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Amilla Maldives pledges to protect mantas

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With the world-famous manta destination of Hanifaru Bay on its doorstep, Amilla Maldives Resort wanted to do more to help protect these magnificent creatures. So Amilla Maldives has teamed up with the Manta Trust, an NGO dedicated to protecting manta rays and the marine ecosystems they inhabit.

Now, as a Manta Trust Responsible Operator hotel partner, Amilla is officially committed to minimising the impact its guests have on the mantas and mobula rays they encounter.  

Manta Season runs from April to November in Baa Atoll, Maldives. Peak time is July, and when the lunar, tidal and weather conditions are perfect something magical happens in the atoll’s horseshoe-shaped Hanifaru Bay.

Some of the largest aggregations of mantas in the world gather in the bay to gorge upon zooplankton trapped there. This manta ‘feeding frenzy’ is a remarkable phenomenon and the subject of much scientific interest. It’s only 15 minutes away from Amilla Resort by speedboat.

As part of the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, access to Hanifaru Bay is monitored and there’s a ticket system to limit the number of visitors itching to swim with the wild mantas there. But sadly, not every tour operator considers the well being of the manta rays, and not every guest is informed of how to behave around these gentle giants. 

Since Amilla’s H.U.B Water sports Centre runs trips for guests to Hanifaru Bay during Manta Season, as well as multiple manta cleaning stations in the area, the Amilla Islanders decided to play their part in helping to ensure the protection of the mantas by teaming up with the Manta Trust’s Maldivian Manta Ray Project and signing its Responsible Operator Agreement. 

This ensures Amilla’s guests are educated on sustainable manta tourism using the project’s Swim With Mantas resources (including manta encounter guidelines) before they encounter them. Manta encounter guidelines include staying at least 3m (10ft) away from the mantas and not touching them (as your touch can damage the delicate membrane covering their skin). 

The Maldives has the world’s largest known population of reef mantas – around 5,000 individuals. Manta ray tourism in the Maldives generates an estimated US $8.1 million per year in direct revenue. 

To find out more about Amilla’s manta ray excursions, email stay@amilla.com.

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Mischa Zverev returns to JOALI BEING to host tennis workshops in August

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JOALI BEING invites German tennis professional, Mischa Zverev, to host tennis workshops between 9th and 19th August 2024. Young guests are welcome to join the Ace Academy workshops this Summer, where they can learn to become tennis pros through a variety of class levels that focus on the fundamentals of tennis all the way up to exciting tennis matches. Zverev will also host a tennis workshop for teenagers from the local community, supporting youngsters with diabetes as part of the Alexander Zverev Foundation.

Mischa Zverev had achieved a career-high ATP singles ranking of world No. 25. At the 2017 Australian Open, Zverev defeated world No. 1 Andy Murray in four sets. Zverev began playing tennis at the age of two with his father, Alexander, a former ATP pro and his coach from who he drew inspiration. Zverev is the elder brother of Alexander Zverev, who was ranked by the ATP as high as world No. 2. Together, they were the first brothers to reach 3R at the same Grand Slam event since Byron and Wayne Black in the 1998 Australian Open.

The B’Kidult Summer Programme – Ace Academy Tennis Camp

The B’Kidult Summer Programme took flight on 1st July 2024, welcoming adventurers of all ages to embark on a shared journey of joy, discovery and connection. Mischa Zverev will lead two sessions of the Ace Academy camp in August; the first workshop on 15th August 2024 and the second workshop on 17th August 2024.These workshops will focus on hand and eye coordination, foot work drills and cardio. Guided by Zverev, young players can start their tennis journey on the right foot, to develop essential life skills and a love for the game in a fun, supportive environment. Along with boosting speed and agility, the tennis workshops will also foster resilience and teamwork. Youngsters can learn to command the court with confidence and share their progress with the rest of the family.

Community Wellbeing and Inspiration

Following a successful local community workshop with the Zverev brothers in 2022, JOALI BEING is excited to welcome back Mischa Zverev to further inspire a group of teenagers from a neighbouring local island. “I am deeply honoured to return to the island of wellbeing, where we have created moments of joy and inspiration together with the team, guests and local community. I am very much looking forward to sharing my passion and motivate youngsters once again. JOALI BEING is truly my favourite place on earth” says Zverev.

Multi-generational play and learning

At JOALI BEING, we cater to multi-generational travellers, a place where every individual discovers and embarks on a journey of transformation and transcendence. Making the most of its remote tropical island setting, B’Kidult weaves elements of nature into each space and activity, awakening the senses and fostering a closer relationship with the earth. From crystalline waters and warm sunshine to soft sands and lush palms, nature’s sensory gifts set the stage for a memorable family journey that unites discovery, learning and wellbeing. The Four Pillars of JOALI BEING: Mind, Skin, Microbiome and Energy are brought to life through experiential learning and active engagement. Mischa Zverev will be visiting JOALI BEING with his family and will experience an array of multi-generational activities that nurture connection; from culinary classes, herbology workshops, yoga and sound baths, to marine conservation, snorkelling adventures and transformational wellbeing.

Since JOALI BEING opened its doors in late 2021, the wellbeing island has continuously strived to support and inspire local communities. In November 2022, the Zverev brothers visited JOALI BEING as part of tennis star Aleksander Zverev’s recovery journey from a past injury. Together, they hosted tennis workshops for guests and children from a local neighbouring island, supporting youngsters with diabetes. The Alexander Zverev Foundation had then been launched to help young people with diabetes to avoid limiting themselves because of the condition. The foundation particularly supports children with type 1 diabetes and aims to help prevent type 2 diabetes by encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. At JOALI BEING, the wellbeing island’s philosophy of “Joy of Weightlessness” had well resonated with Aleksander Zverev at every level during his stay.

JOALI BEING has villas from $2700 per night based on two persons sharing an Ocean Pool Villa on a B&B basis. Wellbeing Programmes start from $1,693 per person based on a five-night programme.

For bookings and further information, please contact reservations.being@joali.com.

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OBLU NATURE Helengeli gets PADI award for excellence supporting female dive sports

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In honour of providing exceptional services to female diving, OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO, a resort in the portfolio of renowned hospitality company Atmosphere Core, and dive centre partner TGI Maldives, once again place the world’s most desirable tourism destination on the global map, jointly receiving the Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Diving award from PADI.

Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the world’s largest purpose-driven diving organisation operating in 180 countries and territories with over 30 million diving certifications issued. With more than 6,600 PADI dive centres and resorts worldwide, it is a remarkable achievement for TGI Maldives and OBLU NATURE Helengeli to receive this particular contribution award.

Announcing its 10th global celebration, PADI introduced the Women In Diving Initiative, and flagship annual PADI Women’s Dive Day, as a solution to increase the inclusivity and belonging of females in the dive industry. The “Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Diving” award recognises TGI Maldives and OBLU NATURE Helengeli for breaking down barriers and empowering more women to explore the underwater world.

Dr Abdulla Niyaz, Minister of State for Tourism of the Republic of Maldives along with Matt Wenger, PADI Regional Manager for Maldives and Ibrahim Shiuree, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation (MMPRC), attended the presentation award ceremony held on the shores of Helengeli island. In support of female diving, the resort held a PADI Women’s Dive Day Celebration event from 14th to 17th July inviting ten female journalists from around the world alongside women dive instructors from TGI Maldives.

Acknowledging the importance of the positive promotion of female diving in the Maldives, Minister of Tourism Ibrahim Faisal commented, “As the world’s most desirable holiday destination, we have witnessed our small country transform over the last 30 years. From humble beginnings in our archipelago, we have evolved our island nation to create a paradise for all to enjoy. Today, the demographic profile of inbound tourists is a lot different to the early days. From exploring couples in the 1980s, we now see a mix of all segments including couples, families and group parties – all wishing to experience first-hand the magic of the Maldives.”

“As global society evolves – so does the Maldives. It is testimony that in the last decade we have seen the introduction of friends not couples, travelling along with increased single travellers. A large portion of these travellers are female, who wish to escape and enjoy the castaway feeling of freedom and independence only the Maldives can offer. PADI’s award presented at OBLU NATURE Helengeli in partnership with TGI Maldives, reinforces the hotelier Atmosphere Core’s commitment to offering experiences for all. The Ministry of Tourism congratulates the team at Helengeli island and importantly the highly skilled team at TGI Maldives for creating a centre of excellence for female diving. This award recognises all involved as well as the Maldives as the leading dive destination for all divers around the world.”

PADI’s Regional Manager Matt Wenger added, “Positive promotion and support for female diving has been at the heart of PADI’s philosophy since our inception in 1966. As part of PADI’s Pillars of Change, we are focused on fostering diversity, elevating the healing aspects from the sport and nurturing inclusion so that the underwater world is accessible to all. We are thrilled to recognise TGI Maldives and OBLU NATURE Helengeli for their contributions in encouraging more females to seek adventure and save the ocean.”

“We proudly mark the 10th Anniversary of ‘PADI Women’s Dive Day’ with this award to TGI Maldives at OBLU NATURE Helengeli. The award recognises the combination of what we believe is a world class location and overall experience joining PADI-recognised dive sites, exceptional dive centre services and exemplary hospitality.”

From beginners to the experienced, female divers will struggle to find a more beautiful location to escape to than OBLU NATURE Helengeli. Whether ocean scuba diving at a well-known dive site, finding a new unexplored location or snorkelling a vibrant coral garden teeming with marine life, there are endless opportunities to seek a glimpse of the local manta rays, turtles, octopi, and sharks, not to mention the abundant schools of tropical creatures inhabiting the Indian Ocean. With occasional pods of dolphins swimming by restaurants just off the island reef, it’s an island destination perfect for both big blue exploration and unforgettable castaway life.

Aside the stunning dive sites, scuba diving and snorkelling are beautifully woven into the overall resort lifestyle, which seamlessly integrates with the ELE|NA spa experience. Divers can enjoy elevated relaxing and healing treatments and therapies designed to soothe before and after diving. Breathwork and floating meditation sessions accompany sunset yoga to ensure that all divers are guaranteed a relaxing vacation both underwater and on the island.

Receiving the award on behalf of TGI Maldives and OBLU NATURE Helengeli, dive centre Operations Manager Greta Marcelli and resort General Manager Ali Shakir both concluded, “Our partnership here at OBLU NATURE Helengeli continually strives to improve guest experiences, both on the island as a dream destination, and in the ocean as a place of true wonder.”

“Working closely with PADI, we aim to provide the safest certified dive courses to encourage those curious to explore wonders of the ocean, as well as escort professional divers to unchartered locations. Receiving this “Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Diving” award marking PADI Women’s Dive Day’s 10th celebration, is testimony to the efforts made by all the team in and out the water. The combination of first-class hospitality coupled with exceptional dive experiences, positions OBLU NATURE Helengeli at the forefront of the sport in the Indian Ocean, not just for female divers, but for all.”

OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO is located at the tip of the North Malé Atoll, reachable by a scenic 50-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport.

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Kandima Maldives remains top choice for sports celebrities; hosts futsal camp with Ricardinho

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Growing in popularity as a holiday hotspot among sports personalities, active lifestyle resort Kandima Maldives with Ricardinho, holding the title of being named the best Futsal player in the World 6 times by the Futsal planet.

The legendary Ricardinho spent a week at the island resort from 30th June to 6th July, providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience for both local youths and Kandima guests.

During his stay, Ricardinho conducted an engaging three-day futsal camp, coaching aspiring players from the local Kudahuvadhoo Island. The camp was open to Kandima’s guests too and provided an amazing opportunity for participants to learn from one of the greatest futsal players of all time.

Throughout the event, Ricardinho actively engaged with visitors, playing matches with fans and futsal enthusiasts, and showcasing his expertise in a community setting. Guests had the rare chance to watch, learn, and interact directly with the futsal legend, making the experience truly anything but ordinary.

“We are honoured to welcome Ricardinho, the world’s top Futsal player, to Kandima,” said Tom van Tuijl, General Manager, Kandima Maldives “This collaboration aligned perfectly with Kandima’s focus on an active lifestyle. Our commitment to promote a fitness-oriented way of life in a tropical island setting and Ricardinho’s visit undoubtedly inspired our guests, especially families with young futsal enthusiasts, to embrace a more sporty lifestyle.”

Kandima is no stranger to hosting renowned athletes from around the world and the UK. In recent years, the island resort has already hosted premium league footballers Liverpool FC’s Joe Gomez, Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes, and freestyle football champion Lia Lewis for a holiday. Innovative in their approach to creating distinct and memorable sports experiences for guests, Kandima continues exploring fun and educational partnerships with esteemed athletes to impress fitness-oriented travellers.

“We are thrilled to partner with Kandima Maldives for this exciting football camp,” said Ricardinho.” It was a great opportunity to share my passion for the sport and engaging with the Kandima’s guests, local youths and staff. Together, we created unforgettable memories and inspired a love for football and an active lifestyle.”

For more information about Kandima Maldives and upcoming Uber Kool events, please visit www.kandima.com.

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