recovery strategies during the pandemic, plans for the Middle Eastern and GCC markets were revealed by Afra.

Plans for important activities in the pipeline such as the World Expo 2020 to be held in Dubai in October and the Explore Maldives Live, to bring Maldives experiences on livestream for the Middle Eastern Market on the My Virtual Maldives Platform were highlighted.

The event ended with a question and answer session in which there was a lot of interest shown by the journalists towards the destination and answers were given to queries on the travel information and travel corridor between UAE and the Maldives.

The press conference was followed by a roadshow titled ‘Connect with Maldives; Your Safe Haven’.

The one-day roadshow targeting Dubai-based travel agents and tour operators created the opportunity for Maldives tourism industry partners to connect with over 50 key travel trade partners from the Middle Eastern market.

A total of 10 Maldives tourism industry partners representing resorts and DMCs participated at the event.

The participants had the opportunity to showcase their properties, products and highlight the unique experiences available at each of the respective properties as well as generate new business leads and engage in one-on-one networking opportunities.

Visit Maldives related information about the destination and the four products; resorts, guest houses, liveaboards and hotels.

Information was given out during the speed networking session on the latest information for travel to the Maldives and why the Maldives remains a safe destination for travel at this time due to its geographic formation of isolated islands, the one island one resort concept and the stringent health and safety measures in place.

During the evening, popular travel blogger and influencer from the Middle East, Sana Chikhalia shared her experiences of holidaying in the Maldives and talked about the beauty of the destination.

Attendees had the opportunity to take part in a raffle and win a free holiday at Sun Siyam Olhuveli resort.

In addition, the much anticipated ‘Tales of Maldives’ campaign was launched by the Managing Director of Visit Maldives Thoyyib.

The Tales of Maldives is part of the Story of Maldives campaign which is an integrated marketing campaign to help kickstart a journey towards achieving a powerful brand resonance and identity.

The aim of the campaign is to present creative, engaging and memorable content that will leave a long lasting footprint of the Maldives on the travellers’ minds, ultimately helping create a deep rooted emotional connection and love for the Maldives, culture, folklore, natural assets and experiences.

These were the first in-person events held in the market since the onset of the pandemic. During each of these events, Thoyyib thanked the media and travel trade respectively for the support they have shown to the Maldives during the most challenging times.

In line with the objective to maintain brand visibility and engage travel trade, these events will bring a positive impact to the UAE market and other markets in the GCC region as travel restrictions ease. These activities are conducted by Visit Maldives as part of the recovery action plan for the Middle Eastern market.

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Pulse Hotels & Resorts unveils new residential project: The Coral Residences, Kandima

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Pulse Hotels & Resorts, one of the leading innovators in Maldives tourism, has introduced The Coral Residences, Kandima. Nestled on the northern end of the lush and green three-kilometre-long Kandima Integrated Island Resort in Dhaalu Atoll, this residential development is a first of its kind and promises to redefine luxury living in the Maldives.

Designed and crafted with meticulous attention to detail, The Coral Residences, Kandima, is a unique, integrated beachfront residential community with exceptional 5-star service, situated in the shimmering blue heart of the Maldives.

The Coral Residences comprises of 40 exquisitely designed two bedroom and three bedroom apartments. All apartments feature contemporary design and chic interiors, high-end finishes, state-of-the-art appliances, and unobstructed panoramic sea views across the Indian Ocean. Residence owners will enjoy exclusive access to a host of premium facilities, including a private beachfront pool, a gourmet restaurant and bar, dedicated fitness and recreation facilities and a 24-hour concierge service.

Buyers of The Coral Residences will be able to own their apartments under the new strata title ownership program. Owners’ apartments will be part a rental program, managed by Pulse Hotels & Resorts. Residents will have the access to the full range Kandima’s 5-star resort services, including its restaurants and bars, spa, recreation, and other amenities to complement their lifestyle. With its emphasis on comfort, convenience, and community, this development offers a truly elevated living experience.

“We are thrilled to introduce The Coral Residences, Kandima, to discerning local and international buyers,” said Sanjay Maniku, Managing Director of Pulse Hotels & Resorts. “With its unparalleled design and amenities, homeowners can take advantage of a limitless world of activities and experiences on offer at Kandima. We believe this development will set a new standard for luxury living in the Maldives, as well as bringing a new definition to the Maldives family vacation.”

The Coral Residences is realised by Pulse Hotels & Resorts, the creators behind The Nautilus Maldives, Kandima Maldives, and Nova Maldives. Known for their innovative hospitality concepts, Pulse Hotels & Resorts ensures that each property offers exceptional experiences and world-class service. The development has commenced and is expected to complete within Q3, 2025.

For more information, high-resolution images, and to schedule a private viewing, please contact Aishath Ihuma, Director of Business Development at +960 7788986 or aishath.ihuma@coralresidencesmaldives.com.

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Weixin Pay supported to boost Chinese tourists to Maldives

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On May 27, Zihuny Rasheed, Deputy Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives), and Etienne Ng, Weixin Pay’s Country Manager, Singapore and Regional Director, Southeast Asia, WeChat Pay, signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during ITB China 2024, pledging to support more Maldivian merchants to accept WeixinPay to provide Chinese tourists with a convenient payment experience. Visit Maldives is the Official Destination Partner for this year’s edition of ITB China.

“China is a key source of tourists for the Maldives, and we greatly value the experience of Chinese visitors,” said DMD Zihuny Rasheed. “We plan on promoting the acceptance of Weixin Pay throughout the country, offering Chinese tourists the payment option they are familiar with and prefer. I have used Weixin Pay during my visit to China via linking an international card, and I can attest to the convenience of the mobile payment option.”

Ibrahim Faisal, Minister of Tourism of the Maldives, expressed his support, “Excited that we’re introducing Weixin Pay for Chinese visitors, which is another step in establishing Maldives as their top destination. Now, it’s easier than ever for Chinese travellers to enjoy their stay, hassle-free. We look forward to further enhancing their experience,” he wrote.

According to Etienne Ng, Weixin Pay is currently being piloted at the country’s airport duty-free store, as well as in popular restaurants like Sala Thai and City Garden. Additionally, a range of hotels and resorts are participating including, JEN Maldives Malé by Shangri-La, Adaaran Select HudhuranFushi, Adaaran Club Rannalhi, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, Velaa Private Island, Cheval Blanc Randheli Private Island, Dhawa Ihuru Maldives, Ayada Maldives, Marriott Bonvoy, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and Angsana Velavaru in Maldives with strong support from the Bank of Maldives and local merchants. Making smooth progress, the initiative is expected to have 8,000 merchants nationwide that integrate the payment option.

“Weixin Pay is committed to providing users with safe and convenient payment services. Since the visa exemption policy was implemented, more and more Weixin Pay users have chosen to travel to the island country. Through our cooperation with Visit Maldives, we aim to provide Chinese users with the same convenient experience in the travel as they experience at home,” he said.

In February 2023, an Agreement on Mutual Exemption of Visa Requirements signed between the Maldives and China took effect as China expands its visa-free policy to benefit more countries. Consequently, the Maldives has consistently ranked among the top overseas destinations for Chinese tourists during popular travel periods such as the May Day and National Day holidays.

According to data from Visit Maldives, the country welcomed over 1.8 million tourists in 2023, a new national record. The Chinese market has been a key source market for the Maldives. As of 11th May 2024, it is the number one source market with 91,073 tourist arrivals.

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Indian influencer Niki Mehra in Maldives

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) hosted a familiarisation trip with Amilla Maldives for high-end influencer, Niki Mehra, from India to experience the luxury and romantic offerings of the Maldives from 3rd – 6th May 2024.

The familiarisation trip was a great opportunity to Niki Mehra, a renowned Indian model, fashion, beauty and travel content creator and social media influencer with over half a million followers who has carved a niche in the Indian fashion industry with her unique sense of style. During her time in the Sunny Side of Life, Niki Mehra showcased luxury to romantic experiences of the destination.

The trip promoted Maldives through social media platforms of Niki Mehra while highlighting experiential itinerary offerings of the Maldives. Additionally, the influencer trip assisted MMPRC in propelling growth in the luxury travel segment and honeymoon market by showcasing the Maldives as a premier honeymoon destination for the Indian travellers.

The Indian market has been a strong market for the Maldives over the years, currently ranked number 6 with 46,970 tourists as of 13th May 2024. Additionally, MMPRC showcased the Maldives in OTM and SATTE held earlier this year. MMPRC is committed to boosting the arrivals from the market and has exciting marketing activities planned for future, including joint campaigns, familiarisation trips, participation in major events and other campaigns which provides numerous opportunities to showcase the breathtaking Maldives to the market, attracting more Indian travellers.

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