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JOALI Being hosts skills workshop for local kids with football legend Diego Simeone

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On the evening of 26th June 22, a hush descended on the football pitch at JOALI BEING before erupting into an explosion of excited cheers and hurrahs. Football legend Diego Simeone had arrived, ready to kick off a memorable skills workshop with a group of young Maldivian players.

Simeone, who rose to fame as a midfielder for Atlético, Lazio and Inter Milan and won an Olympic medal playing for the Argentinian team, has been the manager of Spanish giant Atlético Madrid since 2011.

The footballer spent part of this summer at JOALI BEING, the first and only nature immersive wellbeing retreat in the Maldives, where he hosted football workshops for guests and a session with aspiring young local footballers.

Learning Meets Inspiration

On 26th June 22, a group of 14 young players from Meedhoo Island made their way to JOALI BEING for an adrenaline-pumping session with Simeone. Along with gaining valuable knowledge and practising pro techniques, the youngsters also had a chance to interact personally with the world-class player and coach – an experience that is sure to motivate them for years to come.

Launching a Collaborative Series

The collaboration with Simeone launched the Movement Skills Series at JOALI BEING. Over the coming months, the retreat will partner with renowned tennis players, fitness instructors and sports people to host a variety of interactive workshops for wellbeing seekers.

As General Manager Özgür Cengiz notes, “Our team is always looking for meaningful ways to connect with guests and support the local community. This commitment is integral to the JOALI brand.”

Rooted in Local Community

Ever since opening its doors in late 2021, JOALI BEING has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the wellbeing and progress of local residents. From conducting virtual education sessions for university students on International Women’s Day to hosting an appreciation event for healthcare workers on International Nurses’ Day, the team has made it a priority to support and empower neighbouring island communities. The wellbeing retreat has also created multiple hospitality internships for Maldivian aspirants.

JOALI BEING invites wellbeing seekers to reconnect with themselves and with the beauty of nature. Based on the belief that understanding is the key to creating and sustaining wellbeing, the island’s Learning Centre offers a series of educational workshops and experiential classes with wellbeing experts, culinary maestros and herbalists. This distinctive wellbeing retreat is home to a total of 68 exclusive guest villas with pools, consisting of 33 beach villas and 35 water villas. With 13 categories to choose from, guests can opt for one-, two-, three- or four-bedroom villas and residences. JOALI BEING features unique transformational spaces that allow guests to immerse in elemental therapies and healing experiences. Nature is at the centre of life at JOALI BEING, with the retreat being completely committed to nature immersive and responsible travel – the pathway to true “weightlessness”.

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Exploring the depths: Technical diving at the British Loyalty wreck in Addu Atoll

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In the southernmost reaches of the Maldives lies a submerged relic steeped in history – The British Loyalty shipwreck. This underwater treasure, resting 33 meters below the surface between the islands of Maradhoo and Hithadhoo in Addu Atoll, has become a haven for technical divers seeking a unique and thrilling experience.

The British Loyalty, an oil tanker with a storied past, was constructed in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and played a crucial role during the colonial era, serving the British Royal Air Force until the late 1970s. Tragically, the ship met its fate during World War II when it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in Madagascar in May 1942, resulting in the loss of lives and significant damage.

Despite facing the perils of war, the British Loyalty managed to find its way to Addu Atoll after being repaired. Its duty shifted to supplying oil to the base in Gan until another harrowing incident in 1944, when a German U-boat torpedoed the vessel. Miraculously, the ship did not sink but sustained considerable damage. Instead of full repairs, it was repurposed as a fuel storage vessel until the British withdrawal from the Maldives in 1946, leading to its intentional scuttling across the atoll.

Today, The British Loyalty lies beneath the crystal-clear waters, offering a captivating dive site for enthusiasts. Aquaventure Maldives, a PADI 5 Star Dive Center in Addu, facilitates these mesmerizing dives, providing enthusiasts with a chance to explore the sunken vessel and the vibrant marine life that has made it their home.

Divers have the opportunity to navigate through the 140-meter-long wreck adorned with corals and inhabited by schools of small fish, turtles, and occasional visits from manta rays and sharks. The deck and keel of the ship feature two large holes, inviting divers to swim in and out, enhancing the overall experience of exploring this historic underwater site.

To ensure the preservation of the natural beauty surrounding the wreck, the Maldives Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared The British Loyalty a Protected Area in 2018. This designation emphasizes the commitment to maintaining the delicate balance of marine life and safeguarding the historical significance of the site.

For those seeking an extraordinary adventure beneath the waves, Aquaventure Maldives invites divers to embark on a journey through time, exploring the depths of The British Loyalty and witnessing the captivating underwater wonders of Addu Atoll. With experienced instructors and dive masters boasting thousands of dives in the atoll, Aquaventure Maldives promises a safe and unforgettable technical diving experience in this unique underwater realm.

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Sheraton Maldives hosts “Shape-Up” bootcamp for Global Wellness Day

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Fitness enthusiasts can maintain their routines while connecting with the natural beauty of Furanafushi Island

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa invites fitness enthusiasts and wellness seekers to join an exciting boot camp in celebration of Global Wellness Day. ‘Shape-Up’, a two-day event, will take place on June 11 and 12, 2024, celebrating health, fitness, and well-being. Hosted by renowned German fitness coach Dennis Felber, the event promises a dynamic mix of workouts against the idyllic backdrop of Furanafushi Island.

Dennis Felber, recognized for his coaching expertise, brings years of experience in promoting healthier lifestyles, weight loss, and muscle building. His engaging and effective approach ensures that participants of all fitness levels can achieve their personal goals. The program includes a variety of workouts, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for beginners, beach circuits, battle ropes, fun aqua aerobics, and many more, ensuring an exciting and diverse fitness experience for everyone.

Elevate your performance with an intensive session with Dennis Felber at CocoFit, an innovative outdoor gym that allows fitness enthusiasts to maintain their routines while connecting with the natural beauty of the surroundings. To complement each session, the signature Furana Detox, crafted from fresh lemongrass, mint leaves, and pandan leaves harvested from the resort’s own Furana Organic Garden, is served to get you refreshed and refueled. To conclude the day, our executive chef, Riccardo Pinna, has curated a wellness-inspired dinner consisting of a three-course hearty meal to ensure a balance of nutrients for your body. The evening promises an experience that delights your taste buds and supports your overall well-being.

‘Shape-Up’ is available complimentary for all resort guests aged 16 and above, accommodating guests of all fitness levels. The event also underscores the resort’s commitment to being the World’s Gathering Place, fostering a sense of community among like-minded travelers who share a passion for wellness.

“We are excited to host the ‘Shape-Up’ with Dennis Felber this Global Wellness Day,” said Mohamed El Aghoury, General Manager of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. “Our goal is to be part of our guests’ wellness journeys by providing enriching activities while they enjoy the unparalleled beauty of our resort.”

Beyond the boot camp, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa offers a variety of enriching activities for guests of all ages. From Sunrise Yoga sessions and adrenaline-pumping water sports to “Adopt A Coral,” a coral planting activity, guests can indulge in both adventure and relaxation while contributing to marine conservation. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is accessible with a 15-minute complimentary speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, making it ideal for guests who prefer brief travel.

For reservations and more information, visit www.sheratonmaldives.com or contact the reservations team at Sheraton.Maldives@sheraton.com.

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Amilla Maldives teams up with NGO to protect turtles

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In celebration of World Turtle Day on May 23rd, 2024, Amilla Maldives, a haven nestled within the breathtaking Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, announced a new and exciting partnership with the Atoll Marine Centre (AMC), a local NGO dedicated to marine conservation. This collaboration allows guests to actively participate in protecting these magnificent creatures and their vital habitats.

Founded in Lhaviyani Atoll in 2012, the Atoll Marine Centre (AMC) has become a vital force for sea turtle conservation in the Maldives. Their mission extends far beyond rehabilitation of hatchlings once kept as ill-advised pets. AMC actively rescues and rehabilitates adult turtles entangled in fishing gear or stranded on beaches. Their dedication extends to restoring coral reefs, raising awareness within the local community, and educating future generations through engaging school programs. This partnership with Amilla Maldives marks AMC’s first venture outside their home atoll, signifying the growing importance of collaborative conservation efforts across the islands.

As a proud member of The Conscious Travel Foundation and an EarthCheck silver-certified resort, Amilla Maldives goes beyond offering luxurious accommodations. The resort prioritises sustainable practices and actively engages guests in environmental initiatives. To celebrate World Turtle Day, Amilla curated a series of unforgettable experiences that allowed guests to learn about and contribute to sea turtle conservation:

  • Turtle Discovery Excursion: Witnessing the magic of turtles in their natural habitat through a guided snorkelling adventure.
  • “Turtle Tales”: Educational talks by marine biologists, demystifying the lives of sea turtles and the threats they face.
  • “Adopt-a-Turtle” Programme: An opportunity for guests to directly support AMC’s vital conservation efforts by symbolically adopting a turtle patient recovering at the centre

Amilla Maldives’ dedication to environmental responsibility extends far beyond World Turtle Day. The resort has implemented a series of ongoing initiatives that demonstrate their commitment to a sustainable future:

  • Harnessing the Power of the Sun: A significant investment in solar panel installation has drastically reduced the resort’s reliance on diesel fuel, minimising its carbon footprint.
  • Sustainable Amenities: Amilla Maldives has partnered with socially conscious brands to provide guests with refillable, eco-friendly toiletries packaged in PCR materials.
  • Combating Plastic Waste: The resort has replaced single-use plastic water bottles with reusable Rolla Bottles for all guests. Partnering with Rolla Bottle ensures that a portion of the proceeds goes towards funding ocean plastic pollution clean-up solutions.
  • Supporting Sustainable Fishing Practices: Amilla Maldives actively participates in the Blue Marine Foundation’s “Maldives Resilient Reefs” initiative. This program financially rewards local fishermen for adopting sustainable fishing practices that protect fragile coral reef ecosystems.

By choosing Amilla Maldives, travellers can indulge in luxurious comfort while contributing to vital marine conservation efforts. The resort offers a unique opportunity to combine an unforgettable vacation with the chance to make a positive impact on the environment. Let Amilla Maldives show you how luxury and sustainability can coexist beautifully.

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