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Maldivian Manta Rays, A Researcher’s Muse

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Maldives Promotion House – When it comes to being photographed, manta rays in the Maldives may rival some of Hollywood’s favourite celebrities.  But instead of paparazzi following the animals, it’s scientists from Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru.  Every season from May to December, researchers snap more than 10,000 photographs of the species for the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP).

The project, based out of the Resort, was founded in 2005 by the Resort’s senior marine biologist, Guy Stevens with the support of Four Seasons and Save Our Seas Foundation, and is the only full-time manta ray project in the country.  With 2,000 animals documented as of February 2011, it boasts the largest number of manta rays on record anywhere in the world.

Although the species is protected in the Maldives, worldwide manta ray populations are declining.  In fact, they are listed as near threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Many are caught in drift nets and lines while others are targeted by fisheries.

Little is known about the migratory patterns and reproductive behaviours of manta rays. The research team at MMRP is now using tracking devices to study the movements of identified manta rays in hopes of uncovering some of this information.  Scientists are particularly interested in learning about what influences the animals’ migratory patterns between feeding and cleaning grounds, when manta rays visit specific reefs to have parasites and dead tissue removed from their bodies by small cleaner fish. This information is necessary to accurately assess the species and to build appropriate protection measures.

Thankfully, the team’s hard work is paying off.  In 2007, MMRP became the first organization to map out the entire reproductive cycle of the Maldivian manta rays.  The project has also uncovered information surrounding the animals’ social groupings, feeding behaviours and population numbers.

Source: Four Seasons

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Sun Siyam Resorts Boosts PR & Communications Team with Appointment of Erika Magora for Sun Siyam Iru Veli & Sun Siyam Vilu Reef

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Sun Siyam Resorts has announced a dynamic addition to its PR and Communications team with the appointment of Erika Magora as Cluster Assistant PR & Communications Manager for Sun Siyam Iru Veli and Sun Siyam Vilu Reef. With an impressive background in law from the UK, coupled with a diverse upbringing in the Philippines and Malaysia, Erika brings a unique blend of skills and experiences to our renowned luxury resorts.

Prior to joining Sun Siyam Resorts, Erika served as the key figure in managing Marketing Communications at the prestigious 5-star luxury resort, The Datai Langkawi in Malaysia. Her collaboration with international media, partners, and agencies has significantly contributed to the resort’s global presence. She has worked with top journalists, production crews and PR partners from the UK, Europe, Australia, America and Asian regions. Erika also has experience in sales and marketing when she played a pivotal role in the Asia Pacific region’s sales and marketing for Foodpanda, a leading delivery brand in Asia. 

I cherish the cultural diversity and distinctions of both properties that I work for. Sun Siyam Iru Veli fascinates me as it revels in its private luxury tranquility, attracting a premium market. In Sun Siyam Vilu Reef, the naturally playful environment and genuine warmth of the people that create an inviting haven for repeater guests, captivate me. Both are beautiful, each in its unique way. Embracing diverse media and markets adds excitement to my work. The pristine beach and sea in both places energize me, fueling my passion for what I do.” expressed, Erika.

Claudia Klingbeil, Group Director of PR & Communications at Sun Siyam Resorts said: “Erika’s appointment underscores our dedication to assembling a team of talented individuals who not only possess exceptional professional capabilities but also embody the diverse cultural tapestry that defines our global clientele. We are confident that Erika’s passion for communication, coupled with her international perspective, will elevate our PR and Communications efforts to new heights of success.”

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Harshal Kumar Appointed as Cluster Executive Chef for Hurawalhi Island Resort &  Kudadoo Maldives Private Island

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Crown and Champa Resorts has announced the appointment of Harshal Kumar as  the Executive Chef for Hurawalhi Island Resort and Kudadoo Maldives Private Island.  With an illustrious culinary journey, spanning years of dedication and expertise, Harshal  brings a wealth of experience and innovation to his new role.Harshal’s journey began  with a graduation from the School of Hotel Management, HTMI Switzerland New Delhi,  laying the foundation for a remarkable career. He enhanced his skills at prestigious  establishments such as The Claridges Hotels New Delhi and V Qutab Hotels & Resort, 

Mahindra resorts, where he showcased his culinary proficiency and commitment to  excellence. 

Throughout his distinguished career, Harshal has garnered numerous accolades,  including being a gold medalist in the South American Chef Competition and  representing the Chef’s Culinary Forum of WACS. His talents have earned him global  recognition, with collaborations alongside renowned chefs such as Australian celebrity  chef Luke Mangan and Michelin-starred chef Dominik Kappelar. Notable highlights of  Harshal’s journey include his tenure with Gordon Ramsay for his pop-up restaurant,  Bread Street Kitchen, at Amilla Fushi Maldives, where he elevated culinary experiences  to new heights. His exceptional leadership and culinary vision led to his promotion to  Cluster Executive Chef for Kudadoo and Hurawalhi Island Resort in 2023. 

In his own words, Harshal reflects on his culinary journey: “I stand in the heart of the  kitchen, surrounded by the symphony of sizzling pans and the aromatic dance of herbs  and spices. It all began with a love for food – the magic of transforming simple  ingredients into extraordinary creations that tantalize taste buds and evoke emotions.” 

As Executive Chef, Harshal is poised to craft exceptional menus for the most  breathtaking undersea restaurant in the Maldives and to oversee culinary operations  at both Kudadoo and Hurawalhi. His passion for culinary excellence and dedication to  creating unforgettable dining experiences will undoubtedly elevate the guest  experience to new heights. 

Nestled amidst the pristine beauty of the Maldives, Hurawalhi Island Resort and  Kudadoo Maldives Private Island offer unparalleled luxury and tranquility. With pristine  lagoons and powdery white sandy beaches, these resorts provide the perfect backdrop  for unforgettable holiday experiences. 

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Oaga Art Resort Appoints New Island Chief  and Resort Manager

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Oaga Art Resort, a renowned destination for art enthusiasts and luxury seekers  alike, has announced the promotion of two key members of its team:  Samee Saeed has been appointed Island Chief Katheeb, and Nazim Mohamed,  known as Naadhu, has been named Resort Manager. 

Samee Saeed, a seasoned hospitality professional with over 18 years of experience, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new role as Island  Chief Katheeb. Having previously served as Resort Manager at Oaga, Samee possesses a deep understanding of the resort’s operations and brand values. In  his new position, he will be responsible for overseeing a wide range of projects,  from planning and organizing to directing and managing, ensuring they align with  the Board of Directors’ vision and contribute to the resort’s continued success. His  strategic approach, coupled with strong communication skills, will be instrumental  in leading various resort areas and curating experiences that elevate the guest  journey. 

Nazim Mohamed (Naadhu), with over 20 years of experience in the hospitality  industry, takes on the crucial role of Resort Manager. Naadhu has steadily climbed  the ranks since his start as a Guest Relations Officer, demonstrating dedication  and leadership qualities. His diverse experience, encompassing roles like Front  Office Manager at various Maldivian resorts, equips him with an understanding of  resort operations and guest service excellence. As Resort Manager, Naadhu will be  responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and managing all resort operations,  ensuring they deliver the exceptional Oaga guest experience while maximizing  profitability and fostering employee engagement. 

“We are delighted to promote Samee and Naadhu to these pivotal roles. Both  individuals have demonstrated their commitment to Oaga’s values and vision,  and we are hopeful that they will make significant contributions to the resort’s  success,” stated the Company Directors of Oaga Art Resort.

With Samee and Naadhu at the helm, Oaga Art Resort is poised for continued  growth and success. Their combined expertise and commitment to excellence will  ensure that the resort remains a haven for art enthusiasts and discerning  travellers seeking an unforgettable Maldivian experience. 

For Maldives lovers searching for an all-inclusive holiday, Oaga Art Resort’s  Greatest All-Inclusive plan re-defines the limits of what All-Inclusive is all about;  with inclusions such as Creative Expression (art) classes, Take Notes (music)  experiences, In-Villa Dining to floating meal, choices of excursions, motorised  watersports and many more. Guests looking to book the resort can visit the  website, www.oagaresorts.com to book your stay, don’t miss out! 

Situated in North Malé Atoll, Oaga Art Resort is 45 minutes by speedboat from  Malé International Airport. A small island with 60 villas with beach and over water  options, 5 dining venues and a spa inspired by Maldivian traditional healing  practices, Oaga Art Resort’s artistic and creative spaces offer an immersive  experience curated by local and visiting artists, and craftsmen from the Maldives.

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