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Mohamed Yamany: Bringing local touch to butler training in Maldives



By Shamman Zahir

Meet the president and the principal trainer at the Maldives Butler Academy, Mohamed Yamany. The first-ever local academy of this nature aims to build better infrastructure to mold top-class butlers and offer avenues to develop their careers. Maldives Insider team explores how a career with over 19 years of experience behind him has led to the start of this up-and-coming company in the Maldives.

Maldives Insider: Tell us briefly how you got started in your career.

Mohamed Yamany: 20 years ago, I finished my diploma at FHTS. I saw an ad in the newspaper for Mr. Friday at Soneva Fushi. A gentleman by the name of Hussain Shahid whom I was in contact with for field research for assignments of FHTS was kind enough to recommend me despite having no prior experience. I was interviewed by my trainer, Mr Frederick Broodryk, who was at one point the personal butler of Nelson Mandela. I quite clearly remember him saying to me in the interview, “you have no prior job experience in the industry, what is something that you can offer to the company than the other candidates who have applied for the same role?”. I told him the positive attitude is the only thing I can give apart from what I have learned from my time at FHTS. He was happy with the answer I gave and thought I would make a good Mr. Friday. After finishing my butler training and serving 2 years in Soneva Fushi, I was transferred to Soneva Gili. While I was at Soneva Gili, Six Senses was opening their new property in Vietnam, Six senses Ninh Van Bay. I was sent as part of the task force to train the first butlers of this new property in Vietnam. It was a very good experience professionally. This is something I would recommend for future Maldivians to do as well. Find an opportunity to get some international exposure before settling down to work in the Maldives. While I was in Vietnam, the Tsunami of 2004 hit Soneva Gili and the property was damaged badly. The GM at the time TJ said “there is nothing for you to go back to, since it will be a construction site at this point. Why don’t you stay back and help to open up?” A few months later the Front office manager resigned and I inherited the department of 43 hosts. Managing a diverse team became a crash course in leadership for me. Before that, I had no prior leadership experience or training, everything was learned on the go and I was lucky to receive a lot of mentoring from the GM and other Directors at the resort. After that chapter, I came back to the Maldives to get married. At that time, Four Seasons was reopening their Kuda Huraa property and had an opening at the time. The opportunity in HR was a great exposure for me. So far in my career at this point, I had the experience of working in front of the house, and this was my foray into working at the heart of the house of a resort. After spending a year working there, I won a Villa Foundation scholarship to do my degree in Malaysia at Taylors University. While I was doing my degree, I did my internship in Malaysia and then in UAE. After finishing up my degree, I got the opportunity to work in a Singapore based company that did open a couple more resorts in Vietnam. Some of them like Ana Mandara Hue and An Lam Ninh Van Bay won some awards. I then came back again to the Maldives and with my wife being pregnant I wanted to stay close to home. I have always wanted to give back to the community, and this came true with getting the opportunity to work at FHTS as a lecturer. After working in the public sector, I came back to the hospitality field doing resort openings such as Vakkaru Maldives and Crossroads Maldives. Now, I am on this current journey of having started my own training company with two other gentlemen Dr Sunny and Mr Badhuru.

MI: What interested you to start Maldives Butler Academy?

MY: There were many reasons we started this. One of the reasons was before we started there were perhaps 2 or 3 companies that was conducting Butler training so resorts didn’t have much of a choice. These companies were able to charge a premium due to the lack of Butler training schools both in the Maldives and abroad. With Maldives Butler Academy coming into the game, it sort of have levelled the playing field.

Just because you are late to the game, doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact. Take Google for instance. It was the 13th search engine but it has the biggest market share today.

We launched the Academy in December 2020 and after we received many inquiries, the second wave of Covid-19 forced us to push back the many trainings that was to be held.

MI: What do you think of the opportunities available for Maldivians in the Maldives?

MY: I think there is a lot of opportunities available for the Maldivians but we should grasp these opportunities and also keep at the back of their head that when it comes to talent that they are competing with the rest of the world who are vying for the same opportunities.

MI: What services/programmes does the academy provide?

MY: We have three levels, basic advanced, and professional. The details are available on our website ( The basic course generally covers what it is like to be a butler in the Maldives and brings you up to standards. The advanced level is focused on certain modules such as Valet skills, Event management, Mixology for advanced training, etc. The professional level includes modules such as cigar service, silver service, Barista coffee, hot beverages, etc. It also includes certain items requested by the brands.

We get a lot of interest from locals to do the training but we lack the infrastructure ourselves to give public courses. So we currently do partnerships with resorts to do Butler training. Every course is made customized and tailored to the resort and its needs. It’s simply easier to be done in resorts where you can play out real-world scenarios. Assimilation would be tough if we did public courses at this point. That is a limitation we have.

MI: What makes a good butler?

MY: In my opinion, a person who can put others’ interests ahead of your own will make a great butler. Quite a lot have the notion that a lot of butlers make a lot of money with tips and you intend to become a butler on that basis and being money-oriented is your primary focus, being a butler is not for you. Being an entrepreneur is a better option with that kind of focus.

As a Butler, your primary focus should be to give a once-in-a-lifetime experience to guests with no strings attached. There are age-old stereotypes that certain nationalities will tip better, that should not be in the mindset of a butler. It should be the same level of service of every guest regardless of their nationality, gender etc. A guest is a guest no matter where they come from.”

What I believe and advocate is to being very customer focused. Just as Jeff Bezos says, “Competitors will not give us any money”. If you are competitor-focused, you have to wait until a competitor does something and you are playing a catchup game. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.

It’s also good to have experience in other departments of the resort before becoming a butler. It certainly helps to have an understanding of operations to do your job better. It’s important to see that in the resort, things work as a team with everyone doing their part. If a butler has a notion that the guests are happy simply because him or her doing a great job, that is not very true as it is a joint effort from the airport team, room boys, stewards, to the waiters. A butler should play a diplomatic role where he or she is able to utilise the others to wow their guests.

MI: What are some of the challenges you face in your line of work?

MY: Right now, the biggest challenge is scheduling. Some resorts are very busy during the low seasons as well. There are expectations sometimes to finish one training and go to the next one back to back. That is not the most efficient way to go, as most of our content is very much customised to the location. Currently, it is just me doing the trainings, so manpower is a limitation but how we have designed the academy is that any butler can take the mantle of trainer and contribute to creating more butlers. I believe the Maldives Butler Academy is bigger than one person.

MI: What is a memorable moment from your career?

MY: I was offered to become the General Manager of a company but I felt I wasn’t ready at the time. In Vietnam as well before coming back to the Maldives, they offered me to be the Resident Manager. So, in terms of career goals, being offered those positions assured me I had made it to that level. At the same time, having a wife and a daughter now changes things where you have to factor them in when making career decision. When your decisions can affect more than just you, you will have to make sacrifices and put their needs ahead of your own as well. At this point in life, working with work-life-harmony is more important for me than going up the career ladder.

MI: What is your vision for the academy?

MY: One facet of the vision is that we intend to conduct the trainings offered by the Academy in hospitality establishment outside of the Maldives. Another facet is to make our courses be approved by Maldives Qualification Authority (MQA) so that it becomes a bridging course for our participants to use it to continue their studies to pursue a degree so that it is not just another certificate and that there is more value to it. There are a lot of criteria set by MQA, we are working towards fulfilling them.

MI: What advice would you give to those starting in the industry?

MY: Don’t just get into hospitality because you want a job. Get into hospitality if you can put others before you. It’s not a factor to be ashamed of. There are alternative career choices if you cannot put serving others before yourself. So only get into hospitality if you can follow that rule of serving others before yourself.


Maldives Madridistas: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands Nets Exclusive Football Camp Partnership with the Real Madrid Foundation



Younger guests at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands can embrace new patterns of play this summer at an exclusive, Maldives-first Real Madrid Foundation football camp. From 4 July – 12 August, a youth coach will lead a comprehensive Real Madrid Foundation programme of daily soccer sessions for ages 5-9yrs, 10-14yrs, and 15-17yrs. The coach will be joined by an elite player ambassador from UEFA’s all-time no. 1 ranked football club toward the end of the programme.

This summer’s inaugural Patina Maldives x Real Madrid CF Foundation football camp is the first edition in an ongoing partnership, with additional future football camp dates to be confirmed. Led by a licensed Real Madrid Foundation coach, sessions will focus on developing each participant both individually and as part of the group, in order to ‘Play The Real Way’ – the training methodology that combines play, as well as sports values.

Sessions will take place on a new, purpose-built 6 a side astroturf pitch located near the Fari Marina Village at Patina Maldives.

All participants will receive an official camp football camp shirt, shorts, socks, drawstring bag, sweatbands, and cap; while those completing a minimum of four days’ coaching will also be presented with a Real Madrid Foundation participation certificate.

Real Madrid Foundation football clinics at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands are priced at USD195++ per child per session for guests of the resort. Bookings are also open to guests from neighbouring resorts, from USD250++ per child per session.

Rates at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands start from USD2,054 (approx. GBP1,620) per night based on two adults sharing a One Bedroom Pool Villa including daily breakfast, complimentary Guest Benefits, tax, and service. Terms and conditions apply.

For more information and reservations, please visit or contact For more information on Pathways, please see here.

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A blissful island Easter celebration at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives



Experience unique and enriching getaways at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives, as the luxury resort unveils exciting benefits for family getaway packages launching this season. Guests are invited to immerse themselves in the ethereal charm of the Maldives.

Nestled in the pristine Raa Atoll, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives seamlessly blends eco-friendly architecture with contemporary sophistication, complemented by the untouched, rugged beauty of the Raa Atoll. Situated amidst miles of untouched marine life, Alila Kothaifaru invites guests to reconnect with nature in the most extraordinary ways. With spacious villas and private pools, guests can truly experience the essence of a getaway where luxury and adventure harmoniously coexist.

Surrounded by azure skies and the turquoise waters of the Raa Atoll, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives offers an idyllic setting for a family escape during the Easter break. Here, guests can unwind in luxurious, nature-immersed surroundings, embark on exciting adventures together, and indulge in unforgettable wellness and culinary experiences.

During Easter weekend, Play Alila will delight young guests with a diverse range of festive island-inspired activities, including Easter egg decorating, arts and crafts, face painting, and more. For those seeking relaxation, Spa Alila offers enticing packages for parents and children to enjoy quality bonding time.

For the adventurous souls, do not miss the chance to join our Sparkling Underwater Egg Hunt. Hidden throughout one of our nearby dive sites, these eggs hold a special surprise. The lucky diver who discovers the egg with a unique mark will win an exclusive clutch made of Swarovski crystal valued at EUR 1,800!

Embark on an Easter journey to remember at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives. Explore all of the Easter events and activities at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives here 

Family Getaway Package

  • Booking Period: Until 30 October 2024
  • Stay Period: Until 25 December 2024

Experience a family holiday rich with memorable moments. From nature walks to energetic beach activities, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives’ offerings extend to the whole family. Indulge in a host of fun adventures together, or relax while your children participate in creative indoor and outdoor activities. Enjoy special family welcome amenities upon arrival, return seaplane transfers, daily full-board meals, and a special offer on wellness treatments. Experience the beauty of our island while creating lasting memories to be treasured!

Stay with us during the Easter period from 25-31 March 2024 and be treated to a wide range of festive island inspired activities such as Easter egg decorating, arts and crafts, egg hunting around the island and underwater, wellness offering, and many more!

For more information and reservations, please contact or visit

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Love’s Oasis: Siyam World Invites Couples To Celebrate And Embrace Romance On White Valentines’ Day



Romance never ends, get ready to swoon, Siyam World is pulling out all the stops to make this White Valentine’s Day one for the books.  Nestled in the heart of the Maldives, Siyam World invites couples to indulge in a whirlwind of romance and adventure on March 14th, 2024.

Internationally acclaimed DJ Youna will headline the evening’s entertainment, enchanting guests with her signature blend of melodic techno and progressive house music. Against the backdrop of the Maldivian night sky, guests can dance under the stars and create cherished memories with their loved ones. DJ Youna, the rising star of melodic techno and progressive house, is set to serenade you and your beloved under the starlit skies of Siyam World.

YOUNA, an emerging DJ/Producer specializing in melodic techno and progressive house, hails originally from South Korea. Her musical trajectory took an unforeseen turn upon her relocation to Dubai, where she developed a profound affinity for house music—a genre less prevalent in the Asian music landscape. Dedication to refining her craft led YOUNA to cultivate a distinctive sound, skilfully merging emotive melodies with the infectious energy of her compositions.

Despite embarking on her production and DJing journey in 2022, YOUNA has swiftly ascended to prominence on the global music scene. Her debut single, ‘Self-Doubt,’ ascended to the top 14 in progressive house and secured the 4th position on Beatport’s hype chart. YOUNA’s music, characterized by potent beats and evocative soundscapes, transcends cultural boundaries, dismantling barriers and creating a harmonious fusion on the international stage. Get ready to dance the night away and create memories that will last a lifetime with DJ YOUNA

Siyam World has also curated a line-up of experiences that will make your heart skip a beat. Dive into the culinary wonders of the Maldives with our Maldivian Culinary Workshop at Kaage, where you will learn the secrets of local cuisine from our talented chefs.

Treat your special someone to a Destination Dinner or a Special Romantic Dinner, complete with a romantic movie screening to set the mood. And for the ultimate indulgence, why not enjoy a Wine Cellar Dinner? Gift your loved one with chocolates and flowers made available for this special day. Sip on mimosas and savor delicious bites while soaking in the breath-taking views of Siyam World.

Mark your calendars, lovebirds, because White Valentine’s Day at Siyam World is going to be one for the books! Book your romantic getaway now and get ready to fall in love all over again.

For more information, visit Siyam World or follow on InstagramFacebookTwitterTikTok or YouTube. For booking enquiries email:

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